Used Volkswagen Sharan MPV 1995 - 2011 review

Category: MPV

The Volkswagen Sharan is a comfortable, roomy seven-seater that's rewarding to drive

Volkswagen Sharan MPV (95 - 11)
  • Volkswagen Sharan MPV (95 - 11)
  • Volkswagen Sharan MPV (95 - 11)
Used Volkswagen Sharan MPV 1995 - 2011 review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Sharan MPV like?

If you've driven a Ford Galaxy or Seat Alhambra, you've driven a Volkswagen Sharan. They're identical apart from differing levels of equipment and gentle corporate identity kits.

They're also pretty good to drive. Like its brothers, the Sharan is tidy around corners, and while the ride is firm, it's never uncomfortably so, and becomes smoother at higher speeds.


The Volkswagen Sharan is a comfortable, roomy seven-seater that's rewarding to drive

  • Seven seats
  • Versatile cabin
  • Well built
  • Dearer than sister MPVs from Ford and Seat
  • Rear seats are heavy to lift out

Cruising suits the Sharan well. All the engines are muted and the cabin is free from other intrusive noise. The seats are comfortable on long hauls, while the good driving position and fine all-round vision help shrink the miles, too.

Last, but very definitely not least, the Sharan's practicality is very good. All seven seats can be folded and slid, while the five rearmost ones can be removed, given enough muscle and patience. Cargo space is huge when you do, but (in common with many other MPVs) it's very limited with all seven seats in place.

Ownership cost

What used Volkswagen Sharan MPV will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Sharan MPV?

The VW Sharan is dearer to buy than its siblings, but it will hold its value pretty well - the snob value of its badge helps - and you shouldn't have to give your plastic a beating to keep it on the road.

It's pretty reliable, too, so unscheduled maintenance is likely to be kept to a minimum, and routine service costs are in line with those of most of its rivals, including the Galaxy and Alhambra.

Insurance is also reasonable. Reckon on paying for group 22-27 whichever you buy, unless you've gone for the group 29 V6 petrol. If you have, you'll be getting low to mid-20s to the gallon. However, the diesels hover around the 40mpg mark - very good given the Sharan's size and weight. The 2.0 and 1.8 T petrols drop that to about 30mpg, but that's still far from bad.

Our recommendations

Which used Volkswagen Sharan MPV should I buy?

The low-down muscle of the 1.9 TDI turbodiesel suits the Sharan best, and you can take your pick from 90, 110, 115 and 130bhp versions. All are smooth, reasonably quiet and strong, and sip their fuel at a gentle rate.

There's also a 138bhp 2.0 TDI turbodiesel available on newer Sharans, but overall we prefer the 110bhp and 115bhp engines.

Alternatively, there are three petrols and the best of them is the 150bhp turbocharged 1.8T. The 113bhp 2.0 feels underpowered with a load on board, whereas the 201bhp 2.8-litre V6 - also available with four-wheel drive - is rapid and sweet, but too thirsty for most pockets.

As is so often the case, the later the car the better. A facelift in 2000 brought slightly smarter looks and better equipment levels, which were improved again in 2002. All have plenty of safety kit, air-con, electric front windows and alloy wheels as standard, but if you want the full-on luxury treatment go for Carat or SE trim.

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What alternatives should I consider to a used Volkswagen Sharan MPV?