Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TDi 140 SE BlueMotion: Road test | AOL Cars UK

27 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TDi 140 SE BlueMotion: Road test | AOL Cars UK

Volkswagen Sharan

2.0 TDi 140 SE BlueMotion: Road test

The last Volkswagen Sharan was best-known for its classy, roomy and versatile cabin and the fact it was good to drive.

Now there’s a new Sharan, but with smaller rivals offering similar practicality and the sister car, the SEAT Alhambra, being so similar, why should you go for the Volkswagen? I spent a week with a £27,540 (without options) Sharan 2.0 TDi 140 SE BlueMotion to find out.

Upmarket, tall, functional and sensible probably best sum up the Sharan’s exterior styling.

Not the best-looking MPV, but it looks neatest from the front, where the Sharan’s different headlights, grille and front airdam. in my opinion, make it look a lot sleeker than the Alhambra.

Move to the side and the Sharan’s flanks are dominated by the massive windows and the rear sliding doors. Whilst at the back, there’s a large set of rear light clusters and the huge rear window

Inside the Sharan, there’s the usual sturdy, logically laid out dashboard that you expect from a Volkswagen.

Move to the rear of the Sharan cabin and the tall styling means there’s plenty of head and legroom for five adults. The cleverest design feature of the Alhambra and Sharan has to be the way the rear rows of seats fold into the floor, so there’s no need to remove them.

The Sharan is incredibly spacious inside, with just the third row of seats folded into the floor, boot space is an excellent 658 litres. This grows to a van-like 2,297 litres with all the seats folded.

During the time I had the Sharan, I used it for a family holiday. I found there was more than enough room for four adults, my baby son and all of our luggage, with room to spare.

The most family-friendly feature of the Sharan has to be the large twin sliding rear doors, which were optionally power-operated (£635) on the test car and made getting my baby boy in and out of the back very easy. I also appreciated the optional power-operated boot (£495), which made loading and unloading much easier.

Our test car was in mid-range SE trim which has all the equipment you’re ever likely to need and includes: climate control, front and rear parking sensors and electric windows. The pricey, optional touch-screen navigation/CD system (£1,910) stereo sounded great and the map quality was excellent.

So, what’s the Sharan like to drive? The 2.0-litre TDi diesel engine might have just 138bhp and as such, with the tall body acceleration is a bit laboured (62mph comes up in 10.9 seconds and the top speed is 121mph). Still, with 236lb-ft of torque, once it’s on the move it feels quite sprightly.

Our test car had six-speed manual transmission, which was reasonably slick with a light, progressive clutch.

Our holiday consisted of a mixture of motorway runs and town driving and despite the fact that it is a big MPV, all the BlueMotion tweaks meant it proved to be quite frugal and averaged around 30mpg. This is helped by the standard-fit start-stop system.

Even fully loaded, the Sharan’s ride was comfortable with only the biggest road imperfections making their way into the cabin. I wasn’t expecting the sharp, precise steering, which helps to make the driving experience more involving. However, it seems at odds with the safe, but not sporty handling.

There’s plenty of body roll in corners; still it is an MPV!

To sum up, I think that the Sharan is a brilliant, if expensive family car (our test car with options was over £30,000!). Before driving the Sharan, I drove its sister car, the SEAT Alhambra and I wonder now if it’s easy to justify spending the extra £1,100+ that Volkswagen charges over the SEAT?

Volkswagen Sharan 2.0TDi 140 SE Bluemotion Launch Gallery

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