This is the new Volkswagen Sharan, and it’s about time too - the original was launched in 1995. In the time it’s taken VW to replace the Sharan, Ford has ditched its Sharan-based Galaxy, launched a new version using S-Max and Mondeo parts, and facelifted it.
We’ve all laughed at the geriatric Saab 9-5, but for the mighty Volkswagen Group this seems like a serious oversight. The new VW Sharan was launched tonight – along with the Polo GTI and Mk2 Touareg – at the company’s huge pre-Geneva 2010 party.
Volkswagen has had enough time to get the new car right – how good is the new VW Sharan?
According to the company, it’s 'the most advanced people carrier Volkswagen has ever produced' and there’s the promise of class-leading refinement, practicality and efficiency.
For a start both rear doors now slide (electrically if you pay for it), allowing easier access to rows two and three. The three seats in the middle row slide back and forth by up to 160mm, pivot forward by 20 degrees to allow easy access to the rear row, and both the second and third row of seats can fold flat into the floor.
On the outside VW’s design team has taken cues from the new Polo – inspiration would be the wrong word – and there’ll be a Seat version shown in autumn 2010. It’s big and slab-sided (we’re aware there’s a boat in the background of one of our images!) but that also means more space inside. And although the Mk2 Sharan is 220mm longer (including a 75mm wheelbase stretch) and 92mm wider than its predecessor – it’s also 12mm lower – the new MPV actually weights 30kg less than the car it replaces.
Under the bonnet there’s the option of two petrol and two diesel engines; we expect the 2.0-litre TDI (available with 138 or 168bhp) to be the big seller, but ex-Golf GTI owners might plump for the 197bhp 2.0-litre petrol. The final choice is a 1.4 TSI with 148bhp. The lower-power diesel manages 52.3mpg and emits just 143g/km CO2.
On the options is sat-nav, VW’s Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system with three different damper settings (including a Sport mode) and the latest Park Assist device. UK sales start in August 2010, and prices and specifications will be announced later this year.
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