Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sharan Share Alike; Can Volkswagen's Improved Sharan Continue to Vie for Top Spot in the Large MPV Class? JONATHAN CROUCH Takes a Look

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sharan Share Alike; Can Volkswagen's Improved Sharan Continue to Vie for Top Spot in the Large MPV Class? JONATHAN CROUCH Takes a Look

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN CROUCH

FAMILIES ask a lot of their vehicles, but few kinds of car can answer more of those questions than the large MPV.

The Sharan is Volkswagen's idea of the ultimate big people carrier with a variety of seating options and punchy yet economical engines. Sliding side doors enhance access and the seats themselves contort into a wide array of different layouts.

This improved model gets smarter looks, greater effi-ciency and more connectivity. The easiest way to identify this improved MK2 model Sharan is to take a look at its rear where LED light technology now features in the tail lamps.

Otherwise, the practical looks are much as before, housing impressive interior versatiliy. The styling is typical Volkswagen, uncomplicated but classy, and there's a conspicuously large glass area bringing plenty of light into the cabin while affording all occupants a good view out. Just because a vehicle has seven seats, it doesn't mean that seven adult-sized occupants can fit comfortably on board but this Sharan has the space that compact MPVs and large SUVs invariably lack.

The rear doors slide back to give a wide access point to the second row of seats. Both these doors and the tailgate can be electrically powered for added convenience and access to the third row seating is improved by the easy entry function through which the outer seats in the second row tilt and slide forward in a single motion.

The entire cabin, which now features smarter accents and materials, is based around the easyfold seating system. This allows the three second row seats to slide back and forth individually to alter the legroom available. It also means that all of the rear seats can fold flat to the floor, creating extra luggage space.

There isn't a whole lot of luggage capacity with all the seats occupied but with the third-row folded down, a huge 711 litres is available up to the car's belt-line. A detachable mesh partition allows cargo to be stacked to the ceiling for a 1,167 litre capacity and with all the rear seats folded, a maximum of 2,297 litres is available. The cabin looks solidly constructed with the smarter dashboard's controls clearly marked and simple to operate. …

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