The all-new Volkswagen Sharan has made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Based on an advanced new platform and featuring twin sliding doors, a seven seat configuration and a range of frugal yet powerful petrol and diesel engines, the Sharan is set to establish new standards of efficiency, practicality and refinement in its class.
At 4,854mm in length, the new Sharan is 220mm longer than the model it replaces, 92mm wider and 12mm lower. Despite these gains the new Sharan weighs 30kg less than the previous generation model.
Access to the rear seats in the new Sharan is granted via a pair of large sliding doors that can, along with the tailgate, be specified with electric motors to operate automatically. The centre row features three individual seats that can be moved by up to 160mm back and forth if required and, when not in use, can be folded to create a flat loadspace.
The third row of seats is made easy to access through the ability of the centre row of seats to slide and pivot forwards by 20 degrees. As a result of a wheelbase extended by 75mm over the outgoing model, the new Sharan’s third row of seats is large enough to accommodate adults as well as children. As with the second row of seats, they can also be folded flat into the floor when not required.
At the heart of the new Sharan is a range of four advanced TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines linked to six-speed manual or DSG gearboxes. A 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine developing 148bhp while returning 38.1mpg and emitting 172g/km of CO2 is joined by a 2.0-litre unit which is mated to a standard DSG gearbox and produces 197bhp. This engine emits 201g/km of CO2 while returning 32.8mpg.
The diesel range comprises two 2.0-litre common rail engines producing 138 and 168bhp. In 2.0-litre TDI 138bhp form the Sharan returns 52.3mpg while emitting 143g/km of CO2 to make it one of the most efficient vehicles in its class. The 168bhp model emits 152g/km of CO2 and has a combined economy figure of 49.5mpg. To further improve efficiency, all models except the 197bhp variant feature Stop-Start and regenerative braking systems as standard.
The new Sharan is the most advanced people carrier Volkswagen has ever produced. Available as an option for the first time on the Sharan is the Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) system featuring electronically controlled pneumatic dampers with three selectable stages – normal, comfort and sport. In addition, a new version of Park Assist makes its debut on the Sharan. The system is now capable of guiding the vehicle into parking spaces at right angles with the direction of traffic as well as parallel spaces.
Following its international debut in Geneva the new Sharan will go on sale in the UK later this year with prices and specifications due to be announced nearer this time.