Sharan 2004-2007

Sitting between the Touran and Caravelle, the Sharan is Volkswagen’s mid-sized MPV offering, designed to provide much more flexibility than the average family car.  Thanks to its individually removable rear seats, it can accommodate up to seven adults in comfort or provide a sizeable 2,610 litres of storage space when all the seats are taken out.  But the beauty of the Sharan is the number of different seating combinations and positions it is capable of between those two extremes.

The Sharan was subtly updated for 2004, with a new look to the rear in addition to other detail design changes.  Equipment levels were also enhanced, and for 2005 Model Year, a new entry-level S model was introduced, offering customers even more value for money.

All Sharans benefit from ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution); four airbags as well as a curtain airbag system; three point seat belts for all passengers; air conditioning; remote central locking with alarm; roof rails; a six-speed manual gearbox and seven seats.  Build quality, always a strong facet of the Sharan, is evident throughout.

SUMMARY

  • Sharan brings unprecedented levels of build quality and solidity to the MPV class
  • dashboard features ‘slush’ moulding, blue instrumentation with red needles and two large stowage areas
  • all models come with seven seats, five of which are removable
  • despite its generous accommodation, Sharan has a similar ‘footprint’ to a family car: at 4634 mm it’s shorter than the Passat saloon (4765mm) and the Passat Estate (4774mm)
  • standard equipment includes ABS, four airbags plus a curtain airbag system, remote central locking with alarm and air conditioning
  • options include gas-discharge Xenon headlights, ESP and satellite navigation
  • two petrol engines and two diesel units are available.  The petrol engines comprise a 2.0-litre 115 PS, and a 1.8-litre Turbo 150 PS.  The diesel line-up comprises two TDI ‘Pumpe Düse’ or unit injector powerplants, a 1.9-litre 115 PS and a 2.0-litre 140 PS
  • a six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with automatic transmission offered across the range
  • advanced high-pressure injection TDI technology results in greater power, torque and efficiency combined with lower carbon dioxide emissions.  This is particularly important for company car drivers, with car tax now based on CO2emissions

DESIGN

Exterior
The most striking feature of the Sharan is its frontal styling, including clear-lens headlights.  These units incorporate all the lamps within one cluster, which is then covered by a clear lens.  The finished effect is both distinctive and attractive. 

The bonnet features two prominent creases that lead down to a bold, chrome-trimmed grille.  Below this, the front bumper and spoiler unit is designed for good impact performance.

At the back of the Sharan there is a distinctive design, with chrome-ringed light clusters.  In addition, the side indicator repeaters are now integrated in the door mirror housings, in line with other recent Volkswagen models.  The Volkswagen roundel is large and prominent, while four black corner bump-strips complete the appearance.

Interior
The Sharan’s dashboard is inspired heavily by those found in the Golf, Touran and Passat.  With the same solid quality feel which is a trademark of Volkswagen’s products, the instruments are set in silver casings and feature Volkswagen’s characteristic blue background lighting with red needles. The stereo is factory-fitted and fully integrated into the fascia, while a satellite navigation system is available on Sport models.

Two large stowage areas – which can be opened by gently pressing release buttons – are incorporated into the dashboard while additional map holders and stowage areas in the doors, as well as two 12 volt power sockets in the luggage area, also add convenience.  All models have seven seats, of which five are removable.  This gives extra versatility and practicality.

Quality
Volkswagen enjoys a hard won reputation for quality and knows that it must make an even greater commitment in design, materials, development, quality control and many other areas if it is to retain its lead. 

By designing the Sharan to make use of some major and minor components including nuts, bolts, washers and fixings used in other Group products, Volkswagen is able to purchase high quality components and materials in bulk.  By saving costs in these areas, Volkswagen has more resource to spend on quality items specific to the Sharan such as the body shell and trim components.

ENGINES

Two petrol and two diesel engines are available in the Sharan, with power outputs ranging from 115 to 150 PS.

Petrol engines

2.0-litre, 1984 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 115 PS
This eight valve, 115 PS engine complies with Euro 4 emissions standards, a feat that has been achieved by using special combustion chamber geometry, new fuel atomisation and mixture preparation principles together with a solid-state, high-tension ignition distribution system with twin-spark coils.  This improves the combustion process and reduces emissions, while lighter connecting rods significantly reduce engine vibration. 

This engine is available with a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.

1.8-litre 20V Turbo, 1781 cc, 20-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS
This engine is a popular sporty choice within the range.  Five valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts and a relatively small turbocharger make for a strong set of performance figures, but these are combined with impressive fuel economy.  Easy driveability is assured by a peak torque figure of 162 lbs ft achieved at a diesel-like 1850 rpm.  The torque curve remains flat up to 4600 rpm.

This engine is available with a six-speed manual or five-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.

Diesel engines
When Volkswagen launched its new generation of TDI engines in 1996, it marked a significant leap forward for diesel technology.  Then at the end of 1999, Volkswagen moved the game on yet further with the launch of ‘Pumpe Düse’ or ‘PD’ technology.  Pumpe Düse translates as ‘unit injector’, a fuel injection system which can operate at pressures of up to 2050 bars or 30,000 psi, considerably more than the best common rail systems for engines under 2.0-litres which reach approximately 1600 bars or 23,000 psi. 

It provides better atomisation of the fuel for high torque and power with low emissions and high fuel efficiency.  These Volkswagen diesels are capable of converting up to 43 per cent of the thermal energy in the fuel into mechanical energy for powering the car, better than for any other liquid-fuelled production car. 

PD technology combines the injector and pump into one unit for each cylinder.  Each unit injector is operated by its own cam on the engine camshaft.  A fine adjustment of the fuel injection process coupled with much higher pressures enables Volkswagen to attain a class-leading position in low fuel consumption, high power and attainment of Euro 4 emissions.

All Volkswagen TDI models also have turbochargers with variable geometry turbine (VTG) technology.  The VTG delivers high boost pressures even at low engine speeds.  An intercooler lowers the temperature of the hot compressed air leaving the turbocharger, leading to even greater efficiency.

Diesel models accounted for 90.7 per cent of total Sharan sales in 2003, compared with 56 per cent in 2001.  Two TDI units are available, with 115 or 140 PS.

1.9-litre TDI, 1896 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 115 PS
The entry-level 115 PS TDI is a great all round choice.  It is economical, yet delivers strong performance, particularly at mid-range speeds where engines are most utilised.  Variable geometry turbocharging further improves response from low engine speeds.

This engine comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, and is also available with a five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 8-valve 4 cyl, 140 PS
Generating 140 PS at 4,000 rpm, this Euro 4 compliant unit can reach 119 mph, accelerate from 0 – 62 mph in 12.2 seconds, yet return over 42 mpg on the Combined fuel cycle.  Available with a six speed manual gearbox

Gearboxes
All Sharans are equipped as standard with six-speed manual transmission. As a result of the sixth gear, the gear ratios can be adapted to ideally suit the individual engine loads, which improves pulling power, fuel economy and cruising noise levels.

The gearbox is extremely compact and particularly light, as the housing is made from magnesium.  It is capable of handling very high torque outputs – especially important for the TDI units.

Four-speed automatic with Dynamic Shift Programme (DSP)
A four-speed automatic gearbox is offered with the 2.0-litre 115 PS petrol engine.  It is a dynamic shift program (DSP) type box that adapts to the driving habits of the individual driver, adjusting shift up and down points accordingly.  The shift lever is mounted in a chromed surround.

Five-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission
The 1.8T 150 PS, and 1.9-litre TDI 115 models are available with the option of five-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.  This sophisticated gearbox gives the driver the choice between a five-speed DSP automatic or manual sequential selection in the style of a Formula 1 car. 

To select the tiptronic mode, the driver moves the gear select lever from the position ‘D’ across to the right into a second gate while retaining the automatic transmission gear ratio that is in current operation.  The lever is then pushed gently forward for an upward gearchange and rearward to change down.  Tiptronic will not allow down changes that would push the engine beyond its rev limit.  Similarly, neutral is automatically selected when the car comes to rest.  A dash-mounted display tells the driver which gear is currently selected.

Servicing
All Sharans are set to run on variable servicing times.  The on-board computer informs the driver when the vehicle needs a service or, for example, an oil change.  Rather than having fixed service intervals determined by mileage, a range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.  A dashboard display informs the driver when a service is due.  Alternatively, customers can opt for a 10,000 mile or one-year Extended service schedule.

With the variable system, it can be possible to drive for up to 19,000 miles or 24 months on petrol models without a major service.  Some diesel engines can reach 30,000 miles or 24 months.  Customers can choose between Extended or Variable Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNING GEAR

Front and rear axle
The Sharan uses all-round independent suspension with anti-roll bars.  At the front a MacPherson-type strut is employed, with lower wishbones and coil springs.  The rear features a semi-trailing arm axle with subframe and gas-filled telescopic shock absorbers.

Braking system
The front brakes of all Sharans feature ventilated discs.  Rear disc brakes are standard on all models.

Every Sharan is equipped with anti-lock brakes as standard equipment.  When the brakes are employed below the ABS threshold, the regulator function allows an almost unhindered flow of fluid from the master cylinder to the wheel brakes.  Excellent pedal feel and shorter braking distances result.

All models also feature electronic brake-pressure distribution, or EBD.  This is integrated into the ABS system to prevent over-braking of the rear wheels, thereby reducing the risk of the car spinning during emergency braking.  The software systems for the EBD and ABS are separate, so in the highly unlikely event of one failing, the other remains operational.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. 

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions.  ESP uses the sensors and systems associated with the traction control system, the electronic differential lock (EDL) and the electronic brakeforce distribution system (EBD).

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Sharan is offered with three trim levels: S, SE, and Sport.  Highlights of each level are detailed below.

S: 2.0-litre 115 PS, 1.9-litre TDI 115 PS and 140 PS
The high value S – which was launched in July 2004 – features:

  • seven seats (rear five removable)
  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking system)
  • twin front and side airbags
  • curtain airbags
  • six-speed gearbox
  • air conditioning
  • driver’s seat height adjustment
  • remote central locking with alarm
  • electric front windows
  • power assisted steering
  • multifunction computer
  • roof rails, black
  • 6J x 16” steel wheels with 195/60 R16 tyres
  • electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors

SE: 2.0-litre 115 PS, 1.9-litre TDI 115 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS
SE adds the following features over S:

  • 16” ‘ Valencia ’ alloy wheels with 215/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • electric rear vent windows (SE only)
  • two integrated child seats (SE only)
  • heat insulating and tinted glass from B pillar backwards

Sport: 1.8-litre Turbo 150 PS, and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS
Sport trim adds the following in addition or different to SE:

  • six-disc CD autochanger, boot-mounted
  • driver and front passenger sports seats with height and lumbar adjustments
  • leather trimmed steering wheel, gear knob, gaiter and handbrake grip
  • electric windows, middle
  • removable luggage cover
  • door puddle lights
  • front fog lights
  • sports suspension (Sport only)
  • 7J x 16” ‘Lisbon’ alloy wheels with 215/55 R16 tyres

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

Despite the high standard specification, Volkswagen realises that the Sharan’s uses will vary greatly – from school run transport to mobile office for company executives – and therefore a wide variety of optional extras are available for drivers to personalise their vehicles.

Isofix points and integrated child seats
For those carrying young children ‘Isofix’ child seat preparation is standard.  These fastening points are attached to the vehicle body and allow an Isofix standard childseat to be safely fitted.

Up to four integrated seats can also be specified.  These look and function like a normal seat, but can be used to carry a small child in safety or act as a booster seat for larger youngsters when required.  Two are fitted as standard on all SE models.

Self-dimming rear view mirror
Among the factory fitted options on all Sharans is a ‘thinking’ rear-view mirror.  It uses LCD technology to sense when the lights of a vehicle behind are likely to distract the driver.  The mirror reacts by dimming automatically, in a similar way to light-sensitive sunglasses.  Sensors in the front and rear of the mirror monitor changes and re-adjust when appropriate. 

In-car navigation systems
Sport models are offered with the option of two factory-fit satellite navigation systems: a colour LCD system or a lower-cost monochrome facility.

The 5” colour LCD screen, which is mounted in the centre console and can be oriented toward driver and front passenger, is teamed with a simplified display in the instrument panel and verbal instructions.

The driver or passenger can use the screen to pinpoint where the car is on a moving map display.  A traffic jam avoidance facility will be able to calculate alternative routes and the radio can memorise the latest traffic information bulletin even when switched off.

The LCD display also provides information for the in-car music system and incorporates an RGB video input to play video material from another source (i.e. camera or video tape player).  The navigation computer with integral CD-ROM drive is located in the boot.

In monochrome form, the system is simplified, showing the direction arrow in the instrument panel and also in black and white in the centre console.  This screen is smaller and does not display the colour map. 

Verbal instructions are provided and the mapping information is the same, however the CD-ROM is front-loaded into the single CD player housed in the centre console.  Audio CDs can be played in the centre console unit.

Rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit around the earth from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth to within 100 metres.

A digitised road map, stored on CD-ROM in the car, is accessed.  This contains road details and other information such as the locations of airports and stations.  It is effectively a digital street plan of Great Britain .  The desired destination is selected using the buttons on the centre console.  The system evaluates satellite signals and those from the wheel sensors and compares these data with the digitised CD-ROM road map.  Quite quickly, by comparing the movement of the car with the map and its approximate position from the satellites, the system can calculate the position of the car to within a few metres.  The road, street or motorway the car is on is then displayed and the route to the chosen destination calculated.                                                                    

The system will even guide the driver to a destination in Europe – when the UK map runs out, it will ask for the appropriate European map disc to be inserted.  Should the driver deviate from an indicated route, the voice will request that he or she makes a safe U-turn.  If the driver does not oblige, the system will automatically calculate a new route and continue to issue instructions to reach the destination.

In-car entertainment
In addition to the standard radio/CD player, a front-loading single CD unit is available as an option on the S and SE.

Sharan Sport models are equipped as standard with a boot-mounted six-disc CD autochanger, which is optional on the S and SE. 

Gas discharge headlights
Ultra-efficient gas discharge (Xenon) headlights are offered as an option on all Sharan models.  These provide a well-focused, blue-white light approximately two and a half times more powerful than standard lights.  This option includes a self-levelling mechanism and high pressure headlight wash.

SAFETY

The Sharan, like all Volkswagens, puts a strong emphasis on safety.  Airbags for both driver and passenger are standard on every model, as are front side airbags.  In addition, all Sharans are fitted with a curtain airbag system as standard, which is designed to protect occupants’ upper bodies during a side collision.

All seatbelts fitted in the Sharan are of the three-point type, while those for the front seats also have pre-tensioners.  ABS is standard on every model, while ESP is standard on all Sport trim levels cars and offered as an option on S and SE models.

SECURITY

The Sharan delivers the security customers expect, with the following elements:

  • transponder-based engine immobiliser                                       
  • remote control central locking system with a mechanism that prevents the opening of the doors from the inside (after a window has been broken) when the car is locked from the outside
  • an alarm offering volumetric (interior) and perimetric (exterior) protection
  • a flashing LED on the driver’s door to warn thieves that the car is alarmed
  • a steering lock with a clutch to resist forcing
  • protection boxes surrounding door lock mechanisms to resist probes inserted through holes punched in doors or between glass and door
  • Volkswagen-branded stereo equipment that is unique to this car, incorporating coding and a flashing LED light

Line-up with insurance groups
Thanks to its safety and security systems, the Sharan has the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers):

S
2.0-litre 115 PS 
1.9-litre TDI 115 PS  
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS  

SE
2.0-litre 115 PS  
1.9-litre TDI 115 PS  
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS  

Sport
1.8T 150 PS  
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS

WARRANTIES

The Sharan has a three-year (first and second year manufacturer operated,third year dealer operated), 60,000 mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a six year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and one year of Volkswagen Assistance.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

Sitting between the Touran and Caravelle, the Sharan is Volkswagen’s mid-sized MPV offering, designed to provide much more flexibility than the average family car.  Thanks to its individually removable rear seats, it can accommodate up to seven adults in comfort or provide a sizeable 2,610 litres of storage space when all the seats are taken out.  But the beauty of the Sharan is the number of different seating combinations and positions it is capable of between those two extremes.

The Sharan was subtly updated for 2004, with a new look to the rear in addition to other detail design changes.  Equipment levels were also enhanced, and for 2005 Model Year, a new entry-level S model was introduced, offering customers even more value for money.

All Sharans benefit from ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution); four airbags as well as a curtain airbag system; three point seat belts for all passengers; air conditioning; remote central locking with alarm; roof rails; a six-speed manual gearbox and seven seats.  Build quality, always a strong facet of the Sharan, is evident throughout.

SUMMARY

  • Sharan brings unprecedented levels of build quality and solidity to the MPV class
  • dashboard features ‘slush’ moulding, blue instrumentation with red needles and two large stowage areas
  • all models come with seven seats, five of which are removable
  • despite its generous accommodation, Sharan has a similar ‘footprint’ to a family car: at 4634 mm it’s shorter than the Passat saloon (4765mm) and the Passat Estate (4774mm)
  • standard equipment includes ABS, four airbags plus a curtain airbag system, remote central locking with alarm and air conditioning
  • options include gas-discharge Xenon headlights, ESP and satellite navigation
  • two petrol engines and two diesel units are available.  The petrol engines comprise a 2.0-litre 115 PS, and a 1.8-litre Turbo 150 PS.  The diesel line-up comprises two TDI ‘Pumpe Düse’ or unit injector powerplants, a 1.9-litre 115 PS and a 2.0-litre 140 PS
  • a six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with automatic transmission offered across the range
  • advanced high-pressure injection TDI technology results in greater power, torque and efficiency combined with lower carbon dioxide emissions.  This is particularly important for company car drivers, with car tax now based on CO2emissions

DESIGN

Exterior
The most striking feature of the Sharan is its frontal styling, including clear-lens headlights.  These units incorporate all the lamps within one cluster, which is then covered by a clear lens.  The finished effect is both distinctive and attractive. 

The bonnet features two prominent creases that lead down to a bold, chrome-trimmed grille.  Below this, the front bumper and spoiler unit is designed for good impact performance.

At the back of the Sharan there is a distinctive design, with chrome-ringed light clusters.  In addition, the side indicator repeaters are now integrated in the door mirror housings, in line with other recent Volkswagen models.  The Volkswagen roundel is large and prominent, while four black corner bump-strips complete the appearance.

Interior
The Sharan’s dashboard is inspired heavily by those found in the Golf, Touran and Passat.  With the same solid quality feel which is a trademark of Volkswagen’s products, the instruments are set in silver casings and feature Volkswagen’s characteristic blue background lighting with red needles. The stereo is factory-fitted and fully integrated into the fascia, while a satellite navigation system is available on Sport models.

Two large stowage areas – which can be opened by gently pressing release buttons – are incorporated into the dashboard while additional map holders and stowage areas in the doors, as well as two 12 volt power sockets in the luggage area, also add convenience.  All models have seven seats, of which five are removable.  This gives extra versatility and practicality.

Quality
Volkswagen enjoys a hard won reputation for quality and knows that it must make an even greater commitment in design, materials, development, quality control and many other areas if it is to retain its lead. 

By designing the Sharan to make use of some major and minor components including nuts, bolts, washers and fixings used in other Group products, Volkswagen is able to purchase high quality components and materials in bulk.  By saving costs in these areas, Volkswagen has more resource to spend on quality items specific to the Sharan such as the body shell and trim components.

ENGINES

Two petrol and two diesel engines are available in the Sharan, with power outputs ranging from 115 to 150 PS.

Petrol engines

2.0-litre, 1984 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 115 PS
This eight valve, 115 PS engine complies with Euro 4 emissions standards, a feat that has been achieved by using special combustion chamber geometry, new fuel atomisation and mixture preparation principles together with a solid-state, high-tension ignition distribution system with twin-spark coils.  This improves the combustion process and reduces emissions, while lighter connecting rods significantly reduce engine vibration. 

This engine is available with a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.

1.8-litre 20V Turbo, 1781 cc, 20-valve 4-cyl, 150 PS
This engine is a popular sporty choice within the range.  Five valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts and a relatively small turbocharger make for a strong set of performance figures, but these are combined with impressive fuel economy.  Easy driveability is assured by a peak torque figure of 162 lbs ft achieved at a diesel-like 1850 rpm.  The torque curve remains flat up to 4600 rpm.

This engine is available with a six-speed manual or five-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox.

Diesel engines
When Volkswagen launched its new generation of TDI engines in 1996, it marked a significant leap forward for diesel technology.  Then at the end of 1999, Volkswagen moved the game on yet further with the launch of ‘Pumpe Düse’ or ‘PD’ technology.  Pumpe Düse translates as ‘unit injector’, a fuel injection system which can operate at pressures of up to 2050 bars or 30,000 psi, considerably more than the best common rail systems for engines under 2.0-litres which reach approximately 1600 bars or 23,000 psi. 

It provides better atomisation of the fuel for high torque and power with low emissions and high fuel efficiency.  These Volkswagen diesels are capable of converting up to 43 per cent of the thermal energy in the fuel into mechanical energy for powering the car, better than for any other liquid-fuelled production car. 

PD technology combines the injector and pump into one unit for each cylinder.  Each unit injector is operated by its own cam on the engine camshaft.  A fine adjustment of the fuel injection process coupled with much higher pressures enables Volkswagen to attain a class-leading position in low fuel consumption, high power and attainment of Euro 4 emissions.

All Volkswagen TDI models also have turbochargers with variable geometry turbine (VTG) technology.  The VTG delivers high boost pressures even at low engine speeds.  An intercooler lowers the temperature of the hot compressed air leaving the turbocharger, leading to even greater efficiency.

Diesel models accounted for 90.7 per cent of total Sharan sales in 2003, compared with 56 per cent in 2001.  Two TDI units are available, with 115 or 140 PS.

1.9-litre TDI, 1896 cc, 8-valve 4-cyl, 115 PS
The entry-level 115 PS TDI is a great all round choice.  It is economical, yet delivers strong performance, particularly at mid-range speeds where engines are most utilised.  Variable geometry turbocharging further improves response from low engine speeds.

This engine comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, and is also available with a five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

2.0-litre TDI, 1968 cc, 8-valve 4 cyl, 140 PS
Generating 140 PS at 4,000 rpm, this Euro 4 compliant unit can reach 119 mph, accelerate from 0 – 62 mph in 12.2 seconds, yet return over 42 mpg on the Combined fuel cycle.  Available with a six speed manual gearbox

Gearboxes
All Sharans are equipped as standard with six-speed manual transmission. As a result of the sixth gear, the gear ratios can be adapted to ideally suit the individual engine loads, which improves pulling power, fuel economy and cruising noise levels.

The gearbox is extremely compact and particularly light, as the housing is made from magnesium.  It is capable of handling very high torque outputs – especially important for the TDI units.

Four-speed automatic with Dynamic Shift Programme (DSP)
A four-speed automatic gearbox is offered with the 2.0-litre 115 PS petrol engine.  It is a dynamic shift program (DSP) type box that adapts to the driving habits of the individual driver, adjusting shift up and down points accordingly.  The shift lever is mounted in a chromed surround.

Five-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission
The 1.8T 150 PS, and 1.9-litre TDI 115 models are available with the option of five-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.  This sophisticated gearbox gives the driver the choice between a five-speed DSP automatic or manual sequential selection in the style of a Formula 1 car. 

To select the tiptronic mode, the driver moves the gear select lever from the position ‘D’ across to the right into a second gate while retaining the automatic transmission gear ratio that is in current operation.  The lever is then pushed gently forward for an upward gearchange and rearward to change down.  Tiptronic will not allow down changes that would push the engine beyond its rev limit.  Similarly, neutral is automatically selected when the car comes to rest.  A dash-mounted display tells the driver which gear is currently selected.

Servicing
All Sharans are set to run on variable servicing times.  The on-board computer informs the driver when the vehicle needs a service or, for example, an oil change.  Rather than having fixed service intervals determined by mileage, a range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.  A dashboard display informs the driver when a service is due.  Alternatively, customers can opt for a 10,000 mile or one-year Extended service schedule.

With the variable system, it can be possible to drive for up to 19,000 miles or 24 months on petrol models without a major service.  Some diesel engines can reach 30,000 miles or 24 months.  Customers can choose between Extended or Variable Servicing at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s life, it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

RUNNING GEAR

Front and rear axle
The Sharan uses all-round independent suspension with anti-roll bars.  At the front a MacPherson-type strut is employed, with lower wishbones and coil springs.  The rear features a semi-trailing arm axle with subframe and gas-filled telescopic shock absorbers.

Braking system
The front brakes of all Sharans feature ventilated discs.  Rear disc brakes are standard on all models.

Every Sharan is equipped with anti-lock brakes as standard equipment.  When the brakes are employed below the ABS threshold, the regulator function allows an almost unhindered flow of fluid from the master cylinder to the wheel brakes.  Excellent pedal feel and shorter braking distances result.

All models also feature electronic brake-pressure distribution, or EBD.  This is integrated into the ABS system to prevent over-braking of the rear wheels, thereby reducing the risk of the car spinning during emergency braking.  The software systems for the EBD and ABS are separate, so in the highly unlikely event of one failing, the other remains operational.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started. 

This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions.  ESP uses the sensors and systems associated with the traction control system, the electronic differential lock (EDL) and the electronic brakeforce distribution system (EBD).

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Sharan is offered with three trim levels: S, SE, and Sport.  Highlights of each level are detailed below.

S: 2.0-litre 115 PS, 1.9-litre TDI 115 PS and 140 PS
The high value S – which was launched in July 2004 – features:

  • seven seats (rear five removable)
  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking system)
  • twin front and side airbags
  • curtain airbags
  • six-speed gearbox
  • air conditioning
  • driver’s seat height adjustment
  • remote central locking with alarm
  • electric front windows
  • power assisted steering
  • multifunction computer
  • roof rails, black
  • 6J x 16” steel wheels with 195/60 R16 tyres
  • electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors

SE: 2.0-litre 115 PS, 1.9-litre TDI 115 PS and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS
SE adds the following features over S:

  • 16” ‘ Valencia ’ alloy wheels with 215/55 R16 tyres and anti-theft bolts
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • electric rear vent windows (SE only)
  • two integrated child seats (SE only)
  • heat insulating and tinted glass from B pillar backwards

Sport: 1.8-litre Turbo 150 PS, and 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS
Sport trim adds the following in addition or different to SE:

  • six-disc CD autochanger, boot-mounted
  • driver and front passenger sports seats with height and lumbar adjustments
  • leather trimmed steering wheel, gear knob, gaiter and handbrake grip
  • electric windows, middle
  • removable luggage cover
  • door puddle lights
  • front fog lights
  • sports suspension (Sport only)
  • 7J x 16” ‘Lisbon’ alloy wheels with 215/55 R16 tyres

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

Despite the high standard specification, Volkswagen realises that the Sharan’s uses will vary greatly – from school run transport to mobile office for company executives – and therefore a wide variety of optional extras are available for drivers to personalise their vehicles.

Isofix points and integrated child seats
For those carrying young children ‘Isofix’ child seat preparation is standard.  These fastening points are attached to the vehicle body and allow an Isofix standard childseat to be safely fitted.

Up to four integrated seats can also be specified.  These look and function like a normal seat, but can be used to carry a small child in safety or act as a booster seat for larger youngsters when required.  Two are fitted as standard on all SE models.

Self-dimming rear view mirror
Among the factory fitted options on all Sharans is a ‘thinking’ rear-view mirror.  It uses LCD technology to sense when the lights of a vehicle behind are likely to distract the driver.  The mirror reacts by dimming automatically, in a similar way to light-sensitive sunglasses.  Sensors in the front and rear of the mirror monitor changes and re-adjust when appropriate. 

In-car navigation systems
Sport models are offered with the option of two factory-fit satellite navigation systems: a colour LCD system or a lower-cost monochrome facility.

The 5” colour LCD screen, which is mounted in the centre console and can be oriented toward driver and front passenger, is teamed with a simplified display in the instrument panel and verbal instructions.

The driver or passenger can use the screen to pinpoint where the car is on a moving map display.  A traffic jam avoidance facility will be able to calculate alternative routes and the radio can memorise the latest traffic information bulletin even when switched off.

The LCD display also provides information for the in-car music system and incorporates an RGB video input to play video material from another source (i.e. camera or video tape player).  The navigation computer with integral CD-ROM drive is located in the boot.

In monochrome form, the system is simplified, showing the direction arrow in the instrument panel and also in black and white in the centre console.  This screen is smaller and does not display the colour map. 

Verbal instructions are provided and the mapping information is the same, however the CD-ROM is front-loaded into the single CD player housed in the centre console.  Audio CDs can be played in the centre console unit.

Rear ABS wheel sensors are used to determine the distance the car has covered and to provide information when the car is turning.  Further system components include a solid state magnetic compass concealed under the roof and a three-way aerial for radio and GPS (Global Positioning System).  The aerial receives signals from the satellites in orbit around the earth from which the system is able to calculate the position of the car on the surface of the earth to within 100 metres.

A digitised road map, stored on CD-ROM in the car, is accessed.  This contains road details and other information such as the locations of airports and stations.  It is effectively a digital street plan of Great Britain .  The desired destination is selected using the buttons on the centre console.  The system evaluates satellite signals and those from the wheel sensors and compares these data with the digitised CD-ROM road map.  Quite quickly, by comparing the movement of the car with the map and its approximate position from the satellites, the system can calculate the position of the car to within a few metres.  The road, street or motorway the car is on is then displayed and the route to the chosen destination calculated.                                                                    

The system will even guide the driver to a destination in Europe – when the UK map runs out, it will ask for the appropriate European map disc to be inserted.  Should the driver deviate from an indicated route, the voice will request that he or she makes a safe U-turn.  If the driver does not oblige, the system will automatically calculate a new route and continue to issue instructions to reach the destination.

In-car entertainment
In addition to the standard radio/CD player, a front-loading single CD unit is available as an option on the S and SE.

Sharan Sport models are equipped as standard with a boot-mounted six-disc CD autochanger, which is optional on the S and SE. 

Gas discharge headlights
Ultra-efficient gas discharge (Xenon) headlights are offered as an option on all Sharan models.  These provide a well-focused, blue-white light approximately two and a half times more powerful than standard lights.  This option includes a self-levelling mechanism and high pressure headlight wash.

SAFETY

The Sharan, like all Volkswagens, puts a strong emphasis on safety.  Airbags for both driver and passenger are standard on every model, as are front side airbags.  In addition, all Sharans are fitted with a curtain airbag system as standard, which is designed to protect occupants’ upper bodies during a side collision.

All seatbelts fitted in the Sharan are of the three-point type, while those for the front seats also have pre-tensioners.  ABS is standard on every model, while ESP is standard on all Sport trim levels cars and offered as an option on S and SE models.

SECURITY

The Sharan delivers the security customers expect, with the following elements:

  • transponder-based engine immobiliser                                       
  • remote control central locking system with a mechanism that prevents the opening of the doors from the inside (after a window has been broken) when the car is locked from the outside
  • an alarm offering volumetric (interior) and perimetric (exterior) protection
  • a flashing LED on the driver’s door to warn thieves that the car is alarmed
  • a steering lock with a clutch to resist forcing
  • protection boxes surrounding door lock mechanisms to resist probes inserted through holes punched in doors or between glass and door
  • Volkswagen-branded stereo equipment that is unique to this car, incorporating coding and a flashing LED light

Line-up with insurance groups
Thanks to its safety and security systems, the Sharan has the following insurance group ratings from the ABI (Association of British Insurers):

S
2.0-litre 115 PS 
1.9-litre TDI 115 PS  
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS  

SE
2.0-litre 115 PS  
1.9-litre TDI 115 PS  
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS  

Sport
1.8T 150 PS  
2.0-litre TDI 140 PS

WARRANTIES

The Sharan has a three-year (first and second year manufacturer operated,third year dealer operated), 60,000 mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a six year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and one year of Volkswagen Assistance.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

Latest press kits

IMAGES