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VW's Sharan has received a bit of a refresh - although it's impossible to tell from the outside - and now boasts revised engines and an improved interior specification.
Driven here is the new 150hp 2.0-litre diesel, which offers a 10hp increase plus emissions that drop by 10g/km with the DSG automatic gearbox. Making up the rest of the range is the 115hp 2.0 TDI (only available with the entry S trim), the 184hp diesel, and a 1.4-litre 150hp petrol engine. Apart from the 115 diesel, all can be specified with either six-speed manual or DSG transmissions.
The big interior change is the addition of the latest-generation infotainment touchscreen system across all models, with three-zone climate control, Bluetooth and VW's post-collision braking system all now standard on all Sharans.
The SE trim gains chrome roof rails, tinted rear glass, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control on the standard kit list, and the top SEL now has front assist, adaptive cruise control, panoramic sunroof, Alcantara upholstery and satnav as standard. VW has also introduced the new SE Navigation model driven here, which adds satnav for £675 over a regular SE.
Though obviously a large vehicle, as the Sharan can take seven adults and luggage, the MPV is still perfectly pleasant to drive, with the high driving position, decent visibility and refined powertrain making for a relaxing experience. The new infotainment system is a welcome upgrade, and the sliding side doors are a boon both in tight spots and for general ease of entry.
The bad news is that the Sharan loses out in RV terms to its Ford Galaxy arch rival at 32.1% versus 34.3%, and the Galaxy is also a touch cheaper, if not quite as efficient as this 150hp diesel auto.
Overall the Sharan loses out to the Galaxy by a penny per mile, while the VW's cheaper Seat Alhambra sister vehicle is better still at 63.8p against the Sharan's 67.4p, thanks to a lower P11D price and almost identical RV.
The Sharan is a thoroughly good car at taking large numbers of people or large amounts of stuff, but others are either cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, or both.
Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TDI 150 SE Navigation
Model price range £26,300-£36,280
Residual value 32.1%
Service, maintenance and repair £1980
Vehicle Excise Duty £390
National Insurance £3321
Cost per mile 67.4p
Fuel consumption 54.3mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 136g/km (25%)
BIK 20/40% per month £134/£267
Boot space (min/max) 300/2297litres
Engine size/power 1968cc/150hp
Impressive in isolation but rivals are cheaper to buy and run
One of the few remaining full-size seven-seat MPVs, the Sharan has been given a mid-life refresh
High P11D at odds with residual value that's no better than rivals