The first-generation Sharan was on sale for an astonishing 15 years, so it was inevitably long in the tooth by the time it went out of production. A relative lack of cabin flexibility, little in the way of cutting-edge technology or safety features plus a cramped cabin for seven all betray the Sharan's age. But for value, strength and surprisingly good dynamics the Sharan is still well worth a closer look - especially as there are plenty to choose from.
8/95: The Sharan debuts, with 2.8 V6 petrol or 1.9 turbodiesel engines.
10/97: Two new petrol engines appear; a normally aspirated 2.0 and the 1.8T.
5/00: A facelifted Sharan brings a redesigned nose, tail and interior, plus slightly increased track and wheelbase.
1/03: A 130bhp 1.9TDi engine is now available.
11/03: Another facelift brings a new grille, bonnet and tail lights.
11/04: A 4WD Sharan 1.9TDi debuts.
2/07: A 2.0TDi engine is now offered.
5/08: The 2.0TDi Bluemotion appears.
Volkswagen Sharan (1995-2010) Checklist
- Some early cars were personal imports; check they're to UK spec.
- Wiper motors get waterlogged, so the wipers won't switch off. Repairs are costly.
- Some earlier cars suffer from water leaks into the cabin. Water gets in through the ventilation system and wrecks the ECU/electrics.
- Turbochargers can fail on TDi models; look for black exhaust smoke and check the service history for signs of regular oil changes.
- Five and six-speed manual gearboxes on TDi models can be weak.
- Cam belts are best replaced after 60-70,000 miles, or they snap and wreck the engine.
- Oil pumps can fail on 2.0TDi engines.
- Seats seven
- Good to drive
- Excellent diesels
- Plenty about
We Don't Like
- Cramped interior
- Inflexible cabin