"In modern urban society, the 'Dinks' supposedly took over the scepter," I hear from our real estate agent, as we are in search of a new apartment in the middle of the Rhine-Main area and I ask who can afford that, when I hear the price. He explains to me the "Dinks", "Double Income No Kids". Oh well, these are then the flagship people, the two in the SUV or expensive coupé I'm thinking of rolling through the streets of the new housing estate. But I can see children everywhere, daycare places are hardly to get, where are these people and what are they driving?
The new Volkswagen Sharan in the first driving report
The multifunction tool
VW has a master in its field for all those who need a vehicle with the right amount of space even in this "modern society", Van Sharan, which has been unchanged for seven years. All in all, he has been the multivariable companion of many active families for the last two decades, but in the same way also for some commercial and business customers who need a rolling office or space for boxes of merchandise and do not want an even larger VW bus.
So the successor comes after seven years? No! Volkswagen takes on the refresh of its classic, of which a total of more than 800.000 units were sold, as calmly as the quiet lapping of the Steinhuder Meer, which we circle around on our test drive near Hanover.
From the outside, there are just behind LED rear lights, new rim designs and two new exterior colors. A blue tone called "Hudson Bay Blue Metallic" and "Crimson Red", the color of our test car.
Inside there are major modernization measures. Although new colors and decors refine the dashboard and door panels, more important is the electronic update.
The completely renewed range of touchscreen infotainment modules includes the standard 5-inch “Composition Color” system and the 6,5-inch “Composition Media” and “Discover Media” systems (including navigation). The van thus offers the highest level of connectivity, as it is a novelty that it can be equipped with the Car-Net functions “App-Connect” and “Guide & Inform”. “App-Connect” conceals the smartphone interfaces “MirrorLink ™”, “Android Auto ™” (Google) and “CarPlay ™” (Apple), via which various apps are fed into the infotainment system. The Volkswagen online services from “Guide & Inform” also offer services such as the latest traffic jam warnings, information on free parking spaces in the surrounding multi-storey car parks and information on the cheapest petrol stations. In addition, the “Discover Media” infotainment system can be coupled with “Media Control”. With the new app, users can access functions such as navigation or the media player via WLAN and tablet.
With so many electronic comfort details, we lean back in the new optional 12-way seats with massage function and enjoy the view of the quiet Steinhuder Meer at our photo stop.
Also, because we know that otherwise everything in the interior has remained as it has been learned for two decades and loved by the buyers. Like the flexibility and the fact that the VW Sharan continues as 5- 6-. or 7 seater is to equip. The huge space. 33 storage compartments and up to 2.430 liters of storage volume, which can be conveniently filled via the two standard sliding doors.
The engines - two petrol engines (TSI) and three diesels (TDI) - are powerful and efficient four-valve four-cylinder units with turbocharging and direct injection. The TSI produce 150 PS and 220 PS, according to the factory, the 150 PS engine consumes only 6,4 l / 100 km in conjunction with the standard manual transmission. The TDI diesel engines are offered in the output levels 115 PS, 150 PS and 184 PS. All versions now meet the new Euro6 standard. With the exception of the smallest diesel, all units can be combined with an automatic 6-speed dual clutch transmission (DSG), which now also enables fuel-saving “sailing” (engine disengagement when the accelerator is released). In the case of the 220 hp top engine, the DSG is standard on board. Alternatively, the 150 PS TDI is also available as a 4MOTION version with all-wheel drive.
In addition to up to nine airbags, new driver assistance systems offer even more safety in the “family truck”, as they like to call such a van. The multi-collision brake is standard equipment. Optionally, the "Front Assist" environmental monitoring system warns the driver if the distance is too short and intervenes if necessary. The city emergency braking function integrated in the system is active at speeds of up to 30 km / h and, in the event of an emergency, automatically triggers an emergency stop to prevent or minimize an accident. For the first time, the ACC automatic distance control is also offered in the large Volkswagen Van. From now on, the electric parking brake will also be equipped with an auto-hold function as standard in the versions with manual transmission
At the market launch in mid-July at dealers VW also offers two special models of the Sharan. The Sharan Ocean painted in the new shade of blue and the Sharan Beach wearing our "Crimson Red". Both special models include many optional assistance systems as standard, excluding design applications and electric instead of manual sliding doors.
Thus, the VW Sharan should continue to be, despite "Dinks", the most successful German Van in its class.
Text: Bernd Schweickard | © Photo: VW (), Bernd Schweickard