The Volkswagen Sharan Media Launch

BY Burnpavement

Is the Touran too small for you? Look here!

The latest full-size MPV to hit the local markets certainly has a lot to shout about. With seven individual seats, sliding rear doors, a big sunroof, and up to 2,297 litres of cargo capacity, the new Sharan has what it takes to challenge the class leaders.

Designed to be one of the most aerodynamic MPVs on the market, the Sharan is powered by a 2.0 TSI engine with 200 bhp and 280 Nm of torque, but sips fuel at 11.9km/l. The 0 to 100 km/h sprint takes only 8.3 seconds, helped by the 1,790kg kerb weight.

We find the usual 6-speed DSG gearbox handling the power, with paddle shifters for manual override. Don't worry about going overboard though, ESP, ABS, EDL (electronic differential lock), braking assistant as well as counter-steering support will keep the car safely on the road.

Inside, we find a flexible EasyFold seating concept, in which the individual seats of the second row folds into the floor to provide maximum cargo space. Unlike most MPVs, the rear seats also adjust longitudinally and can be reclined by up to 20 degrees. The two seats in the third row are said to be comfortable even for adults, with ample leg and head room.

Entry to the third row of seats is aided by the the sliding doors which open extremely wide, and the second row of seats can be pushed forward and tilted. The sliding doors can be operated electrically by buttons, door handles or remote control. The doors, along with the electric tailgate are equipped with pinch protection to keep them from severing anything.

With all seats up, the Sharan offers 300 litres of stow space, increasing to 711 litres with the rear seats down. With mesh partition, the Sharan can be loaded right up to the roof with 1,167 litres of cargo. With the second and third row folded, the maximum cargo capacity is up to 2,297 litres.

Creature comforts include a sunroof which extends beyond the B-pillars, with heat-insulating glass and an electrically operated sun shade. There is lots of picnic-ready stuff around the Sharan, with cup holders, storage compartments, trays and folding tables. Respite from the heat comes from a three zone Climatronic air conditioning system that can measure air humidity to prevent the windscreen from fogging up.

The equipment list goes on with KESSY, Volkswagen's keyless locking and starting system, electronic parking brake and the new Park Assist system which offers parallel or perpendicular parking assistance. Other notable features are the reverse camera, self-sealing tyres, electrically operated child locks and seven airbags to keep the occupants safe. The official public launch will be held this Saturday, 10 September 2011.