Hi, I didn't set out to buy a Sharan specifically and certainly not in 2,8 VR6 guise but now it's kinda landed in my lap so to speak I am not disappointed. A White, P plate, 5 speed box (I know now why they make a 6 speed) GL model came with roof bars, towbar/electrics mot and 5 months road tax for £475 bargain...or was it?
Bodily in great shape with no rust anywhwere and only a minor, hardly noticeable crease in the rear passenger door. The car was dying of neglect and got a whole shift worth of pampering to get it back to my standards.
Ok now it's spotless and smart whats it like? The looks are very stylish and modern considering it's 15 years old. Central locking/alarm module clicking at random and windows locks and mirrors working on and off...fortunately more on than off. Bootlock siezed solid and not opening so i popped it with a screwdriver and, since it is electrically operated, fitted a remote boot lock switch which I powered from the extremely handy 12volt outlets in the boot compartment. It is a total PITA to go round opening and locking the doors but at hundreds of £££'s for a new module I'll live with it.
The seats are very comfortable and the driving position is good to acceptable suffering only from VW's persistence in paying NO attention to the pedal angle for the clutch and I find myself holding my foot up off floor sometimes when driving around town.(remember the MK1 golf accelerator pedal being so high up you had to keep your right foot in mid air to drive the thing??? Well VW haven't learned much or germans have double jointed ankles).
Some numpty has replaced the airbox with a Ramair boy racer induction kit so it now sounds like a dragster and pulls like a tractor. Replacement airbox ordered (it actually runs better with the thing disconnected). Boy racers please note if you dont know what you're doing please dont do it.
The gearbox on this thing is very low geared and I find myself wishing it had 6 gears. It feels very light thru the gears but suffers from a 3rd gear clunk which is annoying but not life threatening for now. Apparently Sharan gboxes are prone to bearing failure in 1st and 3rd. Replacement boxes are readily available and recon not so expensive as to be non viable. Performance is very acceptable though the mpg is not brilliant but not as bad as I thought at a little over 20 if I behave.
The cabin is very roomy and whilst not as practically thought out as an Espace for example, still well appointed for storage and cupholders and so. The materials are of a higher standard than the Renault. The stereo system is pretty decent as standard. No aircon but very good heating vent system with independent heating/vent for the rear. The large rear quarter windows are electric and open to aid de-misting.
I find I can get all my workgear in without having to remove the seats but I leave the 2 rear most seats out and run it as a 5 seater for general use.
In summary, whilst it does appear to suffer all the common Sharan niggles in respect of the electrics and gearbox, this car is exceptionally practical load lugger and benefits from what must have been avant garde styling in the days when it was new. I happily use it daily and nightly when I find the headlights to be excellent. Despite the niggles I am a very happy if somewhat accidental Sharan owner.