2015 Geneva Preview: 2015 VW Sharan gets some technical upgrades

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 18, 2015

Volkswagen’s Sharan MPV has just received some technical updates and will be shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. According to the German carmaker, the new Sharan will be available with a wide range of infotainment system that guarantees full connectivity to plenty of smartphones, but also with numerous convenience and assistance systems.

As a result, the 2015 Sharan arrives with standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System as well as optional assistance systems such as ambient traffic monitoring system Front Assist with integrated City Emergency Braking, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), but also the 3rd generation of Park Assist and the Blind Spot Monitor.

The engines are now up to 15 percent more fuel-efficient and all conform to the Euro-6 emissions standard. The Sharan is available with two TSI petrol engines that produce 150 hp (110 kW) and 220 hp (162 kW), which means that the power of the strongest petrol engines is increased by 20 hp (15 kW).

Meanwhile, diesel engines are offered at three power levels: 115 hp (85 kW), 150 hp (110 kW) and 184 hp (135 kW). All engines, except the 115 hp TDI, can be equipped with the 6-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG). When it comes to connectivity, the Sharan is one of the first VW vehicles to get the “App Connect”. If you want more, you can get lots of apps using MirrorLink, Android Auto (Google) and Car Play (Apple).

Press Release

VW Sharan

Just in time for the Sharan's 20th birthday, Volkswagen is launching a new version of the people mover. Two decades. Three generations of this multipurpose vehicle (MPV). More than 800,000 Sharans sold. The best-selling German MPV in its class. Used millions of times on the way to kindergarten, schools, sports clubs and holiday destinations. Hundreds of thousands of young people who will go off to university or start work in 2015 or in the coming years grew up with this MPV. The 'Sharan generation'. The highly flexible MPV has done umpteen million kilometres on the way to business meetings and to work. And carried on after work as well: with over 2,600 litres of space for outdoor enthusiasts complete with their bikes and boards. 20 years of motoring life with no problems of space. Time for a look back.

Spring 1991

Four years before the world premiere of the Sharan: in the digital sphere Swede Linus Torvalds launches the Linux operating system; Ötzi is found in the Alps and Ayrton Senna becomes world champion for the third time. In spring 1991, work on developing the new MPV has just begun. Vehicle manufacturers call this stage the product development process. Although it's 48 months until the start of production, time is flying by. So far, there is still no approved design and no production plant for the people mover. But the concept is agreed. The plan is to broaden Volkswagen's product portfolio by adding a perfectly thought-out B-segment MPV. The inventor of the 'VW Campervan' sets to it and, leading the way in conjunction with the Ford Motor Company, sets up a joint venture called 'AutoEuropa Automóveis Lda' in Palmela, Portugal. It is there, 40 kilometres from Lisbon, that Europe's most modern MPVs - the Sharan, the SEAT Alhambra and the Ford Galaxy - are to be built. For now, they are still being developed. Work is still being done on the engineering and design. In the case of the Sharan, the latter is finalised around two years before the start of full production with the so-called 'design freeze'.

Autumn 1994

One year before the world premiere of the new Sharan: Michael Schumacher becomes world champion for the first time and Pink Floyd announce their return with the album 'The Division Bell', on which Stephen Hawking is heard via speech synthesiser on the song 'Keep Talking'. The first sycamore trees on the Avenue des Champs-Élysees are already turning an autumnal shade by the time the Volkswagen Communications team announce the Sharan's name on 10th October at the Paris Motor Show. At the same time, Volkswagen unveils a prototype of the future MPV, with an engine enhanced in its performance by Porsche.

Spring 1995

The year of the Sharan's world premiere: German Thomas Reiter will fly to the Mir space station, Christo wrap up the Reichstag in Berlin and Queen publish their last studio album, 'Made in Heaven'. On 9th March, at the Geneva International Motor Show the new Sharan is revealed to the public. The design, with a front section reminiscent of that of the then ultramodern ICE trains, the spatial concept and the engineering layout are all well received. Volkswagen itself writes in the accompanying press kit: "Sharan - it sounds oriental and exotic. It certainly has an air of freedom, independence and self-determination. That is precisely what the new people mover from Volkswagen aims to offer - as an innovative vehicle for the whole family. For outings with friends. For joie de vivre on the road. With the freedom to be able to take everything with you that you want: an MPV, a genuine 'multipurpose vehicle'."

Autumn 1995

Available in three versions, the new MPV takes off when it goes on sale in autumn 1995. A contemporary quote from Volkswagen: "The base model is the CL version, which is already fully equipped. Standard features include, for instance, central locking, rear headrests, a steering wheel with height and tilt adjustment and an immobiliser. The Sharan GL is geared totally to comfort, while the Carat is focussed inside and out on luxury - for instance, with alloy wheels, metallic look and four especially comfortable seats (with armrests and thick velour seat cushions)." It continues: "The Sharan is launching at the right time in an expanding market. In 1988, people movers in Europe had a market share of just 0.3 per cent. By 1994, it was already 1.4 per cent. The estimate for 1998 is around four per cent. That would be around 500,000 vehicles of this size sold in the year." And that is what happened: The sales figures just for MPVs in the Sharan's so-called B segment rise in Europe in 1998 to 364,000. Around 53,000 of those - almost 15 per cent - are accounted for by the Sharan. Since 1995, the Volkswagen MPV has become more and more successful and in many countries is leaving the competition behind. In March 1999, Volkswagen takes over Ford's shares in 'AutoEuropa Automóveis Lda' and sets the course for the future. The second generation Sharan is already long since under development. By early 2000, when the first generation is discontinued, the Palmela plant has produced 249,503 Sharans. Volkswagen's model range has another best-seller.

Spring 2000

Five years after the world premiere of the first Sharan: with an initial print run of 5.3 million copies, 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', the fourth volume of the young wizard's story, comes out in the USA and England. Everything is changing; only Potter and Michael Schumacher - world champion for the third time in 2000 - appear constants in the cosmos. And the Sharan. Volkswagen this year unveils the second generation of the MPV, featuring new front and rear sections, a new interior and numerous technical innovations. Like many vehicles built over a long period, it becomes a reflection of progress. In 2002, for example, the standard specification is extended to include the ESP electronic stabilisation programme - alongside the three-point seat belt and headrests the most important safety feature ever. As an option the MPV is also available with 4MOTION all-wheel drive. And as with the first Sharan, so too with the second: the focus of this range is firmly on the family. Optionally integrated child seats underline this, as do the 'Rear Seat Video', a kind of 'Media Control' 2002 style. By the time the second generation's first series is superseded by a facelift, a further 196,035 units sold have been added to the first generation's 249,503.

Autumn 2003

Eight years after the world premiere of the first Sharan: on July 30th, Volkswagen builds the last Beetle in Mexico. Michael Schumacher becomes world champion for the sixth time. And Harry Potter? He magics his way through 'Order of the Phoenix'. In the States Eminem brings out 'Lose Yourself', showing what music from Detroit sounds and feels like in 2003, and stays at No. 1 in the US charts for months. In September, Volkswagen presents a Sharan facelift at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. New details add extra sharpness to the design of the front and rear sections, while perfection on the engine front sharpens efficiency. As far back as 2003 a diesel particulate filter lays the foundations for a second-hand Sharan TDI still being a welcome guest in 2015 in the low-emission zones of German inner cities. In the 2003 International Motor Show press kit it reads: "In the eighth year of its production Volkswagen can look back with the second generation of the Sharan on a proud story of success: since 1996, the first generation's first full year of production, it has been the best-selling MPV in Germany. Every second customer previously drove a different make - this high conversion rate speaks volumes for the strengths of Volkswagen's concept. In Europe, too, the Sharan is one of the three best-sellers in its class." Seven years later, the last Sharan of the second generation's series II leaves the factory. By this time, on top of the 445,538 units previously sold, another 162,131 have been added. It is time for a successor.

Spring 2010

15 years after the world premiere of the first Sharan: Volkswagen wins the Dakar Rally with a Race Touareg. The same model also takes second and third. Sebastian Vettel becomes Formula 1 world champion, only the second German to do so, after Michael Schumacher. 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows', the final film in the series, is a huge box office hit. And it 'feels' as though Rihanna is dominating the global charts. In March 2010 at the Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen unveils the third generation of the Sharan, which this time was to take off in parallel in both Europe and Asia. Everything is new on this car, including the sliding doors as standard. The rest is history. A story of success. By the end of 2014, the 606,699 units of the Sharan already sold have been added to by 190,288 third-generation models. That makes 796,957 Sharans; when the new version now being launched is presented as per tradition with a world premiere at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the MPV's sales figures have left the 800,000 mark way behind. A good sign for the next 20 years of the Sharan.

New Sharan 150-PS 2.0 TDI consumes just 5.0 l/100 km

Volkswagen is offering the Sharan with five new, turbocharged direct injection engines. They consume up to 14.3 per cent less fuel and fulfil the Euro-6 emission standard. Practically every version of the petrol engine (TSI) achieves efficiency class B (220 PS: C), a demanding level for a large MPV, while the diesels (TDI) do even better, achieving efficiency class A. The TSIs deliver 110 kW / 150 PS and 162 kW / 220 PS respectively, with the 150-PS engine consuming, in combination with manual transmission, just 6.4 l/100 km The TDI engines are available at three levels of power output: 85 kW / 115 PS, 110 kW / 150 PS and 135 kW / 184 PS. The versions delivering 115 and 150 PS consume in combination with the six-speed manual gearbox a mere 5.0 l/100 km. All diesels are fitted with an SCR catalytic converter. Also included as standard is a Stop-Start system plus battery regeneration mode (BlueMotion Technology / BMT). All engines, except the 115-PS diesel, can be combined with a six-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG), which now also facilitates the 'coasting' function for additional fuel-saving (decoupling of the engine when lifting off the accelerator). With the 220-PS TSI the DSG is standard. As an alternative, the 150-PS TDI engine is also available with 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

1.4 TSI BMT with output of 110 kW / 150 PS

The Sharan 1.4 TSI BlueMotion Technology develops peak power output of 110 kW / 150 PS from an engine displacement of 1,395 cc. It is available between 5,000 and 6,000 rpm. In the large Sharan the innovative downsized engine consumes on average a frugal 6.4 l/100 km (148 g/km CO2); with the optional six-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) it is 6.6 l/100 km (154 g/km CO2). Compared to the identically powered previous model, consumption has been reduced by 11.1 per cent. With the DSG transmission it is even as much as 13.2 per cent. The 16-valve four-cylinder engine, which generates a high 250 Nm torque that is continuously available from 1,500 to 3,500 rpm, accelerates the Sharan 1.4 TSI BlueMotion Technology to 100 km/h in just 9.9 seconds, regardless of the transmission system being used. Its top speed is 200 km/h (DSG: 198 km/h).

2.0 TSI BMT with output of 162 kW / 220 PS

The most dynamic of all Volkswagen MPVs is the Sharan 2.0 TSI BlueMotion Technology, delivering 162 kW / 220 PS. Compared to the previous model it has 15 kW / 20 PS more power and is at the same time a remarkable 14.3 per cent more fuel-efficient. On average the engine - combined as standard with a six-speed dual clutch gearbox - consumes just 7.2 l/100 km (equating to 167 g/km CO2). Known internally as EA888, the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine enjoys legendary status, as the vehicles it powers include the Golf GTI. The extremely cultivated engine, which delivers 350 Nm of torque, accelerates the MPV from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.8 seconds. The Volkswagen Sharan flagship has a top speed of 226 km/h.

2.0 TDI BMT with 85 kW / 115 PS

With an average fuel consumption of just 5.0 l/100 km (130 g/km CO2), the 85 kW / 115 Sharan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology is one of the most fuel-efficient models in its class. Compared to its predecessor, the 1,968 cc turbo diesel's consumption has been reduced by 9.1 per cent. Like all of the Sharan's 2.0-litre TDIs, this engine too has two balancer shafts and thus runs very smoothly. It starts to develop its peak output at 3,500 rpm. Its maximum torque of 280 Nm is available from a low 1,750 rpm (up to 3,000 rpm). The Sharan 2.0 TSI BlueMotion Technology comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The MPV's top speed is 184 km/h and it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 12.6 seconds.

2.0 TDI BMT with 110 kW / 150 PS

As mentioned above, the Sharan's new TDI engines have two balancer shafts. In terms of comfort, this technical feature helps to make the turbo diesels in the Sharan feel practically no different to petrol powered versions. At the second of three power output levels, the 1,968 cc TDI develops 110 kW / 150 PS (between 3,500 and 4,000 rpm). The engine supplies its maximum torque of 340 Nm within a range of 1,750 to 3,000 rpm. The front-wheel-drive Sharan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology has a top speed of 200 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in 10.3 seconds. For an MPV of this power, fuel consumption is an outstanding 5.0 l/100 km (equating to 130 g/km CO2) - 9.1 per cent lower than previous model, which had 10 PS less power. This Sharan can be ordered with a six-speed DSG as an option. In this case, it has a top speed of 198 km/h and average fuel consumption of 5.2 l/100 km (CO2 emission: 136 g/km).

2.0 TDI BMT 4MOTION with 110 kW / 150 PS

The 150-PS Sharan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology is one of the few MPVs that can be ordered with permanent all-wheel drive - as the 4MOTION version. With all-wheel drive, the maximum trailer weight for a 12 per cent incline increases from 2,200 to 2,400 kg (braked). The all-wheel drive Sharan comes as standard with manual transmission. Here too, a top speed of 198 km/h is accompanied by a low average fuel consumption of 5.6 l/100 km (equating to 146 g/km CO2). The all-wheel-drive version's fuel consumption has been reduced by 6.7 per cent.

2.0 TDI BMT with 135 kW / 184 PS

The Sharan's third 2.0 TDI develops 135 kW / 184 PS (at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm), 7 PS more than the now discontinued model. The four-cylinder turbocharged engine delivers its superior 380 Nm of maximum torque to the six-speed manual or dual clutch gearbox from a very low 1,750 rpm. This level remains constant up to 3,000 rpm. It is also exciting to take a look here at the fuel consumption levels, which Volkswagen has been able to reduce by 8.6 per cent for the manual version and by 10.2 for the DSG. In this power class, the 215 km/h Sharan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology (DSG: 213 km/h) consumes 5.3 l/100 km in both gearbox versions; that equates to CO2 emissions of 138 g/km. In the most powerful TDI version, the Sharan reaches 100 km/h in just 8.9 seconds.

SCR catalytic converter

All Sharan TDIs are fitted with an oxidation catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter complete with SCR system (Selective Catalytic Reduction). Using a specially coated diesel particulate filter (the actual SCR catalytic converter), the SCR system converts the nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the exhaust gas into nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O). This conversion is done using synthetically produced AdBlue, which is stored in a 17-litre tank and in the Sharan only has to be topped up every 10,000 kilometres. Any Sharan TDI driver can top up the AdBlue easily themselves, with access to the separate tank via the luggage compartment. AdBlue is available from Volkswagen workshops and at filling stations.

Electronic systems provide added safety Sharan now with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking

When it comes to motoring safety, experts differentiate between active and passive safety. Active safety is influenced by technical components such as the brakes, the chassis and driver assistance systems like ESC (Electronic Stability Control). Meanwhile, the structure of the vehicle body and features such as airbags affect passive safety. Over the last 20 years, there have been enormous advances in both areas of safety. Looking back, the introduction of ESC (active safety) and the use of high strength and ultra-high strength steel for today's extremely crash-resistant vehicle bodies (passive safety) can be classed as a revolution in automotive safety. Currently the latest driver assistance systems are improving active safety in particular. And this applies to the latest Sharan as well. Some of its assistance systems - such as the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System - are available for the first time in this segment. New technologies enhance comfort and convenience as well.

New driver assistance systems

The new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is fitted as standard. The optional Front Assist ambient traffic monitoring system alerts the driver if the distance to the vehicle ahead is too small and applies the brakes as necessary, whereas the integrated City Emergency Braking function automatically initiates an emergency stop at speeds of up to 30 km/h in urban traffic if a collision is imminent. For the first time, the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system is available on the Sharan. The electronic parking brake system now features an Auto Hold function as standard in both manual and DSG gearbox versions; this prevents that the vehicle starts rolling when stationary or before driving off. Other new additions to the range of optional features are the third generation Park Assist system (assisted manoeuvring in and out of parking spaces) and the Blind Spot Monitor (alerts drivers to the presence of vehicles in the blind spot when changing lanes), which also includes Rear Traffic Alert, a system that warns of any traffic coming across the vehicle's path when reversing out of a parking space. On models that also have Lane Assist, this is interlinked with the functionality of the Blind Spot Monitor. A number of innovative technologies have been carried over from the previous model. These include Light Assist automatic main beam control (base version) and Dynamic Light Assist (combined with xenon), the Rear View reversing camera and road sign recognition.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System

One of the Sharan's new standard assistance systems is the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. It automatically slows the vehicle right down if it is involved in an accident in order to significantly reduce its residual kinetic energy. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is triggered when a primary collision has been detected by the airbag sensors. The system's deceleration of the MPV is limited by the ESC controller to a maximum of 0.6 g. This value matches the deceleration level of Front Assist - likewise new on the Sharan - and ensures that the driver can maintain control of the car even in the event of automatic braking. The driver can 'override' the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time. If, for example, the driver applies any noticeable pressure to the accelerator, the system is disabled. The automatic system is also deactivated whenever drivers themselves initiate an emergency stop at an even higher rate of deceleration. In essence, the driver assistance system applies the brakes and slows the car down to a speed of 10 km/h. This residual speed enables the car to be driven to a safe place to stop following the braking process.

Front Assist including City Emergency Braking function

Front Assist is a system for warning the driver and braking automatically in case of an imminent collision. One component of the Front Assist system is the City Emergency Braking function. While Front Assist warns drivers against getting too close to the vehicle in front and of any potential collision at higher speeds, the City Emergency Braking system performs this role in slower urban traffic. And this is how the system works:

Safety on the motorway. Front Assist uses a radar sensor integrated in the front of the car to monitor continuously the distance to the traffic ahead. The system assists the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system and alerting the driver to any required reactions through visual and audible warnings, and in a second stage by a brief warning jolt. If the driver fails to brake hard enough, Front Assist generates sufficient braking force to avoid a collision. If the driver fails to react at all, Front Assist automatically slows the vehicle down. One component of the system is the City Emergency Braking function.
Safety in the city. City Emergency Braking is an extension of the Front Assist system. It monitors - at speeds of up to 30 km/h - the area in front of the Sharan. In an emergency, the system automatically applies the brakes.
ACC Adaptive Cruise Control

ACC utilises a radar sensor integrated in the Sharan's front section. The driver can specify a target speed within a range of 30 to 160 km/h. ACC works with either a manual gearbox or with DSG (dual-clutch gearbox). On all Sharan models with DSG, ACC gently slows it to a stop behind any vehicle coming to a halt. After the driver's approval, ACC together with DSG also automatically drives the Sharan off again. ACC maintains the pre-set vehicle speed together with a preselected distance to the vehicle ahead, braking or accelerating automatically in moving traffic. The system dynamics can be individually varied by selecting a driving programme or via the optional driving profile selector.

Blind Spot Monitor

The new Blind Spot Monitor utilises an LED symbol in the outer area of the wing mirrors to call the Sharan driver's attention to any vehicles in the blind spot beside the MPV or approaching from behind. As soon as that is the case, the symbol lights up, and if the driver activates the turn indicator in the direction of the detected vehicle the symbol flashes as an additional warning. This lowers the risk of hazardous lane-changing situations. The system, which is automatically activated from a speed of 30 km/h, uses radar sensors to monitor an area of approximately 20 metres around the vehicle. When the Blind Spot Monitor is ordered for the Sharan, it automatically comes with the Rear Traffic Alert.

Rear Traffic Alert

Rear Traffic Alert further improves safety. It is offered in combination with the Blind Spot Monitor. Rear Traffic Alert takes much of the risk out of reversing from driveways and parking spaces that are at right angles to the road. The innovation here is that the system not only recognises stationary or moving vehicles directly behind the Sharan, but also vehicles approaching from the side which are hardly visible to the driver. The radar-based sensor module even detects objects at distances of up to 40 metres and recognises objects moving at speeds of 4 km/h or above. If a collision is imminent, the system outputs an acoustic warning. If the driver or other road user does not take action to correct the situation, or if there is a risk of immediate collision, the Rear Traffic Alert system automatically applies the brakes.

Lane Assist

The Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert is, as a further upgrade, also available in combination with Lane Assist, the camera-based system that helps drivers to stay in lane. In this case, the system responds to any steering movement towards the hazardous side with a warning (even if the turn indicator is not set), and the vehicle actively countersteers when a lane change is initiated. The driver retains control over the assistance system in this case too; the driver can override the system by any active steering intervention.

Park Assist

Park Assist enables semi-automatic parking in parking spaces parallel or perpendicular to the road. It can also manoeuvre the car out of parallel parking spaces. In the case of perpendicular parking spaces, not only is parking in reverse supported; it is also possible to park in a forward direction semi-automatically.

How it works

After it is activated by pressing the Park Assist button, the driver only needs to control the accelerator, brake and the changing of gear (including the clutch of a manual transmission), while Park Assist automatically guides the Sharan into the parking space. The system independently detects the type of parking space and initiates the necessary manoeuvre; at the same time, the driver is informed of the operation and given instructions via the multifunction display. The driver can manually select the desired parking space from the parking spaces that the system has automatically detected. The basic functions of Park Assist are additionally enhanced through the use of a surroundings map. The system has sensors in all four wheels that detect which way they are revolving; this enables exact determination of the Sharan's position, so that it can be parked more precisely than ever.

New infotainment systems ensure perfect networking

Volkswagen is now using the second generation of the modular infotainment matrix (MIB II) in the Sharan. The systems available are the standard 5-inch 'Composition Colour' system and the optional 6.5-inch systems called 'Composition Media' and 'Discover Media' (with navigation). The Sharan thus offers an extremely high degree of connectivity, as it can for the first time be equipped with the 'App-Connect' and 'Guide & Inform' Car-Net functions. 'App-Connect' is based on the smartphone interfaces 'MirrorLink™', 'Android Auto™' (Google) and 'CarPlay™' (Apple), via which all sorts of different apps can be fed into the infotainment system. The Volkswagen 'Guide & Inform' online services also provide services such as up-to-date traffic alerts and information on free parking spaces and on fuel prices at nearby filling stations. The 'Discover Media' infotainment system can in addition be linked to 'Media Control'. Using this extremely versatile app, users - including passengers in the back - are able via Wi-Fi and tablet to access functions such as navigation and the media player.

MIB II

The Sharan is launching with the latest generation Volkswagen infotainment systems. In addition to maximum connectivity, the systems have much faster processors (optimised booting, quicker route calculation, smoother touchscreen performance, perfected language dialogues) and new higher-resolution displays (in the 6.5-inch systems). As mentioned above, the Sharan is being offered with the standard 'Composition Colour' 5-inch system and the 6.5-inch systems called 'Composition Media' and 'Discover Media' (plus navigation) with four-times better resolution (6.5 inch compared to the first generation's 5.8-inch display). Even with the 'Composition Colour' system, music can be fed into the system via either an AUX-IN connector, SD card or optionally via a USB stick and Bluetooth. It also has an integrated CD drive. There is an iPod/iPhone interface as well. On the 'Composition Media' system and above, Bluetooth and USB interfaces come as standard. In addition, all systems can be ordered with digital DAB+ radio reception and the 'Dynaudio Contour' sound system with eight loudspeakers and an 8-channel amplifier with a combined output of 300 watts. For the 'Composition Media' and 'Discover Media' systems Volkswagen is also offering voice control as an optional extra.

Perfected telephony

With the 'Composition Media' system and above, two mobile phones can now be called at the same time - e.g. a business phone and a private phone. Brought to perfection: the speech quality (Wide Band Speech HFP 1.6). Also new: SMS messaging. Received SMS messages can be read aloud via TTS (Text-to-Speech). Predefined templates such as 'Call back' make answering safer while driving. With the 'Composition Colour' system and above, the optional 'Comfort' mobile phone preparation feature provides a compartment for inductive linking of the smartphone to the Sharan's external aerial.

App-Connect and Volkswagen Media Control

As already mentioned, 'App-Connect' contains the smartphone interfaces 'MirrorLink™', 'Android Auto™' from Google and 'CarPlay™' from Apple, as well as the Volkswagen online services 'Guide & Inform'. 'Volkswagen Media Control' is in addition an interface for tablets / iPads. Integrating these interfaces in the Sharan is very inexpensive. In Germany, for example 'Volkswagen Media Control' costs €76 and 'App-Connect' €205. The individual interfaces and services in detail:

MirrorLink™

'MirrorLink™' makes it possible to display content shown on the smartphone and operate smartphone functions via the touchscreen of the infotainment system. To avoid distracting the driver, specially designed apps can be used during the journey. This is done intuitively: simply connect a smartphone to the Sharan and use the app via the infotainment system's screen. 'MirrorLink™' makes use of an industry standard set by the 'Car Connectivity Consortium' (CCC) to 'mirror' smartphone apps onto the car's touchscreen and link their operation to the infotainment system, as previously mentioned. Since the smartphone apps are always kept up-to-date, 'MirrorLink™' too cannot become outdated. Volkswagen apps available under 'MirrorLink™' include 'My Guide', 'Think Blue. Trainer', 'Shared Audio' and 'Sound Journey'.

Apple CarPlay™

Thanks to 'CarPlay™' anyone who owns an iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 6 or 6 Plus can use a large number of their phone's apps via the Sharan's infotainment system. This system also 'mirrors' the smartphone apps. 'CarPlay™' feeds the iPhone's 'Phone', 'Messages', 'Maps' and 'Music' apps into the infotainment system via a USB connection. The apps are then controlled either over the touchscreen of the infotainment system or by voice control via 'Siri' (Apple).

'Phone': Everything operates here just like an iPhone. From the touchscreen users can perform the following functions: answer a call, end a call, switch the phone to mute, display the keypad, retrieve the phone book and retrieve voicemails. As an alternative, all of this can also be done via 'Siri' (by a long press of the voice control button on the multifunction steering wheel).
'Messages': 'Siri' will read text messages aloud and can be used to generate outgoing text messages during the journey, which is both practical and safe while driving.
'Maps': 'CarPlay™' makes the entire functionality of the 'Maps' app available in the infotainment system. This includes detailed route descriptions ('turn by turn'), traffic information and estimated trip times.
'Music': Access to the media library is available via touchscreen and/or 'Siri'. 'CarPlay™' also recognises other audio apps that are installed for playing back music, radio and podcasts on the iPhone. For instance: 'Podcasts', 'Spotify' and 'Sticher Radio'.
Android Auto™

'Android Auto™' was developed by Google for Android smartphones. In exactly the same way as with 'MirrorLink™' and 'CarPlay™', selected phone apps are displayed on the infotainment system's touchscreen. The interface is a USB port. The numerous apps that can be incorporated via 'Android Auto™' include classics such as 'Google Maps', 'Google Play Music', 'WhatsApp' and 'Spotify', but also countless new apps. Many of these apps can be operated via 'Google Voice' speech control as well as via the touchscreen (the voice control function is activated on the multifunction steering wheel).

Guide & Inform

Via 'Guide & Inform' users can utilise a diverse range of useful services. These include 'Online Traffic Information' (real-time traffic jam warnings), 'Messages', the 'Vehicle Status Report' and 'Weather'. Via 'Online Destination Import', it is also possible to send navigation destinations to the Sharan's infotainment system from the office, from home or from anywhere en route. With photos and satellite images, 'Google Street View' and 'Google Earth' help drivers to get their bearings by providing a particularly realistic view. Meanwhile, the integrated special destination search facility ('My Special Destinations') enables users to find restaurants, museums or cinemas in unfamiliar surroundings. The driver can also access information on free parking spaces in surrounding car parks or on the cheapest filling stations (fuel prices); the respective destinations then get incorporated within seconds into the navigation system's route planning.

Media Control

'Volkswagen Media Control' - a new infotainment extension via app - now lets you conveniently control all important functions via a tablet, even from the rear seats. 'Volkswagen Media Control' thus becomes the rear seat entertainment system of the modern era. Simply connect the tablet via Wi-Fi hotspot with the Sharan's infotainment system and you're done. Controllable functions include those of the radio, all media sources (such as USB, CD, DVD hard drive and online song search) and navigation. Information/images shown on the menu include artist, album name and cover. In the case of the radio, the user has access to station icons and lists, the station search, and can display RDS information and the frequencies. On the navigation system menu, beside the standard functions, it is also possible to conduct an Internet address search and then send it as a destination input. In addition, passengers in the back are able to send calendar events and address book entries to the infotainment system as navigation destinations. The volume control can be adjusted in any context, just as the balance and fader settings can be. The tablet can be used to select from the available audio sources, to access the media library and to control basic operating functions such as start, stop, pause, forward and back.

Standard and optional features

The Sharan is available in three trim levels: Trendline (base version), Comfortline (mid-level) and Highline (exclusive version). For the launch, Volkswagen is also bringing out two stylishly customised special models: the Sharan Ocean and Sharan Beach. In its normal configuration, the MPV has 5 seats. In addition, there is also a 6-seater and 7-seater package. As a 6-seater, the Sharan's second and third seating rows are each fitted with two seats, each with padded armrests. In this configuration, there is no middle seat in the second row. Instead, the two remaining seats are arranged more towards the centre. The 6-seater is particularly well suited as a business vehicle. If the customer opts for the 7-seater, then, as in the 5-seater, the second row has three individual seats. The third row then has a further two individual seats. Regardless of trim level, the 6- and 7-seat Sharan versions are fitted as standard with 3-zone automatic air conditioning (Climatronic) and EasyEntry (to the third row of seats).

Sharan Trendline

The base version is already well equipped as standard. In terms of safety, standard features include seven airbags (including knee airbag for the driver), the new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, Driver Alert System, a Tyre Monitoring Indicator and - particularly important for an MPV - ISOFIX child seat anchor points on the second and third rows of seats. Also as standard: electric child safety locks on the rear doors (which can be operated from the driver's seat) and the electric handbrake with Hill Hold and Auto Hold functions. The ESC electronic stabilisation programme (including ABS, EDS, Brake Assist, trailer stabilisation and counter steering assistance) is naturally also included.

Externally the Trendline features include the new LED rear lights, LED number plate lighting, two chrome bars on the top section of the radiator grille, electrically adjustable heated wing mirrors with integrated LED indicator lights, daytime running lights, 16-inch steel wheels with 205 tyres and tinted heat-absorbing windows, plus bumper, wing mirror housing and door handle paintwork in the car body colour.

Inside the Sharan Trendline features include a height-adjustable driver's seat, decorative trim in 'Platinum Silver', chrome-rimmed switches for the lights and hazard warning lights, fabric seat covers in the 'Campus' pattern, up to 33 storage compartments, a height- and length-adjustable arm rest (including storage bin), a luggage compartment floor with lockable compartments (5-seater), bag hooks in the luggage compartment, a luggage compartment cover and automatic door-locking when the vehicle starts moving (can be disabled).

Functional standard features include speed-dependent power steering, electrically adjustable and separately heated wing mirrors, height- and length-adjustable steering column, electric windows all round, air-conditioning system including cooled glove compartment, reading lights front and rear, luggage compartment lighting, the 'Plus' multi-function display, the Stop-Start system with brake energy recovery, daytime running lights, the 'Composition Colour' infotainment system and eight loudspeakers.

Sharan Comfortline (extras compared to Trendline)

Compared to the Sharan Trendline, the Sharan Comfortline is identifiable on the outside by its 16-inch ('Memphis') alloy wheels with 215 tyres, a chrome rim around the lower radiator grille, chrome-framed side windows and black roof rails.

Inside the new, high-quality 'Stripes' fabric gives the entire interior a refined ambience. Comfortable sports seats with head rests optimised for safety are used in the front. The decorative cockpit and door trim in 'Titanium Silver' and the fabric floor mats for all seating rows are coordinated with the upholstery design. The driver's seat is electrically adjustable (height, backrest and 4-way lumbar support). Manually adjustable lumbar support is used on the front passenger seat. Both driver and front passenger seats also have pockets and folding tables on the back. In order to transport long items, the front passenger seat can be completely folded down. It is also height adjustable. In the Sharan Comfortline, the storage bin in the central console is equipped with a lid, while in the roof, in addition to the standard storage compartment, there is also a pocket for spectacles, and integrated in the floor in front of each of the second row's outer seats there is a further storage compartment.

Extra features on the functional side include details such as the automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror, rain sensor, automatic headlight control (including 'Coming home' and 'Leaving home' function), indirect background lighting, two reading lights in both front and back, interior lighting with shut-off delay and dimming function, illuminated vanity mirrors in the sun visors and automatic cruise control. The Sharan Trendline 2.0 TDI with 135 kW / 184 PS also has the XDS electronic differential lock on board.

Sharan Highline (extras compared to Comfortline)

The Sharan Highline is a class above even the Sharan Comfortline. The details that set the top version apart from the already exclusive Comfortline specification include on the exterior the 17-inch 'Sydney' alloy wheels with 225 tyres, heated windscreen washer nozzles and chrome-plated roof rails. In addition to this, good vision and eye-catching looks are ensured by fog lights complete with static cornering lights. These fog lights are integrated within the bumper on each side, with a downward border formed by a chrome strip.

The Highline's interior features include comfortable sports seats (in the front, heated) with centre seat panels in Alcantara, drawers under the front seats, the new 'Piano Black' decorative trim, foot-well lights in the front and in the second seating row and the 'Premium' multifunction display, plus leather steering wheel and gear lever knob.

Sharan Ocean and Sharan Beach

The upgraded exterior specification of the Sharan Ocean and Sharan Beach includes the new 'Jakarta' 16-inch alloy wheels and silver roof rails. The special models are painted in two new colours exclusively reserved for these versions: 'Hudson Bay Blue Metallic' (Ocean) and 'Crimson Red' (Beach).

In addition, the two special models are equipped with the assistance systems ACC, Lane Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert and Park Assist including ParkPilot. Also included as standard are specially designed seat covers with contrast stitching specifically coordinated with the exterior colour, a multifunction steering wheel, a gear lever gaiter with corresponding decorative stitching, electric sliding doors for the rear seating area and automatic air conditioning (Climatronic). The package is rounded off by limited edition badges on the wings, the 'Ocean' or 'Beach' logo on the passenger side dash panel trim and the relevant badge on the door sill plates.

The Sharan's special features in summary

In addition to the new driver assistance, comfort/convenience and infotainment systems, the optional features on the new Sharan include a new massage function for the optional 12-way seats; the new 'Mirror Oak' trim for dash panel and door panels; Light Assist and Dynamic Light Assist (automatic main beam control for standard and xenon headlights); DCC adaptive chassis control; sports suspension; a self-levelling function for the rear axle; electric sliding doors and tailgate; and sensor-controlled opening and closing of the tailgate (Easy Open via foot movement behind the rear bumper) as an alternative to push-button operation. Also available are Nappa leather upholstery; Rear Assist reversing camera; panoramic sliding sunroof; auxiliary heating; a luggage management package plus net partition; and the Keyless Access lock and ignition system. Caravan, horse or boat owners will also be delighted by the swivelling tow-bar. Further opportunities to individualise the Sharan are provided by various 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels.

 

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