1998 Volkswagen Sharan Comfort 1.9 TDII from UK and Ireland


Superbly fit-for-purpose vehicle, whose enjoyment has lowered by a few irritating parts failures


Diesel turbo, air mass flow meter failed and has been renewed twice.

Electric window control in driver's door - failed twice.

ABS on one wheel once.

Needed new CV joints on front suspension courtesy of the heavy engine and too many potholes in the Guildford roads.

Foamy water in front passenger foot-well - rear wash wipe feeder pipe parted at push-fit joint behind trim. Fixed it myself, took 30 minutes, after being quoted "about 3150 by my local franchised dealer".

General Comments:

This car has been ideal for our family purpose. It has however been spoilt by irritating minor faults and the high prices the franchised dealers charge for maintenance - needless to say we go to our local garage - friendly, personable service and 30% lower prices.

One other comment on that point - we bought our Sharan as a personal import from Luxembourg. UK spec, right-hand drive, factory order - i.e. the same car that a UK dealer would have ordered. Quoted price from UK dealer (Dec 1997) £22,800; actual on-the-road price, including tax, insurance, plates, radio, fuel and the long weekend trip-flight over, le shuttle back - for my wife and I, £19588 or -15%. The paperwork was easy - 2 faxes, 3 phone calls to the garage, registration form to DVLCC, cheque to Customs for VAT; as you have found this site, you can fill these forms out.

I will buy abroad again unless UK dealer prices get closer to those in Europe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th March, 2003

26th May 2004, 06:50

I have the same problem with the rear wash separating. However I do not know how to fix it...

The article is great, but where is this join?

21st Mar 2005, 08:00

I have a 2000 Sharan S 110bhp diesel. My experience with the vehicle has been somewhat turbulent. All the following happened thankfully while the car was in warranty.

1. Noise from gearbox on idle - loose flywheel, flywheel and clutch replaced.

2. Noise from power steering pump - replaced

3. Rear washer leak in passenger foot well - Traced and fixed by me. Only needed to undo sill cover, pull back carpet and its there.

4. Intermittent slight mis from engine - ECU replaced after a number of visits to dealer, initially nothing shown on diagnostic equipment.

5. Major water leak in front passenger foot well (not from rear washer pipe) but from engine bay/wheel arch - body re-sealed.

6. Vehicle has been very heavy on tyres, wearing inner edges on rear wheels. Problem still remains even after 4 wheel alignment.

7. Air flow meter seems to have given up working, lack of acceleration. I have not priced up new one, but I believe they are expensive - I was told by a mechanic to disconnect the meter and the system will go to a default setting, drives much better.

1998 Volkswagen Sharan S 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Very good at carrying lots of stuff, but useless at everything else


The inhibitor switch for the auto gearbox has failed twice, preventing the car from starting. Has now been cured with two lengths of wire, two Scotchloks and a switch. This is probably the worst designed car part I have ever encountered.

Reversing lights failed, rear wash wipe failed, and high intensity rear lights failed - all due to a badly installed wiring loom that had been cut through by opening and closing the boot.

Cup holders broken off.

Air conditioning had lost all its gas, and now fixed, it only cools the car when on full speed.

Immobiliser light in door panel failed due to wire falling off.

General Comments:

We only had this car because our family will soon become five, and we need to fit in three car seats and two pushchairs. This is about all it will be good for.

It only managed 22 mpg on a reasonable run, so I bit the bullet and paid for a gas conversion. It now does on average 17 mpg, but it's half the price of unleaded - and it runs better. Believe me, buy one of these and it will eat fuel! 21 mpg at a steady 75 is not good, unless you own a tank.

Have driven the diesel as a hire car, and that seemed to do around 36 mpg, which is better.

It's fairly comfortable, but only up to about 100 miles; then you want to get out.

It doesn't handle at all, and if you hit the brakes hard without the back seats in (for the weight) the rear wheels lock up. It's like a Luton van I once hired - it DOES NOT HANDLE LIKE A CAR.

If you don't need a Sharan, I would not buy one. The Volvo 850 we had before was miles better. It was a T5 (2.3 Turbo) and easily did 26 mpg on the same run the Sharan managed 22 on. It stopped faster, was built better, and was infinitely more comfortable. Only trouble was, it was the saloon.

I'd like to know who drives these in car tests and gives them four stars out of five? Two at most I'd say.

Oh yes - a nightmare to reverse, so had to have parking sensors fitted, and if you do get it into a car parking space, you probably won't be able to open the doors!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th June, 2002

1998 Volkswagen Sharan SE 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Lots of plastic bits inside have broken - ashtray lids, vanity mirors, cup holders. We're not especially clumsy and haven't had this problem in other cars. The various bits are just flimsy.

General Comments:

60k in 18 months with dealer service and reliability has been 100%. Tyres lasted 40k which I think is good. Overall mpg about 28. My main complaint is that the wipers are obviously set up for LHD, and they leave a big unswept area on the extreme right of the screen.

I would like to see remote sound system controls added as standard - the comparable Galaxy has it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 1999

18th May 2001, 17:44

Nice car, good style.