The new Volkswagen Sharan is a welcome launch at Geneva as the Sharan that it replaces was getting pretty old in terms of looks wise, sticking out like a sore thumb in the updated Volkswagen line-up. The Sharan is a model that will be familiar to us if we’ve been following Proton developments. Long ago before the Exora was launched, Proton was in need of an MPV and a badge engineered Sharan platform MPV was one of the models along with a Perdana based on the Passat that was proposed to fill the gaps in Proton’s product line-up.

Volkswagen highlights the Sharan as being capable of 5.3 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, which Volkswagen claims is a world best in its class for fuel economy. This is achieved with the 140 PS Sharan 2.0 TDI model. This TDI model is also the only engine in the Sharan available with all wheel drive.

The rest of Volkswagen’s range of TSI and TDI engines are also available, and the optional DSG twin clutch transmission is available for soccer moms who don’t want to bother with a clutch pedal. It now also has sliding doors for the rear, replacing the car-like fold out doors that the outgoing Sharan used.

The Sharan measures 4,850mm in length, which is about 30mm longer than rivals like the Ford Galaxy, which by the way shares its beginnings with the Sharan. Its wheelbase is a long 2,920mm – 75mm longer than the outgoing Sharan. The first generation Galaxy was a joint project between Ford, Volkswagen and SEAT. It seats 7, and the seating system is referred to by Volkwagen as EasyFold. The individual seats of the second and third row can be folded down to make a flat floor for the times where you need to transport huge items. The second row can be slide forward and rearward by 160mm and can be tilted by 20 degrees.

Look after the jump for more material on the new Sharan – hi-res photos, a video and a full press release in PDF format. Volkswagen has yet to offer an MPV here in Malaysia with their wonderful turbocharged engines and DSG transmissions. There are a couple of Tourans running around Malaysian roads and there was word of the 1.4 TSI debuting some time ago in a Touran, but it looks like that has been postponed. But I think it’s only a matter of time before we get the Touran here since Volkswagen has plans to start assembling it in Indonesia. And maybe after that they can add the Sharan to the Indonesian plant product mix.

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