Family Practicality: VW Sharan vs VW Touran

If you’re after a practical car that still offers lots of comfort, the VW Sharan and VW Touran are well worth a look. But what are the differences between these two Volkswagen models, and which one’s going to suit you best? 

Size or slenderness? 

Both of these cars take their design cues from VW’s smaller models like the Golf and Polo. That helps you associate them with sleeker, sportier cars, and lets you know that the Sharan and Touran boast nimble handling for a pair of MPVs. Of course, there’s no escaping the fact they’re big cars, but the lines are much smoother and more elegant than the boxy people carriers of old. Though if it’s pure family practicality you seek, that’s probably not going to put you off too much either way. 

The important thing to note is that the Sharan is the larger of the two. It’s 33cm longer, 7.5cm wider and 6cm taller than the Touran. That gives the latter a more aerodynamic look, but the Sharan puts the extra space to great use when it comes to the interior. You might also notice the positioning of the door handles on the Sharan. That’s because it has sliding doors, which is a real plus point. 

Conclusion: the smaller, sleeker Touran has the edge when it comes to looks, but don’t forget about the Sharan’s sliding doors

Practical vs practical

As with most 7-seaters, both the Touran and Sharan prioritise substance over style. That’s not to say they don’t impress once you climb inside though. The second generation Touran was released in 2015, and the interior reflects that modern status. Everything in the cockpit feels nicely laid out and accessible, including the dashboard. The seats are comfy, and you can even choose a massage function on selected models. There’s also an optional 1.4m2 illuminated panoramic tilt/slide sunroof, which the whole family can enjoy, whether you’re on the school run or road tripping your way through the summer holidays. 

The Sharan’s extra space means it takes seven adults in greater comfort than the Touran, which could be very useful if you’re playing taxi to a handful of teenagers and all their gear. Each seat in the middle row slides forwards and backwards independently, while the outer two can be optioned as child booster seats. The infotainment system that comes as standard has a 6.5” colour touch screen, while there are plenty of cubby-holes and two large storage compartments in the roof. 

Both models come with ergonomic features like multi-function steering wheels, and are highly flexible when it comes to the interior, allowing various seat combinations depending on what you need. The Sharan’s back seats offer more space, and it has a greater luggage capacity too. With the rear seats upright you get 300 litres, compared to 137 in the Touran. With the rear seats folded, you get a whopping 2,297 litres in the Sharan, 440 more than its sibling. 

Conclusion: the Sharan takes this round with its more spacious interior, which includes both luggage space and leg room for the rear seats

Economical engines

The Sharan’s best suited to diesel engines because of its weight. There are three 2.0-litre TDI SCR 4-cylinder diesel options to choose between, with the horsepower ranging from 115 to 184hp. 
However, lots of drivers prefer petrol cars, and the Sharan comes in a 1.4-litre petrol version which pumps out 150hp. 
The most powerful diesel engine will take you from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds, with the petrol version taking a second longer. 
Fuel consumption is very strong across the engine range, although the petrol motor naturally trails the diesels. The 115 and 150hp diesels are the most efficient engines, giving you a combined 56.5mpg with a manual gearbox.
All of the Sharan’s engines meet the latest EURO 6 exhaust gas regulations, with diesel CO2 emissions starting at 130g/km and petrol at 150g/km. 
The Touran’s smaller size lends itself more favourably to a petrol engine, and there are two to choose from. There are 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre options available, with the more powerful unit’s 150hp giving you an extra 40hp over the alternative. 
There are three diesel options you can go for, with the entry-level a 1.6-litre TDI that offers 115hp. The top-spec 2.0-litre TDI is available on the SEL and R-Line models, and packs a punch with 190hp. 
The fastest you can get from 0-62mph is a diesel-powered 8.2 seconds, while the quickest petrol engine takes 8.9 seconds. 
If you're looking for the strongest fuel efficiency, then the 150hp version of the 2.0-litre TDI SCR offers a nice blend of economy and torquey grunt, giving you a combined 60.1mpg. 
Like the Sharan, the Touran comes with the AdBlue® advanced emissions control system, which helps it achieve 126g/km with its cleanest petrol engine, and 113 with the diesels. 

Conclusion: these VW engines are built to be reliable, although the Touran’s most powerful diesel engine provides the most exciting drive

In numbers…


VW Sharan

VW Touran





Power (HP)





Fuel (comb MPG)





Emissions (CO2, g/km)





Top Speed (mph)





0 – 62mph in…. (seconds)










Two very similar cars on the face of it, but there are key differences. For relatively tall MPVs, both stick to the road beautifully when cornering, but the Touran offers a more dynamic ride and the improved styling to go with it. The Sharan has more space and comfier rear seats, plus those sliding doors which may steal your heart. If you’d like to test-drive some of the latest VW Sharan and VW Touran models, head to your local Inchcape Volkswagen and we’ll be happy to help.