Like new seven-seat Ford C-Max, VW Sharan has sliding rear side doors

Like new seven-seat Ford C-Max, VW Sharan has sliding rear side doors

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Sliding rear side doors are a new feature of VW's long-overdue redesigned Sharan MPV/minivan revealed in time for this week's Geneva show.

The first generation Sharan, launched in 1993 and regularly updated since then, was originally developed in a joint venture with Ford, which sold its version as the Galaxy, and built in a shared plant in Portugal. VW unit Seat later added its own clone called the Alhambra.

Ford went its own way with the redesigned Galaxy and new S-Max spin-off a couple of years ago and now VW has come up with its own exclusive new Sharan.

VW said only the sun visors are carried over – everything else is all-new, including new TDI diesel and TSI petrol engines (103kW/140PS to 147kW/200PS) and transmission systems (DSG twin clutch automated manual now optional).

The automaker is claiming class-leading fuel efficiency for the 140PS two-litre TDI: 5.3l/100km or 51.4 British mpg.

Also new is a flexible EasyFold seating system for up to seven occupants, seven airbags, automatic main beam control and optional bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running and position light. Adaptive chassis control (DCC) and automatic levelling will also be on offer. An electronic handbrake, second generation parking manoeuvre assistant, an electrically operated panoramic sliding roof and three-zone climate control system are also in the specs for some models.

VW is targeting its new 'comfortable multipurpose vehicle' at the European upper B market segment and expects it to appeal to families with two or more children and high-mileage business users with a need for extra space.