Performance, ride and handling

The Sharan is powered by the familiar 2-litre TSI lump that has seen service in the previous Mk V Golf GTI and pre-facelifted Tiguan models among others. Like in the Mk V GTI, the 1984cc direct injection turbocharged unit makes 200bhp in the Sharan, which makes the Volkswagen motor marginally less powerful than the Ford’s EcoBoost unit here.

The Galaxy’s 2-litre EcoBoost SCTi motor is the same lump that was recently transplanted into the Mondeo range and also powers the Volvo S60 and S80 models. Featuring lightweight all-aluminium construction, the turbocharged, direct injection, and twin independent variable cam-timing unit makes slightly more power than the VW unit here – 203bhp at 5500rpm versus the VW’s 200bhp at 5100rpm.

Maximum torque output from the Ford lump is rated at 300Nm available between 1750 and 4500rpm while the Volkswagen lump musters a slightly less 280Nm at an equally tractable 1700rpm to 5000rpm. With their respective maximum torque figures available from such lowly engine speeds, both the Ford and Volkswagen units deliver most of their go at low to medium speeds. Surprisingly though, it’s the Volkswagen unit that feels stronger and sounds less strained as the revs climb towards the redline. This despite the fact that the Galaxy lump offers a few more horsepowers in its arsenal.

Thanks to their strong forced aspirated engines, performance of these two behemoths are impressive by people carrier standards to say the least. Despite a slightly heftier kerb weight (by 63kg), 3bhp and 20Nm power and torque deficits, the Sharan is quicker accelerating off the line compared to the Ford according to both manufacturers’ performance figures. The 1790kg Sharan will accelerate from rest to 100km/h in 8.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 221km/h while the 1727kg Galaxy will return a 0-100km/h time of 8.8 seconds and has a top speed of 217km/h. Despite the Ford’s slightly inferior performance to the VW here, it is still a significantly better performer than the usual hordes of Japanese MPVs like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Previa, both of which are offered with bigger but less powerful naturally aspirated engines.

On the road, both the Sharan and Galaxy’s performance figures certainly reflect in the way they perform. In any given situation, the Sharan feels more eager and urgent to accelerate forward while the TSI four-pot also sounds smoother and less strained than the Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder lump. This could be down to a quicker and more efficient gearbox on the Volkswagen’s part.

The Ford’s PowerShift twin clutch box isn’t exactly slow witted or sluggish on its own but the Volkswagen box just feels that bit more urgent and quicker with hooking up the gears and when accelerating away from standstill. Not surprising as the Ford gearbox is tuned to feel more like a conventional torque converter automatic and smooth operation instead of lightning fast shift times. The VW’s wet clutch six-speed box on the other hand feels more performance oriented than the Ford transmission as well as VW’s seven-speed dual clutch DSG boxes. With six well-spaced ratios, the Sharan’s DSG and the Ford’s PowerShift have nice spreads of ratios to exploit their engines’ performance. Both boxes feature ‘+/-‘ manual selection modes but only the VW’s offer steering mounted gearshift paddles.

In terms of fuel consumption, Ford quotes a slightly more impressive average figure of 12.3 km per litre for the Galaxy with the Sharan trailing slightly behind with 11.9 km per litre.

Large MPVs like the Sharan and Galaxy are not made to take corners as dynamically as say, saloon cars but both these models proved to be pretty much adept when hustled quickly into a series of bends. Of the two, the Sharan feels bigger and more ponderous to drive probably due to its sheer size and weight. The VW steering feels accurate and confidence inspiring but there’s no denying the Sharan’s girth when it is driven hard.

The Ford on the other hand, feels even more dynamic than the Sharan in the bends even though it is just 4mm lower in height to the VW. The steering is a wonderful tool, offering even more feel and feedback than the Sharan’s while being sharp and precise at the same time. Turn-in into corners is razor sharp with the Ford while body control is just excellent. There’s definitely plenty of the Blue Oval’s handling D.N.A. in the Galaxy despite it being a large people carrier – this is one MPV that you can almost hurl into a corner like in a GTI and it’ll take it all in its stride.

The Galaxy and Sharan are people carriers nonetheless and they are more often driven sedately by school run moms rather that the pent up boy racer so ride comfort should take precedence over outright handling. The Sharan rides slightly better than the Galaxy – it feels planted and controlled at any given speed, the rear multi-link suspension obviously earning its keep here. The Sharan rides so well that it could well be Volkswagen’s best riding model in its range here. The Sharan further impresses with its high levels of refinement – at up to expressway cruising speeds, the cabin is well-insulated from outside noise hence making the Sharan cabin a serene and relaxing place to be in even on long drives.

Car Loan Calculator - Volkswagen Sharan 2.0 TSI

SGD 209,900 (18 Nov 2021)

Based on OMV, this car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1999cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 203bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 300Nm @ 4000rpm
Power to Weight 117.7 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 8.8s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 217 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.3 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Powershift 6-speed Dual-Clutch Auto with manual override
Drive Type FF
Steering Hydraulic

Measurements

Body Type MPV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4819 x 2154 x 1770) mm
Wheelbase 2850 mm
Kerb Weight 1725 kg
Boot Capacity 308 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs

Engine

Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 200bhp @ 5100rpm
Torque 280Nm @ 1700rpm
Power to Weight 154.1 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 8.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 221 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF
Steering Hydraulic

Measurements

Body Type MPV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4854 x 1904 x 1740) mm
Wheelbase 2919 mm
Turning Circle 5.95 metres
Kerb Weight 1298 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs