2011 Volkswagen Sharan – Click above for high-res image gallery
Volkswagen has just launched the third generation of its popular Sharan minivan in Europe, and the new version is the most fuel efficient people mover in its class. The new Sharan has adopted VW's new styling language with a horizontal grille and headlamps that look similar to those found on the Golf, Jetta and Polo.
Under the hood, the Sharan has an all four cylinder lineup with two gas and two diesel engines, all direct injected and turbocharged. The diesels and the 150-hp gas engine all come automatic start-stop systems and brake energy regeneration as standard issue. The 140-hp TDI with a six-speed manual gearbox gets a combined EU rating of 42.8 miles per gallon (U.S.), and even the more powerful 200-hp TSI gas engine is rated at a reasonable 27.4 mpg combined.
At 191 inches long, the Sharan is a bit smaller than most U.S. market minivans, almost exactly matching the Kia Sedona. Volkswagen has not indicated any plans to offer the Sharan here, but with its goal of 800,000 annual sales looming, nothing can be ruled out. Read more about the new Sharan in the press release after the break.