UNLESSyou're looking for a rare secondhand car never make do with second best because there's always another one round the corner.
Look at the owner or the dealer as well as the car and if there's anything you don't like about either of them, walk away with your money in your pocket.
Always look for cars with full service history, low mileage, and fewer previous owners too - it all pays in the long term.
The VW Sharan built from 2010 is an excellent seven seat people carrier, but they will all have been used by families, so check carefully for interior damage and marks.
Earliest models were built in the same factory in Portugal as the Ford Galaxy and SEAT Alhambra and shared all their underpinnings.
Ford has now gone its own way, but SEAT and VW still produce their models in the same plant.
There are plenty around secondhand and they have a good reputation for reliability and long life.
Petrol power is now limited solely to the VW 1.4 turbo with 150bhp, which is more than man enough for the size and weight.
Diesels are much more sought after and more plentiful of course and all have the same 2.0-litre power plant with power ranging from 113 to 184bhp.
Even the 140bhp model brings good performance and they will all do a real 40mpg or thereabouts. They make much more sense for such a large vehicle.
Handling is excellent, the ride very comfortable and driving particularly car-like, with light controls and excellent power steering.
Some older models only come with five seats so if you want seven make sure you have them. And remember that the five rear seats are backbreakingly heavy and very awkward to get out.
As standard the entry S comes with seven seats, infotainment system with colour touchscreen, Bluetooth, climate, stop/start, traction and stability control, and a battery regeneration system.