IT'S hard to believe that the present Volkswagen Sharan has been around since 2010.
Of course it has been regularly updated during that time, with new engines and changes to the trim and equipment, but nonetheless the basic vehicle is getting fairly long in the tooth.
That said, it still drives well and can keep up with most of the competition in almost every way.
It's a big and spacious seven seat MPV that is versatile enough to handle just about anything a family could throw at it and then some.
The earlier model shared underpinnings and much of the body with the SEAT Alhambra and the Ford Galaxy, but this second generation only shares with the very similar SEAT.
The Sharan feels very much like a car to drive, with good handling and road holding and beautifully tactile steering.
The big interior has room enough for seven adults and even has reasonably easy access into the rearmost two, with wide opening sliding back doors that are electrically operated in upper models.
Petrol engine options start with VW's well known 1.4 TSI turbo, which has 150bhp and sprints from zero to 62 miles an hour in just under 10 seconds. It's rated at 43 miles per gallon.
Later in the run there was also a 197bhp 2.0-litre TSI with a standard DSG automatic gearbox. This covers the sprint in about 8.3 seconds and gives a best possible economy of 33mpg.
Apart from these there is a 2.0-litre TDI diesel power unit with a number of different power outputs ranging from 140 to 184bhp.
The 140 and later 150bhp models cover the sprint in 10.8 seconds and are capable of 50 to 55mpg.
Higher powered diesels with 170, 177 and 184bhp will get to 62mph in under nine seconds and can still better 50mpg.
All of the engines are available with the DSG six-speed automatic gearbox but apart from the top petrol, the standard offering is a six-speed manual with an easy, slick change.
The spacious cabin is filled with clever storage and even has useful items like a hanging boot net to stop items rolling around when the rear seats are stowed.
On upper models, there is an optional adaptive suspension system that can change driving dynamics by adjusting the dampers from the driver's seat.
This does improve the ride a little, but the standard suspension, despite giving a good ride over most surfaces, still allows fast safe cornering.
The driving position is good for people of all sizes, with plenty of seat adjustment, and a steering column that adjusts for reach and height.
Refinement is top notch with very good insulation allowing only a minimum amount of wind or tyre noise, and all the engines are smooth and quiet.
Mid-range SE versions comes with alloys, audio remote controls, electric driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, parking sensors, alarm and traction control.
It also has front and side airbags, heated mirrors, air conditioning, a CD stereo and multi-position folding rear seats.
Pay around £13,000 for a '15 15-reg 1.4 TSi SE, or £18,900 for a '17 17-reg 2.0 TDi 150 SEL.