With the continuous expansion of subway scale and energy consumption, energy-saving of ventilation and air-conditioning (VAC) systems in subway stations has gradually become a research focus. In this paper, influential parameters of the VAC energy model in subway stations are identified and ranked, using three commonly-used sensitivity analysis methods (regression-based, screening-based and variance-based). Results show that the top 25% ranked parameters identified by the three methods are the same, but the orders are different. Among the three sensitivity analysis methods, the rankings of variance- and screening-based method are basically the same, whereas the ranking of regression-based method is quite different from the previous two. Besides, the regression method is the most efficiency one in consideration of the computational cost, the calculation time of variance- and screening-based method are 25 times and 3 times, respectively. By comparison, it can be concluded that the screening-based method performs best in consideration of the parameter ranking and computational cost. Furthermore, the quantitative influence of the above-mentioned important parameters on the energy consumed by VAC system in a typical island subway station were studied. Results show that the impact of outdoor air parameters on is as high as 84%; the effects of mechanical fresh air volume, air infiltration volume through the entrances and air infiltration volume through the platform screen doors are 43%, 29% and 12%, respectively; the impact of equipment efficiency reaches 39% and is non-linear; the influence of the air parameters inside the station and the tunnel are 37% and 33%, respectively. The outcome of this research points out important variables that need to be paid attention to in the energy conservation design and operation of subway stations, providing guidance for energy-saving operation and management of stations.