Volkswagen Golf SV hatchback
Price £18,875 - £26,815
- Solid build quality
- Excellent range of engines
- More practical than a VW Golf
- Conservative styling
- Costs more than a Golf
- Not as flexible inside as a Ford C-MAX
At a glance
"The Volkswagen Golf SV is perfect if you want all the attributes of a normal Golf, but with more space"
The Volkswagen Golf SV is billed as a more practical version of the Volkswagen Golf, with extra space for people over the Volkswagen Golf Estate, and a boot that's almost the same size. The MPV will be called the SV in the UK only, getting its full-blown SportsVan tag across the rest of Europe. It is effectively a replacement for the old Volkswagen Golf Plus, a car that failed to sell in the numbers Volkswagen hoped.
Key to the new SV is a flexible interior and the car features a back seat that can slide backwards and forwards. They also split 60:40 and the VW can be specced with a front passenger seat that folds forwards for carrying longer items.
The engines on offer will be shared with the normal Golf range and are set to include 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrols, as well as 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels. The smaller diesel qualifies for free road tax and gets economy of more than 75mpg.
Trim levels will include S, SE, GT and BlueMotion. All models get air-conditioning and a centrally mounted touchscreen.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Diesels offer excellent economy
The most economical version of the new Volkswagen Golf SV will be the 1.6-litre Bluemotion diesel, which is capable of 76.3mpg and is free from paying road tax. It goes on sale soon. For now then, the more powerful 1.6-litre is the most economical option and can return an impressive 72mpg, plus CO2 emissions of just 101g/km. The 2.0-litre diesel can still manage economy of 65.7mpg and has much more power for overtaking.
The 109bhp 1.2-litre is the most economical petrol, it can get economy of 56.5mpg and its CO2 emissions mean you’ll pay £30 for road tax, annually.
Interior & comfort
Interior's quiet and well-built
The Volkswagen Golf SV's dashboard is near identical to the standard Golf's, although the layout doesn’t focus quite so much on the driver. It is still one of the best in the business – solidly constructed, nice to look at, and easy to use. The interior is also just as quiet as the Golf's at speed.
The SV also has a slightly raised driver's seat for better visibility of the road ahead, and the car also gets all the same adjustment as the normal Golf, so getting comfortable behind the wheel should be easy.
The suspension is also largely unchanged and doesn’t suffer from the SV's extra weight – the ride is comfortable, although the body does lean a little more in corners.
Practicality & boot space
Bigger and more flexible than the Golf inside
The normal Volkswagen Golf has enough space for four adults so it's hardly a surprise that the Golf SV is also spacious. A downside is the middle seat in the back, which is compromised by a floor that isn’t flat and is small in comparison to the Ford C-MAX's. The Volkswagen rear seats also miss out on the flexibility of the high-spec Ford C-MAX models. Their seats can tumble forwards and be removed completely if needed.
The Volkswagen's rear seats can slide forwards to liberate an extra 90 litres for the already capacious 500-litre boot. That 500 litres means the SV has 120 litres more load lugging capacity than the standard Golf, and is also slightly larger than the Ford C-MAX's. Drop the rear seats down and total capacity jumps to 1,520 litres.
Volkswagen could also have been a little more creative with storage spaces, although mid-range cars get drawers under the front seats and all models get a split-level boot, which means you can get the floor level with the boot lip, for easy loading of heavy items. A front passenger seat that folds forwards is a useful option if you plan to carry long items.
Reliability & safety
Well built and safe
The Volkswagen Golf SV is brand new so it didn’t feature in our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. But it shares engines, technology and its construction with the Volkswagen Golf that came 18th place out of 150 cars.
Volkswagens come with a standard three-year/60,000 mile warranty, which can be extended to five-years and 90,000 miles at extra cost.
The Golf SV was put through Euro NCAP's stringent crash tests for 2014 and achieved an impressive five-star rating, so you can be confident it's a very safe car. The car comes equipped with seven airbags, a post-collision braking system (which applies the brakes after an accident to prevent a secondary collision), plus seatbelt and tyre-pressure warning buzzers.
Engines, drive & performance
Excellent range of engines
So far we have only driven the more powerful 2.0-litre diesel Golf SV, but it looks to be the pick of the range, thanks to having plenty of power for pulling along a fully laden MPV. It feels quick enough at motorway speeds – with 0-62mph taking 9.2 seconds on the way to a top speed of 130mph – while it doesn’t cost the earth to run. Volkswagen also offers its excellent DSG gearbox, which takes the fuss out of changing gear, and is a £1,400 option.
To drive, the Golf SV feels very much like the standard Golf, but with some extra lean in the corners. The steering is just as sharp, though, and the suspension keeps the comfortable feel of the normal car.
Price, value for money & options
Price, value for money & options
All models of Golf SV get air-conditioning, DAB radio, a 5.8-inch touchscreen and a Bluetooth phone connection. Opting for the GT version we drove gets you stiffer suspension, which does a better job of cutting out body lean, and you also gets items such as leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, all round parking sensors and sat-nav.
The Volkswagen may be priced above some of its rivals, but it is likely to hold its value better than all of them and, as a result, could well be the better long-term proposition in terms of value.
What the others say
"With hatchback-like handling and tonnes of space, the Volkswagen Golf SV easily rivals the Ford C-MAX and Citroen C4 Picasso."
"Longer, wider, taller and more spacious than the hatchback it’s based on, the new Volkswagen Golf SV is the perfect antidote for growing families no longer able to squeeze into the firm’s regular hatchback."