The Volkswagen Golf SV – with those letters standing for ‘Sportsvan’ in the rest of Europe – is a premium yet compact MPV based on the Golf hatchback. It was launched in 2014 and replaced the previous-generation Golf Plus. The Golf SV featured a sharper, more angular body than the Plus and in Ireland, it was an intelligent choice at launch as the Golf Estate wasn’t for sale at the time, so it represented a middle ground between the regular Golf hatch and the larger Touran MPV; boot space stood at 500 litres on the SV, which rose to 590 litres if the second row of individually sliding seats was moved all the way forward – they could move by up to 180mm in either direction.
Volkswagen offered the SV with a nice spread of the group’s four-cylinder turbocharged engines. A predominantly diesel line-up saw the SV offered with a 1.6-litre TDI engine, in either 90- or 110hp formats, and then a larger 2.0-litre TDI that delivered 150hp. Petrol propulsion was catered for by the lovely 1.2-litre TSI, which had either 85- or 110hp; given the size of the Golf SV, we’d advocate seeking out the latter for a more pleasurable driving experience. Gearboxes were five- and six-speed manuals, with six- or seven-speed DSG twin-clutch automatics as an option, and all SVs were front-wheel drive. A strong safety rating and a practical interior, with added headroom, made the SV an ideal family choice.
We like the petrol models, but the 85hp variant is underpowered and the diesels probably represent a better bet for running costs. Go for the 1.6-litre TDI in 110hp guise.
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Maximum speed: 192km/h
0-100km/h: 11.3 seconds
Fuel consumption: 3.9 litres/100km
• Practical and capacious interior
• Smart looks
• Comfortable ride
• Dull to drive
• No version is very quick
• Would a Golf Estate be a better bet?
The Volkswagen Golf SV might not be big on the excitement factor, but then it never needed to be. What it had to achieve, though, was being practical and helpful to a young family, who didn’t need a full-sized MPV or seven-seat SUV. On that basis, the SV is a big hit and makes an excellent used-car proposition to families who like a bit of quality in their products.