Volkswagen Golf SV (2015) First Drive

Golf SV Dynamic 006

Volkswagen has expanded its local Golf lineup to include this new Golf SV or Sportvan as the Europeans know it. Think of it as a slightly bloated Golf, not a fat Golf, just one that can carry more and is a bit roomier on the inside.

What is a Golf SV

The new Golf SV is built on the MQB platform from VW that has been slightly extended by 83mm from the standard Golf. VW has then thrown the practicality stick at the inside meaning that the rear seats slide forwards and backwards, the boot can hold between 500 and 590-Litres depending on where the seats are and the rear seats will fold down just about flat. Apart from the platform though, the exterior of the SV is entirely different to a Golf.


It’s roomy inside with similar dimensions to an MPV - there’s loads of headroom and plenty of rear legroom. The rest is standard Golf trim, as you’d expect from a car labelled Golf SV. VW has played with the spec of the cars, so be aware what you’re in for before heading to a dealer. Standard specification on the entry level model is relatively good though as you get the 5-inch touchscreen, seven airbags, a full size spare wheel and air-conditioning.


The Golf SV doesn’t skimp on safety though as standard fitment is post collision braking which, makes sure after you’ve had an accident you don’t end up at the scene of a secondary collision. ABS, brake assist, traction control and stability control are also all standard features.


Volkswagen has picked two turbo petrol engines and a turbodiesel to begin the range of SVs hitting SA. There’s a 1.2-Litre turbo petrol with 81 kW and 175 Nm, this is only offered with a six-speed manual and claims to use 5.1L/100km. Next in line is a 1.4-Litre turbo petrol with 92 kW and 200 Nm that can be manual or DSG with the seven-speed DSG being the chosen ‘box. This engine uses 5.4L/100km on the manual and 5.2L/100km on the DSG. The turbodiesel is the 2-Litre capable of 81 kW and 250 Nm of torque, whilst consuming 4.6L/100km.

We had the 1.4-Litre TSI available to drive at launch and it coped well around the route from PE through to Knysna. Some might want a bit more shove in the overtaking department but it does the job pretty well for an MPV. Strangely VW has opted not to bring in the 110 kW turbodiesel that would offer more oomph in the range but it did say that if the SV does prove to be a hit, it could bring in more variants.

Ride and Drive

It may be called a Sportvan in Europe but it rides very comfortably and is extremely smooth on the road. Like most VWs it feels solid and very easy to control and provides you with good confidence of the cars capabilities. It doesn’t try too hard to be sporty and leans more towards the comfortable ride end of the spectrum – what you expect from an MPV.


The entry model 1.2-Litre TSI model starts at R292 500, which offers a good entry point into the MPV segment. The range topping diesel model sits at R359 200 before options. The pricing keeps it below premium competitors like the BMW Active Tourer and Merc B-Class and just about in line with the Citroen C4 Picasso.
1.2 TSI with BlueMotion Technlogy Trendline (81 kW) 6-speed Manual R292 500
1.4 TSI with BlueMotion Technlogy Comfortline (92 kW) 6-speed Manual R325 200
1.4 TSI with BlueMotion Technlogy Comfortline (92 kW) 7-speed DSG R340 700
2.0 TDI Comfortline (81 kW) 5-speed Manual R343 700
2.0 TDI Comfortline (81 kW) 6-speed DSG R359 200