Review: Volkswagen Golf SV (2014)

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Sharp exterior styling. Relaxed and comfortable to drive. More practical and spacious than the Golf hatchback.

Rival small people carriers are cheaper.

Volkswagen Golf SV (2014): At A Glance

The previous Golf Plus was aptly named – it was very much a Golf, but with a bit more space. Its replacement, called the SV ('Sport Van' in Europe) offers more of the same. It's a solid, capable and spacious choice of family car, suited to buyers who need a bit more room than is offered by a traditional hatchback, but without going all the way to an estate or seven-seat MPV.

That does make the Golf SV something of a niche model, but it still has plenty of appeal. The sharp front-end is reminiscent of a Scirocco, while the rear is classy and neat – it’s much more attractive than its predecessor, with less dumpy and more upmarket styling.

The cabin has five-seats and the back row offers ample space, with plenty of knee and head room. The seats can be adjusted, meaning owners can balance leg room with load space. The boot has a 498-litre capacity, which is substantially more than the 380 litres available in a standard Golf, but someway short of the 605 litres you get in the Golf Estate.

The Golf SV is a perfectly quiet, civilised car to drive, with nicely weighted controls and excellent ride quality. It’s not the last word in driver enjoyment, but the handling is safe and predictable, while even the entry-level 85PS petrol engine offers enough performance for most. The engine range features four petrol engines and three diesel engines in total.

Standard equipment includes some niceties like DAB radio, Bluetooth and a colour infotainment system, along with air conditioning and all-around electric windows. Luxuries like adaptive cruise control and alloy wheels require an upgrade to SE trim, while parking sensors are only offered as standard on top GT models.

The Golf SV feels like a high quality car and it offers plenty of family-friendly versatility, but it occupies a curious niche. Something like a Citroen C3 Picasso offers similar practicality for less money, while a Renault Grand Scenic offers extra seats for not much more cash. That said, if you value the quality of a Volkswagen and need that little bit more practicality, it’s easy to recommend the Golf SV.   

Road Test Volkswagen Golf SV 2014

Looking for a Volkswagen Golf SV (2014 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a Volkswagen Golf SV (2014) cost?

List Price from £22,305
Buy new from £15,951

Volkswagen Golf SV (2014): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4338–4434 mm
Width 2050 mm
Height 1578–1613 mm
Wheelbase 2670–2685 mm

Full specifications

With its higher roof and increased length, the Golf SV offers more cabin space than a standard Golf hatchback. It’s geared towards carrying passengers rather than bulky loads, though it does have an impressively spacious, practically shaped load area with a volume of 498 litres. That’s 118 litres more than the hatchback, but 107 litres short of the estate.

The boot is ideal for shopping trips or family days out, with a nice low load lip and a flat deck – so loading up push chairs or other bulky items like suitcases is very easy. There’s an adjustable boot floor, plus you can fold the middle row of seats easily. With everything folded maximum volume is 1520 litres - plus you can get an optional flip down front passenger seat for very long loads.

In the back row there is plenty of room for taller passengers – teenagers and adults will be fine, with generous leg and head room. The seats themselves slide and can be tilted to suit individual needs and they’re ready for child seats, which should be easy to install thanks to decent-sized doors.

Up front the Golf SV feels like the Golf hatchback, with a nicely finished, solidly screwed together dashboard. It’s easy to get comfortable and there’s nothing to confuse – the layout is simple and the controls are all very easy to understand and use. The standard touchscreen infotainment system is simple and it comes with some nice details, like standard DAB radio.

Standard equipment is good – there’s the aforementioned touchscreen, plus air conditioning, electric front and rear windows, electronic parking brake, Bluetooth and an interface for audio players. S models do miss out on alloy wheels so  you’ll need an SE model for those, but you will get extra safety technology including adaptive cruise control. We’d like to see standard fit front and rear parking sensors on a car like this, but they are only standard on top GT models.

Standard equipment

S is the entry-level trim. It comes with 15-inch steel wheels, roof rails, rear bag hooks, front centre arm rest, cooled glovebox, rear load lashing points, 5.8-inch colour infotainment screen, AUX/USB connection, Bluetooth, electric front and rear windows, space saver spare wheel, manual air conditioning and an electronic parking brake with auto hold.

BlueMotion trim adds 15-inch alloy wheels, lower suspension, aerodynamic body styling and a tyre inflation kit instead of a space saver.

SE trim adds (over S) 16-inch alloy wheels, rear picnic tables, chrome interior details, under seat storage, leather trimmed steering wheel and gear lever, two rear air vents, adaptive cruise control, driver alert system, automatic lights and a multifunction display in the instrument binnacle.

GT is the top trim and adds (over SE) 17-inch alloy wheels, lower suspension, chrome exterior details, carpet mats, front sports seats with lumbar support adjustment, rear loading lights, Alcantara upholstery, navigation system, electronically folding door mirrors, ambient interior lighting and front/rear parking sensors.

Child seats that fit a Volkswagen Golf SV (2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Volkswagen Golf SV (2014) like to drive?

The Volkswagen Golf SV is offered with a choice of four petrol or three diesel engines. Petrol engines range in size from 1.2-litre to 1.4-litre, with power outputs from 85PS to 150PS, while the diesel options are 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre with outputs of 90PS, 110PS or 150PS.

Of those the most popular is the 1.6-litre TDI with 110PS and it’s easy to see why. It offers more than enough torque for overtaking or motorway driving, along with low CO2 emissions of 101g/km. Official economy is 62.8mpg, making it the most efficient engine in the Golf SV line up. Economy is improved further if you choose the eco-focused BlueMotion model. This uses the same engine, but with aerodynamic refinements and lower suspension, dropping emissions to below 100g/km. 

Don’t write off a petrol, though. The 1.4-litre TSI in 125PS guise is probably the best all-rounder and ideal for round town, with enough power for a fully-loaded car, plus a decent economy figure of 40.9mpg and emissions of 125g/km. That said, all of the engines are strong enough. They offer a good blend of performance and economy, although the entry-level 1.2-litre 85PS petrol is better in town than it is at higher speeds.

The Golf SV is a very relaxed, easy car to drive. The electronic parking brake is great, with a gentle automatic hold setting for pulling away and hill starts – it’s very difficult to stall or roll back in the SV. On the move the steering is nicely weighted and accurate, while refinement is impressive. There’s little wind, tyre or engine noise.

Ride comfort is very good – potholes and speedbumps are taken care of with ease. This does come at the expense of handling prowess, however. The SV is a little bit on the soft side through twists and turns, with noticeable body roll at higher speeds. It’s never too extreme thankfully, with plenty of traction and a general feeling of safe stability in most circumstances.

Volkswagen offers its seven-speed DSG automatic on several models incluidngs the 1.6-litre TDI. The 2.0 TDI 150PS is also offered with a DSG, albeit with six speeds instead of seven. Being dual-clutch transmissions, rather than torque convertor automatics, the DSG offers economy and emission that are similar to manual models - but DSG transmissions have suffered technical hiccups in the past. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 TSI 110 57 mpg 10.7 s 113 g/km
1.0 TSI 110 DSG 57 mpg 10.7 s 113 g/km
1.0 TSI 115 60 mpg 10.4 s 105 g/km
1.0 TSI 115 DSG 60 mpg 10.4 s 105 g/km
1.0 TSI 85 57 mpg 13.0 s 112 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 55 mpg 10.7 s 117 g/km
1.2 TSI 110 DSG 57 mpg 10.7 s 116 g/km
1.2 TSI 85 57 mpg 13.2 s 114 g/km
1.4 TSI 125 51 mpg 9.9 s 125 g/km
1.4 TSI 125 DSG 54 mpg 9.9 s 121 g/km
1.4 TSI 150 51 mpg 8.8 s 130 g/km
1.4 TSI 150 DSG 52 mpg 8.8 s 126 g/km
1.5 TSI 130 55 mpg 9.6 s 115 g/km
1.5 TSI 150 54–55 mpg 9.6 s 116–118 g/km
1.5 TSI 150 DSG 52–55 mpg 8.8–9.6 s 116–121 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 71 mpg 11.3 s 101 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 BlueMotion 74 mpg 10.5 s 95 g/km
1.6 TDI 110 DSG 69 mpg 11.3 s 104 g/km
1.6 TDI 115 66–71 mpg 11.0–11.3 s 110–113 g/km
1.6 TDI 115 DSG 67–69 mpg 11.0–11.3 s 106–109 g/km
1.6 TDI 90 63–72 mpg 11.9 s 101 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 63–66 mpg 11.3 s 112–119 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 60–63 mpg 9.2–11.3 s 119–125 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Golf SV (2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

33–64 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Volkswagen Golf SV (2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Is Dynamic Chassis Control on a Volkswagen Golf SV worth the money?

Is the DCC option on a Volkswagen Golf SV worth the money? I only would average 3500 to 4000 miles per year.
Probably not. The Golf SV rides well as standard. For most drivers, DCC would be an unnecessary expense.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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