Volkswagen Golf SV (2014 – 2020) Review
Volkswagen Golf SV (2014 – 2020) At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 11–18
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure
What does the SV in Volkswagen Golf SV stand for? It might surprise you to discover that it means Sport Van, which is the car’s official name in Europe. Perhaps sensibly, Volkswagen decided that something might be lost in translation in the UK, because the Golf SV is neither sporty or a van. That said, it is a more practical version of the Volkswagen Golf, so the ‘van’ cap fits, up to a point. Calling it the SV was a clever move, because traditional MPVs are looking increasingly outmoded in 2020. This is like a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer or Mercedes-Benz B-Class, with a dash of the Golf thrown in for good measure.
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The Volkswagen Golf SV is a square peg in a round hole. While the likes of the Tiguan, T-Roc and T-Cross dazzle you with their blend of style and practicality, the Golf SV must rely on its blend of space and flexibility.
Launched in 2014, the Golf SV is based on the outgoing Mk7 Golf, which is no bad thing. It’s biggest problem is an identity crisis. The Golf estate is more practical, the Touran is more flexible, the Tiguan is more appealing, while the regular Golf is nicer to drive. So why is it worthy of your attention?
Family-friendliness is one reason. Buy an SUV of a similar price and there’s a sense that rear seat passengers are less important than the driver and front seat passenger. Not so in the Golf SV, where the rear seats are more comfortable than the regular Golf hatchback.
You sit higher in the back, while the seats recline and slide to provide more flexibility and comfort. There’s also more headroom and legroom, while the rear doors open wide for ease of access.
There’s also a large boot, which is only marginally less spacious than a Golf estate. The boot is also blessed with a low loading lip and a wide opening. There’s a reason why the Golf SV is called the Golf Sport Van in Europe. Not that there’s anything sporty about the car.
In fairness, it’s almost as nice to drive as the Volkswagen Golf, but the lofty stance means the Golf SV tends to lean when cornering. Fortunately, ride comfort is excellent, especially on the 15-inch alloy wheels of the entry-level S. It suffers a little on 17-inch rims, but don’t even think of upgrading to the 18-inch wheels. These, when combined with the GT’s lowered suspension, write cheques the SV cannot cash.
A facelift in early 2018 ushered in some styling tweaks, a much-improved infotainment system and extra safety equipment. It’s for these reasons that we’d recommend a post-facelift Golf SV, not least because you’ll benefit from the remainder of Volkswagen’s three-year warranty.
There are many engines to choose from, each one offering an excellent blend of performance and economy. The 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDI engines are recommended if you cover long distances. We’d favour the 2.0 TDI, which is almost as economical as the 1.6 TDI and comes with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmissions.
Don’t rule out the petrol engines. The Golf SV launched with 1.2-litre TSI and 1.4-litre TSI units, but later models were available with 1.0-litre TSI and 1.5-litre TSI engines. The 1.0 TSI is surprisingly good at powering the Golf SV, but the 1.5 TSI is more flexible.