Of the engines we’ve tried so far, we’d recommend the 2.0-litre diesel. It pulls strongly from low revs, so is perfect for hauling around your family and their luggage. The 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol offers similar performance to the diesel when revved hard, but you’ll often have to change down a gear when going up steep hills.
Volkswagen Golf SV ride & handling
It’s not surprising that adding weight and height to a standard Golf doesn’t do much for the handling, but the SV is impressive for an MPV. Compared with its rivals, the SV’s body control is tidier and its steering is far more precise. All the versions we’ve tried have been fitted with optional adaptive shock absorbers, but even in the ‘normal’ setting, the suspension takes speed bumps and potholes in its stride. GT models come with sportier suspension than other SVs, so aren’t as comfortable.
Volkswagen Golf SV refinement
Despite a slight buzz through the pedals, the 2.0-litre diesel engine is impressively smooth, and feels strained only when pushed hard. The 1.4-litre petrol is refined at all revs. Wind and road noise are both a little higher than they are in the standard Golf hatch, but the difference is small and the SV is still pretty hushed on the motorway. The manual gearbox is slick and precise, and the pedals are nicely weighted.