Driving

Volkswagen Golf SV review

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Volkswagen Golf SV
Review continues below...
7 Feb 2018 14:57 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 14:04

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Based on the same chassis as the regular Golf, the SV model drives with a level of precision and control that is simply missing from MPVs such as the Renault Scenic and Citroën C4 Picasso. Push on over demanding country roads and, due to a higher centre of gravity than the standard Golf, there is a touch more body lean through the corners – although the balance of body control and ride quality is well struck. Mid-corner bumps are handled with an impressive deftness and there’s plenty of grip, so you can hustle the car along a twisty B-road surprisingly swiftly.

On the motorway, the Golf SV continues to impress, with a surprising lack of wind noise for such a tall body. You also get the benefit of a raised driving position, making the car easy to place on the road, thanks to impressive all-round visibility. Road noise, at least on the larger 17in wheels (we have yet to try the 16in ones), is a little intrusive on more abrasive surfaces, but it’s nowhere as loud as the Scenic on its standard 20in wheels.

We’ve had the opportunity to sample the entry-level 108bhp 1.0-litre petrol and the 1.5-litre petrol engines in both 128bhp and 148bhp states of tune. The more powerful 1.5 unit impresses with its low-down grunt and willingness to rev, and it feels particularly peppy when paired to the slick optional seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox (a six-speed manual is standard). However, it's significantly more expensive than the 128bhp version and fractionally less economical. It’s also hard to justify the extra outlay when the lesser-powered 1.5 is perfectly suitable for most day-to-day driving situations.

The 1.0 is more of a disappointment. Volkswagen decided against this unit in the Tiguan SUV, believing that such a small engine wouldn’t make sense in such a large car. That’s a decision that would have made just as much sense here. Like most turbocharged small-capacity petrol engines, there’s a significant step in its power delivery and even when the motor gets going – at around 2000rpm – drive is modest. In a car designed to carry family and luggage, this engine's distinct lack of grunt could be a problem. We'd certainly think twice before tackling particularly hilly roads. We have yet to try the 1.6-litre 110 and 2.0-litre 150 diesels.

 

Volkswagen Golf SV
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There are 4 trims available for the Golf SV hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
S
Entry-level S trim isn’t lavishly equipped, but it does come with manual air conditioning, height-adjustable front seats, a front centre armrest, a DAB radio, Bluetooth and an 8.0in colour touchscr...View trim
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£18,748
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SE
This adds alloy wheels, an alarm, auto lights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and folding tables on the front seatbacks. It’s good value and only needs a few opt...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£19,909
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OUR PICK
SE Nav
SE Nav does exactly what it says on the tin. The standard 8.0in colour touchscreen gets sat-nav as well as a three-year subscription of Car-Net, an online service that gives the user access to a ra...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£20,590
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GT
This sportier trim offers larger 17in alloy wheels, sports suspension, sports seats, rear privacy glass and interior ambient lighting...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£23,258
Average Saving £2,287
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