Where VW’s Golf hatchback could be too small and the estate too large, the SV version might be just right.
Slotting into the middle of the range, the SV replaces the Golf Plus and offers a longer wheelbase and longer body than the regular Golf.
It comes as no surprise to learn the SV is wider and taller too, all of which helps to create more interior space, which in turn allows more flexibility. The rear seat bench splits 40:20:40 and also slides fore/aft by 180mm (7in) to increase either passenger or load space, as required.
Pushing the rear seats forward increases load space to a generous 590 litres – just 15 litres shy of the load space in a Golf estate, and dropping the seat backs makes this model impressive.
With optional front seat folding, it is possible to carry longer items up to 2.48m (8ft 2in) in length.
The SV carries the spacious theme into the cabin too. Wide, deep door pockets and storage in the centre console will leave you looking for items with which to fill the voids.
As you would expect, the build quality and general feel of the interior does not disappoint. With soft-touch materials, high quality plastics and damped buttons, the Golf continues to give off a classy image.
The GT version we tested is generously equipped. A colour touchscreen, digital radio, Bluetooth phone and media connection are standard SV fittings as is an electronic parking brake with hill-hold function.
Choosing the GT-spec adds Alcantara and cloth trim, sports seats, adaptive cruise control, navigation and driver profile selection. The latter enables you to choose between Eco, normal, sport and individual settings for throttle mapping and engine management. In Eco mode, the DSG transmission can also be set to coasting, letting the engine idle and the car roll on a closed throttle.
And equipped with the DSG six-speed auto box, combined with 150hp diesel, the GT model of SV is not left wanting when it comes to delivering a useful blend of performance and economy.