The Volkswagen Golf SV is adequately breezy for everyday use and is amply responsive
More Golf to enjoy The Volkswagen Golf SV is adequately breezy for everyday use and is amply responsive. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The Volkswagen Golf is often considered the perfect all-rounder hatch. But sometimes, a Golf just isn't big enough. This is where the Golf SV comes in.

SV, in this case, stands for Sportsvan, which is a fancier name for an MPV or multi-purpose vehicle. MPVs are utilitarian, lacking the inexplicable sexiness of sport utility vehicles (SUV).

The SV abbreviation is close enough to SUV for the sexiness to rub off. It is also, intentionally or otherwise, the same abbreviation Volkswagen Group-owned Lamborghini uses for its more powerful, lighter supercars.

The Golf SV is no SuperVeloce, though. Being bigger and heavier, it is the slowest among its 1.4-litre Golf siblings, taking close to 10 seconds to reach 100kmh from standstill (even if it feels quicker in real life).

Length-wise, it sits between the Golf hatch and the Golf Variant wagon at 4,351mm. But at 1,807mm, it is the widest of the three body shapes. It is also the tallest, at 1,613mm, as well as having the longest wheelbase of 2,670mm.

These measurements translate to a roomier interior. Boot space is 500 litres or equivalent to what a big sedan offers.

And even though it remains a five-seater, passengers get to enjoy more legroom, hiproom and headroom.

The cabin is made brighter and airier by a full-length sunroof, which thankfully comes with a one-touch motorised sun shade.

While it is not exactly sporty, the Golf SV does not feel at all like a matronly MPV at the wheel. With a peak torque of 200Nm available from 1,400rpm to 4,000rpm, and an eager and efficient seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the car is adequately breezy for everyday applications.

Whether in a sprinting start, an overtaking manoeuvre or exiting from a sweeping arc, the Golf SV feels amply responsive.

But if there is a long gradient ahead, if the car is fully occupied or if there is a gap in traffic you want to fill quickly, shifting to Sport - which you can do in a jiffy by pulling the gear lever down a notch - is preferable.

In terms of handling, the Golf SV lacks the finesse of the hatchback, but is far from sloppy. The car will stay its course when aggravated, but will show small signs of body roll.

Despite its larger dimensions, it is still a compact vehicle and that is a good thing when a situation calls for agility, nimbleness or sharpness.

If there was any improvement in ride quality on account of its longer wheelbase, it was not perceptible.

As with all facelifted Golfs, the SV comes with a new infotainment system, more driving aids and LED lights front and back.

In the Highline variant tested here, features such as Blind Spot Sensor with Rear Traffic Alert, keyless system and panoramic sunroof are standard fare.

Not bad for a utilitarian car.