Tester’s notebook: Volkswagen Golf SV launch

Volkswagen Golf SV 02A few observations from the Volkswagen Golf SV launch…

  • More than 900,000 examples of the Golf Plus were sold during its lifetime – making the Golf SV’s predecessor enough of a success to follow up; 20% of German Golf buyers opted for a Plus while it was available.
  • Although the SV’s design is easy to dismiss as “big Golf” at a glance, it’s actually rather sophisticated, with clever creaselines in the flanks that promote light and shadow areas, an extended window graphic with variable width chrome surround, additional windows, extended wheel base and strong emphasis on horizontal lines all serving to make the SV appear smaller than it is.
  • Being actually smaller than many a conventional five-seater MPV is exactly what existing customers love about the car.
  • You can have a massaging driver’s seat in the Golf SV (in Europe at least). It’s called the ergoActive seat, and although not up to Mercedes’ standards is effective enough that we actually had to switch if off when the road got a little more interesting because we found it distracting.
  • The Golf SV features two optional Golf “firsts”: an audio system upgrade with centre speaker and the Side Scan blind spot monitor, which also helps watch for passing cars when reversing out of parking spaces. You can also specify a heated steering wheel, if you want one.
  • The only Golf SV engine that isn’t already Euro 6 emissions compliant is the “eco-friendly” full whack Bluemotion, based on the 1.6 TDI. Which is pretty ironic. The reason being – and we asked – that the additional particulate filtering required for Euro 6 would actually push the CO2 emissions back up from the 95g/km where they currently reside. To be clear, the technical bod we spoke to said they could build a Euro 6, 95g/km Bluemotion, but it would cost more. So for the moment it remains Euro 5.
  • The projected best-selling engine is the 1.6 TDI (which also comes in Euro 6 compliant, non-full fat Bluemotion flavours). This was not available to drive on the launch in any form, however. The cynical might suggest that this is because both the 1.6 TDI and the 1.2 TSI feature a torsion beam rear suspension set up, rather than the more refined (and expensive) multilink rear on the rest of the range. The 1.2 TSI wasn’t available to drive, either…
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