You might be forgiven for seeing the SV’s size and thinking it won’t be anywhere near as good to drive as a Golf. In fact, it feels almost as agile as a Golf, and still maintains its great balance of a controlled, comfortable ride and good body control.
The SV follows the recent family car trend for turbocharging, meaning even the 1.2-litre petrol (in 108hp guise) has a decent turn of pace.
The 1.2-litre engine is the cheapest way into Golf SV ownership and despite it’s small size it provides the small MPV with decent, if not above class average, pace. 0-62mph in under 11 seconds is reasonable while a combined fuel economy of 56mpg is commendable. That being said the 1.2-litre can feel overwhelmed when the car is full of passengers or luggage. It emits 117g/km of CO2.
The 1.4-litre petrol is the best engine in the lineup – it’s gutsy in both power levels (124 and 148hp), makes light work of overtaking and is also surprisingly economical, managing around 50mpg. CO2 emissions are slightly higher but still hover between 114-127g/km depending on gearbox choice.
There is also a 1.0-litre petrol available for BlueMotion models that can achieve a fuel economy of 62.8mpg while being at 105g/km of CO2.
The 1.4-litre petrol is a gusty performers but the diesel's the one to go for if you cover lots of miles
The diesels are still very capable, although the 1.6-litre TDI isn’t as smooth or quick as it could be, despite hitting 70mpg. It is, however, the cleanest engine thanks to CO2 emissions of 95g/km. The tried and tested 2.0-litre TDI, however, is recommended by many as it is as strong as ever, and although it isn’t the quietest around, it can manage 60mpg with ease while the sub 10 seconds to 62mph mean it’s decently fast. VW’s seven-speed DSG automatic (six speed in the 2.0 TDI) is as slick and easy as ever, but the six-speed manual is a perfectly good choice for most.
The Ford C-Max is a slightly more involving steer all round. We also feel that the ride in GT trim is too firm considering it isn’t a sporty machine. Wind and road noise are impressively absent though, much as in the MK7 Golf, and the seating position, whilst higher, is still very comfortable. The optional £800 adaptive dampers are a bit unnecessary on an MPV of this type.