Just Add Family
BRIAN BASSETT hosts the Fat Pack in the Golf SV
VOLKSWAGEN is now officially the worlds’ largest carmaker.
They produce cars under some twelve brand names including Audi, Bugatti, Porsche, Lamborghini, Skoda and Seat, three brands of commercial vehicles and Ducati bikes.
In the Far East they also own 20 percent of Suzuki, so it is fair to say that Volkswagen as a company are everywhere in the motor industry.
Volkswagen is known not only for its size, but also for its purposeful design. The company understands its market and ensures that it products meet market needs in terms of both quality and appropriateness. Nowhere does this approach show itself more clearly than in the Golf SV, which is based on the Golf, but expanded to meet the needs of the modern family.
Our thanks go to Keith Abrahams, Dealer Principal of Barons Pietermaritzburg, for allowing us a few days with the vehicle. Volkswagen says that the SV looks just like the Golf, but you have to look closely to pick up the traditional Golf styling cues.
For my money the SV is more substantial and better looking than the Golf. It also has a greater on-road presence. This is a considerable compliment because the Golf itself is no slouch in the aesthetics department.
At the front end the SV is very European in inspiration with a chiselled bonnet fronted with a three-slatted grill and centrally placed VW badge.
Below the front bumper is a further grille flanked by two fog lamps. The overall effect is both pleasant and satisfying, while the swept back nature of the headlamps adds a small amount of aggression.
Colour-coded side mirrors are electrically operated. The ribbed bonnet leads the eye upward to the large, steeply-inclined windscreen and high roofline, traced by silver anodised roof rails, for carrying a roof box on holiday.
The rhythm ends with a rear spoiler above the large tailgate and two large rear lamps thatwrap around the sides of the car. The whole effect is one of premium quality and excellent design. The first impression of the interior is one of spaciousness and quality. Our car was upholstered in black leather and soft, black plastics. The dash and steering were accentuated by piano black detailing, which I have come associate with the VW range.
The black interior could be a little sombre for some, but our car had a panoramic sunroof, which bathes the interior in a refreshing, cool light and is a R9 000 option which is well worthwhile having.
The seats are all comfortable and the driver’s seat is fully adjustable, as is the multi-function, leather-trimmed, tactile steering wheel, from which you can operate the radio, Bluetooth, speed control and — quite a surprise ni new cars these days — six-CD player, with which our car was equipped.
The secret of the SV is in the rear seat space. The Fat pack and I had not been out in a vehicle for months and we piled into the SV for lunch at Notties. The SV is a full five-seater, with ample space at the rear for three, beefy, grumpy old men, who were able to access the vehicle without any problem at all, even after a large lunch.
The controls are easily read and accessible to the driver and the dash is neat and functional, with two analogue dials containing speedometer, rev counter, fuel gauge and temperature monitor, all linked by a digital bridge providing a wide range of information. The centrally-placed eightinch touch screen is useful and easy to operate, while linking your phone to the Bluetooth system does not require an engineering degree.
Boot space is a more than adequate 500 litres while, with the seats folded flat in 60/40 fashion this rises to about 1500 litres. The interior storage space is also considerable and there are plugs for all your electronic toys. The Golf SV has a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating and everything that goes with it.
Like ABS with EBD, driver, passenger and curtain airbags, as well as auto hold for hills and steep descents; and a multi collision braking system.
The car also has side impact bars, seatbelts for all five passengers and ISOFIX child seat anchors.
I particularly liked the Park Pilot system, which was very helpful in tight parking spots, with which the world is filled these days, while the anti-theft alarm and central locking look after the car while you are shopping. There is also a useful tow away and tilt protection feature, which I wish my car, possessed.
The 2.0l TDI Comfortline DSG, which we drove has a fourcylinder, turbo-diesel engine putting out 81kWs and 250Nm, expressed on road via a butter smooth 6-speed auto box.
0-100 comes up in about 10,5 seconds and top speed is around 190 km/h. Fuel consumption is around 5,4l/100km, but it all depends on how you drive.
The SV is not a robot racer, it’s a family car designed to serve modern family needs. It is easy to drive and park in town and with 250Nm of torque it can cover ground on the N3.
I visited friends in the Karkloof one evening and the car took a poorly-maintained D-Road and a rutted farm road in its stride with responsive and athletic handling. We returned at night, and the lighting provided was of superb quality. There are five models in the Golf SV range, the 2.0l TDI Comfortline auto will set you back around R395 000. There is a three-year 120 000 km warranty and a five-year, 90 000km service plan. Browse in the B-segment before you buy and negotiate pre-purchase.
The Golf SV is as spacious as it is handsome from all angles.