Golf SV puts you in a good space
NOTHING gets me into “Grumpy Man” mode quicker than someone (often motoring journalists, too) explaining that an SUV is a good buy because you get more space – the sort you need when travelling with a family.
As someone who has travelled in cars with a growing family for years and who has driven most of the affordable SUVs on the market, I can say that, honestly, the SUV and space argument is the biggest misrepresentation in motoring since the Toyota Prius.
If you want space to cart a family around, then get a station wagon (not so many of them around these days) or a mid-sized sedan.
That’s what I did for a long time with the two VW Jettas I owned – a 1989 Mark 2 and a 1998 Mark 3. The boots on those cars were so enormous they swallowed everything we needed when going on holiday. And, inside the cabin, there was plenty of legroom, so little feet didn’t keep pounding the back of the driver’s chair (in time to the “are we there yet” pleas).
I thought Volkswagen could not really improve on the space utilisa- tion of the Jettas (even the bigger Passat had a smaller boot, strangely enough)… but now I think they have.
The Golf SV looks like a pumped-up Golf, which it is, being 83mm longer (with an extra 48mm in the wheelbase), 126mm higher and 8mm wider than its hatchback sibling. That may not sound like much, but when you experience it in the flesh, you can see this is the winner of the family space race.
With the rear seats upright, the boot holds 500 litres, even more than my Jettas, which made do with just over 400l.
Those seats can be moved forward (when kiddies are still small), liberating a further 90l of space. With them folded down, there is a huge 1 520l of packing volume.
There is even more space in that back row than I ever had in either Jetta and they set the standard for family comfort for many years.
As you’d expect with a Golf, even one with an elongated head, the SV acquits itself well dynamically. It corners predictably and the ride is, for what it is, superb.
Driving is a pleasure because the noise levels from the 1.4 litre, 92kW turbopetrol engine version we had are low. Seats are standard VW, which is to say, nigh on perfect, as is the driving position and ergonomics.
Not quite at Audi levels – but then you’re not paying Audi prices, are you?
The Golf starts at just under R300 000 and the version we tried out goes for just under R350 000 (without extras).
Okay – so you won’t look like the Camel man/woman when you drop the kids off at school. Nor will you go very far off-road (but you won’t in some SUVs either).
However, you will be able to carry more and the kids will have the space they need.
PEOPLE-MOVER: The Golf SV could be just the comfy family vehicle you have been seeking.