The latest version of the Volkswagen Golf SV has gone on sale. The SV, short for Sportsvan, is the larger, more practical sibling to the Golf – giving VW customers an option in between the classic hatchback or the boxier Touran MPV.
As such, it's a rival to everything from small people-carriers such as the Fiat 500L to larger traditional models such as the Citroen C4 Picasso.
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The SV has received many of the same updates that came with the Golf hatchback's most recent facelift. Chief among these is a new engine. It's a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol, named EVO by Volkswagen. In the SV, it develops either 128bhp or 148bhp, and can be mated to a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
The headline feature of the EVO engine is ACT – active cylinder technology. This enables the engine to shut down two of its cylinders under light loads, such as cruising on the motorway. Running as a twin-cylinder engine means lower fuel consumption – Volkswagen claims up to 55.4mpg on the combined cycle.
The EVO engine joins a wide lineup of choices – customers can spec everything from a basic 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol producing 84bhp right to the top-of-the-range is a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp.
On the outside, the SV has been sharpened up with new bumpers front and rear, full LED taillights and optional full-LED headlamps. It's also gained a raft of new safety features, which are activated by sensors hidden within the VW badge on the front grille.
The SV is now available with autonomous emergency braking, able to detect both cars and pedestrians. There's also a feature called Emergency Assist, which will detect an unresponsive driver and attempt to wake them up. If necessary, the car will bring itself to a controlled stop with the hazard warning lights flashing.
Caravanners will be pleased at the addition of trailer assist, which aids reversing, while commuters should opt for optional Traffic Jam Assist, able to brake and accelerate the car in stop-start traffic.
Finally, the SV gains an infotainment upgrade. All models come as standard with an eight-inch touchscreen display, which can be specced up to 9.2-inches if desired.
Order books for the new Volkswagen Golf SV are open now, with prices starting at £20,475 for a 1.0-litre TSI in S trim. For a car equipped with the new EVO engine, the range starts at £23,095, and tops out at £28,595 for a 2.0-litre TDI in GT trim.
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