In terms of the engines, a 1.4-litre 84bhp petrol kicks things off. It’s the one we’d overlook, as it can’t cope as well as the others with a full load.
A 123bhp variant puts a bit more meat on the bone, and can do 0-62 in less than 10.0 seconds. You can add a £1,415 DSG transmission for extra relaxation, but it isn’t as smooth as the standard automatic.
For even more power, check out the 148bhp variant.
However, high-mileage drivers will likely stick to the diesels. A 1.6-litre TDI 113bhp unit sits at the bottom of the range, and can do 0-62 in 11.0 seconds flat. It’s refined and smooth, but is liable to running out of puff on steeper hills.
A 2.0-litre 148bhp TDI diesel rounds things off with a 0-62 time of 9.2 seconds.
In terms of economy, the 1.6-litre diesel is the cheapest to run with its returns of 67.3mpg and emissions of just 110g/km of CO2. The bigger 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel is good for 65.7mpg, while the 1.4-litre petrol can return as much as 57mpg, making the Volkswagen Golf SV a respectably economical car.
Inside, there aren’t too many hang-ups. It’s not a stylish car, with VW instead of creating a robust workhorse. That said, you do get some nice features, with the SE model coming with a multifunction steering wheel and a 6.5” touchscreen.
The dash is pretty much the same as the one in the conventional Golf, which means it’s one of the best on the market.
The biggest difference between the Volkswagen Golf SV and the regular Golf is this one is bigger and has more usability. It’s taller and wider, which means access is easier and there are more head and legroom for all.
But while it looks impressive next to the regular Golf, it’s less versatile than a lot of MPV rivals. It’s not what you’d call a full-on people carrier.
Still, if you slide the rear seats forward you can free up 590-litres of boot space. Fold them flat, and you can extend that to 1,512-litres.
Renault – £21,600 – £30,800
Volkswagen – £19,900 – £28,260