Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Dashboard design looks similar to Golf hatchback
  • Cars from 2017 feature larger infotainment screens
  • High driving position offers commanding view out

The cabin of the Golf SV will be like a home from home to anyone who’s been in a Golf hatchback, with switchgear, instruments and plastics shared across both cars. That’s a good thing though, as it means the driver is surrounded by high-quality materials, clear and easy to read instruments plus simple to operate yet robust switchgear.

It’s not exactly the same though – the SV has a slightly different dashboard to the hatchback, which is higher up and features instruments and the infotainment screen in a more prominent position, making them very clear and easy to see and reach.

New infotainment screen for 2017

We particularly like the touchscreen infotainment system, upgraded for 2017 with an 8.0-inch standard unit and the superbly crisp 9.2-inch optional Discover Pro sat-nav system.

Both feature the excellent proximity sensor touch system (menus and controls are hidden until your hand is near the screen) but annoyingly only the smaller screen has a physical volume knob for the stereo.

Elsewhere there’s a soft-touch dashboard, a choice of inlays and sculpted three-spoke steering wheel, all offering an air of quality.  While this is a taller car, the driving position (although higher) is much like the hatchback, which makes it more rewarding and less taxing to drive.

  • Supremely comfortable ride regardless of wheel size
  • Only improved by the optional adaptive dampers
  • Quiet, spacious cabin with little (petrol) engine interruption

Volkswagen Golf SV comfort is taken care of by a large, spacious and airy feeling interior. The front seats include plenty of adjustment, and the driver’s seat can even be specified with extra padding and a massage function – called ErgoActive.

There’s even adjustment for the rear bench, which can slide fore and aft across a range of 180mm, meaning you can prioritise boot or legroom.

Do the latter and the SV becomes positively sumptuous, with enough legroom for adults to stretch out behind others, with the option to recline the backrest angle as well.

We reckon the middle rear seat is a little narrow for more generously proportioned adults though – bear in mind those sat three across the rear bench will need to be well acquainted – or at least they will be by the end of the journey.

Quiet engines and cushy suspension

New for 2017 are some updated petrol engines – a smooth and (at times) silent 1.5-litre unit and a surprisingly hushed 1.0-litre three-cylinder. Both become more vocal at higher revs but if you resign yourself to wafting around at a relaxed pace you’ll barely hear either. We haven’t tried the diesel line-up yet but would expect those motors to be a bit more present.

The firm’s adaptive chassis is an option, and so fitted the Golf SV rides beautifully, though we’d wager few will take advantage of the slightly firmer Sport mode. Even without the adaptive suspension the Golf SV rides very well, with supple responses to road surface changes and generally excellent body control to abate seasickness.

There’s little wind or engine noise making its way into the cabin either, regardless of speed, and no matter what size wheels were on the cars we drove road noise was kept to a minimum too. In fact the Golf SV was generally a refined and comfortable companion.