Petrol engines include a 1.2-litre turbo with either 84bhp or 109bhp, and a 1.4 turbo with 123bhp or 148bhp. The diesel line-up is a 1.6 with either 89bhp or 109bhp, plus a 148bhp 2.0-litre.
Our favourite is the punchy 2.0-litre diesel, which doesn’t need to be revved hard to make decent progress. It’s also smooth, even at high revs, and rarely feels strained.
The 148bhp 1.4 petrol is similarly quick when worked hard, plus it’s more refined. It’s not as gutsy, though, so often needs a lower gear to tackle steep hills.
Every version of the Golf SV has plenty of kit, including a colour touch-screen, Bluetooth, DAB radio, air-con, seven airbags and a post-collision braking system.
We’d go for SE trim; this gets alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, adaptive cruise control and City Emergency Braking, which cuts in automatically to help avoid or minimise a low-speed crash