Volkswagen Sportsvan 1.4 Highline: Space everywhere!
Compact sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are fast becoming the trends on our roads. We see loads of them, ranging from the popular Honda Vezel to the stylish Nissan Qashqais.
But apart from compact SUVs, how often have you heard of compact multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs)? Well, if you fancy an MPV but are not too keen of its length, Volkswagen might be able to fulfill your needs with the new Sportsvan.
A larger Golf
The Sportsvan is technically built based on the Golf‘s platform. It’s named the Golf Sportsvan in the United Kingdom, but Volkswagen Singapore shortened its name to just the Sportsvan.
Despite the missing “Golf” in its name, it’s clearly visible where the Sportsvan got its design and inspiration from. The Golf’s angular headlight assemblies are evidently reproduced on the Sportsvan. Our test car was a Highline variant, which comes with Volkswagen’s signature LED daytime running light and bi-xenon headlamps.
From the C-pillar onwards, the Sportsvan widens out instead of tapering off like a normal Golf hatchback, giving the heightened perspective when viewed from its side profile.
There’s really space everywhere
Slide into the interior and any Golf driver would feel right at home. The front center control and dashboard looks almost identical to its hatchback brother. Minor additions include drawers underneath the front seats that allow for additional storage.
From the rear seats onwards, the Sportsvan takes on a totally new meaning when we say there’s space. There’s literally (storage) space, everywhere. The rear seats sit three adults comfortably, and squeezing in a fourth isn’t much of a hassle.
Like every family saloon should rightfully have, the Sportsvan offers flip-up tray tables at the rear seats, perfect for the kid to have a snack and a drink on longer drives.
To create more space for luggage storage, the rear seats of the Sportsvan can be adjusted 180mm forward, giving you approximately 500 litres of space in the boot.
Same heart, (almost the) same performance
Golf-converts or potential buyers of the Sportsvan would be glad to know that the Sportsvan shares the plant of the Golf hatchback, churning out 123 horses and 200 Nm of torque from its turbocharged engine.
The seven-speed dual-clutch (DSG) gearbox offers seamless transition between gears, and thanks to its turbocharged plant up front, the Sportsvan brings you to the 100 km/h mark in 9.9 seconds.
While that can be considered a tad slow, it must be taken into account that family saloons are not supposed to go that fast (especially with kids in tow). Acceleration aside, the Sportsvan provides pretty remarkable insulation and handling ability, only to suffer from slight body roll when we brought the car around the bends of South Buona Vista Road.
The Highline variant of the Sportsvan offers sports suspension – which resulted in our ride turning a bit firmer than that of one would expect.
The ideal family carrier?
It’s no doubt that the Sportsvan ain’t the nicest or sleekest in its class, but the undisputed fact lies herein with the vast amount of space available. And that translates into it being your more than ideal family car.
At S$128,300 (Highline variant), the Sportsvan markets itself pretty well both in terms of aesthetics and practicality. So, the next time you head out to shop for an MPV of sorts, why not pop by the Volkswagen showroom to have a go in the Sportsvan?