VW Golf Sportsvan concept (2013) at Frankfurt motor show

Published: 08 September 2013

This is the VW Golf Sportsvan, but don’t get too comfortable with that name, because the successor to the Golf Plus won’t use the Sportsvan badge when it goes on UK sale in mid-2014. Good thing too: what exactly is sporty about a minivan?

>> Click here for CAR's A-Z guide to the 2013 Frankfurt motor show

Is the VW Golf Sportsvan essentially the new Golf Plus?

You’ve got it. The Sportsvan uses the modular MQB architecture, which underpins the current Golf Mk7 hatchback, Audi A3, Skoda Octavia and probably the vending machines in Volkswagen’s canteen by now. It should make the new Golf Plus lighter than the now-defunct first-gen car, and more versatile inside.

The Sportsvan certainly looks smarter than the blobby Golf Plus...

Up to the beltline, the Sportsvan looks almost identical to a regular Golf hatchback, but in fact, it’s 83mm longer than a Golf – and 34mm longer than the old Golf Plus. Compared to a standard Golf, the Sportsvan also has a stretched wheelbase, an 80mm increase in width, and of course, the far airier glasshouse. 

Bigger on the inside too?

Yep – to the tune of an extra 74L of bootspace – 498L in total. That’s with the rear seats in their rear-most position too, offering better legroom. Slide the bench forward and the cargo area leaps to 585L. Not enough? Flip the rear backrests down and the Sportsvan lives up to the latter part of its name, offering a London apartment-like 1512L luggage capacity.

Can I get a Golf Sportsvan GTI?

Sadly not – as per the old Golf Plus, the new car will stick to an eminently sensible range of petrol and diesel engines, geared for economy rather than pace. All the petrols are 1.4-litre units, offering between 84 and 148bhp. Go for diesel, as we expect many UK buyers will, and there’s a choice of three dervs: a 2.0-litre with 148bhp, and two Bluemotion-badged 1.6-litre units, developing 89bhp and 109bhp respectively. VW claims the 1.6 TDI engines will score a 76.3mpg economy rating, and emit 95g/km of CO2.

All engines will be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, though all but the lowliest 1.4-litre petrol model can be specced with the smooth-shifting DSG double-clutch transmisson.

Anything else?

VW says the production Golf Sportsvan will benefit from the full suite of safety systems prevalent on the Mk7 Golf. So, expect the ‘PreCrash’ gadget, which closes windows, the sunroof, and pretensions the seatbelts if the car senses a collision is imminent. There’s also blind-spot monitoring, emergency city braking, multiple cameras aiding lane-changing and automatic post-collision braking, which holds the car’s brakes on after an impact to reduce the chance of a second crash into nearby obstacles.

>> Would you pick the new VW Golf Sportsvan over a Golf Estate? And what should VW call its boxy new Golf? Add your thoughts in the comments below

>> Click here for CAR's A-Z guide to the 2013 Frankfurt motor show

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