VW Golf Sportsvan-07

There will be three new Mk7 Volkswagen Golfs on show at Frankfurt – the Golf R performance flagship, the e-Golf EV on the other end of the scale and this – the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Concept. Officially billed as a concept, we’re effectively looking at the new “Mk7 Golf Plus” that will debut in mid 2014. Recently, it has been spied testing in Europe.

The Golf Plus has always been a higher-roofed five-door Golf hatchback for those who want a roomier cabin, without stretching to the Golf Variant wagon or Touran MPV. With a bumper-to-bumper length of 4,338 mm, the Golf Sportsvan Concept is 83 mm longer than the Golf hatchback but 224 mm shorter than the estate. At 1,578 mm, the Sportsvan stands 126 mm higher than a Mk7 hatchback.

The Sportsvan was created as the third body version of the Mk7 Golf after the hatchback and estate, and all sit on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform, which is flexible enough to allow for a 2,685 mm wheelbase. That’s 107 mm longer than that of the old Golf Plus and up by around 50 mm over the hatch. Interior length has grown by 30 mm. As you can see below, the dashboard is not a carryover from the hatch.

VW Golf Sportsvan-01

The Sportsvan’s greater height not just delivers a higher seating position that is appreciated by many users, it also results in more vertical cargo space.

Compared to the previous model, cargo capacity was increased 74 litres to 498 litres (rear bench seat in standard position, which is 50 mm forward of the rear-most position). When the two separately adjustable sections of the rear bench are moved to their front-most positions, up to 585 litres (gain of 66 litres) of cargo fit into the Sportsvan. Max capacity (cargo deck up to the backrests of the front seats and up to the roofliner) is 1,512 litres, a gain of 62 litres.

Loading is also easy: the minivan’s load sill was lowered by 13 mm to 652 mm, which makes lifting and loading back-friendly.

VW Golf Sportsvan-10

At launch, the Golf Sportsvan will be offered with a range of six new engines – all with stop-start and up to 19% more fuel-efficient. The four turbo petrol TSI engines produce 85 PS, 110 PS, 125 PS and 150 PS of power. The turbodiesel TDI units come in 110 PS and 150 PS tunes. All but one can be combined with the optional seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox.

The 110 PS diesel is the 1.6 TDI BlueMotion, the efficiency champ of the range. Estimated fuel consumption is a low 3.7 litres per 100 km (27 km/l) while the targeted CO2 emissions figure is 95 g/km. Brilliant, but not as spectacular as the smaller Golf Bluemotion hatchback, which can do 31 km/l and 85 g/km.

The Sportsvan/Golf Plus concept is not likely to work in Malaysia, where consumers will either opt for the better looking standard hatchback or go for a full-fledged MPV with three rows of seats. In fact, VGM sold the Mk5 Golf Plus here years back, but it didn’t catch on.