[Automobile Review]- The new Volkswagen Sportsvan

The new Volkswagen Sportsvan was launched in October last year and recently, we had the privilege to test-drive the Highline-variant of the Sportsvan for 3 days. At the first impression, the exterior of the Sportsvan seemed quite ordinary and there was really nothing much to rave about. I had expected the Sportsvan to be more sporty and stylish but sadly, that wasn’t quite the case because the Volkswagen design DNA (which I don’t quite fancy) features prominently in all of their vehicles; including the Sportsvan.

Having said that, I believe the Sportsvan is more targeted towards young families who are just starting out (since the car is marketed as a compact 5-seater MPV) and I will be upfront here to say that the Sportsvan will definitely not appeal to me based on its exterior but there is a common saying that looks can be very deceiving.

Will the Sportsvan offer a sporty driving experience? I was eager to find that out.

I opened the driver’s door and sat in the driver’s seat; and I must say, the style and interior of the Sportsvan is remarkably different from what its exterior has to offer. High-end and stylistically sophisticated would be the terms I will use to describe the Sportsvan’s interior.

The centre console between the seats ascends forwards near the gear knob just as in a high-class sports car, and this creates an ergonomic environment that makes the driver and front passenger forget that they are sitting in a compact MPV.

The Sportsvan is a car which focuses on maximum on-board comfort. The vehicle is already very comfortable to enter, thanks to the wide-opening doors and the elevated seats. There is also very generous space for rear seat passengers and even people measuring 1.90 metres can sit comfortably, one in front of the other.

Storage pockets and folding tables integrated in the backs of the front seats give practicality a further boost, and there are also three additional cupholders (two for standard size cups and one for narrower cups) in the rear centre armrest that folds up.

Cargo capacity is a very generous 500 litres with the rear bench seat in its standard position. When the two separately adjustable sections of the rear bench seat are moved to their front-most positions, up to 590 litres of cargo fit into the luggage compartment of the Sportsvan. With the rear folded down, a maximum storage capacity of 1,520 litres is available.

So, what do I really like most about the Sportsvan?

Well, that has got to be the driving experience.

The Sportsvan is fitted with a stop-start system as standard and its new 1.4-litre TSI engine with 125 PS produces an impressive 200 Nm of torque from only 1,400 rpm. It enables a top speed of 200 km/h and a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.9 seconds.

The driving experience was a sheer pleasure and the gear transition was really smooth. The speed pick-up of the Sportsvan was fast; even in the Normal driving mode and when in the Sport mode, I could feel the responsive feedback on the steering wheel when cornering. In the Eco mode, I noticed that the gears are shifted up rather promptly to reduce engine drag. As I was quite heavy footed throughout, overtaking and lane changing were a breeze and my overall fuel consumption was about 11.2 km/litre.

Overall thoughts?

The Sportsvan is definitely a car that offers power, speed, space, and comfort. I personally fancy the fun and sporty driving experience that the Sportsvan has to offer but I am still not entirely enticed because of its not so sporty exterior appearance.

If you value the practicality of a car more than its exterior appearance, you might want to consider the Sportsvan. The Volkswagen Sportsvan is currently selling at SGD$136,800 for the Highline-variant and if you would like to see the Sportsvan for yourself and have a go at it, head down to the Volkswagen Car Showroom at Alexandra Road.

For more information about the Volkswagen Sportsvan, visit Volkswagen Singapore Website.