Volkswagen is continuing its product offensive, this time in the segment of compact MPVs. The new Sportsvan is equipped with an interior that is as sophisticated as it is versatile (rear bench seat has 180 mm longitudinal adjustment), it offers a maximum cargo capacity of 1,520 litres and it impresses with its sporty charisma.
Technically, the Sportsvan follows the layout of the modular transverse matrix (MQB) from Volkswagen. And so it inherits significant advantages from this technologically advanced toolkit – the Sportsvan is very dynamic, with a short front overhang and a long wheelbase. Innovative lightweight design has kept vehicle weight extremely low, while the interior packaging also benefits from the MQB, with optimised utility.
The driver and front passenger enjoy an elevated seating position in the Sportsvan, yet the feeling is more of sitting in an elegant and sporty SUV than in an MPV. Special attention has been paid to the cockpit’s ergonomics, with a clean layout and sophisticated look being the result. In this Volkswagen, the worlds of compacts and MPVs meld together into a new type of car that offers more space for active recreation, family and the job.
Styling with extraordinary precision
With a bumper-to-bumper length of 4,338 mm, the Sportsvan is 83 mm longer than the Golf. It is also 126 mm taller, and marginally (8 mm) wider. These dimensions show that the Sportsvan has a clear positioning within the Volkswagen range – it is lower (-56 mm) and shorter (-59 mm) than the Touran, which follows a classic MPV concept with its three rows of seats.
The exterior dimensions of the Sportsvan, together with its completely new and sharply contoured styling, give it an independent and sophisticated look. With its taut body shapes, precisely drawn lines and large 17-inch alloy wheels, the Sportsvan transfers the Volkswagen design DNA to the class of compact MPVs. The Sportsvan also expresses dynamic proportions in its long wheelbase, and its extremely prominent character line unites functionalism and elegance.
Great variability in the cabin
Interior designers of the Sportsvan created a cabin that is as high-end and stylistically sophisticated as it is clean and fresh. While some of the instruments and controls may be familiar to drivers of other Volkswagen models, the design of the dashboard, in which all of these elements are embedded, was redesigned down to the last millimetre specifically for the Sportsvan.
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. What is known as the H-point (hip point) of the front seats is 59 to 85 mm above the H-point of the Golf, depending on the seat height setting.
There is also very generous space for rear seat passengers, thanks to the extended wheelbase. 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.
Another key feature is the 60:40 split rear bench seat that features individual adjustment of its sections. The entire three-seat bench can be adjusted up to 180 mm in a fore-aft direction; as an alternative, the seat on the right side of the vehicle (40 per cent) and the double-seat on the left side (60 per cent) can be individually adjusted over a range of 180 mm. In addition, rear passengers can adjust the angle of their backrests. The backrest elements are split 40:20:40, giving even greater loading versatility.
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.
Technologically advanced features
The Sportsvan comes as standard with features like LED licence plate lights, an electronic parking brake with Auto Hold, cruise control with speed limiter, a touchscreen in-car entertainment system and a variable cargo floor. In addition, the car is of course also equipped with safety features
that include seven airbags, ESP electronic stabilisation programme and safety-optimised head restraints in front (protects against whiplash injury).
Some other highlights include:
Proactive occupant protection system. If the system detects a potential accident situation – such as by the initiation of hard braking – the seatbelts of the driver and front passenger are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt system. When a highly critical and unstable driving situation is detected – such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESP intervention – the side windows are closed (except for a small gap). The underlying reason: When the windows are nearly closed, the head and side airbags offer optimal energy absorption and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness.
Driving profile selector. A total of four programmes are available in the driving profile selector. They are: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. In the Eco driving mode, engine control, the air conditioning unit and other auxiliary systems are controlled for optimal fuel-efficiency. A coasting function on the DSG can also be used with the Eco mode; when the driver releases the accelerator pedal – such as on route sections with a descent – the transmission decouples, and the engine runs at idle. This optimally utilises the kinetic energy of the car. In the Sport mode, on the other hand, engine response and shifting points of the DSG are configured to be more dynamic.
The Sportsvan is fitted as standard with a stop-start system and a range of BlueMotion Technology efficiency improvement measures that lower fuel consumption. 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 zero to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds. At the same time, fuel consumption is extremely low at just 5.4 litres/100km in the combined cycle.