Volkswagen Golf GTE

From £29,740*

*Including plug-in car grant

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Volkswagen Golf GTE

The GTE looks like a Golf and drives like one too. In fact, this plug-in hybrid variant enables you to experience the best the Golf has to offer as you do your bit for the environment. Enjoy a GTI-like performance while leaving a tiny carbon tyre print.

Exterior design

The five-door GTE is distinctively styled with unique, body-coloured bumpers and side skirts. Other colour-keyed components include door handles and door mirrors, the latter with integrated indicator lights. A black honeycomb radiator grille distinguishes the front-end, with the GTE badge displayed between the VW insignia and right headlight casing. An attractive rear fascia features a dapper roof spoiler and chrome exhaust pipes. Lighting includes LEDs in front fog lamps, headlights and tail lights. 

Interior design

A smart five-seat cabin features black roof lining, decorative inserts on the dashboard and door panels, stainless steel pedals and chrome embellishments on air vent and window button surrounds. A leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel is adorned with the GTE insignia. Other standard features include power-operated front windows, a heated rear windscreen and remote central locking. A 272-litre boot capacity can be expanded to 1,162 litres when rear seats are folded.

Performance

A 1.4-litre petrol engine produces 201bhp and 250Nm of torque, enabling the GTE to proceed from a standing stop to 60mph in approximately 7.8 seconds. The vehicle is capable of 135mph too but this doesn’t impinge on its fuel efficiency. The GTE returns an impressive 166mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 39g/km. A lithium-ion 204KW battery can fully charge from 135 minutes, and offers up to a 31-mile range on electric power alone.

Technology and safety

A 5.8-inch colour touchscreen provides access to a range of multimedia functions. An eight-speaker sound system includes DAB radio and a CD player. Bluetooth® and SD connectivity is featured too. Driver aids include Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert System, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Stability Programme, Traction Control and Electronic Differential Lock. Multiple airbags, child-proof rear-door locks and ISOFIX child-seat anchor points are among the vehicle’s passive safety features. 


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Headlights LED
Boot Capacity 272L
CO2 Emissions 39g/km

Volkswagen Golf GTE Review

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What is it?

The Golf GTE has been designed to offer the exceptionally low running costs of a plug-in hybrid with the involving drive of a sports hatch. Powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine linked to an electric motor, the GTE has a claimed economy of 156.9mpg and yet, despite this, should crack 60mph in under eight seconds. Of course, being a Golf it also affords its owners a high level of build quality, along with a good dose of practicality.

What’s new?

The main talking point of the GTE is its powertrain. Underneath the bonnet sits a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which is combined with an electric motor to produce 201bhp and 350Nm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

With a theoretical range of 580 miles, the GTE is ideal for those looking to do low-emissions, high-mileage journeys.

The exterior has also been updated to differentiate the GTE from the rest of the Golf range, meaning you’ll find C-shaped LED daytime running lights as well as blue accents across the radiator grille – replacing the standard GTI’s red version.

What’s under the bonnet?

As mentioned, the Golf GTE utilises a hybrid powertrain designed to give good levels of performance as well as lower emissions. As such, it should reach 60mph in 7.4 seconds before hitting a top speed of 138mph. However, thanks to clever fuel-saving technology it has a claimed combined economy of 156.9mpg and emits just 40g/km CO2 in this higher-spec Advance version.

The 8.7 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged via either a conventional domestic socket or a wall-mounted charge box. It’ll take 3h 45m to hit fully charged from empty with the former, falling to 2h 15m in the latter. There’s also an in-built e-manager, which allows the driver to preset the vehicle’s charging time, as well as the car’s interior cooling or heating – these can be controlled via the My Volkswagen app.

What’s it like to drive?

Anything with a GT badge in the Volkswagen range tends to inspire thoughts of a sporty, involving drive. This is also true of the GTE with its well-weighted steering and eager turn-in, even with that added weight of the lithium-ion battery. 

The GTE is capable of reaching up to 81mph in all-electric mode, which means that all manner of journeys can be undertaken without troubling the petrol engine. That said, should you want a combination of both powertrains then the GTE button can be pressed, and this gives the best overall performance. 

How does it look?

The GTE is a well-judged car in terms of styling. There’s just enough to make it different from the rest of the Golf range, without making it too out-there. The C-shaped LED daytime running lights fitted also feature on the all-electric E-Golf, but here help the GTE stand out even further. You also get blue accents replacing the GTI’s red versions – and you’ll find this running across the radiator grille and into the headlights.

What’s it like inside?

The GTE’s interior exhibits all of the trademarks you’d expect to find in the GTI – the tartan sports seats take pride of place inside (though use blue rather than the traditional red), as well as a flat- bottomed steering wheel. Everything feels well screwed together, and everything you touch is made to a high quality. The switchgear, for instance, operates with plenty of solidity while the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel are rugged enough for many years of use to come.

Practicality levels are good, with plenty of headroom for those sat in the back and equally as much for those in the front, so the argument for shotgun won't be as intense as it used to be. 

What’s the spec like?

As one of the more ‘premium’ specifications in the Golf range, the GTE comes with a decent amount of standard equipment. The Advance-spec car comes with Volkswagen’s latest Discover Navigation infotainment system, heated front seats and 18-inch wheels. The satellite navigation is also in-built with the ability to identify potential destinations within the car’s all-electric range, as well as charging points nearby. In addition, you get DAB radio included as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

Prices for the GTE start at £29,635 inclusive of the government’s £2,500 grant. However, if you're after the Advance-spec car, you'll be looking a little more expensive at £31,485 including the grant.

Verdict

The Volkswagen Golf GTE is an excellent marker in terms of where we are with shifting the hot hatch spirit into the electric market. It’s very economical, offers a decent enough electric range and is thoroughly well built. If you’re looking to keep running costs low while doing so in a smart, well-styled and practical hatchback then the GTE could be for you.

Facts at a glance

Model: Volkswagen Golf GTE Advance

Engine: 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol with electric motor

Power (bhp): 201bhp

Torque (Nm): 350Nm

Max speed (mph): 138mph

0-60mph: 7.4 seconds

MPG (combined): 156.9mpg

Emissions (g/km): 40g/km