VOLKSWAGEN

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF HATCHBACK 1.4 TSI GTE 5dr DSG

Fuel

FuelPetrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph6.7s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

Volkswagen's second generation Golf GTE continues to offer a more dynamic, if rather pricey, take on plug-in hybrid technology, combining sporty styling and pokey petrol power along with real world battery range and frugality. The idea is to deliver GTI responsiveness along with ID.3-style EV sustainability. If Volkswagen has done just that, then this could very well be the ultimate all-round family hatch.

VOLTSWAGEN

Volkswagen's original plug-in model, the Golf GTE, gets smarter still in second generation guise. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Review

Volkswagen's second generation Golf GTE continues to offer a more dynamic, if rather pricey, take on plug-in hybrid technology, combining sporty styling and pokey petrol power along with real world battery range and frugality. The idea is to deliver GTI responsiveness along with ID.3-style EV sustainability. If Volkswagen has done just that, then this could very well be the ultimate all-round family hatch.

Background

Hybrid cars used to be dull, compromised, soul-less things. In buying one, you sacrificed driving enjoyment for eco-minded technology and positioned yourself amongst smug, green-minded folk. It isn't like that any more - or at least it doesn't need to be, according at least to this car, Volkswagen's Golf GTE. This second generation model, launched early in 2020, succeeds an original Golf GTE that was one of the market's very first plug-in hybrids when it was first announced back in late-2014. This replacement's key change is a lithium-ion battery twice as large, which usefully extends the WLTP-rated all-electric driving range to 40 miles. Plus energy deployment can now be predictive, taking into account GPS data. And of course there are all the advantages of the latest MK8 Golf model line. If you're the sort of buyer who might have previously been steered towards the economy of a Golf GTD diesel but secretly hankered after the smoothness of the GTI, this GTE could be the perfect solution.

Driving Experience

As with its first generation predecessor, the combustion element of this Golf GTE model's drivetrain uses a 150PS 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and a 6-speed DSG auto gearbox. What's changed this time round is that the 85 kW electric motor this package works with is mated to a lithium-ion battery that's 50% bigger, now rated up at 13kWh, quite a large capacity for a plug-in hybrid model. That's why the all-electric driving range has increased to 40 miles. And why the all-electric top speed has improved to 80mph. When the battery is sufficiently charged, the GTE always starts in its all-electric E-MODE, switching to the alternative 'Hybrid' mode only if the energy capacity of the battery drops below a certain level or the vehicle's speed rises above 80mph. As before, the driver has the option to 'save' battery charge for urban driving later in any trip. But what's different this time round is the way that once you've entered in a navigation destination, the battery manager (using so-called 'Predictive Hybrid Control') can predictively take into account road and topographical GPS data to ensure the most efficient use of the available driving range. A new driving dynamics control system known as the 'Vehicle Dynamics manager' also debuts with this MK2 model. This controls the XDS torque vectoring system and the optional DCC adaptive chassis control adjustable dampers to achieve a greater perceived difference between the feel of the car in its comfort and more sportily-orientated drive settings.

Design and Build

As before, a big part of the GTE's appeal is that it doesn't look that different to a GTI. Blue-themed touches differentiate this plug-in variant - on a narrow line spanning the front end of the bonnet and on an LED strip in the headlight. A nice touch is the way that the radiator grille can be illuminated as a continuation of this strip. The large, one-piece lower air intake grille features a honeycomb pattern with a black frame and a striking wing-like design at each corner. In profile, you get 17-inch alloy wheels. And there are wider black side skirt sills than you'd normally get on a Golf, those sills coming together at either end of the car to form the front spoiler and the rear diffuser. LED tail light clusters feature at the rear, where there are no visible exhaust pipes. Inside, as on the outside, the Golf GTE features blue highlights where the GTI has red. This includes the interior of the central spoke of the steering wheel and the seams and edging of the upholstery and trim. Volkswagen's so-called 'Innovision Cockpit' comes as standard, a fusion of the brand's 10.25-inch 'Digital Cockpit' instrument binnacle screen and the company's 10-inch 'Discover Pro' centre-dash navigation infotainment display. Also standard is a background lighting system which bathes the cabin in a spectrum of 30 configurable colours. Otherwise, things are much as with any other Golf, so you get great build quality and decent space for two adults on the rear bench. But boot space falls from the 380-litre total you get with an ordinary Golf to 272-litres because of the positioning of the PHEV system's bateries under the cargo area floor.

Market and Model

It seems a long time ago now that you could buy a Golf GTE for around £25,000 (after the once-available government grant had been taken into consideration). There's no government assistance for plug-in hybrids these days of course and Volkswagen pricing has risen considerably, all of which contributes to an eventual asking price for this car of around £36,000. If you can't stretch to that, there's an alternative Golf eHybrid model with a 204PS version of this same PHEV powerplant, priced at around £33,000. Standard-fit is Volkswagen's clever 'Travel Assist' 'IQ.DRIVE' system that gives Golf GTE drivers active steering, accelerating and braking at speeds of up to 130mph A key GTE model option is the DCC adaptive chassis control adjustable damping system. With the previous generation version of this car, we were a little dubious about whether DCC was worth the extra cash, but this time round, thanks to this MK2 model's integrated 'Vehicle Dynamics Manager' system, you really should be able to feel distinct differences between the available 'Comfort', 'Eco' and 'Sport' modes, plus in the extra 'Individual' menu, there's now a digital slider that allows you to create a more bespoke set-up.

Cost of Ownership

The published figures for the GTE look faintly unfeasible. Volkswagen claims a combined fuel economy figure of up to 235.4mpg and emissions of up to 26g/km. For reference, the alternative Golf eHybrid 204PS version of this model manages 235.4mpg and 21g/km of CO2. Readings like these really point to the deficiencies of the WLTP economy tests for measuring cars like this, rather than the real world abilities of the GTE. In pure electric mode (activated at the press of a button), the Golf GTE can travel up to 40 miles (it's 44 miles for the eHybrid variant). In other words, if the vehicle is only used for short commutes and re-charged regularly overnight, it is conceivable that this GTE can be run almost entirely without fuel. And conceivably (if you get your charging regime right) on off-peak electricity that'll hopefully cost pennies rather than pounds to consume. The combined range of the petrol and electric motor is around 660 miles, making it an ideal comfortable car for longer journeys. The extent to which you can charge this car up from the mains is also obviously going to make quite a difference to your overall running costs. Doing so inevitably takes a lot less time than it would in a comparable full-electric car - say something like a Nissan Leaf. That's because the batteries of a Plug-in hybrid car like this one are much smaller. Powering this Volkswagen up from a domestic socket would take around five hours, but most owners will want to find an extra few hundred pounds to install a Wallbox charger in their garages. Use such a wallbox - or indeed plug in to one of the many public charging points springing up around the country - and you'll be able to reduce your charging time period from empty to around three hours and thirty minutes.

Summary

So: the best of both worlds, at the push of a button. Is that what we've got here? Pretty much, yes. The Volkswagen Group weren't the first to bring us the benefits of plug-in motoring but they've been the first to really perfect it - or at least perfect it as far as is possible within the limits of current battery technology. As a result, if you've never thought much of electric mobility as an automotive solution, here's a car we think might convert you. Everything's so straightforward - so normal. Just leave the thing in its 'Hybrid Auto' setting and you'll get diesel-like fuel economy with a real surging turn of pace when you need it. Even if you never once plugged this car in, you'd probably be perfectly happy with what you had. So no, you don't have to press buttons and select menu options to enjoy and benefit from GTE motoring. But devoted owners will want to do that. These people will see ownership as being all about mastering and getting the most from the Plug-in hybrid concept. For them, there'll be nothing normal about what this Volkswagen can do. They'll talk of its silent all-electric operation. Or running costs that decimate their annual tax payments and see a potential three-figure range achievable from every gallon. Or maybe the way in which when used for short journeys, it can make fuel station visits a thing of the past. It's all deceptively unique - and rather futuristic. In a car very much for today.

  • Rain sensor
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Heated rear windscreen
  • Rear windscreen washer and wiper with interval delay
  • Rear tinted glass 65% light absorbing from B pillar backwards
  • Heat insulating glass windscreen

  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control)
  • Electronic parking brake with auto hold
  • Front disc brakes
  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Rear disc brakes

  • Front + rear carpet mats

  • Wireless app connect
  • Mobile phone interface with wireless inductive charging function
  • Car2X communication

  • Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with speed limiter and front assist (reacting to vehicles pedestrians and cyclists)
  • Dynamic road sign display
  • Progressive steering
  • Lane change assistant
  • Lane assist
  • Driver alert system
  • Driver profile selection
  • Electronic engine sound

  • Start/Stop function

  • Speedo, rev counter, electronic odometer, trip, service interval display, exterior temperature and fuel gauge
  • eCall - Emergency call service for SOS calls to emergency response
  • Warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts unfastened
  • Digital cockpit pro - 10.25" high resolution TFT dash display screen with customizable menus and information
  • Travel assist with emergency side assist with electrically foldable door mirrors

  • Remote electrically heated, adjustable and foldable door mirrors, including door mirror puddle lights and reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on pa
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Body colour door mirrors with integrated indicators

  • Black metal chrome decorative inserts in dash and front door trim panels
  • Soul dashboard

  • Type 2 mode 2/G (10A) charging cable
  • Type 2 mode 3 (16A) AC Cable for wallbox/chargepoints
  • Petrol Particulate Filter

  • Premium USB cable in choice of either Apple or Android smartphone compatibility

  • Body colour rear roof spoiler
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Body colour door handles
  • Illuminated front grille
  • GTE style bumpers

  • Automatic headlamp activation with Coming home and Leaving home feature
  • IQ.Light - LED Matrix headlights inc. dynamic cornering with LED interactive matrix dipped and main beam + LED daytime running light + 22 LED lights
  • LED rear combination lamp inlcuding dynamic turn signal
  • Advanced high beam control dynamic light assist for LED matrix headlamps
  • LED front fog lights with 5 honeycomb design
  • High level 3rd brake light
  • Highway light
  • Welcome light
  • Rear fog light on one side and reversing lights on both sides
  • LED License plate illumination

  • 3 zone climate with controls in the rear

  • Woven fabric storage compartments in front and rear doors
  • Brushed stainless steel pedals
  • Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • 12V socket in front centre console
  • Removable luggage compartment cover
  • Glovebox
  • Centre console
  • Aluminium gear knob
  • Front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • Front cupholders x 2
  • Black roof lining
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • Leather wrapped multifunction sports heated steering wheel with paddle shift
  • Chrome plated surround to electric mirror button, window switch and air vent surrounds

  • Ambient lighting, exterior illuminated styling elements at the sides
  • Front reading lights x 2 incorporating LED technology
  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Ambient lighting - Customisable 30 colour ambient lighting

  • Drivers and front passengers safety optimised head restraints
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • 3 rear three point seatbelts
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Two tone horn
  • Extended pedestrian protection measures
  • Front and rear passengers curtain airbag system including front side airbags
  • 3 point height adj front seatbelts + pretensioners

  • 3 rear head restraints
  • Height adjustable front seats
  • Front sports seats
  • Front seat lumbar support adjuster
  • Split folding backrest with centre armrest and unsplit rear seat bench
  • Isofix child seat preparation for 2 rear child seats and front passenger seat

  • Keyless entry with start/stop button on centre console
  • Alarm with interior protection and deactivation via infotainment system
  • Electronic engine immobiliser

  • XDS electronic differential lock for improved traction and handling

  • Drivers and front passengers sun visors with vanity mirrors

  • Tyre mobility kit Includes 12V compressor and tyre sealant

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 300
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 220
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 3.6
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 13
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 14.6
  • WLTP - AER (km) - Comb: 64
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 51
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min: 51
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max: 51
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb: 39.8
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4.3
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 32
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 32
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 32

  • CO2 (g/km): 34
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 26
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 26
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 36

  • Engine Code: CUKB
  • CC: 1395
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 6 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False

  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb: 45.6
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 1.6
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 1.1
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 1.6
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 176.6
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min: 256.8
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max: 176.6

  • Generation Mark: 8
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 27E
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Coin Series: GTE
  • Coin Description: TSI
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 245
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.4
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

  • Engine Power - KW: 180
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 184
  • Engine Torque - NM: 250
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1550
  • Engine Power - BHP: 245
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 6.7
  • Top Speed: 140
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 25.5

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: RICHMOND
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/45 R17

  • Height (including roof rails): 1484
  • Length: 4287
  • Width: 1789
  • Wheelbase: 2630

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1549
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2040
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 40
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 491
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 752
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1514
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.9

  • Front windscreen washers and wipers with 4x interval delay: Included

  • Sports suspension: Included
  • Dynamic chassis control (DCC) - variable suspension settings sport, comfort and normal: £785

  • Park assist sensor controlled steering aid to assist parallel or bay parking features optical parking display via vehicle's infotainment system: £200
  • Rear view camera: £300
  • Multifunction camera for distance control: Included
  • Front and rear ultrasonic parking sensors, audible with audio volume reduction when activated + optical parking display via vehicles infotain system: Included

  • Discover navigation system - 10" touch screen, FM and DAB, USB C socket connection, Title and cover art display, Bluetooth connectivity + 6 speakers: Included
  • Discover nav pro with streaming and internet - 10" touch, european map, 3D map, traffic info, branded point of interest, speed limit display, 3 routes: £1,600
  • Head up Display: £625

  • Metallic paint: £625
  • Pearlescent paint: £1,040
  • Additional metallic paint: £755
  • Special solid paint: Included
  • Additional special solid paint: £375
  • Electric sliding/tilting panoramic glass sunroof with integrated roller blind: £1,000

  • Jacara cloth upholstery: Included
  • Vienna leather upholstery with heated and airconditioned front sports comfort seats, electric adjustment driver seat, seat memory: £2,100

  • Winter pack with heated rear seats - Golf GTE/GTI/GTI Clubsport/R: £470
  • Winter pack - Golf R Line/GTE/GTD/GTI/GTI Clubsport/R/Alltrack: £270

  • Metallic - Deep black pearl: £625
  • Metallic - Reflex silver: £625
  • Metallic - Dolphin grey: £625
  • Metallic - Atlantic blue: £625

  • Pearl - Oryx white: £1,040

  • Special solid - Pure white: £0
  • Special solid - Moonstone grey: £375
  • Special metallic - Kings red: £755

  • Proactive passesnger protection: £140
  • Digital key: £215
  • Rear side airbags: £335

  • Trailer hitch mechanically swiveling and power detachable: £785

  • Jacara cloth - Blue: £0

  • 17" Richmond alloy wheel with anti theft wheel bolts: Included
  • 18" Bakersfield alloy wheel with anti theft wheel bolts: £600

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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