The GTE is the missing link between conventionally powered Golfs and the all-electric e-Golf, and is a convincing all-rounder. While it doesn’t live up to is sporty billing, it still provides plenty of fun and allows buyers to dodge road tax bills without EV limitations and compromises.
Everything to everybody; a sporting family car with tax-dodging emissions and sensational 188mpg fuel economy. That’s what Volkswagen claims with the new VW Golf GTE – a plug-in hybrid that slots into the performance range alongside the GTI and GTD.
Combining a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with an electric motor and plug-in battery system gives a total output of 201bhp and 350Nm of torque. That’s almost enough to allow the GTE to keep up with the GTD from 0-62mph – it takes 7.6 seconds, which is just one-tenth down on the diesel Golf. And while the GTD offers excellent efficiency, it’s completely overshadowed by the GTE, which claims 35g/km emissions and quotes official economy of 188mpg.
In the real world it’ll be more like a third of that, but that’s when driving without caring about fuel efficiency. The GTE defaults to E-mode on start-up, and will run entirely emissions free for up to 31 miles. Plus, if your morning commute allows, it’ll do so at up to 81mph.