The brand new Volkswagen Golf GTE feels stable to drive and it’s an easy plug-in hybrid hatch that these new to electrification will get together with simply. Nevertheless, it is now an costly proposition, and when Mercedes makes a plug-in A-Class that’s cheaper to purchase, cheaper to tax and doubtlessly cheaper to run, the case for the Golf isn’t as clear reduce as we had anticipated.
That is the newest addition to the sprawling Mk8 Volkswagen Golf line-up – the GTE plug-in hybrid. However in contrast to earlier than, VW is advertising it as a extra economically and environmentally pleasant different to the newest GTI sizzling hatchback.
That’s as a result of, whereas the earlier technology GTE was tasked with setting out the concept a plug-in household hatchback could possibly be economical and quick, this new mannequin is unashamedly marketed alongside the GTI as a performance-focused mannequin. It’s a transfer echoed elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group – the newest Cupra Leon and Skoda Octavia vRS fashions are additionally now obtainable with plug-in energy alongside their highly effective petrol defaults.
The GTE makes use of a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, a six-speed DSG automated gearbox and a battery and electrical motor setup, for a mixed whole energy output of 242bhp and 400Nm – that’s the identical quantity of energy however extra torque than the two.0-litre turbocharged GTI.
Extra critiques for Golf GTE
Automobile group assessments
VW claims 0-62mph takes 6.7 seconds and a prime velocity of 140mph, but in addition tax-busting CO2 of simply 26g/km and quite fanciful 246.1mpg of claimed gas financial system. On prime of that, it also needs to cowl as much as 39 miles on electrical energy.
From the surface, you’ll be able to actually see how VW has aligned the GTE with its GTI-badged sibling. It’s cloaked in the identical sporty bodykit with a big decrease grille and flared facet skirts, although the rear bumper and exhaust setup is completely different, and its plug-in hybrid credentials are marked out by a change of color within the conventional GTI pinstripe and badging from pink to blue.
It’s the identical inside, too. The standard inside is given sporty touches equivalent to a sports activities steering wheel and seats coated in tartan test cloth, with a blue theme operating all through it. As customary within the UK, the GTE receives a 10-inch central touchscreen with navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, together with a ten.3-inch digital instrument panel.
Begin it up and the GTE is totally silent. Operating on electrical energy the GTE has greater than sufficient torque from the 108bhp electrical motor to fulfill the wants of city and even quicker street driving, and whereas the 39 mile declare received’t fairly maintain up, you might feasibly cowl round 30 miles with out ever needing the engine.
Prod the drive mode button positioned on the centre console and the GTE’s full arsenal of drive modes and battery choices are unearthed. Right here, you’ll be able to set a reserve stage for the battery if you wish to hold some electrical energy for in a while in a journey, or beckon the engine to even recharge the battery, too. It’s additionally, alongside a kickdown on the throttle, the place you’ll be able to seamlessly change the Golf GTE into its hybrid mode, introducing the 1.4-litre engine.
Even in Eco mode there’s a stage of energy and torque on provide to get the GTE flowing on a B-road at tempo, however the 1.4-litre engine isn’t all that refined. Consolation is the default drive mode, and with elective electronically managed dampers (£785 on the extras record) it combines a robust steadiness between electrical and petrol energy with acceptable experience high quality.
The additional heft of the GTE’s hybrid drivetrain quantities to a complete car weight of 1,642kg – some 176kg greater than within the Golf GTI. That additional mass is noticeable in the best way the GTE handles and rides. The steering is sharp and direct making it a simple automotive to position on the street, however there’s a level of agility lacking from the quick plug-in Golf’s attributes. However flicked into Sport mode there’s greater than sufficient tempo for this to qualify as a sizzling hatch – simply 0.4 seconds slower from 0-62mph than the newest GTI.
For a lot of, although, how the GTE drives will come secondary to the numbers, particularly firm automotive tax and simply how frugal it really is. The declare of simply 26g/km CO2 signifies that it resides within the 10 per cent profit in variety band for firm automotive drivers – so it’s a compelling alternative on the taxation entrance.
To get anyplace close to the declare of 246.1mpg, nevertheless, you’ll must commit onerous to the GTE’s plug-in hybrid nature with frequent recharging – taking 5 hours on mains electrical energy and 3h 40 minutes on a 3.6kW plug – and economical driving. The latter flies instantly within the face of its hot-hatch bent. Drive it as such, and gas effectivity nearly eclipsing a daily petrol Golf will be anticipated.
Whereas the Golf GTE looks like a stable plug-in hybrid hatchback, its greatest drawback is the existence of the Mercedes A 250 e. At £35,960 the Golf has waded into costly territory, and it eclipses the bottom worth of the A 250 e in AMG Line trim, priced from £32,295. On a month-to-month PCP deal that might make the distinction for personal patrons, who’re additionally introduced with a broader line-up. The Merc’s higher all-electric vary of as much as 45 miles on battery energy and slimmer BiK charges – as little as six per cent – imply that fleet managers are more likely to be swayed by the A-Class too.
|Mannequin:||Volkswagen Golf GTE 1.4 TSI Plug-in Hybrid DSG|
|Engine:||1.4-litre 4cyl turbo petrol with electrical motor|
|Transmission:||Six-speed automated, front-wheel-drive|