What is it?
The facelifted VW Golf GTE plug-in hybrid performance hatchback – which, compared with other Volkswagen Golf derivatives, hasn’t actually changed an awful lot as part of Wolfsburg’s recent mid-life revision to the Golf family. While the Golf GTI gets a hit more power and the e-Golf a dose more power and more electric range, somehow the car that represents the ideal combination of both gets neither.
The GTE has received a hefty price cut, however. Where the previous range-topping car pushed £36,000 before the Government’s old £5000 low-emissions plug-in hybrid (PHEV) grant was factored in, the new top-of-the-range GTE Advance is priced from just north of £32,000 – not including the more modest £2500 subsidy now on offer from Her Majesty’s coffers. VW’s estimate is that, accounting for extra standard equipment, the GTE is now more than £3500 better value than it was before.
It’s also now cheaper than an equivalent Golf GTI DSG 5dr (after that new Government discount), which feels like a more comfortable position for the GTE to adopt within the hot Golf range than where it used to reside. You get the same 201bhp of peak power, coming from a combination of 148bhp 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and 101bhp electric motor, as you did before, and the same 8.7kWh lithium ion drive battery. Performance claims are unchanged, as is VW’s 31-mile electric-only range claim.