It offers a usable zero-emissions range, is potentially cheap to run, has strong performance and is every bit as practical as a Golf should be. Given that it steers better, drives more smoothly and is notably cheaper than the Audi, we’d recommend it over that car.
But the GTE badge, and its implied sporting prowess, niggles. This car too often strains to be something it isn’t. Given the choice, we’d ditch the GTE tinsel and trust Volkswagen simply to make this hybrid best resemble the brilliant all-rounder that is the standard Golf.
That may not have suited status-concerned company car drivers or the necessarily high price, but it would most likely have delivered a genuinely enjoyable plug-in car rather than the merely very respectable one that this is.