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Volkswagen Golf GTE Review

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Volkswagen Golf

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Popular posh hatchback, but PHEV

Best bits

  • Impressive speed and flexibility
  • Enjoyable and comfortable to drive
  • Fabulous cabin quality

Not so great

  • Basic versions miss out on sat-nav
  • Less boot space than a regular Golf
  • Short electric-only range by more modern standards

Read by

Volkswagen Golf GTE Front Side View

Overall verdict

Volkswagen Golf GTE Steering Wheel

On the inside

Volkswagen Golf GTE Front Side View

Driving

Volkswagen Golf GTE Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Golf GTE Right Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Volkswagen Golf GTE

"The Volkswagen Golf often feels a bit like Heinz - you wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that it really did come in 57 varieties. S, SE, SE Edition, Match, Match Edition, R-Line, R-Line Edition, GT, GT Edition, GTI, GTI TCR, GTI Performance, GTI Clubsport, GTD, GTE, E, R: these are just some of the many monikers associated with Volkswagen’s all-conquering hatchback that signify various levels of equipment, power or sporting prowess."

Volkswagen Golf GTE Front Side View

However, within that vast bunch, you’ll notice the letters GTE, and that signifies rather more. That signifies that this version of the Golf is packing much more tech than your average hatchback. 


And the tech in question is plug-in hybrid tech,  designed to give short-distance drivers all the benefits of an electric vehicle (or EV for short), while also completely eliminating range anxiety by also having a petrol engine to take over when the battery power runs out. Best of both worlds? Well, for the right sort of driver with the right sort of driving habits, it could well be.


For now, though, let’s park the fact that the GTE is a plug-in hybrid, and just consider its merits as a car, and even then, there’s a vast amount to like. For starters, it’s just as desirable as any other Golf. It’s just as posh inside, it’s just as civilised and as refined, and just as enjoyable and as comfortable to drive. Sure, although it’s very quick, it’s not quite nimble enough to be the Volkswagen Golf GTI-alternative that Volkswagen claims, but it’s still pretty darn good.


Like any other Volkswagen Golf, it’s also an ergonomic masterclass, with logical, easy-to-use controls and a fuss-free layout. Visibility is great and equipment levels are decent, and that’s whether you’re talking about luxury kit or safety kit. Granted, depending on the grade and age of the car you’re considering, you might not get sat-nav or Apple Carplay/Android Auto, and the boot isn’t quite as big as in a regular Golf, but otherwise, there’s very little to complain about with the GTE.


It's not a cheap car by any means, but consider all the talent - not to mention the technology - you’re getting for your money, it still feels well worth the outlay. HIghly recommended.


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  • All cars come with a warranty
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  • All quality checked

Volkswagen Golf

1.0 TSI 115 Match 5dr

  • 2019
  • 4,823 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Trust Group Volkswagen Redditch
  • Warwickshire, B980HX
Price:£15,525
PCP: £230.15/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £230.15, Customer Deposit: £2,328.00, Total Deposit: £2,328.75, Optional Final Payment: £7,855.75, Total Charge For Credit: £2,714.75, Total Amount Payable: £18,239.75, Representative APR: 8.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 8.84%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4.78ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Volkswagen Golf

1.4 TSI GTE 5dr DSG

  • 2020
  • 1,743 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Trust Group Volkswagen Wolverhampton
  • Staffordshire, WV22AJ
Price:£30,999
PCP: £420.21/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £420.21, Customer Deposit: £4,649.00, Total Deposit: £4,649.85, Optional Final Payment: £15,917.50, Total Charge For Credit: £4,275.70, Total Amount Payable: £35,274.70, Representative APR: 6.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 6.9%, Excess Mileage Charge: 11.98ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Volkswagen Golf GTE right for you?

If you want a car with class and sophistication, but you still like saving the pennies, then the idea of the Golf GTE will be very appealing indeed. If you also happen to live extremely close to your office, say within ten miles or so, then you’re just the sort of motorist whom the GTE could suit. 


If that’s the case, then a nightly charge should get you to work and back on electric power alone, saving you a pretty penny on fuel. Then, at the weekends, you’ve still got a perfectly serviceable family car for longer trips, so you won’t need a second car. Perfect. Sure, the tax breaks for plug-in hybrids aren’t as compelling as they once were, but for the right person with the right sort of driving habits, there are still some useful savings to be made.


What's the best Volkswagen Golf GTE model/engine to choose?

All GTEs have the same drivetrain, a combination of a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor. No decisions to be made there, then. All versions are also automatic, so no choice with transmission, and unlike some Volkswagens, there’s no choice of front- or four-wheel drive, either.


Your only real choice with the GTE comes down to trim level. On early cars, there was one highly-specced trim level, and you just had to figure out whether or not you wanted to add optional satellite-navigation, which also added Apple Carplay/Android Auto, a 64GB hard drive and a bigger touchscreen. 


Later, the GTE Advance version has this as standard, along with heated seats, but the basic GTE made do with a more basic system, albeit with the bigger screen and smartphone integration. Whatever the vintage of the car you’re looking at, though, we reckon it’s worth forking out the extra.


What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen Golf GTE?

When it was first released back in 2015, there wasn’t much like the Golf GTE. Plug-in hybrids weren’t all that common back then. Having said that, there was one car that was very much like it.


 The Audi A3 e-tron was pretty much the same car underneath, even though it was fractionally more expensive. These days, though more similarly-sized PHEV hatchback choices are offered, including the Hyundai Ioniq and the Toyota Prius Plug-in. There are a range of SUV contenders in this market, too, such as the Kia Niro, Ford Kuga and Volvo XC40.


Learn more

Volkswagen Golf GTE Steering Wheel

On the inside

Volkswagen Golf GTE Front Side View

Driving

Volkswagen Golf GTE Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Golf GTE Right Side View

Prices, versions and specification