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Volkswagen Golf GTE (2020 - 2024)

The Volkswagen Golf needs very little introduction as it has wowed us for more than 45 years with more than 35 million sales globally.

Starting price:
£39,360 (£41,895 with options)

Why we love it:
  • Dynamically styled with performance to match
  • Attractive Benefit in Kind rate for business drivers
  • Attractive Benefit in Kind rate for business drivers
Where it could be better:
  • Boot space is less than standard Golf models
  • Low EV-only driving range
  • Fuel economy figure relies heavily on regular charging
Secure your test drive today
Request a Volkswagen Golf test drive


Volkswagen Golf GTE

The Volkswagen Golf needs very little introduction as it has wowed us for more than 45 years with more than 35 million sales globally.

Now in its eighth generation, the latest models are the most connected and intelligent yet with customers able to choose from a wide range of drivetrains featuring petrol, diesel, mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid technology.

The Golf GTE debuted back in 2014 but the new model gets all the updated technology and a wealth of extra features seen in the Mk VIII Golf.

This is a five-door, five-seat hatchback that offers very impressive economy depending on a couple of factors. Firstly, the battery needs to be regularly topped up and, secondly, the owner must make the most of the 40-mile EV-only driving range. 

But with a punchy petrol engine beneath the bonnet, there is always ample power on tap in this athletically-styled hybrid Golf.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

The Golf GTE is a hatchback that looks dynamic when approached from any angle. Eye-catching features include a black radiator grille with illumination, a rear diffuser, red brake calipers, body-coloured bumpers and door handles, IQ Lights with LED main and dipped headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights with sequential indicators, a GTE styling pack featuring GTE-specific bumpers and honeycomb front air intake, unique GTE badging, a tailgate with integrated spoiler, X-shaped fog lamps, tinted rear windows and striking alloy wheels that were upgraded on our test car.

Moving inside, the upmarket and clutter-free cabin is neatly designed with Jacara Blue cloth upholstered sports seats that are very easy on the eye. Once again, there is lots of GTE badging, along with a GTE-designed gearstick. The black metal chrome inserts in the dash and door panels look classy and the three-spoke steering wheel features many touch-sensitive controls and sliders. 

On-board tech is easy to use on the fly and includes a 10-inch colour touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, a DAB digital radio, a six-speaker sound system, plus Car2X that enables vehicles to exchange information such as traffic issues etc.

There are also separate quick keys that offer instant access to certain functions, including the drive modes, parking assist and the climate control.

On The Road

Volkswagen Golf GTE

Handling & Performance

The latest Golf GTE boasts a battery that delivers 50 per cent more energy capacity than its predecessor. Like before, the front-wheel drive car features a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine mated to an electric motor. Together, they can deliver 245PS along with 400Nm of torque. And this means for the first time the Golf GTE is as powerful as the Golf GTI.

It can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 140mph. The acceleration through the six-speed DSG automatic gearbox is both smooth and responsive with bundles of power on tap for sharp bursts of pace to overtake slower-moving vehicles.

Paddles allow the driver to take extra control of the gear switching and there are drive modes called Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual that alter the driving characteristics of the car. And there are E-mode and Hybrid settings too to maximise efficiency.

Like all Golf models, old and new, the handling and grip as it fizzes through country lanes is confident with assured road-holding and no sign of body sway through tighter bends.

It can also cruise at 70mph on motorways and, with nicely-weighted steering, city centre driving is easily achieved too. 

The clever hybrid hardware and software can use GPS data, along with the car’s navigation system, to plot the most efficient route to maximise battery range and the battery can also be topped up via the petrol engine if needed.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

Space & Practicality

The VW Golf GTE is a five-door hatchback with plenty of road presence thanks to its dynamic styling. It stretches 4,287mm in length, 2,073mm across (including mirrors) and is 1,476mm tall. Those dimensions mean there is a decent-sized cabin with room for a couple of back seat passengers, or three at a squeeze.

The car’s sporty sloping roof means taller back seat occupants will find their hair brushing the headlining and leg room is a tad limited with the front seats pushed back, but there is room in the back for children with Isofix child seat fixtures to the outer rear seats.

Manual seat and steering wheel adjustment allows the driver to find the ideal position and all controls, dials and readouts are ideally positioned for ease of use.

The boot is accessed via a manual tailgate that is opened by pushing in the top of the VW badge. This has a capacity of 273 litres, a limit that is increased to 1,162 litres by dropping the 60:40 split-folding rear seats. This is considerably less than the 380-litre limit on ICE Golf models as the battery pack eats into storage room.

But there are numerous convenient compartments throughout the cabin, including a glovebox, central cubby, door bins with space for a bottle, cup holders and trays. There are standard seat back pockets along with smaller pouches to store mobile phones and the likes.

When it comes to charging the 13.0kWh battery, it can be boosted in three hours, forty minutes via a 3.6kW charger.


Volkswagen Golf GTE

Running Costs

The VW Golf GTE costs £39,360, although our test car featured a number of optional extras. These included upgraded 18-inch alloy wheels featuring anti-theft bolts, a rear-view camera, Dynamic Chassis Control and a winter pack that introduced heated front seats, heated windscreen washer jets and a low washer fluid light. The final cost was £41,895.

According to official figures, under WLTP-testing, the car could deliver a combined 235.4mpg, although this would only ever be seen if the vehicle’s battery was charged frequently and the 40-mile EV range used regularly.

The low carbon emissions figure of 27g/km does bring with it financial rewards though. The first-year road tax is just £10. This would increase to the standard fee for hybrids of £170 after 12 months.

But as the car exceeds the £40,000 pricing limit, it falls into the government’s premium car tax bracket and that results in extra costs with owners having to pay an additional £390 from years two to six.

The Golf GTE, as tested, has a Benefit in Kind rating of 12 per cent and sits in insurance group 27.


Volkswagen Golf GTE

The success of the VW Golf really speaks for itself. Total VW sales in the UK in 2022 were 131,850, with Golf sales accounting for 26,558 of that total.

Now in its eighth generation, this is a car that has moved with the times embracing new technologies and adopting all the frugal powertrain changes along the way.

Yet, it still maintains its true dna so can deliver the goods when put to the test. The latest Golf GTE is a perfect example of that with dynamic styling, great handling, but a watchful eye on the environment in the meantime.

Secure your test drive today
Request a Volkswagen Golf test drive
By Maxine Ashford
Apr 17, 2023

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