- Drives like a Golf – powerful, yet smooth and refined
- Excellent build quality inside and out
- Spacious interior and well-equipped
- No real wow factor to make it stand out from rivals
- Watch out for the options – prices will rise quickly
- Intainmentfo system is a little fiddly
There’s no denying the success story that is the Volkswagen Golf. With four-and-a-half decades of manufacturing, it has sold more than 35 million models globally.
The Golf 8 (eighth generation) went on sale in 2020 and VW also introduced the Golf GTE which is a plug-in hybrid model with GTI performance.
But now there is a second plug-in model that is more economically priced called the Golf eHybrid. It is available in one generously-equipped trim level named Style and boasts impressive running costs.
On The Road
The VW Golf eHybrid is available in just one trim level called Style and it This translates into impressive performance stats with a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.4 seconds and top speed of 137mph.
It has an electric-only driving range of 42 miles but, like most plug-in hybrids, in order to get anywhere close to the official combined fuel economy figure of 235mpg, you would need to charge the battery regularly and cover lots of EV-only miles along the way.
Out on the road, the Golf eHybrid is easy to drive with nicely timed acceleration through the six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
There are two hybrid-based modes called E-Mode which uses electric power alone and Hybrid which uses a combination of electric and engine power. In addition, there are driving modes called Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual that you can flick through to alter the characteristics of the vehicle.
The acceleration through the automatic transmission is well-timed and there are paddles for added driver engagement. It’s sharp to drive around town in E-Mode with quick acceleration out the blocks and energy can be captured during braking to boost the battery.matches a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine to an electric motor and lithium-ion battery to deliver 204bhp and 350Nm of torque.
The Golf eHybrid drives like any other Golf and that is a good thing. It’s balanced out on the twisting country lanes with plenty of grip and the test car featured Dynamic Chassis Control as an optional extra costing £1,005. This brings variable suspension settings to the mix which alters according to the selected drive mode. The Individual mode allows fine tuning of the dampers for a more tailor-made experience.
The steering is well-weighted with ample driver feedback and this car can cruise effortlessly at 70mph on motorways. In fact, the Golf eHybrid can be driven in EV mode up to speeds of 80mph.
Most of the time, it’s easiest to leave the car in the Hybrid setting where it automatically works out the best engine and battery mix for the drive. But it is possible to save the charge or increase it whilst driving via the TSI engine or through brake energy recuperation. This could prove invaluable in Congestion Charge areas.
The Golf eHybrid boasts all the dynamic styling of any VW Golf and our test car featured Lime Yellow metallic paint as a £685 option and it meant the car could be spotted from a mile away – it was dazzlingly bright.
Eye-catching design cues, include unique ‘eHybrid’ and ‘Style’ badging, a black radiator grille, LED Plus headlights, a body-coloured rear spoiler, mirror housings and door handles. There are illuminated door handle recesses and front grille, plus a body-coloured front bumper with front air intakes and lots of chrome trim on the window surrounds. The look is completed with 16-inch San Antonio alloy wheels.
Moving inside, the spacious cabin is minimalist in its layout with only a few physical buttons. It has a high-end feel with sports seats featuring Art Velours centres and microfibre sides. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has shift paddles and there is a smart push-lever gear selector.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
Finding a comfortable driving position inside any VW Golf is a quick and simple process and the eHybrid is no exception to that rule with fully manual seat and steering wheel adjustment.
Then it’s just a case of taking stock of all the creature comforts available in this clutter-free cockpit.
A 10-inch touchscreen is the main focal point and the nerve centre of the car with touch-sensitive functionality. It offers access to the sat nav, along with smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.
There is a six-speaker DAB radio, USB-C charging ports, 3Zone electronic air conditioning, ambient lighting and plenty more besides.
The 10.25-inch high-resolution tft driver display can be customised to preference and shows all the vital driving data, including existing EV range, combined petrol and EV range and battery charge levels.
All the controls, dials and readouts are easy to operate on the fly but the touchscreen proved a little fiddly at times, especially on poorer road surfaces.
Space & Practicality
The five-seat VW Golf eHybrid is 4,284mm long, 1,789mm wide (excluding mirrors) and 1,482mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,629mm.
Interior space is good with room in the back of the car for a trio of youngsters to sit comfortably and there are Isofix child seat fittings to the outer rear seats.
Up front, there is ample space for a couple of six footers to fit and, with generous headroom, it doesn’t feel cramped at all.
The plug-in hybrid system does impact on boot space though, which is reduced from 381 litres on a standard ICE model to 273 litres on the eHybrid. But the capacity is increased with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. And there are a number of storage compartments scattered throughout the car too.
These include a glovebox, front and rear cup holders, seat back pockets, a large tray, deep door bins and a central cubby box.
Charging the Golf eHybrid to 100 per cent takes four hours, thirty minutes via an AC 2.3 kW mains charger or two hours, 53 minutes via a 3.6kW wallbox.
The VW Golf eHybrid costs £35,315 to buy and will be exempt from any plug-in grants. But it will deliver impressive day-to-day running costs.
The official WLTP-tested 235mpg on a combined cycle is a little pie in the sky, but would be achievable if the car was used virtually entirely for short commutes and plugged in for regular charging.
However, the low carbon emissions figure of 21g/km will bring with it a number of financial rewards. For any business driver, it will have a Benefit in Kind rating of eight per cent and the annual road tax bill will be acceptable too. There will no first-year charge but the from year two onwards, the cost will be £155.
Options can see the costs rise quite significantly and on our test car there was the IQ. Light LED matrix lights pack, a Winter pack that included a heated steering wheel, a rear-view camera and Dynamic chassis control. These extras saw the final price rise to £38,825.
The insurance group rating for the test car is 24.
Quality & Reliability
The overwhelming popularity of the VW Golf is evident in its sales figures with more than 35 million cars sold since it first emerged on the market. And you only have to look around to see how many older versions are still putting in a shift today.
The Golf eHybrid feels very well put together, as is the Golf way, with solid build quality and an interior that is packed with quality fixtures and fittings.
The seats feature Art Velours centre sections with microfibre side bolsters which look and feel high-end and offer ample support.
There are a number of brushed dark metal and gloss black decorative inserts that also increase the stylish appeal of the car.
A few hard plastic surfaces do rather lower the tone, but these will prove easy to clean over time.
There’s no denying the fact that the VW brand took a massive hit to its integrity due to the emissions scandal, but it still maintains a decent reputation when it comes to reliability.
Like all Volkswagens, the Golf eHybrid is sold with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty while the battery has extended eight-year, 100,000-mile cover. It also includes one year of Breakdown Assistance in the UK and Europe.
Safety & Security
The VW Golf eHybrid gains the same maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating as the standard Golf and is packed with driver assistance aids to help protect occupants and other road users alike.
One of the options on the test car was the IQ. Light matrix headlights which introduces automatically dipped and main beam headlights, daytime running lights, 22 separate LED lights as indicators, plus dynamic curve lighting. This system, costing £940, makes driving at night safer allowing the driver to concentrate fully on the road ahead.
Other safety features include adaptive cruise control with front assist, a radar sensor-controlled distance monitoring system, city emergency braking, driver alert, emergency assist, anti-lock brakes with automatic post collision braking, traction control, a full suite of airbags, Isofix child seat fixtures for the outer rear seats, and an active bonnet which is a sensor controlled pedestrian protection system that would raise the bonnet away from the engine in the event of an impact.
There is a three-year subscription to We Connect Plus which includes eCall for emergencies such as accidents or breakdowns. The system will also prompt upcoming service checks, locate nearby fuel stations, parking spaces, along with helping to protect the car against theft.
There is certainly a lot to like about this Golf eHybrid and this is the closest to an electrified version you can get these days with VW’s ID all-electric models covering that option. It is fun to drive, attractively-styled, good value and well-equipped.