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Used test: Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in vs Volkswagen Golf GTE costs

If you want to maximise fuel economy and minimise CO2 emissions, you'll love these two plug-in hybrid cars – but which one is the better used buy?...

Hyundai Ioniq side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

New, the Volkswagen Golf GTE was the more expensive car by just under £3000. However, at this age, their price difference is only £1000 or so, with the Golf in GTE Advance form costing around £19,000 against £18,000 for the Hyundai Ioniq in Premium SE guise. The cheapest examples of the GTE go for around £17,500, while Ioniq Plug-ins as a whole start at around £16,500 – so the £1000 difference remains. 

Reliability-wise, the Ioniq placed a respectable fifth out of 14 cars in the hybrid car category of our 2021 Reliability Survey. The Golf GTE didn't feature, but its (solely) petrol-powered counterpart ranked 12th out of 24 cars in the family car category. Hyundai as a brand came third – very impressive – out of 30 manufacturers featured, while Volkswagen ranked 20th.

Volkswagen Golf Mk7 GTE side

Road tax costs will be similar for both cars whether they were registered before or after the tax changes of April 2017 came into force. The Golf costs considerably more to insure and service, though. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to carry out our True MPG test on the Golf, but we were on the Ioniq. With its battery depleted to a point at which its EV mode was no longer available, it recorded an impressive 51.8mpg despite mostly using its engine.


In range-topping Premium SE trim, the Ioniq comes with a huge list of standard kit. The Golf is stingy in comparison, and adding the options to bring it up to the Ioniq’s level would have added nearly £3500 to the price of the car when it was new.

Euro NCAP awarded both cars a five-star safety rating. The Golf was deemed better for adult and child occupant protection while the Ioniq scored slightly higher for pedestrian safety. Both come with automatic emergency braking as standard.

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