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

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?...

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

Our Verdict

The Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in seems, on paper, like the perfect middle ground between its regular hybrid and full EV siblings. However, its performance is a little short of puff occasionally, which is especially evident when comparing it with the nippier Volkswagen Golf GTE, and its engine can be a trifle boomy. The fact that it can't maintain pure-EV driving up moderate hills is disappointing, too. That said, it's very reasonably priced and, as an eco-friendly package, it's rather neat. If you were tempted by the Ioniq we wouldn't blame you. 

But if it were our money we'd go for the Golf GTE. It's quicker, better to drive and is able to tackle inclines on electric power alone, plus it comes with a classier, roomier interior. Sure, a used Golf GTE is likely to be a little more expensive to buy than the equivalent used Ioniq PHEV, but we believe it's worth the extra cash. It's the superior all-round choice for PHEV buyers.

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1st – Volkswagen Golf GTE

Volkswagen Golf Mk7 GTE front studio

For Agile handling; more comfortable ride; roomier seats
Against Less practical boot; pricier to buy

What Car? says 4 stars out of 5

Read our full used Volkswagen Golf GTE review >> 

Buy a used Volkswagen Golf GTE with What Car? >>

2nd – Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in

Hyundai Ioniq front studio

For More standard kit; cheaper to buy; great driving position
Against So-so performance; unsettled ride; cramped rear space

What Car? says 3 stars out of 5

Read our full used Hyundai Ioniq review >>

Buy a used Hyundai Ioniq with What Car? >>

Specifications: Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in

Engine size 1.6-litre petrol/electric
Power 139bhp
Torque 195lb ft
0-60mph 9.2sec
Top speed 111mph
Fuel economy 257mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 26g/km

Specifications: Volkswagen Golf GTE

Engine size 1.4-litre petrol/electric
Power 201bhp
Torque 258lb ft
0-60mph 7.0sec
Top speed 138mph
Fuel economy 156.9mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 40g/km