Volkswagen Golf GTE review

Category: Hybrid car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid
Available colours:
Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 infotainment
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  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front cornering
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  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front seats
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front tracking
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  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front detail
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 instruments
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front cornering
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front seats
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front seats
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 infotainment
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 front detail
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 instruments
RRP £36,010What Car? Target Price from£35,304
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Golf GTE isn’t cheap, costing about the same (as a cash buy) as a Cupra Leon eHybrid, which shares its engine, motor and battery. You can buy a bigger Skoda Superb iV plug-in for around the same money, or spend less on an Audi A3 TFSIe, Mercedes A250e, Seat Leon eHybrid or the Skoda Octavia iV.

The Golf GTE has less rampant depreciation than the Kia Xceed PHEV, but the A3 TFSIe and A250e will have retained even more of its list price than the GTE after three years. That makes the Golf pricier on a PCP, but not by a vast amount.

If you’re a company car driver the GTE’s electric range of 40 miles, combined with low official CO2 emissions, puts it in a very competitive benefit-in-kind tax band. It matches the bracket of the A250e, A3 TFSIe (on 17in wheels), Octavia iV and Leon e-Hybrid, although the aforementioned cars’ lower prices will make monthly payments a little less. We’d certainly advise keeping the battery topped up – during our testing it couldn’t quite manage 40mpg with a flat battery.

Equipment levels are high. The Golf GTE comes with 17in alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, three-zone climate control, sports front seats, a heated steering wheel, power-folding door mirrors, privacy glass and keyless entry and start. There are plenty of options available,  but none are anything we’d deem essential.

Volkswagen finished at the lower end of the mid-pack in the What Car? Reliability Survey – in 20th place out of 31 manufacturers. That’s above Audi and Mercedes, but below other rival brands, including Kia, Seat and Skoda.

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Volkswagen Golf GTE 2021 infotainment

Overview

It isn't quite as nice to drive as a regular Golf, but the VW Golf GTE is still quick, quiet and comfortable. Its 40-mile electric range could reduce running costs for private buyers and company car tax breaks make it seriously worth considering as an option to petrol or diesel. There are bigger plug-in hybrids for the money, though, like the Skoda Superb iV, or cheaper alternatives, such as the Mercedes A250e and, Audi A3 TFSIe and the excellent Octavia iV.

  • Exceptionally low BIK tax rate
  • Good performance for a family car
  • Comfortable ride with adaptive dampers
  • Not as practical as a regular Golf or some other plug-in hybrids
  • More expensive cash buy than equivalent plug-in family cars
  • Struggles to put its power down, especially in the wet

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