Volkswagen Golf GTE (2015 – 2020) Review
Volkswagen Golf GTE (2015 – 2020) At A Glance
If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Volkswagen Golf GTE review.
If you also happen to live extremely close to your office, say within ten miles or so, then you’re just the sort of motorist whom the GTE could suit. A nightly charge should get you to work and back on electric power alone, and at the weekends, you’ve still got a perfectly serviceable family car for longer trips, so you won’t need a second car. It’s also a very enjoyable, comfortable and civilised car to drive and to sit in. A very worthy alternative to other mid-size PHEVs like the Audi A3 e-tron and Hyundai Ioniq.
The Volkswagen Golf comes in many different forms. S, SE, SE Edition, Match, Match Edition, R-Line, R-Line Edition, GT, GT Edition, GTI, GTI TCR, GTI Performance, GTI Clubsport, GTD, GTE, E, R: these are just some of the many monikers associated with Volkswagen’s all-conquering hatchback that signify various levels of equipment, power or sportiness.
However, within that vast bunch, you’ll notice the letters GTE, and that signifies rather more. That signifies that this version of the Golf is packing much more tech than your average hatchback.
And the tech in question is plug-in hybrid tech, designed to give short-distance drivers all the benefits of an electric vehicle (or EV for short), while also completely eliminating range anxiety by also having a petrol engine to take over the reigns when the battery power runs out. Best of both worlds? Well, for the right sort of driver with the right sort of driving habits, it could well be.
For now, though, let’s park the fact that the GTE is a plug-in hybrid, and just consider its merits as a car. And even then, there’s a vast amount to like. For starters, it’s just as desirable as any other Golf.
It’s posh inside, it’s civilised and refined, and it’s enjoyable and as comfortable to drive. Sure, although it’s very quick, it’s not quite nimble enough to be the GTI-alternative that Volkswagen claims, but it’s still pretty darn good.
Like any other Golf, it’s also an ergonomic masterclass, with logical, easy-to-use controls and a fuss-free layout. Visibility is fab and equipment levels are decent, and that’s whether you’re talking about luxury kit or safety kit.
Granted, depending on the grade and age of the car you’re considering, you might not get sat-nav or Apple Carplay/Android Auto, and the boot isn’t quite as big as in a regular Golf, but otherwise, there’s very little to complain about with the GTE.
Not a cheap car by any means, but consider all the talent - not to mention technology - you’re getting for your money, it still feels well worth the outlay.