Volkswagen Golf GTE engines, drive & performance

With GTI-like performance despite a little extra weight to carry around, the VW Golf GTE is a solid drive

Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid
Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance rating

4.0 out of 5

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
6.7s140mphFront242bhp

The VW Golf GTE uses what is now becoming a familiar powertrain in plug-in hybrid VW Group products – a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine assisted by an electric motor that's fed by a 13kWh battery. The result is 242bhp and 400Nm of torque, put to the road via VW's trusty six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox.

Another familiar part of the GTE experience is that this drivetrain can be operated in a number of drive modes, calling on pure-electric running or combined hybrid power as required, as well as an option to reserve the battery's charge for later in a journey. If you've chosen the optional adaptive dampers you can also pick between varying levels of sporty intent from the car's chassis – we reckon Comfort mode strikes the best balance, however. 

Volkswagen Golf GTE 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

There's plenty of power on tap – especially with a fully charged battery at your disposal. The 0-62mph sprint takes 6.7 seconds in Sport mode and there's similarly urgent acceleration available whenever you need it provided you don't mind making the most of the slightly unrefined petrol engine, which can get noisy under hard throttle.

Handling

If you happen to test-drive a Golf GTE right after its Golf GTI counterpart, the most noticeable difference will be in the car's weight. Thanks to the hybrid system and battery there's an extra 176kg to carry around and you'll notice it most in corners; while the steering is accurate, the GTE doesn't feel quite as keen to change direction as its lighter sibling. Still, in isolation, this is a swift, controlled and good-to-drive car that won't leave many keener drivers disappointed.

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