A round of Golf

Friday 25th September 2015

Despite VW's recent emissions irregularities, their new hybrid Golf GTE is still an amazing car and delivers staggering fuel efficiency. It doesn't have a diesel engine so it's not affected by the current issues.

I've been looking for the right electric/hybrid vehicle for the last six months, and I think I've found the one I want.

 

Teeing off

The GTE is a hybrid, powered by a 1.4L petrol engine and a 75KW electric motor, so it's got better range than the Nissan Leaf.

It looks just like a regular Golf so it's got more boot space and less weirdness than the BMW i3, and it's getting on for half the price of a Tesla Model S.

The interior looks just like a Golf too, it doesn't have the space-age feel of the Tesla but there's everything you need. I'm really not a fan of the tartan seats - full leather would be an extra £1500 well spent.

 

 

Driving range

Like any 200bhp car, it's fun to drive. By default it starts in electric mode so it pulls away quickly and silently. The car decides how to mix the electric and petrol side of things, so most of the time you can ignore it.

If you want a bit more fun there's a GTE button which engages fun mode (my term) and uses the petrol and electric motors together. This makes it really nippy, although the 1.4L petrol engine whines a bit at high revs.

 

Green fees

VW claim that the car will do 166mpg, with a range of 31 miles on pure electric. The salesman who took me out for a drive said that he's got 150mpg out of it and doesn't have to put fuel in it very often, because he lives 20 miles from work.

Once the batteries get below a certain level, the car diverts a little energy from the petrol engine to keep them topped up.

 

Scorecard

This car ticks all my boxes. It's fuel-efficient but fun, and green without being boring.

  Model S 85D BMW i3 REx Nissan Leaf Golf GTE
Range (miles) 330 150 90 580
Power (bhp) 417 168 110 200
0-60mph (secs) 4.2 6.5 10.2 7.6
Luggage space Loads Very little Okay Loads
Style Flashy Weird Normal Normal
Cost (my spec) £62,800
£36,000 £22,040 £37,000

 

Hole in one

So why haven't I got one yet?

Because it turns out that I'm not the only one looking for a new car.

They're totally sold out in the UK - the dealer said that the earliest they could supply one is next spring.

This isn't great timing, we've got plans that may clash with that, but if it doesn't work out I'll be placing an order!

 

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