VW is keen to push its green alternative to the Golf GTI, GTD.

Volkswagen has opened ordering for the facelifted Golf GTE plug-in hybrid car with a significant price cut of up to £3420. The range now starts at £30,635 – and as it’s eligible for the government’s Plug-in Car Grant, a further £2500 could potentially be taken off the transaction price.

The revised ‘Mk7.5’ Golf GTE is now offered in two variants, GTE and GTE Advance. This trim line mirrors the Passat GTE range; the GTE Advance costs £32,165 before the Plug-in Car Grant is taken off. Both models are powered by a 150 horsepower 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and a 102hp electric motor: combined power is 204 hp, calculates Volkswagen – good for 0-62 mph in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 138mph.

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTE Advance
2017 Volkswagen Golf GTE Advance

It’s thus reasonably swift, but very fuel-efficient. The total range is 514 miles, which includes up to 31 miles’ all-electric driving (at speeds of up to 81mph). Because of the compromised way official fuel consumption figures are calculated, this gives official economy of 166mpg for the GTE and 157mpg for the GTE Advance. Real-world economy probably won’t reach such highs, unless you religiously charge the batteries wherever possible.

Volkswagen says the real benefits are in tailpipe emissions (and, boy, it would know). It envisages scenarios where the TSI petrol engine powers the car in cross-country motoring, the electric part takes over to complete the journey into a city in zero-emissions full EV mode. Four drive models help here – E-Mode, GTE mode, Battery Charge and Hybrid.

Volkswagen Golf GTE: prices and specs

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTE Advance

The regular Golf GTE is well equipped and fitted with desirable features such as full LED front and rear lights (with Audi-style sweeping indicators), Volkswagen Car-Net app connectivity and an eye-catching TFT instrument dial cluster. GTE Advance adds 18-inch alloys, high-spec Discover Navigation infotainment, 65 percent tinted rear glass and a cute exterior e-sound alert system.

Because of its larger alloys, the GTE Advance officially emits 40g/km CO2; the regular GTE produces 38g/km. This also explains the difference in fuel consumption between the two. Both variants’ 8.7 kWh lithium ion battery charges in 3.45 hours from a domestic plug socket, or 2.15 hours from a domestic wall box.

Because it has CO2 emissions of under 50g/km, and a zero emission range of between 10 and 69 miles, the Golf GTE is eligible for the Category 2 Plug-in Car Grant, giving £2500 off the list price. This takes the cost of the £30,635 Golf GTE down to £28,135, and the £32,135 Golf GTE Advance down to £29,635.

Director of Volkswagen in the UK, Alison Jones, said: “The new Golf GTE – with its revised pricing and significantly enhanced appeal – perfectly represents Volkswagen’s ongoing commitment to offering accessible hybrid technology in an attractive and usable package.”

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2017 Volkswagen Golf GTE Advance