The new plug-in hybrid Volkswagen Golf eHybrid is now on sale in the UK with prices starting at just under £33,000. With 201 bhp on tap, the newcomer is a less powerful, less sport-orientated option than the 242 bhp GTE model, set apart by its blue exterior and interior design touches.
Customers choosing the eHybrid powertrain will be limited to the mid-range Style trim level, which normally starts at £25,550. With the eHybrid badge on the tailgate, though, the price is ramped up to £32,995.
For that money, you get a 1.4-litre petrol engine that’s teamed with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack that offers up to 44 miles of electric-only motoring. The system also produces 201 bhp, allowing it to drag the Golf from 0-62 mph in 7.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 137 mph.
But let’s be honest, people don’t normally buy plug-in hybrid hatchbacks for their performance figures. Instead, economy and emissions are front and centre, and the Golf eHybrid delivers with official figures of up to 235 mpg and 21 g/km CO2 emissions on the official economy test.
Of course, that sort of economy is only really possible if you stick almost exclusively to short urban drives and charge the battery regularly. That way you’ll barely use the petrol engine except for the odd longer trip, when it gives you the flexibility only an internal combustion engine can provide.
However, while the emissions may not be easily achievable on the road, company car drivers don’t have to worry about such complexities. With tax rates calculated using official figures, the Golf eHybrid incurs Benefit-in-Kind tax at the ultra-low rate of seven percent. To get much cheaper, you’ll have to have a fully electric car.
In addition to the (potentially) money-saving powertrain, the Golf also comes with all the usual Style-trim accoutrements. There’s a digital instrument cluster and a satellite navigation system, not to mention 16-inch alloy wheels and push-button ‘keyless’ ignition. LED headlights are also standard, and you get climate control too.
“The Volkswagen Golf has always been a staple of the UK fleet sector and now, with the arrival of this exciting new plug-in hybrid option, I am sure we will see more companies taking the decision to add our exceptional new car to their fleets,” said Nick O’Neill, the head of fleet at Volkswagen UK.
“The new Golf eHybrid’s persuasive list of attributes includes pure electric zero tailpipe-emission driving, superb long-distance fuel economy, generous equipment and a BiK rate of only seven percent – all underpinned by Volkswagen’s renowned build quality and superb retailer network. Together, they result in a car that will especially appeal to company car drivers, as well as retail ones.”