There are more performance-focused variants of the new VW Golf than there are ‘regular’ ones, with various iterations of the famous GTI, joined by the range-topping R plus the GTD and GTE.
The GTE uses a more powerful 245PS version of VW Group’s otherwise familiar 1.4-litre petrol-electric setup – as in our current Audi A3 long-termer.
A 13kWh battery provides a zero-emission range of up to 40 miles and the GTE can hit 62mph from rest in 6.7 seconds, just half a second slower than a GTI.
The GTE is designed to entice company car drivers with a tax-friendly combination of practicality and sportiness. From the outside it’s adorned with an aggressive body kit, enhanced with our test car’s optional 18-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, you get the same seats and steering wheel as a GTI, albeit with signature blue ‘GTE’ detailing, which also features on the front grille.
The car comes with a decent level of specification as standard, including LED matrix headlights, keyless entry and adaptive cruise control with lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring.
Our car is also equipped with the £270 Winter Pack, which provides heated seats for all occupants and a heated steering wheel.
We’ve also got the £300 reversing camera, £215 Digital Key - the ability to open and start the car with a smartphone and, most importantly, the Dynamic Chassis Control at £715 – more on that next time.
A head-up display and Dolphin Grey paint brings the total cost of our test model to almost £40,000.
From a tax perspective the GTE is particularly attractive. Even with our larger wheels it slips into the 7% tax band meaning this highly-specced version has monthly bills of less than £50.
With almost 1,000 miles covered, the GTE is already impressing with its 60+mpg economy.