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Buying

What should I be paying?

The Volkswagen Golf GTE starts at £39,360 on the road before you have a think about adding any of the optional extras. At the time of writing, Volkswagen was only selling GTEs from existing stock thanks to the pesky semiconductor shortage, so it’s best to have a look at your local dealership if you want to get your hands on one of these. 

Is the GTE cheap to run? 

A full charge of the GTE’s 13kWh battery takes five hours from a mains electricity plug and 3h 40mins on a 3.6kW charger. If you can regularly charge the car at home (where the electricity is at its cheapest) it’ll be a worthwhile thing to do.

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It’s not too shabby with the petrol engine running – we got around 40mpg out of a mixed route of motorway, country and city driving, which isn’t too bad. Another indication that the GTE isn’t nearly as sporty as it thinks it is. Officially you get 39.7 miles of e-range and 246mpg, but the reality is very different. 

What’s the spec like? 

You get a decent range of kit in the GTE, so you shouldn’t be left wanting for too much (expect maybe the 242bhp 2.0-litre engine from the GTI). The car comes with a nice looking bodykit that’s bespoke to the trim, LED lights front and rear, 17in alloys, three-zone air-conditioning, keyless go, heated seats up front, tinted rear windows and smartphone connectivity on the infotainment. 

On top of the £39k asking price there are £610 18in alloys on the option list, paint options that run from £600 to £1,000, a £1k panoramic sunroof, £635 head-up display, as well as the £795 optional Dynamic Chassi Control package. We’re not saying go for them, merely that if you’re not careful then the GTE’s price can get very punchy.

What about rivals? 

There aren’t too many rivals knocking about – plenty of speedy analogue cars that will offer more fun and engagement than the GTE, or on the opposite side of the spectrum fully electric versions of smallish hatches. The Mini Electric, for instance, or Cupra Born.

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The Golf GTE’s main rivals are much closer to home – other VW Group brands use the same underwear as the GTE – so Skoda Octavia vRS iV PHEV and Cupra with its performance-oriented Leon e-Hybrid. There are plug-in and electric versions of the Vauxhall Astra, neither or which would have any right to claim to be fun to drive. But if it was our money we'd probably go for the Skoda.

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