RE: VW Golf GTE: PH Carpool

RE: VW Golf GTE: PH Carpool

Monday 4th September 2017

VW Golf GTE: PH Carpool

Is there fun to be had in a hybrid hot Golf? You betcha!



Name: baysis (Alex)
Car: 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTE
Owned since: March 2016
Previously owned: 1988 Ford Escort 1.4 Ghia, 1998 Peugeot 206 1.6 XS, 1996 BMW 328i coupe, 2001 VW Golf GTI 1.8T x 2, 1998 BMW 318i saloon and convertible, 1992 Honda Civic hatch, 2007 Peugeot 207 GT, 2011 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCI, 2002 BMW 320d
Also own: 1996 Mazda MX-5 1.8i

The most interesting in a dull bunch of repmobiles!
The most interesting in a dull bunch of repmobiles!
Why I bought it:
"I didn't, my company got it for me! I do about 25k miles per year and most of those are company miles out visiting sites and clients as a project manager. If we opt for a car allowance the rules mean the cars have to be no more than four years old at any time, which makes the choice of what to buy and run very limiting.

"The Golf was the best car on my company car list, unless I paid for an upgrade. The rest of the list was a choice of Skodas, Audi A3s, the Mercedes A-Class and some other stuff too boring to think about. It is also (being a plug-in hybrid) very cheap on the company car tax which sealed the deal for me."

What I wish I'd known:
"That the BMW 330e would be added to the company car choices list a few months later and that the Car-Net app cannot be retrofitted to the car unless you have a certain stereo (which I don't have)."

Adventuring with friends...
Adventuring with friends...
Things I love:
"The amount of torque available, with the mixture of the turbo and the electric motors, means that on A- and B-roads I can make really good progress with the GTE button pressed. It was also the first brand new car I have ever had, so it was nice to choose colours and pick options, although I didn't choose many as I don't like the way we have to pay for them upfront and then get taxed on the value of them too! The e-diff or whatever it's called is also pretty effective, in faster or tighter corners it is noticeable, braking the inside wheel to help slingshot you through the corners. The standard adaptive cruise control is also a licence saver and makes the long trips to Scotland and the North for work so much better."

Things I hate:
"The stereo which keeps muting itself, requiring me either to turn it off and back on before it starts working again or restart the engine on some occasions. I've taken it to the main dealer three or four times now and they still can't sort it. VW UK has been rather unhelpful, having refused to replace the unit and not even responding to my emails beyond asking for my phone number. I would have liked the lower suspension from the GTI, other than that I thought some of the options were a bit too expensive to be justified (sat-nav and heated seats) and I was not paying for them myself."

Thanks Alex!
Thanks Alex!
Costs:
"Zero... to me anyway (other than tax). But it has needed two sets of front tyres in 20K miles and two services, but nothing other than that."

Where I've been:
"The North Coast 500 with my friend in his MR2; we also did Skye on the same trip and had a great time, we both said the west coast is much better than the east as the scenery was stunning. I've also done a couple of trips to Wales with some friends with much more powerful cars but surprisingly they could not shake me due to the strong torque of the GTE. As I said I cover about 25K miles per year so I try to pick some interesting routes when I have time or choose a hotel which gives me access to nice roads on those summer evenings."

What next?
"Tough question; I bought an MX-5 in January which is a lot of fun and absorbing most of my funds, so the GTE has been relegated to everyday car duties only. If I buy my own car I would happily buy a Golf GTI as it's so competent, well judged in terms of size and quick enough to be fun. Having recently been fortunate enough to drive an M2 for the day I know that I personally don't feel the need for more power though... and that really surprised me!"

 

Author
Discussion

steveb8189

Original Poster:

173 posts

121 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
I had my eye on one of these when the GTD lease ended but in the end found a better lease deal on another diesel. If I had been buying outright or getting through work like yourself it would have been the top contender along with the 330e - which much have been quite a bit more expensive no?

There is often a GTE police "eco interceptor" parked outside of Liverpool Street Station which looks good int he dark blue police livery. Often wondered if they have tuned it.

PhantomPH

2,964 posts

155 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
Every seen anything like the 166mpg quoted by VW?

Dale487

643 posts

53 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all

Half of me thinks a Golf GTE would be great option as my next car as my wife be able to commute on electric only power, potential saving money.

But I have some concerns Alex (or other owners) may be able to counter;

1. The added weight of the electric motor & batteries (c200kg) blunting the performance & handling - I run a SEAT Leon FR ST with 1.4 TSI ACT which is the same petrol engine.
2. I am a gearbox manual fan and the DSG only really puts me off
3. The batteries eat into the boot space compared to the normal hatch - I sadly had to discount the Golf GTI mostly due to the size of the boot as there was only enough room for my daughter's push chair but little else.

I think hybrids like the Golf GTE will be the future of motoring but at the moment they are a few comprises too far to work for me.

TooMany2cvs

25,364 posts

56 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
Dale487 said:
I think hybrids like the Golf GTE will be the future of motoring...
They're artificially hyped at the moment, because the official economy tests simply don't cope with them.

Like the man asked...
PhantomPH said:
Every seen anything like the 166mpg quoted by VW?

BFleming

644 posts

73 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
Although the article doesn't mention it, the GTE is a plug-in hybrid, so you get the option of an electric only mode or a true hybrid of the two power sources. So on a fully charged battery you get infinite MPG, but only for a pretty limited range. On petrol mode you get about 40mpg tops. They're very fast - my brother runs one & I've driven it occasionally. But the DSG box isn't happy with so much torque, 20 months into ownership it's pretty noisy/clunky.

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Dale487

643 posts

53 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
TooMany2cvs said:
Dale487 said:
I think hybrids like the Golf GTE will be the future of motoring...
They're artificially hyped at the moment, because the official economy tests simply don't cope with them.

Like the man asked...
PhantomPH said:
Every seen anything like the 166mpg quoted by VW?
I meant cars like this are the future of motoring (mostly as a stop gap until full electric cars are affordable, the technology is refined and the infrastructure is in place); where you can drive zero emissions in towns as well as electric only on the average commute.

Dblue

2,826 posts

130 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
Ran a GTE for a year and 15k miles and it replaced a GTD. My wife has a GTi PP so I have tried every flavour.
The GTE is fabulously economical if you are assiduous in pluging it in (though it currently will not take a charge or at best intermittently and the dealer has failed to diagnose the problem)
In those circumstances a genuine 90-100mpg is possible. BUT the reality is outside regular commuting it will give the same or less than the mileage of the GTD.
Whilst it is quiet and in GTEMode will deliver a decent performance its only a match for the GTD and some way behind the GTi.
More importantly it feels all its extra weight when your trying hard. Wallows a lot more and undertseers for England.
GTD handles quite a bit better and the GTi is far superior

Big GT

408 posts

22 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
I've just ordered one for the better half as she does under 20 miles a day so the theory being it can be run as an EV most of the time.
These make so much sense for short commutes. Then if needed the GTE mode gives it over 200bhp and recharges the batteries. These are the present and make more sense than EV only as you don't have the range anxiety.
For motorway driving the GTD is better as the GTE is using a small engine to lug heavy batteries around.

MagicalTrevor

6,169 posts

159 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
What colour is the one in the photos? I've ordered one in Isaac Blue

Dale487

643 posts

53 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all

Thanks Dblue & Big GT - you've confirmed my feelings about the Golf GTE.

baysis

41 posts

92 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
To answer a few questions:
My car is Carbon Grey metallic, the handling is not as sharp as the GTi overall but I'm not sure whether that is to do with the extra weight of the batteries or the softer suspension the GTE has, it does suffer from torque steer under heavy acceleration on poorly surfaced or wet roads but the understeer is kept in check by the e-diff.
The DSG box does work really well and I would recommend anyone thinking about a new car to try one first, they are very different to auto boxes and make long journeys or being stuck in traffic a lot easier to deal with.
The boot is very small compared to the standard cars, though the seats fold flat and you get a flat load space all the way through, I'm not going to pretend it can swallow a lot of luggge with the seats up though.
It is a plug-in hybrid and I get about 25 miles range without A/C or heating on and about 15 in the winter when I have everything running... not great as an 'electric car' but as a company car it is big saving on company car tax which means there is still huge demand in our company for them.
You cannot tow anything with a VW hybrid though!
Forget mpg etc it is impossible to calculate it that simply... my car costs about £0.08 per mile to run (fuel only cost) on a mix of short/long petrol/hybrid/electric journeys

Benstermin

29 posts

156 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
You can tow with the GTE.

https://speakev.com/threads/towing-with-a-gte.1187...

Edited by Benstermin on Monday 4th September 13:09

Gswizzle

1 posts

9 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
i have had the same issues with my stereo and also a message on the dash board most weeks "please park and report to service centre". Vw can't find anything wrong with it. but they don't seem to know much about them at all. i am lucky to get 38mpg out of it never mind the 166mpg advertised. i get about 1mpg difference between GTI mode and hybrid. find the car to heavy personally and not sporty at all. can't wait till the lease ends in a few months.

PhantomPH

2,964 posts

155 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
Gswizzle said:
i am lucky to get 38mpg out of it never mind the 166mpg advertised.
At the risk of covering ground no doubt discussed elsewhere on PH, how on earth can that be acceptable in this day and age? VW got flayed for their diesel stuff, but surely this kind of thing is just a litigation time bomb waiting to happen?

I also recently heard a story about someone (who admittedly uses the car like it's a sportscar) only getting 20mpg from their BMW i8. I remember the i8 being lined up alongside the V8 M3 as an example of the car of the future, saving the planet etc etc whilst the M3 was a dinosaur...erm...not in reality, no.

TooMany2cvs

25,364 posts

56 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
PhantomPH said:
Gswizzle said:
i am lucky to get 38mpg out of it never mind the 166mpg advertised.
At the risk of covering ground no doubt discussed elsewhere on PH, how on earth can that be acceptable in this day and age?
It's very simple - it would be illegal for them to give any OTHER figure but that 166mpg, because that's what came out of the official economy test.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/vca/fcb/the-fuel-consumption...


The official economy test is just not set up for hybrids. It dates back to 2001, amended slightly in 2008.

Ahbefive

10,797 posts

102 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
So by most accounts this is a pretty useless hybrid. Great.

TooMany2cvs

25,364 posts

56 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
Ahbefive said:
So by most accounts this is a pretty useless hybrid. Great.
Aren't they all?

darren f

640 posts

143 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
Another GTE company car driver here wavey I have had it since Dec '16, 9k miles so far and as it is a CC I'm reasonably pleased with it. Journey length is key as regards economy- the EL range is low 20s miles (the dashboard range of 30-31m is a joke). My commute is 21 miles each way, so I can use the EL up one way and gain some regeneration in GTE mode on the return to usually get a split of 25/26 EL / 16/15 petrol. Add this to some shorter journeys on EL only I can usually see around 100mpg, like the OP my (or my company's) running cost is about 8p/mile. If you ran one and did <20 miles a day you'd never put petrol in it and would be running at 4p/mile on off peak tariff EL.
Driving wise, you know it has heavy old batteries under the boot. I've never pushed it anywhere near the limit, but the understeer Is very apparent. If you do try to exploit the performance (petrol, GTE mode with EL motor assist) it will shift, but the EL range will disappear super quick. Another disadvantage is the fuel tank size (8g I think) again compromised by the batteries. If you do long journeys and rely on the ICE only, the 35 or so mpg doesn't give a massive range, especially if you are used to derv car ranges. Plus plugging it in and disconnecting is a bit of a 'bind' sometimes, if you want a quick getaway. Although the VW app to schedule defrosting and heating the interior just before you leave on winter mornings does offset that minus!

Dale487

643 posts

53 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
darren f said:
Another GTE company car driver here wavey I have had it since Dec '16, 9k miles so far and as it is a CC I'm reasonably pleased with it. Journey length is key as regards economy- the EL range is low 20s miles (the dashboard range of 30-31m is a joke). My commute is 21 miles each way, so I can use the EL up one way and gain some regeneration in GTE mode on the return to usually get a split of 25/26 EL / 16/15 petrol. Add this to some shorter journeys on EL only I can usually see around 100mpg, like the OP my (or my company's) running cost is about 8p/mile. If you ran one and did <20 miles a day you'd never put petrol in it and would be running at 4p/mile on off peak tariff EL.
Driving wise, you know it has heavy old batteries under the boot. I've never pushed it anywhere near the limit, but the understeer Is very apparent. If you do try to exploit the performance (petrol, GTE mode with EL motor assist) it will shift, but the EL range will disappear super quick. Another disadvantage is the fuel tank size (8g I think) again compromised by the batteries. If you do long journeys and rely on the ICE only, the 35 or so mpg doesn't give a massive range, especially if you are used to derv car ranges. Plus plugging it in and disconnecting is a bit of a 'bind' sometimes, if you want a quick getaway. Although the VW app to schedule defrosting and heating the interior just before you leave on winter mornings does offset that minus!
The Golf GTE strikes me as a great 48 weeks of the year car for the average commuter - as it's imperfect to go on holiday with if there's more than 2 of you (boot is too small) or drive a long distance (fuel tank too small), need to carry you & the better half the 2.4 children & more than a pushchair or if you're on a really "spirited" drive (carrying 2 propulsion systems compromises the handling compared to other Golfs). Plus it doesn't seem to make as much sense if you're a private buyer compared to company car drivers.

I want to like the GTE but it doesn't make sense compared to a GTI for my current situation. Maybe the MK8 - I know we've only just got the MK7.5 - will solve some of these issues or an estate version would do pretty much the same.

WCZ

5,283 posts

124 months

Monday 4th September 2017
quotequote all
TooMany2cvs said:
Aren't they all?
imo yes, we have gte's and c350E hybrids on our fleet and they are absolutely awful, esp the merc which is the worst I've ever driven
the added weight just can't be disguised and there just isnt enough power