The facelifted Volkswagen Golf is officially here, and while the all-electric version hasn’t magically reappeared in the German company’s lineup, the plug-in hybrid versions of the hatchback got significant improvements.
As before, the two plug-in Golfs are called eHybrid and GTE, the latter being a sort of electrified version of the iconic GTI.
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The new plug-in hybrid Golf seems like a great choice for commuters
The facelifted Volkswagen Golf in plug-in hybrid variety offers up to 62 miles of all-electric range (in the WLTP test, we assume). It can also be recharged at up to 50 kW and has a maximum range of about 620 miles with a full tank of gasoline.
Both are powered by a 1.5-liter TSI eco2 gasoline engine that works in tandem with an electric motor that gets juice from a 19.7-kilowatt-hour battery pack. According to Volkswagen, both versions can drive for up to 62 miles on electricity alone (on the WLTP cycle, we assume) and up to 620 miles in hybrid mode.
Recharging the high-voltage battery can be done from an AC source at up to 11 kilowatts, or from a DC fast charger at speeds up to 50 kW.
Power-wise, the eHybrid makes a combined 201 horsepower, while the GTE ups the figure to a more hot hatch-like 268 hp, which is actually 6 hp more than what the GTI is capable of with its 2.0-liter engine. The eHybrid and GTE transfer power to the wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox (the GTI has a seven-speed DSG).
That said, we’ll only get the Golf GTI here in the United States, making us a bit envious of Europeans who can get their hands on the plug-in hybrids. That’s because they went through some serious upgrades that make them a compelling choice for drivers who spend time both in cities, where the all-electric range comes in handy, and on long trips, where the gasoline engine can alleviate the range anxiety that some EV owners experience on high-mileage trips.
Gallery: Volkswagen Golf GTE (2024)
Compared to the previous iterations, the new plug-in hybrid Golf versions have a high-voltage battery that’s 9.1 kWh bigger (19.7 kWh vs. 10.6 kWh previously), more all-electric range (62 miles vs 50 miles on the outgoing models), a slightly bigger gasoline engine (1.5 liters vs 1.4 liters before), and about 27 hp extra in the case of the GTE.
The charging speeds are also higher. The outgoing models could top up at 3.6 kW from a home charger (the new ones go up to 11 kW), and DC fast charging was non-existent.
Inside, there’s a new infotainment system that runs on VW’s fourth-generation MIB4 system. It brings new graphics, a new menu structure, and it’s simpler to operate than its predecessor.
Two screen sizes will be available for all of the new Golf versions, either a 10.4-inch touchscreen or a 12.9-inch unit as the top-of-the-line option. Beneath the screen, there are illuminated touch sliders for temperature and volume control, but they lack haptic feedback and there are no other physical knobs that can be used instead.
Volkswagen Golf GTE (2024) interior
Outside, the facelifted Volkswagen Golf features newly designed LED headlights, slightly revised LED taillights, and a new front bumper, so you’ll still be able to easily identify one if you see it down the road. Optionally, so-called performance headlights will be available as part of a package that includes a horizontal LED light strip in the radiator grille and an illuminated VW badge. Because BMW and Mercedes-Benz can’t be the only ones offering light-up logos on their cars, right?
But what about those plug-in hybrids? We think they would have a place here in the U.S. where long commutes are typically the name of the game. Let us know in the comments if you agree.