VW opens its order books to the Golf eHybrid priced from £32,995 OTR offering fuel economy of up to 235 mpg (WLTP, combined) – as well as a pure-electric range of 44 miles on a full charge, Electric Road takes a closer look.
The new five-door Golf becomes available in the UK as Volkswagen works to broaden already-strong interest in its plug-in hybrid Golf, which to this point has been represented here solely by the sporty Golf GTE. Sitting beneath the 245 PS GTE, the new 204 PS eHybrid model is offered exclusively in luxurious ‘Style’ trim, meaning that this sprightly yet frugal new offering is as well-appointed as it is well-engineered.
The new plug-in hybrid drive makes it possible for the Golf to become a zero tailpipe-emission vehicle when running on pure-electric power only. Comprising a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery that is located beneath the rear bench seat, the drive system provides a compelling combination of minimum consumption and impressive power delivery. The 204 PS Golf eHybrid produces maximum torque of 350 Nm practically from a standing start. Channelled to the front wheels via a six-speed DSG transmission, that is enough to propel this new model from rest to 62 mph in only 7.4 seconds, before going on to a top speed of 137 mph (where permitted).
Around town, practically all short-distance trips are possible in the Golf eHybrid with zero tailpipe emissions. The car’s full electric range of 44 miles (WLTP combined) on a full charge, allied to the fact that the Golf eHybrid always starts journeys in all-electric E-MODE if the battery is sufficiently charged (except at battery temperatures of below -10°C), means that all-electric running will probably become the norm for many drivers.
Moreover, since the Golf eHybrid can also be driven in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 80 mph (where permitted), motorways can also be covered under purely electric power if desired. It is also possible to reserve electric energy during longer journeys in order to guarantee that it is possible to drive in E-MODE, with zero local tailpipe emissions, in a built-up area at the destination. At the start of the journey, the driver simply enters the percentage of the battery capacity that must be reserved in the infotainment system. The battery also does not have to be fully charged at the start of the journey for this to function effectively, since the lithium-ion unit can also be charged during the trip via both the TSI engine and brake energy recuperation.
A full charge of the battery in the Golf eHybrid is normally performed via an external power supply. A charge port is provided in the front wing on the driver’s side into which the charging cable is plugged. Depending on the power source, charging takes place with 2.3 or 3.6 kW alternating current (AC). When supplied with 230 volts at 2.3 kW via the normal domestic grid, the battery is fully charged in five hours if it had previously been completely empty. If the power source is a Volkswagen wall box or a charging station with 360 volts and a charging cable designed for 3.6 kW, the charging time is reduced to three hours and 40 minutes.
The battery charger manages charging fully automatically –all the driver has to do is to connect the plugs. The driver can also control the time at which charging takes place via the infotainment system or using the We Connect app on a smartphone, in order to benefit from cheaper off-peak electricity.
The Golf eHybrid features the now familiar 1.4-litre TSI (EA 211) engine, as well as a HEM80evo type electric drive motor on board. In order to be able to travel in E-MODE in town at the end of a longer trip, Volkswagen has reconfigured the operating modes of the hybrid system and therefore simplified battery recharging during the journey. Instead of five operating modes as with the previous generation Golf GTE, there are now two in the Golf eHybrid: E-MODE (all-electric driving) and Hybrid (automatic or manual changeover between electric motor and TSI engine).
Generously equipped, the Golf eHybrid Style features a raft of standard-fit kit including the likes of Volkswagen’s sophisticated Digital Cockpit Pro (digital instruments); a ‘Discover Media’ navigation system including streaming and internet, DAB+, and mobile phone interface with inductive charging function; Dynamic Road Sign Display; a multifunction leather steering wheel; sports comfort seats; Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist lane keeping system; Front Assist Autonomous Emergency Braking; Air Care Climatronic automatic air conditioning; a start/stop system with brake energy recuperation; the pioneering Car2X local warning system; new Keyless Start keyless comfort start function; LED Plus headlights and LED tail light clusters; as well as smart 16-inch ‘San Antonio’ alloy wheels.
Reflecting on the compelling offer created by the new Golf eHybrid, Volkswagen UK Head of Fleet Nick O’Neill said: “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.
“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 7% – 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.”