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Our Fleet Test Drive: Volkswagen Golf GTE - 6th report

Date: 21 April 2016   |   Author: Guy Bird

Hiding on the blind side of the gearstick on our right-hand drive Golf GTE (it's on the driver-side and easier to see on left-hand drive versions) is the formerly mysterious GTE ('Gran Turismo Electricity') button.

Since its discovery, it's been my default setting when sportier driving conditions allow and offers GTI ('Injection') performance motoring with a hybrid twist.

Press the button and the suspension adjusts to match the road surface and driving situation (via adaptive chassis control), steering becomes firmer (through reduced power-assistance) and gearshift points and dynamic cornering lights are changed to be quicker and more responsive. All of which makes small and twisty roads considerably more fun than I've had in any other hybrid.

But the best news of all for those wishing to keep a little shine on their eco halo, is that every time you take your foot off the accelerator the regenerative braking kicks in with some panache (but no jolt) to harvest the spare energy and tuck it into the battery for electric driving later. In under 100 miles of driving I soon 'won back' 12 miles of electric charge and used them in a stop-start traffic jam where no sportiness was required, or indeed possible. Good stuff.


Verdict


  • Electric option
  • Comfy interior
  • Not using electric option enough
  • Real-world mpg

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