Volkswagen hybrid cars Discover the hybrid Volkswagen range and compare new, used, and leasing deals
Volkswagen is best-known for its conventionally powered combustion-engined cars, and is becoming increasingly well know for its range of ID pure-electric cars. However, the German brand does offer a surprisingly wide range of models that split the difference and offer a bit of both: hybrid power, in other words. In this handy guide, we’ll take you through all of VW’s hybrid offerings, and let you know whether they’re any good or not.
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Volkswagen hybrid range: current models
From compact hatchbacks to huge people-movers, there’s a Volkswagen hybrid for every need.
The latest Golf 8 can actually be had in two plug-in hybrid forms, the Golf eHybrid and the Golf GTE. Both use the combination of a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor, but the eHybrid develops 204hp and has an electric-only range of 42 miles (according to official WLTP figures), while the GTE ups the power to 245hp, but at the cost of the electric-only range, which drops to 37 miles. The eHybrid looks like a regular Golf, while the GTE gets a similar sporty makeover to the Golf GTI hot hatch. Whichever you choose, you get the same classic Golf traits of a smart cabin, a comfortable yet enjoyable driving experience and plenty of tech.
Volkswagen’s arrestingly styled fastback family car, the Arteon, is also available in plug-in hybrid form. Again, a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine is teamed with an electric motor (you’ll probably notice a pattern here as you continue reading…), a combination that this time sends 218hp to the front wheels via a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. A full charge of the battery gives 37 miles of all-electric range, according to official WLTP figures. Then again, those figures also suggest average fuel economy of 256mpg, so believe them at your peril.
Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake
Yup, the eHybrid plug-in drivetrain is also available in the Arteon Shooting Brake bodystyle. The extra bodywork means that the fuel economy falls to a still-implausible 235mpg, but the rest of the numbers are very similar to the regular Arteon’s. If you’re looking for a ‘proper’ estate car, the Arteon might not fit the bill, because to a degree, it sacrifices practicality at the altar of style. The boot is half-decent size (the hybrid loses a lot of cargo space compared with the regular version, mind), but the big boot lip makes it awkward to load heavy items and the rear seats don’t fold completely flat. Otherwise, the car is pure Volkswagen: quiet and comfortable to drive, posh-feeling inside, and with plenty of space for passengers.
Volkswagen Passat Estate
Here’s where things start to get a little confusing in terms of Volkswagen’s naming conventions. With the Golf, the term eHybrid refers to the less powerful 204hp version of the plug-in hybrid drivetrain, while GTE is used for the more powerful 245hp version. Well, although the Passat Estate is offered with exactly the same 218hp system as the Arteon, upon which its referred to as the eHybrid, it’s labelled as GTE on the Passat. Lost? Us, too. Either way, the numbers are compelling, with an electric-only range of up to 37 miles. And unlike the Shooting Brake we’ve just talked about, the Passat is what you’d call a proper estate: the boot isn’t as massive as the regular Passat’s, but it’s still big and the space is squarely shaped and easy to access. What’s more, the Passat is generally comfortable and pleasant, both to drive and to sit in.
Ready to be confused about names once again? Well, the Tiguan has exactly the same 245hp powertrain found in the Golf GTE, yet it’s called the eHybrid. Nothing like consistency, eh Volkswagen? The numbers are slightly down on VW’s other PHEV cars so far, probably due to the Tiguan’s loftier stance, but official figures suggest it’ll still do up to 34 electric-only miles on a full charge, equating to an average fuel economy of just over 200mpg. The Tiguan is an impressive car in lots of other ways, too, with good practicality (although the eHybrid has a smaller boot than other Tiguans, it’s still good), a comfortable and sophisticated driving experience, and plenty of tech.
Up until now, every Volkswagen PHEV we’ve talked about has used some variation of the same drivetrain, based around a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Well, obviously, that’s not going to wash in a car as massive and as luxurious as the Touareg, VW’s range-topping flagship SUV, so this car uses a powertrain based on a 3.0-litre turbocharged unit. There are two versions, both with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox: the eHybrid develops 381hp, while the range-topping R performance model hikes that to a staggering 462hp. And despite being bigger cars with bigger engines than VW’s other hybrids, both versions will still do 31 miles on electric-only power, so they’re not that far behind the rest. Otherwise, the Touareg offers a roomy and practical cabin with lots of standard equipment, plus its a comfortable and relaxing car to drive.
Rounding off Volkswagen’s PHEV range is the Multivan eHybrid. This huge van-based people carrier has the same 218hp drivetrain found in the Arteon and Passat, although given the extra size of the vehicle, it’s no surprise that the numbers are down a wee bit. The WLTP all-electric range stands at a shade under 30 miles, while average fuel consumption is given at around 157mpg. Compared with other van-based MPVs, though, there’s somehow an undeniable coolness about the Multivan, especially when specified with the (albeit hugely expensive) two-tone paint job. And unsurprisingly, the combination of huge space and seven fiendishly clever seats means that the car has an almost obscene level of practicality, while also being pleasant to drive and stuffed with standard equipment.
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