£31,680 Price range
The spacious and dynamic Volkswagen e-Golf is a superb offering among an ever-increasing number of EVs.
The five-door, fully electric e-Golf is similar in appearance to the normal Golf lineup and it’s available in decently appointed SEL Premium trim. It’s distinguished from the normal model by the covered grille, LED lighting and distinctive wheels. The price of the VW e-Golf is slightly higher than other electric cars but it’s quality is indisputable.
Even with the lithium-ion battery set under the front and back seats, it still has the same passenger capacity as the standard Golf. Also, the low-slung battery allows the e-Golf to keep the same great handling because the low-down weight adds stability.
Keep in mind that the availability of the e-Golf is limited and it’s only sold at a selected number of dealers only.
The practical interior of the e-Golf is effectively unchanged over the standard Golf models. You’ll find that blue stitching, accent colours on the trim and the power dial are the only differences in the otherwise familiar interior.
The cabin is outfitted with decently grained materials that are delicate to the touch and, although the general configuration lacks the flair of some rivals, it all feels beautifully constructed. The central data display is also easy to use with buttons on the steering wheel.
A 5.8-inch touch-screen is conveniently readable and can be used to display the rear-view camera. The navigation system, as with many VW products, is clear and easy to follow.
When travelling long distances, you will not have to sacrifice comfort. The front seats give adequate support and don’t compromise the rear-seat passengers’ legroom. The e-Golf has sufficient leg and shoulder room to make the cabin feel open but the low-mounted back seat pads don’t offer the best thigh support for longer-legged travellers.
Boot space and storage
The packaging of the batteries under the floor means there is a small penalty in the boot space. It’s about 40-litres smaller than the standard Golf’s, reducing the storage capacity from 380-litres to 341-litres. It’s worth mentioning this is still bigger than a Ford Focus’.
The healthy amount of torque from the e-Golf’s electric motor makes it a good fit for city driving. Like all electric motor-powered vehicles, all the thrust is available the second you step on the accelerator so, around town, it can feel surprisingly fast.
The e-Golf offers four unique levels of regenerative braking the driver can choose to control the rate of battery recharge. This is helpful in slow-moving traffic helping you extend range and enhance efficiency. Additionally, three different modes of driving the e-Golf are offered – Normal, Eco and Eco Plus which can be selected via the touch-screen.
Stable handling and an exceptionally steady ride are an inherent advantage of the batteries’ low-down location in the vehicle. Its power steering gives a smooth response and it feels almost as agile as a normal Golf.
Also due to the lack of combustion engine, the e-Golf is remarkably quiet at all speeds. A major drawback is that acceleration recedes slightly at very high speeds so it isn’t the perfect vehicle for long motorway journeys but one can easily drive it well in highway traffic.
The 24.2kWh battery weighs 318kg and delivers 113hp via the electric motor. When connected to a household electricity socket, it takes approximately 13 hours to charge completely. This can be reduced to only four hours with a high capacity charger.
Volkswagen claims, on full charge, the hatchback can run 118 miles. Bear in mind that this figure will drop slightly in use and, if you do lots of motorway miles, it’ll drop even more significantly.
We do wish, though, that the visual signal for showing the state-of-charge was more prominent than a small pulsating signal.
The VW e-Golf includes traction control, front and side-curtain airbags as well as anti-lock brakes as standard. Front and back parking sensors along with the rearview camera are also present to help you manoeuvre.
An additional high-tech safety feature is the post-collision braking mechanism which halts the hatchback after a crash to prevent any further collisions. This is useful in a collision if the driver is unable to control the car to avoid secondary impacts. In the test of brakes, the VW e-Golf comes to a halt from 60mph within 117 feet which is remarkable for its class. Currently, the only EV with a better braking system is the BMW i3.
Volkswagen’s Car-Net emergency telematics service sends an auto-generated crash message in a collision, remote vehicle access, geo-fencing (to control where it can drive) and roadside assistance. Android and Apple apps allow the driver to control these features through their smartphone.
Euro NCAP gave the e-Golf good ratings for protection in rear impacts, side impacts and small and moderate frontal-offset impacts.
The 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf is pricey, costing from £25,845. Unlike Nissan, BMW or Renault, however, VW is not providing a battery lease deal. Once the price is covered, the maintenance costs will be low because electric motors have few moving parts. There’s no road tax or congestion charge to be paid so, once you own the vehicle, the running costs are pretty reasonable.
Whether you should go for this model depends entirely on your motoring needs. If you require a car for inner city commuting and have convenient access to high power electric charging, it is a nice alternative to the other hatchbacks running on petrol or diesel.
The Volkswagen e-Golf is well engineered and confers the same exceptional feel as other seventh-generation Golf models. It brags the kind of practicality expected of a Golf. The winning factor is its simplicity of operation. In spite of an array of drive modes, it is exceptionally fuss-free to drive and handle.
The driving range is limited, like other EVs, which makes it an urban warrior only. So, if you need a family-sized electric vehicle to cover smaller distances, the e-Golf is one the best. It’s refined at higher speeds, more practical and more spacious than rivals in this class.
Although the Volkswagen e-Golf is an expensive option for an EV, the features and practicality of this vehicle are remarkable. The standard finish of the Volkswagen Golf series makes the interior feel so familiar. If a refined drive and good build quality are the characteristics you’re searching for in an EV, then you need to test drive this car.