Volkswagen e-Golf

A sporty favorite goes electric

The electric version of Volkswagen's Golf is comparable to other offerings on the market, but with nice additions like LED headlights. (Courtesy of Volkswagen)
volkswagen e golf cars autos electric car

The Sell: The “people’s” carmaker goes EV for a lot less money than BMW and Mercedes.

The Test: When Volkswagen converted the standard Golf into electric ($35,445; 126 city, 105 hwy, MPGe), it kept everything but the power source as Golf-like as possible (heated seats, ultra-precise drivetrain).

The e-Golf’s handling was predictable, poised, and stable while practicing a few maneuvers on Virginia highways and dirt roads. It’s also sportier than the Nissan Leaf. VW even gave the e-Golf all-season, rather than range-extending, tires. We’ve found that all-season rubber maintains wet- and cold-weather traction, while low-rolling-resistance tires give up grip as soon as temperatures dip below 40 degrees.

Its 83-mile range is on par with the competition, but the e-Golf also comes standard with goodies like fast-charging navigation and LED headlights. Metrics should also include utility, and there the e-Golf pulls past its rivals. The 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space easily bests the Mercedes B-Class, the Honda Fit, and the high-riding Porsche Macan.

Flip down the e-Golf’s second-row seats, and the e-Golf matches the Fit and the Porsche for bike-ski-backpack-swallowing utility. It beats the cargo capacity of the Leaf by 75 percent. (Granted, the Leaf, with a starting price of $29,010, costs about $6,000 less than the e-Golf.)

What’s Missing? A lower price. VW’s Golf TDI sells for $21,995 and gets an impressive 45 mpg on the highway. Even with federal and state tax credits on the e-Golf, it’d take years to break even on that cost discrepancy.

The Verdict: A Golf in every single way, save the means of propulsion.

Filed To: Cars
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