QuickCharge Review: 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Electric Car

It’s been a while since our last Quick Charge, so we thought it was high time we reminded you what our double-whammy QuickCharge and ChargedUp video reviews are about. 

Unlike other auto magazines and websites, we here at Transport Evolved like to put new cars through their paces by carrying out a two-part review, recording our initial thoughts the first time we step behind the wheel using basic smartphones, and then filming a more considered, professional-style review after living with the car for a week. 

Today, we’re giving you our initial thoughts on the Volkswagen e-Golf, Volkswagen’s first mass-produced, all-electric compact car.

We put the e-Golf through its paces.

Following in the tire tracks of the the Volkswagen e-Up!, the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf is Volkswagen’s second modern production vehicle. Built on the same MQB platform as the rest of the Mark VII Volkswagen Golf Family, it looks almost identical to any other Volkswagen Golf from a distance, but is powered by an 85 kilowatt front-wheel drive electric motor and a 24.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Developing a total of 119 pound-feet of torque, the 85 kilowatt electric motor can accelerate the Volkswagen e-Golf from 0-602 mph in just over 10 seconds, with an electronically-limited top speed of 87 mph. On paper, that puts it on par with the 2015 Nissan LEAF hatchback, both in terms of performance and range, managing a total EPA-rated 83 miles per charge at an overall consumption of 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles (116 MPGe)

But what does Nikki think about the Volkswagen e-Golf ? Although she admits driving the Volkswagen e-Golf before, this is the first time she’s had any length of time with the e-Golf in the real world.

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Unlike many electric cars on the market, the Volkswagen e-Golf is surprisingly — and refreshingly — conventional on the inside. In fact, after spending some time with it, both Nikki and Mark think it would be tough to differentiate it from a gasoline Golf until you start to drive away.

With clear dashboard instrumentation and function-over fashion interior, the e-Golf feels very business-like. That said, it’s very well-built and solid, and despite heavy use of plastic, doesn’t feel cheaply built.

One of the most useful features of the e-Golf is its multi-mode gear selector, which allows you to select the amount of regenerative braking applied on accelerator liftoff. This is controlled by tapping the gear selector from side to side.

Like the e-Up!, the Volkswagen e-Golf uses the combined charging system (CCS): a Type 2 (Mennekes) connector in Europe and J-1772 connector in the U.S.  with two extra pins slung underneath for rapid charging. When connected to a compatible CCS charging system, this can charge the e-Golf’s battery pack from empty to 80 percent full in around 30 minutes.

In Europe, the Volkswagen e-Golf’s on-board charger is rated at 3.3 kilowatts, meaning a regular AC charge from a domestic or public Type 2 charging station takes between 6 and 8 hours from empty to full. In the U.S. however, the e-Golf comes with a more powerful 7.7 kilowatt on-board charger, meaning recharging from empty to full from a Level 2 charging station can take as little as 4 hours.

Like Nikki, who has owned and driven several Volkswagens over the years, Mark has owned VWs. Let’s see what he thinks.

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The Volkswagen e-Golf is on sale across Europe and in key markets in the U.S. In the UK, the Volkswagen e-Golf starts at £30,845 before government incentives; in Germany, it’s available from €34,900 before incentives; and in the U.S., you can pick one up before incentives from $36,265.

Do you agree with Nikki and Mark’s initial impressions of the e-Golf? Have you driven one? Are you tempted to try one out?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below, and don’t forget to come back next Thursday, when we’ll be sharing our full, considered opinions of the Volkswagen e-Golf in our ChargedUp review.

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Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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