“You’ll almost forget it’s electric” is Volkswagen’s bold and controversial claim of its 2015 all-electric e-Golf. The iconic VW Golf — now in its fortieth year — has fully embraced the future of technology with an all-electric model and a plug-in hybrid thanks to VW’s MQB platform where pretty much any drivetrain can be fitted to the Golf shell.
Last week, we gave you our quick charge review of the e-Golf as Nikki and Mark got behind the wheel of this all-electric car for the first time, but how does VW’s first foray into a modern all-electric car hold up against the competition after a week’s worth of daily driving?
The e-Golf isn’t a budget electric car. Starting at £31,145 (before incentives) in the UK, it is priced to compare with top end of the Nissan LEAFs spec (Tekna).
But let’s remember, when the LEAF first came out, it only had one spec level like the e-Golf. It’s only as time has gone on that the LEAF has gained additional levels of trim.
However unlike the LEAF at launch that only had one option in the UK, the e-Golf can be personalised with different add-ons – much like the BMW i3 when that first launched.
Out of the i3 and LEAF, the LEAF is the better comparison for this car. The standard and rapid charging options are nearly on par (albeit using different connectors) and the range is nearly identical.
However where the e-Golf comes into its own is the hold on the road and the driving feel. It feels more connected to the road – less like floating on a cloud and more like being suctioned to the road.
The e-Golf provides more of a direct driving experience and with that comes more user control. Regeneration levels can be switched on the fly with a simple flick of the ‘gearstick’, including switching it off completely.
As standard the e-Gold comes with:
- LED headlights
- LED running lights
- Alloy wheels
- Rapid charging (CCS)
- Parking sensors
Optional extras include:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Parking assist
- Leather interior
- Lane assist
Nikki felt that the e-Golf in the UK had let itself down by not having 7kW charging as even an option. As that is available in the U.S. it is baffling as to why the European version still has the older 3kW charger rather than the more modern 7kW option. Due to this she gives the e-Golf 7.5 out of 10 for the UK version and 8.5 out of 10 for the U.S. version, taking into consideration some of the extra bells and whistles (like a reversing camera) not included as standard in the UK.
Mark gave the e-Golf 8 out of 10 citing the ability to turn off regenerative braking and how well thought-out the car was as his reasons for doing so. “The car does everything a LEAF does to the same standard or better, with only one exception being the charging.”
Volkswagen e-Golf total score: 16.5/10 (U.S.), 15.5/10 (UK)
Did the car live up to the “You’ll almost forget it’s electric” claim. The simple answer is ‘yes’. The e-Golf is a car first and foremost. The fact that it is powered by electricity is just a small part of what makes this car what it is.
As with all of our Charged Up reviews, we’d love to hear your opinions of this new car. And if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, we certainly recommend taking the e-Golf for a spin at your local electric-certified Volkswagen dealer.
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