Rare Test Drive Review Of Longer Range 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf In NA – Video

3 weeks ago by Mark Kane 62

Volkswagen e-Golf tested by Model 3 Owners Club???

The Model 3 Owners Club found and tested the 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf in Canada, which is equipped with a larger battery pack that holds nearly 50% more energy than the previous version (35.8 kWh compared to 24.2 kWh – the first longer range copies arrive in September in the US).

Volkswagen e-Golf Touch Concept (with 300 km/186 miles range NEDC) earlier debuted in Paris in September

The range improved from 83 miles up to 125 miles (200 km) under the EPA test cycle (and 300 km NEDC). Range gets a further boost thanks to the use of a  heat pump.

According to the review, the new e-Golf is very fine car to drive. It’s quiet, smooth and has excellent fit and finish.

The only problem with the e-Golf is that Volkswagen is a few years behind the cutting edge as the new goal for 2017-2018 electric cars is 200 mile of range or so.

“In this segment we take the brand new 2018 VW E-GOLF for a Test drive. Please note this is the Canadian version so it might differ from the US version.”

“Base price for the E-Golf in Canada is $35,999. The tech package is $2300 and so is the drive assistance package. Custom colours over the standard 9 cost an additional $2900. In Ontario after the $14,000 rebate, will result in a base net cost of just under $26,700 after taxes. Not bad at all!”

2018 Volkswagen e-Golf battery

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62 responses to "Rare Test Drive Review Of Longer Range 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf In NA – Video"

  1. 2013VOLT says:

    That convoluted mess of a battery pack is what you get when you adapt an ICE car into an EV. This is why a dedicated EV platform makes so much sense.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Dedicated EV platform Leaf also lacks thermal management, just like eGolf.

      What is needed is better engineering. If they can make complicated mess called ICE work and pass emissions (which is a miracle of modern engineering), they can certainly squeeze in batteries.

      Unfortunately, eGolf engineering isn’t all that great. $35K for over 3 seconds slower to 60 than Bolt and lacks active thermal management for the batteries? It’s a no-go, especially with new Leaf by later this year.

      1. Nick says:

        No thermal management is better if you can get away with it. It’s just like dropping the transmission for less complexity.

        The first gen LEAF could not get away with it, but the second gen did better. Hopefully the third green will have it licked.

        1. menorman says:

          I’ve seen reports on the various Leaf owner groups that the 30kWh batteries aren’t holding up much better than the first-gen 24kWh models did.

          1. Asak says:

            Leaf battery management system really seems like garbage. It’s ironic that Nissan despite being a “leader” for many years seems to have fallen so woefully behind. Granted, it could partially be because there are so many more Leafs, but it seems like their batteries do not hold up as well as basically anyone else’s.

          2. William says:

            My 2016 30 kWh Leaf was built back on 10/2015. Mileage is at 11 K and NO noticeable drop (leaf spy pro) in battery capacity. Still a full 28 kWh are accessible and useable, of the full 30 kWh battery.

            Your use may vary, like my 2013 Leaf 24 kWh battery (four years old). Now down to less than 19 kWh useable after 46 K miles/ 54 months. A drop of around 14-15% (LSP) of capacity (one bar down).

            1. DangerHV says:

              Thank you William! Please keep us updated on your Leaf battery. Very important info.

        2. unlucky says:

          Except you can’t get away with it. Even if you can get away with it in some use cases it won’t work if you want to DCFC multiple times in a day. Because the pack won’t cool off between, so each subsequent charge is slower and potentially more damaging to the pack.

          The current LEAF suffers from this and if it doesn’t get active liquid cooling the next one will also.

        3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “No thermal management is better if you can get away with it. It’s just like dropping the transmission for less complexity.”

          No, it’s not like that at all.

          Not only does the lack of an active thermal management system prevent the Leaf from being a good car to drive in hot climates, it also prevents the car from charging very fast at DCFCs.

          Now, that’s not to say this will always be the case. If and when EV maker start using solid state batteries, with lower internal resistance and thus not overheating when fast charging or fast discharging, then perhaps EVs will no longer need battery cooling systems.

          But so long as plug-in EVs are using the current type of li-ion batteries, they definitely need an active cooling system.

        4. SJC says:

          They can make an air cooled pack with less fade but they don’t. Anyone who has designed electronics with air cooling can do a better job.

      2. Mark.ca says:

        For some reason the eGolf batteries hold out very well. I don’t fast charge so mine of course has 0 degradation after more than a year but i have yet to see any reports of problems on the forums from others that do.
        The new range is not that bad but with the new leaf given much needed plastic surgery the eGolf may be dead. I still like the design of the eGolf better but not enough to pay more and give up 20-30 miles of range.

      3. Asak says:

        With my e-Golf, I’m pretty sure that sometimes when it’s charging a fan comes on. I think the e-Golf may have some sort of forced air cooling for the battery, even if it doesn’t have liquid cooling. The problem with the Leaf is I don’t think it has anything at all.

    2. Foob says:

      It’s true that it’s not a dedicated BEV platform, but it’s also not an adapted ICE platform. The current Golf was designed to take multiple different drivetrains. It’s no Bolt, but it’s a better car than most of the compliance models.

      1. unlucky says:

        It’s an adapted ICE platform. Sure, they said it was designed with EV power in mind, but the proof is in the pudding. Look at the results. It takes no advantage of the inherent advantages of BEVs and doesn’t fit the needed components in very well.

        Heck, even a Bolt is an adapted ICE platform and it at least takes enough advantage to have a flat floor in the back and a proper trunk (including a wheel well below and a basement in between).

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        It’s a compromise. Just like a Swiss Army knife, it can do several things, but none of them particularly well.

        Using a “multi-drivetrain” platform may not be as bad as the Ford Focus, shoving a battery pack into the trunk, but it’s also not the way to make a truly competitive PEV (Plug-in EV).

        Compelling, competitive PEVs are designed from the ground up.

    3. Michael S says:

      Golf platform was designed to accommodate EV drivetrains from the start. It doesn’t look as “clean” as the skateboard-style design of a Tesla or Bolt EV, but there are benefits to shaping the battery pack to fit the car and by extension passengers. For one, rear seat passesngers get an actual footwell and good thigh support — no awkward knees-in-the-face seating position of a Tesla or Bolt EV, which have high floors.

      1. unlucky says:

        The Bolt EV does not have a high floor nor are your knees in your face.

        You should check one out some time.

        The floor in a Bolt EV is much lower than that of a BMW i3 even though the ground clearance is higher!

        I know you assume that since Tesla has a high floor and an i3 does that you can’t make an EV with a below-floor battery and the floor at a normal level but I guess Chevy didn’t get the same memo.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Right. Tesla cars don’t have limited rear headroom because the higher floor forces that; they have limited headroom because Tesla insists on designing cars which slope sharply at the back to reduce drag.

          It’s a choice by the car designer, not a limitation of the skateboard platform. I have no doubt that over the next few years we will see skateboard PEVs with straight roof lines and plenty of rear seat headroom, just as many current SUVs and CUVs have.

    4. Asak says:

      It’s not an elegant shape, but does that matter so much? The biggest problem right now is the range still isn’t there. However, VW may be on to something here, because as energy density increases 200 miles will basically come to them, rather than them having to design for it.

      Within 5 years the battery capacity in the same area should put the e-Golf in the high 100s. It’s not as good as a dedicated EV platform, but it may be good enough.

  2. leafowner says:

    Would have been great if it was launched in 2015…..

    1. Brian says:

      True to VW’s history. They were 2 years behind Nissan with the first eGolf, and they are 2 years behind with the upgrade. Ford, interestingly enough, is right between them, following Nissan by a year with both the original Focus EV and the 33kWh upgrade.

  3. premium salmon says:

    Big European automakers overslept the dawn of e-mobility, regarding both cars and buses.
    OK, for buses it is not the case in some Eastern-Central countries, above all in Poland: see Solaris Urbino 12 Electric being Euroepean Bus of the Year 2017!

    There is no cool and affordable e-car available with a range of even approaching 350 km. The „longer range” i.e. brand new e-Golf is no exeption: <36kWh capacity is no quantum leap, even compared to 24kWh of the previous e-Golf.

    Minor questions: when and how much can the heat pump help in reducing fuel consumption – also if it is no extra cost?

    The price of one kilometer of range is (CAN or USD?) 180, compared with USD 99 for the Bolt / Ampera E. That is some difference!

    The price of one kilometer of range is $180 (CAN or USD?) Comparing with $99 (USD) of the Bolt / Ampera E however makes some difference!

    1. Going Back to the article – it says: “Please note this is the Canadian version so it might differ from the US version”
      and
      “Base price for the E-Golf in Canada is $35,999. The tech package is $2300 and so is the drive assistance package. Custom colours over the standard 9 cost an additional $2900. In Ontario after the $14,000 rebate, will result in a base net cost of just under $26,700 after taxes. Not bad at all!”

      So – They said this is not the US Version, so why would you wonder if the Pricing was in US$ (US Dollars)?

      1. premium salmon says:

        Because if I compare performance for price of different e-cars, I wish to have exact numbers. Also just EV prices 36 000 USD is not 36 000 CAD and $ can mean both.

    2. Birger says:

      That is not correct. Renault has been on the E-car for a long time and is well ahead of most.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault#Electric_vehicle

  4. GreenMD says:

    Is it just me, or does VW have the most bland styling in the entire industry. People at least have opinions on the Prius, Bolt, or Tesla – good or bad. Their electric engineering may be from 2014, but the styling is straight out of 1982.

    1. mxs says:

      Must be you … otherwise how in the world would VW Golf be one of the most successfully sold hatchback designs ever???

      All they need is to throw the body on a BEV chassis and they will reap a lot of benefits in the future.

      1. Mike says:

        I’ve been following the eGolf for a while because we are a VW family and at some point will want one. My Touareg TDI fuel system imploded due to poor fuel quality from Shell (never use Shell diesel) and now I’m afraid to keep the TDI any longer due to the fact that it will happen again and it may not be warranty next time. Just have to wait for VW and the agencies to finish up approving the “fix” so I can get the rest of my settlement.

        I’ve had a Golf TSI as a loaner for over a week and it is a fantastic little car. Once the battery tech catches up to fit in a “multi engine platform” the eGolf will be a winner. I love cars and have driven many types and models as owner and renter. This Golf is at the level of a luxury car in terms of fit, finish and driving dynamics.
        Not everyone wants a funky, compromised deducted EV platform car. Some just want they cars they love already but in an EV option.
        I would pull trigger on the 2018 eGolf but with only 125 range, it can’t get us there and back to the beach or the theme parks.
        With VW required to offer more EV options as part of the TDI settlement, I’m hoping a 200+ mile Golf Sportwagon or Tiguan comes along by 2020. Now that VW is required to dedicate more resources to EV hopefully that will lead to something more substantial.

        1. Mike says:

          No edit feature to fix autocorrect errors… so fix them in your mind if you will

    2. Brian says:

      Some of us like the Golf styling. IMO, it’s the most attractive EV outside of Tesla.

      1. menorman says:

        Yep, and a lot of people really like that it looks essentially the same as the regular Golf.

        1. mxs says:

          They will sell a ton of these, once they throw it on BEV chassis. Question will be, whether they will be able to get enough batteries made ….

      2. unlucky says:

        It’s more attractive than the 3 or X and on the edge versus the S.

    3. Mark.ca says:

      Definitely just you.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        This is one of the most popular cars in Europe.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Well, there is the XL1, a result of extreme engineering for fuel/energy efficiency.

      You might not consider this a valid example because it is a very low production car (125 units), but it is a result of VW engineering, and I think you will agree the styling is anything but bland!

    5. IanL says:

      Obviously, looks are entirely subjective.
      However, I actually agree with you, GreenMD. I too, find Volkswagen styling to be quite tedious. Well, except the Scirocco, I don’t the Scirocco is tedious…however, I do think it’s ugly as sin.

      YMMV.

    6. JustWillimPDX says:

      It looks like a Golf. Seven generations of practical hatchbacks that eschew trendy over-styling, relying instead on a clean, understated shape that ages gracefully. The Golf is iconic, like Porsche’s 911.

      That doesn’t mean your or anyone else is wrong for NOT liking it, but many millions do.

    7. GreenMD says:

      It looks like the vote is about 471,731 to 2 that the Golf looks good, so I learned something today. Thank you, internet 🙂

    8. Christopher says:

      The Prius is painful to look at- almost like a migraine on wheels- the bolt is ok but I prefer the subtle lines and fit) finish of the golf. The Tesla is an attractive car

      1. Mike says:

        Yep. For those who dismiss VW styling as bland, they are in a direct battle with Toyota for leading manufacturer in the world. Toyota decide to go styling crazy and VW didn’t respond.

        The result, VW retook #1 in the world in sales from Toyota even despite the TDI scandal and lost sales from diesel. Numbers don’t lie: conservative styling outsells avant-garde every time.

  5. menorman says:

    If VW can slash $5k off the MSRP, they’ll have a hit on their hands. Contrary to the constant drumbeat in the EV press about how 200 miles is MANDATORY for an EV in 2018, it’s not, especially not with a car like the e-Golf that has a CCS connections available. It’s just that the car with under that range shouldn’t be priced higher than the non-EV version. The e-Golf is a competent offering, the only question is whether VW will actually sell them or leave them as a compliance car in California and Oregon.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      I would guess compliance.

    2. Mike says:

      It’s compliance for now. I would expect the real push to come in 2020-21 with the new Golf and certain deadlines coming up in their settlement. It also gives VW time to let others improve battery techs and then source those improvements from those manufacturers.

  6. Mark C says:

    I looked as close as I could, but unless it is a few inches from the touchscreen, I saw no CD slot nor USB ports.

    Those are a couple of things that (1) date me and (2) annoy me at the same time. BTW, same issue with the Model 3. As it appears the entire industry is going that way, I’ll just have to get used to figuring my best bluetooth option for music.

    1. unlucky says:

      Not having USB ports is odd. Not having a CD slot is normal now.

      You’ll probably have to get Bluetooth or USB keys working for you. A Bolt gives you both options. So does a Focus Electric. I think even a FIAT 500e does.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        Come on people, read the posts…it has both. CD changer in the glove box and usb port to connect with car play behing the cover by the stick.

    2. 95GLX says:

      My 2015 e-Golf has no USB either but CD slot and SD card reader are in the glove box. I drive it 100 miles daily (m-f) and it is a great car. The only thing more range would allow me to do is consider using it for longer trips but that still equates to the same amount of time on a charger, just less stops. 15k miles in 7 months so far.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        So that means they added the CD changer and usb port starting 2016 model year…

    3. Mike says:

      One USB in “ashtray” and SD and CD in glovebox IN 2016. 2018 models add the newer head units to the Golf (finally) and more USB locations.

  7. bartleby says:

    My 2017 golf has the CD player in the glove box and the usb ports under the panel area below the touchscreen… dunno if the 2018 e-golf is the same, but it probably is

  8. Lawrence says:

    I’m done with my eGolf lease at the end of this year.

    ProPilot is steering me (pun) towards the Leaf as its replacement, given that the eGolf will be about the same price.

    1. Mister G says:

      Buyer beware, my 2016 Leaf SV lost 3 bars of charge at 22k miles…not good.

      1. William says:

        You had to have level one charged your 2016 Leaf up to the 100% level, every chance you possibly had. Or, you left your car topped up 95% + SOC all of the time.

        1. Mark.ca says:

          I top off my EGolf to 100% every single day with L1 and have 0 range loss after a year so I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

  9. PK says:

    Typical experience here in Ontario though. So I visit vw.ca and have a look at the e-golf. Then hit the find a dealer button. I’m expecting the dealer that’s literally less than 2km from my house. It’s in an automall where are the dealerships are pretty big. But nope, I’d have to drive 27 km for the nearest dealer that will sell an e-golf.
    OK, so I visit the dealer’s web site and guess what? Not a single piece of information about the e-golf.
    Hmm, maybe the build & price tool then. Nope, no e-golf to be found.
    SSDD

    1. Mike says:

      True egolf isn’t sold at all dealers in the USA either. Website would still have 2016 eGolf as there was no 2017, and 2018 models other than the all new SUVs aren’t going to be on the website until September. Still selling out 2017/2016 leftovers.

  10. ffbj says:

    I wonder if the heat-pump version is only available in Canada. Probably.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      That would make no sense, why would they design 2 different versions?

      1. Christopher says:

        I was wondering how the heat in electric cars worked. I assumed it was resistive heat which would use a lot of juice. heat pump is expensive but much more efficient.

    2. 95GLX says:

      Heat pump was available on the e-Golf’s in the US already. It is supposed to be standard with the 2017/2018 models.

  11. premium salmon says:

    So the MSRP of the 2018 e-Golf in Canada is <USD 29K, providing 1 km EPA range for cca. USD 144

    Still unknown, roughly how much a heat pump will save in energy, or add to range, and at what expense, if any.

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