Reviewed: US Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium Spec – Video

3 years ago by Jay Cole 28


Due to hit the US market in just a few weeks, the Volkswagen e-Golf will only be available in one trim level – at least at first according to the German company.

The VW e-Golf Goes Out For A Spin

The VW e-Golf Goes Out For A Spin

The e-Golf SEL Premium.

Naturally when a model starts piling up capital letters behind its name and the tag “premium” is applied, you know it isn’t going to be the cheapest EV on the block – and this continues to be true with the “70 to 90 mile” e-Golf that starts at $35,445.

Fortunately for Americans, we ran down a VW exec and can thankfully (and exclusively) report that the initial lease deal is actually quite a good one – $299/month for 36 months, with $2,000 down. (full details here)

And while we have now seen a few European reviews on the e-Golf, here is one from the other side of the pond by TFL (The Fast Lane Car).

Hat tip to offib!

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28 responses to "Reviewed: US Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium Spec – Video"

  1. Mike I says:

    These guys are clearly not EV owners. They struggled when discussing charge times and levels, they talked about range anxiety and the increasing availability of charging stations, but never once mentioned the convenience of home charging.

  2. Brian says:

    Decent review until they get to the Leaf. It may be a little dated, but the range? Really? They do know that the range is the same as the egolf, right?

  3. DonC says:

    I always wonder why reviewers don’t mention the biggest differences between electric and internal combustion vehicles, which is that the electric vehicles are always smoother, quieter, and more precisely responsive.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      This is very true. For some aspects of driving, even the worst electric car is just better than the best ICE car.

      And for now, we have merely scratched the surface of potential of electric cars. Just wait when the AWD version of Tesla Model 3 is published as a prototype, perhaps already in 2015.

    2. me says:

      that’s so true. It rarely comes up as an argument in those types of discussions. For me, this is the only reason that my next car will most probably an EV again.

      1. See Through says:

        They did say the car is quiet. Although this quietness has issues. I have to frequently honk at pedestrians as they don’t hear my car at all. And honking scares them, makes me feel & look bad.
        Electric cars need to have some noise, or at least have a button to turn on that noise. Too quiet can be real issue. Like, when you backup from driveway, the pedestrians on the sidewalk can’t tell if a car is starting and backing. Same issue in parking lots.

        1. DaveMart says:

          Alternatively you could slow down and allow the pedestrian to walk freely.

          I have no idea why many car drivers think that the world should get out of their way, and I give priority to pedestrians and cyclists.

          1. Brian says:

            In general I agree with you, but at the same time, it is all too common to see 3-4 people walking side-by-side, spanning the entire road. They seem to be oblivious to the cars that are trying to drive down the road, approaching from behind. This is a very common occurrence around lunch time on a nice day.

            In the US, pedestrians are supposed to walk against traffic, and stay to the side of the road. Some people follow that rule, but most seem to be ignorant and/or just not care.

            The expression “share the road” goes both ways.

            1. Brian says:

              I should also mention that, like much of America, there are no sidewalks here. Pedestrians are forced to walk in the road. It’s not just people crossing at the corner.

              1. DaveMart says:

                I’m a big supporter of the idea that the first priority should be to make the streets safe for pedestrians, and cars should only share the street on condition that they drive at a low enough speed not to endanger them:

                ‘A woonerf (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋoːn.ɛrf]) is a living street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists as implemented in the Netherlands and in Flanders. Techniques include shared space, traffic calming, and low speed limits. Under Article 44 of the Dutch traffic code, motorised traffic in a woonerf or “recreation area” is restricted to walking pace.[1]

                The word literally translates as “living yard”.[2]

                In the UK these are called home zones. In the USA complete streets are a similar concept where equal priority is given to all modes of transportation including automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians’

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woonerf

                In the UK the reclamation of shopping areas from the disastrous notion that the important thing to do is to provide access to cars by the creation of pedestrians zones has transformed them, and I am 100% in support of the recent introduction of extensive 20mph zones where pedestrians and traffic mix.

                Hitting a pedestrian when you are braking from 20mph is many times less likely to result in death or serious injury than from 30mph.

                One of the few things I dislike about electric vehicles is their immense torque encouraging lightning take offs from traffic lights etc.

                That is lethal for any pedestrians the driver has not spotted.

                1. Brian says:

                  That all sounds good, and I am all for mixed-use neighborhoods. But when you have pedestrians walking literally in the middle of the road, and you approach them from behind in a quiet car, the just “slow down and allow the pedestrian to walk freely” (i.e. completely yield to them, and drive at 3-4mph) method is not practical. Especially if you are following them for a mile or more. Instead, a polite tap of the horn to alert them to your presence is appropriate.

                  Incidentally, when you flash the lights on a Volt, it also lightly chirps the horn. It is very well executed, and prevents the “I hit the horn harder than I wanted, and now I look like a jerk” syndrome. I wish my Leaf had this feature.

                  1. DaveMart says:

                    Hmm.
                    I have never had to follow a group of pedestrians for a mile, and roads are way narrower here than in the States.
                    Clearly though if the horn is not excessively loud and used appropriately to draw attention you your presence rather than say:
                    ‘Hey! I’m coming through! Get over or get run over!
                    then it is unlikely to unduly startle or alarm the pedestrians, which was given as the original problem.

                    Many of the problem pedestrians are likely to be elderly anyway, and perhaps not have acute hearing.

                    When a modern ICE car is travelling slowly than pretty well all that is audible anyway is the sound of the tires, which of course EV cars have too.

                    It would seem more likely to me to be a problem for drivers who are travelling quite a bit faster, and usually rely on the consequent sound in an ICE to tell pedestrians to get the heck out of the way.

                2. Transportation for mixed travel, the woonerf we wish we had, is terrible in the US. I bicycle on backroads regularly, to avoid the junk and careless drivers on the slightly wider main roads. I do think that accident avoidance features would be helpful to combat the “need for speed” that seems to be driving some of the higher end EV offerings. I cringe to think of the backlash that would occur if a Tesla seriously injures or kills a pedestrian.

                  I love the idea of the Volt flash/chirp. My home brew EV has a pathetic horn that I don’t mind using, assuming they don’t hear the Curtis controller squeal or rattling body work ;), but in the iMiev it could be useful to have a driver initiated optional audible warning. (I’m not really a fan of the non-optional warning sound. It sounds stupid in the iMiev and doesn’t really help in all but the quietest surroundings.)

                  1. DaveMart says:

                    Since impact equals mass time velocity squared I am increasingly dubious of the idea of vehicles which normally carry one or two people, but can seat 7, weigh 4,000 lbs and accelerate 0-60 in under 5 seconds.

                    That sounds like an ICE age dream to me.

          2. MDEV says:

            I play music and roll my window down is all that it takes

  4. Ken Sherman says:

    Did you intentionally leave out the Ford Focus Electric?
    Available in most states. Sales were up 33% last month in the US. Still a good option with more power than most.

  5. Mike says:

    They’re missing the big picture.
    – Moving your fuel cost to Electric, means you’ll save more money when you convert to Solar. Money in Your Pocket.

    Turn Every Expense into an Investment, and enjoy cleaner air, and no oil wars.

    1. Anon says:

      Some people can’t plan more than a few days ahead, let alone installing solar for a 5 or more year payoff… 🙁

  6. ffbj says:

    I think that is an international type of saying: ‘Slow,slow catch monkey’ which could be the motto for the electric evolution.
    German accent rating 7.5.
    http://www.frequency.com/video/softly-softly-catchee-monkey/9857489

  7. Bill Howland says:

    Finally the automaker with the largest number of electric car models has brought one to retail sale. Its a shame that with all the battery reseach supposedly vw has done, that they can’t come up with any extra range out of the battery.

    1. See Through says:

      Of course, they can, But they want to sell cars, not create experimental labrats that no one needs, or wants to buy. 100 miles is enough for most people, and the price is decent.

    2. DaveMart says:

      They seem to be going to introduce a higher energy density battery fairly soon, either from Panasonic or LG Chem.

      Other formats, pouch and prismatic, look as thought they are at last starting to close the gap with the 18650’s in the Tesla, with Kia the first off the mark with the 200Wh/kg at the cell level packs in the Soul.

  8. Ellison says:

    I really didn’t like the female cohost here, not very into EVs or open minded, just goofy.

    The ad at the beginning was too long, do memberships just pay for their airfare and hotels for auto events? We need enthusiasts like ourselves covering them instead.

    They also could have shown the display options and charge ports, on site charge there.

  9. Sparkler says:

    8:00 Total BS “All those Public ChargePoints are free”. Bull, free public chargers are few and fa between, unless VW is saying that they will pay.

    1. DaveMart says:

      It looks like Charge Point membership is included in the purchase price of the E-Golf, and:
      ‘The second phase is that Volkswagen e-Golf owners will be given automatic access to the ChargePoint network with more than 18,000 charging locations. e-Golf owners will get a ChargePoint membership at no additional cost. Some 60 percent of stations on the ChargePoint network are free to use.

      Dealerships will have ChargePoint stations with VW branding available for public use as well. Dealers will use them to walk prospective buyers through EV charging. All e-Golf owners can download a ChargePoint mobile app, where they can navigate to stations, see real-time status updates on station availability.’

      http://motoring2.com/2014/07/volkswagen-egolf-ties-with-bosch-and-chargepoint-for-charging/

      1. GSP says:

        Chargepoint members still have to pay the hourly rate while connected to the EVSE. Some are free, some are $2/hr, or whatever rate the owner sets.

        Chargepoint sells the EVSEs, and collects the fees. Whoever buys the EVSE sets the fees and shares the proceeds with Chargepoint.

        This allows Chargepoint to be profitable, but their customers need government grants, or they just put the EVSEs in as a customer service.

        GSP

        1. DaveMart says:

          The blurb says that 60% are free.
          I don’t know how accurate that is, but presumably it has some truth or advertising standards would hit them.

  10. Bill Howland says:

    The vast majority of Chargepoints in National Grid areas are free to the user since National Grid pays the electric bill.

    Thanks National Grid! (And thanks for prematurely installing my NetMeter also).