Which Is Better? The VW e-Golf or the Fiat 500e – Video

NOV 8 2014 BY JAY COLE 20

"There Can Be Only One" (photo via Autobytel)

“There Can Be Only One” (photo via Autobytel)

A lot of times plug-in car comparisons don’t make a lot of sense.  For example, we have already seen one too many Tesla Model S vs BMW i3 comparisons.  Enough.

This time though, we are intrigued.

Which is the better EV?  The Fiat 500e or the Volkswagen e-Golf?  Having yet to drive the all-electric VW, we really aren’t qualified to answer that question – but perhaps Autobytel is, as they put both cars through the paces.

At first blush, the EVs have a lot of similar features:

  • both are mild electrified conversion of a popular petrol platform
  • both have similar starting MSRPs, the Fiat 500e from $32,300 – the VW e-Golf from $35,445
  • both could be considered “compliance” EVs if you reside the US (regional rollouts)
  • how about EV range?  The 500e is rated at 87 miles, the e-Golf at 83 miles
Here Is The EPA's Official "Worksheet" On What The Two EVs Can Do

Here Is The EPA’s Official “Worksheet” On What The Two EVs Can Do

Thankfully, Autobytel isn’t too preachy and lets you make up your own mind.  So, which is it – the e-Golf or the 500e?

Hat tip to offib!

Categories: Fiat, Volkswagen

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20 Comments on "Which Is Better? The VW e-Golf or the Fiat 500e – Video"

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How is the VW e-Golf a compliance EV in the same class as the Fiat? It’s sold everywhere in Europe and AFAIK also in most states in the US.


It complies therefore it is a compliance car.
Just like the Nissan Leaf.


That’s best, least self-serving definition I’ve seen!


less than 100 miles of range is a compliance


If it is only sold in California in the USA then it is a compliance car IN THE USA.


The comparison is pretty obvious.

Do you need a back seat, or not?

The rest is detail.


Well, it is more a question of do you need 5 seats or is 4 enough.


I’ve sat in the back of a Fiat 500.
If you were going far you would wish the electric range was shorter, not longer.
I leave aside getting back out of the thing.
It is just about enough for a couple of limber children, and that is it.


Something is dripping from the eGolf. I would guess ac but she is wearing a vest.


The Fiat 500e is few thousand cheaper and it is cuter, IMHO. But the eGolf can come with a CCS DC-fast-charger, so that is a big advantage. However, the Fiat 500e has slightly longer range.

No clear cut winner, it is really a matter of personal preference and your specific needs.


She omitted the Mitsubishi i-MiEV from her list of EV’s available in the U.S. In fact, unlike some of the EV’s on her list, the i-MiEV isn’t a compliance car that is sold in only a few states.


I think Mitsubishi forgot they sell the i-MiEV. A complete lack of advertising in the States doesn’t help.


A few errors in the video:

Rebates (you get a check) are up to $2,500 on these cars.

Lease rates on the Fiat 500e are as low as $99 per month at dealerships in LA and the SF Bay area.

There are many other aero and other tweaks on the Fiat 500e, including such subtle but important differences as thermal coatings on the glass.

The Fiat is not offered in California and Oregon because of infrastructure. It’s offered only in those states because that’s the only place Fiat is required to produce them and retain their sales franchise from the state.

The biggest functional difference between the cars is that the e-Golf has DC quick charge. That extends your range substantially where SAE Combo or dual-standard chargers are located.

I’d rather have 36 rental vouchers from Enterprise (Fiat) than a free taxi ride home (VW).

Big Solar

I did not realize that “Ca. and Or. have a lot of electric plugs” Yeah, thats why the Fiat is only available there.

Tom Moloughney

One mistake they made is they say the eGolf’s battery is liquid cooled. It’s not.

I’m sorry, but this video is a bit ridiculous. If Autobytel wants to purport that they are a reputable resource for automotive information, they should not put out propaganda videos like this. She starts off with the Fiat by body language and vocal inflection clearly trending towards the negative – trying to infer it is a lesser automobile, and then goes on to sing the praises of the eGolf for basically all the traits that the two cars share: 1. The music beds used – the one for the Fiat sounds more ominous and slow while the eGolf’s is more energetic. Even the volume changes and her voice over gets clearer. 2. There are far more differences between the 500e and the ICE 500s; larger rear spoiler, rear wind diffuser, aerodynamically designed wheel covers as well as redesigned side mirrors – not to mention the fact that the “orange treatment” she describes is in fact not standard and is a $500 add on “Sport Package”. Even in the video they show models that do not have that option. Quick check of the website would also show you that. 3. When talking about the range, she makes the better range of… Read more »

Agree, this was embarrassing. Many errors. Reviewer had seemed to know little about these cars — or any, for that matter.


Not much on handling characteristics, ride characteristics and acceleration, this is a video, you can actually show us.

Is the fiat steering heavier?
Is that the issue for her?


To make a fair price comparison, you have to normalize the price
1. ccs is 800. bmw i3 forum says without ccs, resale value is drastically impacted as ccs stations roll out, eventually at all vw and bmw dealers as well as others
2. parking assist package is 1000
3. led lights, siri radio, partial electric seats, much greater cargo space, better looking etc

All these bring the price close to convergence, but the e-golf is much more car for the money


jeff l

These cars really aren’t comparable. The volksy seats four adults rasonably well and although I got all 6’3″ of me into the back seat of the Fiat, I hope no one else was planning on riding back there. It would be possible for shorter people to actually travel back there in reasonable comfort. Even better, with seats folded down, a couple of dogs would be very happy. The Fiat can be flung around very smartly and it wont pop wheelies because it has front wheel drive but it feels like it almost could. It is very stable on the highway, ( don’t try this with the Mitsy miev). In short it’s a much sportier car. It’s more of a sports cars with cargo space. With the sunroof fully open you could almost pretend it’s that roadster you’ve always wanted. If you want to shake a little of the cutness factor you could buy the black one but even then….