Volkswagen e-Golf First Drive Review From UK

3 years ago by Mike Anthony 17

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf

Autocar UK got its hands on the new Volkswagen e-Golf. The test results are spectacular.

For the vehicle's size. The trunk space is not a deal-breaker as it is still very large.

For the vehicle’s size, the trunk space is not a deal-breaker as it is still very large.

All of the Golf models, whether it be gas, diesel or electric, are virtually the same.  In regards to the electric version, there is hardly any compromises over the ICE models, a slightly smaller cargo area that is still very large and practical is basically the only noticeable

Other differences include the unique badging, instrument clusters, and the obvious sound from an ICE and the silence from an electric drive train.

The US spec e-Golf only comes in the fully loaded, premium SEL trim from $35,445, but does have a special $299/month lease rate (full details on that here).

Positive aspect expected from an all-electric vehicle are here as well.  Instant torque is available at 0 RPM.  Different levels of regenerative braking are selectable and so on.

Even with the 318kg battery pack added to the rear portion of the e-Golf, the handling is still superb and sticks to the roads very well.  Autocar is even claiming that it is “a step ahead of Golfs powered by internal combustion engines.”

An 8-year, 100,000 mile warranty is included on the 24 kWh Lithium Ion battery pack  “with the intention of it having 80% of its original capacity after 10 years use.”

Most Discernible Way To Tell The Plug-In From The Gasser Is Via The "e-Badging"

Most Discernible Way To Tell The Plug-In From The Gasser Is Via The “e-Badging”

Fast Charging is available with the e-Golf and replenishes the battery to 80% in 35 minutes. Standard charging time varies depending on power supply. Most will charge overnight when not in use.   (All US e-Golfs have standard CCS fast charging as part of the purchase price)

The e-Golf claims to have a 118 mile range (NEDC) on a full charge, which suits most driver’s day-to-day needs.  VW has yet to release US EPA range numbers but gives us a very loose “70-90 miles” guideline of what to expect.

Like the US, the price difference between the e-Golf and the Nissan LEAF SL is minimal in the UK and both vehicles qualify for available grants (incentives). But it seems Autocar feels that the e-Golf has a slight edge as far as practicality and drivetrain capabilities.

e-Golf Interior. Note the differences of the instrument cluster over the ICE models.

e-Golf Interior. Note the differences of the instrument cluster over the ICE models.

Check out the full-blown e-Golf review by clicking the source link below.

Source: Autocar.

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17 responses to "Volkswagen e-Golf First Drive Review From UK"

  1. DaveMart says:

    A ‘slight edge’ on the Leaf?

    ‘Compared to the Nissan Leaf (when purchased outright), this Golf is pretty much the same price – but it is also a more polished machine, with a more refined and even more effortless drivetrain and notably better driving dynamics.’

    A bit more than that, it seems.

  2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    10.5s 0-60, 87mph top speed?

    What an embarrassing disappointment.

    1. DaveMart says:

      Its comparable to the Leaf, which was all they were aiming for.

      If you want better acceleration and higher top speed, then you can buy the VW/Audi PHEVs.

      1. GSP says:

        No need to buy a PHEV to get acceleration. The Chevy Spark EV, BMW i3, Fiat 500e, Toyota RAV4 EV, or any Tesla will do nicely.


        1. And they all are eating the tires, causing much higher operation costs.

          1. Spec9 says:


      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Good on VW, for coming out with the best EV of 2011.

    2. alohart says:

      What’s disappointing is that so many men place such a high priority on acceleration and top speed.

      1. Rob Stark says:

        What’s disappointing is that so many women feel compelled to nag men even in cyberspace.

      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Double-digit 0-60 in this day and age is fundamentally unsafe on American roads. One must be able to accelerate quickly to engage in safe merging and passing on highways. 8s is adequate, 7s is decent, 6s is good, and below 6s is better.

        1. So by your claim, every truck must cause a crash every time he went on a highway, because their acceleration can be 20+ seconds.

          1. DaveMart says:


            Its the person behind the wheel, not the car, if they can’t manage to drive this safely.

            One can only hope that they never try to drive anything which really is challenging to drive, such as a loaded panel van which accelerates much more slowly and which has limited visibility.

        2. Danpatgal says:

          Okay Mr. Right Testicle (no, I’m not being offensive, just google Dr. N’s handle): 10s or longer 0-60 is unsafe? You’re seriously saying that? Not only is accelerating that quickly as a rule un-safe, it’s also very inefficient. Yes it’s fun and exciting, but “safe” isn’t a word I’d use to describe driving in this way.

        3. Hanm says:

          Interesting statement, since most cars are still ICE powered while it is virtually impossible to accelerate 0-60 in single digit seconds with the majority of such vehicles in a civilized and comfortable way.

  3. ffbj says:

    I think I have to go with DaveMart on this one, in regards to comparison to the Leaf, the Golf seems a better choice.

  4. The Golf’s cockpit doesn’t look like a modern car and the main screen for the navigation system has noticeable lower resolution, than the Leaf screen. Too bad they didn’t put close up shots of them side by side.

    1. Lou Grinzo says:

      Seriously? You think that doesn’t “look like a modern car”? I think it looks great. In fact, the only thing keeping me from seriously considering an e-Golf as a replacement for my Leaf come March is the price. I don’t need all the features that push an e-Golf or blinged-out Leaf to those prices.

      For people like me who want a safe, comfortable, EV without a lot of bells and whistles, the Leaf S is still a great answer.