Volkswagen e-Golf vs Ford Focus Electric – Comparison & Range Test (video)

3 weeks ago by Mark Kane 17

The Volkswagen e-Golf and Ford Focus Electric both got a major upgrade for the 2017 model year, with their battery capacities upgraded by about 50%.

Tesla

Volkswagen e-Golf

The 2017 Ford Focus Electric now boasts a 33.5 kWh battery which can go up to 115 miles (185 km) according to EPA, and has a base price (after the federal tax credit and dst charge) of $22,495.

The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is quite similar, with a 35.8 kWh battery, good for 125 miles (201 km) of EPA range, and an effective base price of $23,845.

Editor’s Note:  We would be remiss to not mention that the “2017” model year e-Golf just recently arrived in the US and Canada, after being held back for the majority of the year while waiting on the company to sell-through a ‘whack’ (technical term) of its older 2016 model.  So one needs to consider  that there is a rapid depreciation issue today in buying a “new” 2017 of a VW lot, especially as the majority of other models have the “2018” tag on them.

Looking into these EVs’ new range abilities, The Straight Pipes has decided to review the updated cars side-by-side, during a 200 km (124 mile) range challenge.

And as it turns out, the e-Golf did the job with a small amount of range left, while the Focus Electric run out of electrons (further validating the accuracy of the US/EPA range ratings system to the real world). But ultimately, the review is much more than just a range comparison.

The Straight Pipes is entertaining in the way it discovers that the e-Golf is better car in terms of quality, tech, and trunk size – winning the mini-comparison contest between the two.

The bigger winner is however the absent Hyundai IONIQ Electric, which was tested earlier and deemed even superior to the e-Golf. The IONIQ Electric, despite a smaller 28 kWh battery, is a lot more ‘slippery’ on the road, and therefore has a 124 mile (200 km) EPA range, and an effective price of $22,835.

2017 Ford Focus Electric

2017 Ford Focus Electric

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17 responses to "Volkswagen e-Golf vs Ford Focus Electric – Comparison & Range Test (video)"

  1. Steve says:

    Range isn’t everything. When you open the hatch of the Focus you’ll notice how much of an afterthought the EV was to Ford. The battery pack is protruding into the hatch back space and makes it really difficult to pack anything into the vehicle.

    Great commuter, but after that, meh.

  2. CarGuy says:

    Actually in the Focus you can put huge stuff in it because you can flip the back seat bottom foreward. It works really cool with the back seat backs up or down. Try it out.

    1. Greg H says:

      Thanks! I didn’t realize that, will have to try.

      1. CarGuy says:

        I fit a full sized rocking chair in the back. It is very useful to put tall things in like fruit trees. Just flip the seat bottom forward and leave the seat backs in place. Then you end up with a big space and a very low floor.

  3. WARREN says:

    Autocar (which has been testing cars for almost 100 years), Rated the EV Golf 2nd place, Zoe 3rd, Ionia 4th, And LEAF 1.0 5th place. For EV hatchbacks, the BMW i3 was firat place. The Focus didn’t make that top 5 list. Aside from the i8 and S ludicrous, Autocar said the i3 is the most entertaining to drive. Also compared to all the other 30kwh EV hatchbacks out there, none come close to the i3 in acceleration. It takes a BOLT with double the battery capacity of the i3 to also get in the 6 second 0-60 club.

    https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/bmw/i3

    1. mx says:

      Good to hear people actually starting to drive the i3.
      The great thing about it, no Buyer Remorse.
      A pleasure to drive every day.

  4. Alltesla says:

    Battle of the sub 200 miles. Maybe I should say sub 150 miles

    1. Dave86 says:

      You beat me to it! When I first saw the article, I thought “Battle of the obsolete EVs!”

      1. Well, some buyers might need “Training EV’s”, or, affordable ones, to ‘Take the 1st step!’

        If Tesla (specifically: Elon) does not want to produce cars below $35,000 list or MSRP, It is OK if others fill that price gap!

        Sure, I expect this next 5-8 years from Tesla wont see a Sub $30,000 priced Vehicle, what with Model 3, Model Y, Semi, Roadster, & Pickup on the target list to about 2022-2024+; we might get a change of heart from Elon on this, after Gigafactory 3,4, & 5 are completed!

        If they have nailed all the above mentioned vehicles by that time, and actually had 1 whole year of profitability, even if small, while still growing at a crazy rate, in terms of products, Supercharger, and country, expansion and saturation, then – maybe Elon will make the step down to 1/2 of the $35,000-$42,000 price he sees the Model 3 fitting in!

        A 200+ mile per charge EV, with Ubiquitous public, destination, DC QC, and Supercharger access, with included Full Self Driving, at $17,500 to $21,000, would be just about the last nail in personal ICE vehicles! If Elon or Tesla, announced that, even in 2024, it would be some major force to recon with!

        If Tesla was able to do an unveling, with not 1, or 2, or even 3, but with 10 or 20 such Vehicles on stage, and do a few thousand test rides on opening day, reaction would be over the top!

      2. menorman says:

        I’d hardly call the segment obsolete, though certain offerings might be. Hyundai can’t keep up with the demand for the Ioniq EV and VW is delivering record numbers of e-Golfs, especially in Germany and Norway. After incentives, they’re really not that bad at all.

  5. simone says:

    nice to see people start using km as unit , btw i also think the ioniq is a very good car but 28 kwh is really low capacity also don’t like the fact you don’t have any reserve , for example the Reanault Zoe allows you to crawl aput 10 more km at low speed after you hit the o%

  6. Forever Green says:

    Both of these are very expensive compliance toys.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      Depends where you buy. My eGolf net cost is $15700 here in SoCal after all the credits but before considering gas savings….so no, not expensive at all!

  7. Don Zenga says:

    So VW launched eGolf MY-2017 on 2017-12-31, wonderful. And they are talking about electrification.

    Meanwhile in Focus-EV, the battery kept behind rear seat takes much of the trunk space.

    And Ioniq-EV is reduced to compliance car, but now there are reports about the increasing production.

    I am hoping for Leaf and Model 3 to lead the sales. With 30K price tag and 150 mile range (25 – 35 miles more), definitely Leaf will be preferred by many and its also a dedicated EV unlike the other models where you have to specify that it’s an EV, otherwise it will be presumed to be a gasmobile.

    1. If the 150 Mile Range Leaf had taken the plunge of better thermal battery management, to match even that of the Focus EV, it would have shown it is a more viable competitor, in the Long Life EV game, and adding a simpler Battery Life Warranty, would then make all the difference in the world:

      “Nissan Warrants this Battery for 8 years or 125,000 Miles, to be able to deliver not less than 90% (135 Miles) per full change range, or we will Repair or Replace the Battery, at our Discretion, while providing a new EV Loaner to the owner: first, second, or third; of this Leaf.”

      It would be my belief that such a warranty would be a statement of extreme confidence, engineering prowess, and serious EV Leadership, even to best the Model 3’s Warranty, that Nissan could wash off a lot of ‘Egg on their face’, over first Leaf Battery problems!

      Even a commitment to 8 years and 80% (120 Miles for this Leaf) of original range, would be a solid step up, for Nissan, and any other EV maker!

    2. menorman says:

      No, VW launched the MY17 e-Golf months ago, they just haven’t really been delivering it in the US until ~October. But other parts of the world have been able to get one. Focus EV is definitely compliance car, but Ioniq EV isn’t. They’ve already increased production by about 50% earlier in the year and still can’t meet demand. Leaf will get sales mostly because it will be more available than just about any other EV. But the range isn’t as big a difference as it sounds, especially with Ioniq, because of how efficient the latter is. A lot of people are reporting that as long as they don’t thrash their Ioniq, they can coax ~150 miles out of it and ~140 out of the e-Golf. The few real-world reports I’ve seen of the new Leaf show that people are getting ~160 miles out of it. Of course, the downside of the Leaf is that Nissan still thinks CHAdeMO is viable…

  8. Texas FFE says:

    Those guys ran the FFE battery down on purpose. I drove my 2013 102 miles once and it only has a rated range of 76 miles. I drove my 2017 FFE 112 miles and I still had 20 miles of reserve.

    I’m sure I could get well over 160 miles out of my 2017 if I really wanted to. It’s all how you drive the car. I’ve had my 2013 for three years and I’ve had my 2017 FFE for six months and not once have I ran either of them out of charge.

    Volkswagen has never sold the e-Golf and offers no support for the e-Golf in Texas. Ford sells the Focus Electric in Texas and most of the Texas dealers are certified to service the FFE. The Ioniq is pretty much nonexistent everywhere in the US.

    My 2013 is for sale but I drive my 2017 everyday and I’m very happy with it. The FFE is very comfortable, is practical and it’s fun to drive. I think the video missed a lot of the best points about the FFE that you only learn after you have lived with the car a while.

    I have to admit that I wanted a Bolt EV before I bought the 2017 FFE but I was able to get a certified 2017 FFE for about half the price of what I would have paid for a Bolt EV. After six months I still do not regret buying the FFE. The FFE meets my needs very well and is saving me a lot of money.

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