Volkswagen e-Golf

Car and Driver

Tested: two thousand sixteen Volkswagen e-Golf

Fore! Two thousand seventeen Volkswagen e-Golf Travels fifty Percent Further on a Charge

  • Nov 2016

Chevrolet`s $37,495 Bolt EV, with its 238-mile driving range and newness relative to its competitors, is casting a green shadow over other affordable electrified cars. Not only is it newer, but its range far exceeds that of the only somewhat less expensive Nissan Leaf (107 miles per charge), the Ford Concentrate Electrical (100 miles), and Volkswagen`s e-Golf, which until now has only been able to muster an EPA-certified eighty three miles of range. But wait! For the two thousand seventeen model year, that figure blows up by fifty percent . . . to one hundred twenty five miles.

That`s not news that menaces the Bolt`s leadership, but it does showcase that Volkswagen, like Nissan and Ford, is attempting to catch up. (The EPA-certified driving-range figures for the two thousand seventeen Leaf and the two thousand seventeen Concentrate EV also are notably higher than those for last year`s iterations.) The Golf`s improved driving range comes by way of a fresh 35.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, versus the two thousand sixteen e-Golf`s 24.2-kWh battery of the same chemical multiplicity. (By comparison, the Bolt`s battery sports an energy capacity of 60.0 kWh.) Volkswagen also has made the previously optional 7.2-kW onboard charger standard, meaning that the recharge time when pulling electrons from a 240-volt power source has dropped to less than six hours. A DC quick charger that can replenish the battery to eighty percent of its capacity in about an hour is optional on the base SE and standard on the SEL Premium.

Volkswagen also upgraded the electrical motor, netting an extra nineteen horsepower and fifteen lb-ft of torque for fresh totals of one hundred thirty four horsepower and two hundred fourteen lb-ft. The newfound oomph cuts more than a 2nd from the e-Golf`s zero-to-60-mph time according to VW, ripping off it to 9.6 seconds. Given that a two thousand sixteen e-Golf we recently tested hit sixty mph in 9.Four seconds, Volkswagen`s figures are likely conservative, and yet this is still no «whee-Golf.» The car`s top speed increases to ninety three mph, albeit as is the case with any EV, driving at top speed quickly drains the battery pack.

The two thousand eighteen Golf, Today!

If the e-Golf`s exterior looks different, yet familiar, that`s because it wears the fresh headlights, taillights, front fenders, and bumpers from the refreshed, Europe-market Golf. Our regular, gasoline-powered Golf won`t see those switches until the two thousand eighteen model year, a wait that gives the e-Golf`s styling some novelty, at least for the next few months. As before, the front end features large C-shaped LED running lights and a skinny blue accent stripe across the plastic plate that substitutes for the gas-powered car`s grille.

Inwards, the e-Golf takes a fistful of goodies from Volkswagen`s future interior-technology basket, namely a fat 9.2-inch touchscreen that`s integrated into the dashboard. The unit will at an unspecified time (this year or next) add the gesture-control capability that VW demonstrated at this year`s Consumer Electronics Display. It permits users to swipe through a horizontal main-menu structure, switch radio stations, or skip songs using only the wave of a palm. We attempted it for ourselves and found it worked, even if it suffers the same «but why?» air of pointlessness as other automakers` gesture-control efforts. That party trick aside, the e-Golf also can now be optioned with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that displays driving data, audio information, and navigation directions. The available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking functions now react to wayward pedestrians, as well as to other vehicles and obstacles, albeit the advanced safety gear is available only on the top-flight e-Golf SEL Premium as part of a fresh package with the digital dashboard, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high-beams, and parking assist.

Last year, the e-Golf SE commenced at $29,815 (before the $7500 federal tax credit and any state or local incentives). If the two thousand seventeen model holds the line on that pricing when it goes on sale early next year, it keeps the inescapable comparisons to the Chevy Bolt at a $7680 distance. The e-Golf is an agreeable electrified car. It may not be a purpose-built EV, like its Chevrolet foil, but it sees far less compromise than other electrics that were developed primarily as gas-powered compacts. The battery doesn`t intrude on cabin space, and the current e-Golf is fairly pleasant to drive and to look at–just like the regular Golf, which we`ve named one of our 10Best Cars of 2017. Volkswagen would very likely choose we didn`t point out that the Bolt nabbed the same award, but such is the lot of any affordable EV without a bow-tie badge in 2017.

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