Volkswagen e-Golfs come in two trims. A base Limited Edition and an uplevel SEL Premium trim. The e-Golf is based on Volkswagen's 4-door Golf model, making it more practical than most other electric cars.
The base Limited Edition e-Golf comes very well-equipped with LED daytime running lights, a rear lip spoiler, heated front seats, a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control and heated power-adjustable rearview mirrors.
Standard safety features include stability control, anti-lock brakes parking sensors, a backup camera and a low-tire pressure warning system.
The SEL Premium trim adds 16-inch "Astona" low-drag alloy wheels, LED headlights with dynamic range adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette interior and cruise control.
Inside, the e-Golf maintains the conventional Golf's stylish and upscale interior and despite the presence of massive battery packs under the floor, the cargo area is just as big as on the conventionally powered Golf.
The powertrain consists of a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a permanent-magent AC motor that can produce 115 horsepower and 199 lb-feet of torque. A single-speed transmission puts the power to the front wheels.
A 240-volt dedicated in-home charger can recharge the battery in 4 hours. Using household 120-volt current takes 20 hours. The range, while quite variable depending on driving style and terrain, is estimated from 85-100 miles. The e-Golf offers three selectable driving modes-- Normal, Eco and Eco+, which vary regenerative braking and throttle response to either maximize power or range.
The Volkswagen e-Golf is a solid competitor in the emerging field of electric-powered cars. It offers the practicality and usability of the highly regarded conventional Golf model paired with fast charging capability and a well-equipped feature set.
When I unplugged the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf and got behind the wheel, the center cluster display said it had 145 miles of range, 20 miles over its EPA-rated range of 125 miles. I tracked the e-Golf's stated range against its real-world miles on a trip that involved freeway speeds, a hill or two and urban traffic.
After parking and plugging the e-Golf back in, I calculated that the estimated range was almost exact, as I drove one more mile than the car thought it could go.
VW may have overestimated its emissions compliance for its diesel cars, but it appears to underestimate the range of the all-electric e-Golf.
The Good The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf beat its 125-mile range estimate in our testing while its hatchback body makes for practical everyday use. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the dashboard integrate nicely for navigation, audio and communications. At $28,995 before incentives, the e-Golf is an affordable EV option.
The Bad Power steering feels unnaturally electric at low speeds, and the lack of hill hold or a creep mode lets the e-Golf roll back too easily. Rear-mounted charging port means backing into parking spaces with chargers.
The Bottom Line In its SE trim, the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is a very affordable and useful electric vehicle, with enough range to meet the needs of most urban and suburban buyers.
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