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VW e-Golf wraps new electric drive in hatchback goodness

The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf boasts well over a 100 miles range, almost 150 miles in our testing, and an attractive and practical hatchback body, making it a perfect suburban runabout.

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Wayne Cunningham
2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
1 of 37 Wayne Cunningham/CNET Roadshow

Volkswagen introduced the first generation of its Golf hatchback in the 1970s, and the model name has been in continuous production ever since. For the seventh generation of the Golf, first shown in 2014, Volkswagen took a future-forward stance by offering a fully electric version, the e-Golf.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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The first e-Golf came out for the 2015 model year, but that car claimed an EPA range of just 83 miles, making it only suitable for short trips. For the 2017 model year, shown here, Volkswagen improved the drivetrain substantially, getting the range up to 125 miles and swapping in a more powerful drive motor.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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This newest e-Golf shows enough range for most suburban communities, while its hatchback form makes it very useful for getting groceries and commuting to work.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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Beyond a few aesthetic touches, the e-Golf looks very similar to the standard, gasoline-fueled Golf.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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As with its model siblings, the e-Golf uses front-wheel-drive.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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The car drives very easily, its simple electric drive system making it easy to get in and go.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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On this SEL Premium top trim e-Golf, LED headlights come standard.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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During our testing, we achieved well over the e-Golf's stated range of 125 miles. However, very hot or cold weather or a heavy load of passengers and cargo would likely diminish that range.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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The e-Golf comes in SE and SEL Premium trim, with about a $7,000 price differential between the two. Government incentives can bring the price of the e-Golf SE down to around $20,000.

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