Volkswagen broke into the electric market last year with a plug-in version of its popular Golf hatchback, a car that, in 2017, previewed the updated VW applied to the gasoline-powered Golf this year.
That means there are no changes to the e-Golf for 2018, so it sticks with an electric motor that generates 136 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque and is fed by a battery good for a promised 200 km of driving range.
If you like VWs that don't use gasoline, then this car is a taste of your future as the diesel scandal of 2015 means it's unlikely we'll see a diesel Volkswagen in North America again. With that avenue for attracting buyers long gone, the manufacturer is working on a range of electric vehicles that will reach the marketplace in the next few years.
The Golf already has a strong and largely positive reputation in the marketplace (aside from the dirty diesel problem), so it makes good sense for VW to makes its EV debut with a recognizable nameplate and body shape, rather than with something all new. And the Golf already drives like a car a class above its compact status, and swapping in a smooth and silent electric drivetrain will up this car’s refinement quotient significantly.
Even in entry-level trim, the E-Golf skips the three-door body style that serves as the base configuration for gas models and comes only as a five-door that's standard with an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, passive keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated cloth seats, heated windshield, LED headlights and taillights, backup camera and rain-sensing wipers.
Options include standalone leather seats; a tech package brings a larger touchscreen with gesture control and wireless smartphone/tablet integration; and a driver assistant group brings active safety features like blind spot warning, adaptive cruise, collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane assist, park assist and an all-digital configurable gauge cluster that looks and functions much like Audi’s virtual cockpit.
The EV market may yet be small, but Volkswagen faces competition for the e-Golf nonetheless. The most significant is the Chevrolet Bolt with its nearly 400-km driving range, but there's also the Hyundai Ioniq which matches the VW's driving range, and the Ford Focus EV, which can only go about 115 km.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed
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