LOS ANGELES, Calif. – March 15, 2015 – Is Volkswagen all-electric e-Golf living up to its accolades as the 2015 Motor Trend North American Car of the Year and Green Car Report’s Best Car to Buy 2015? A green car expert takes a guilt-free 2015 VW e-Golf on a road test review while getting more answers from the world’s first e-Golf owners as well as some of the nation’s toughest auto critics.
This EV expert, pro road test reviewer and automotive journalist took the EPA-estimate 116 combined MPGe (or about 83 miles on a single charge) 2015 VW e-Golf on a weeklong trip around LA’s posh, gritty and striving-to-be-green Hollywood Hills 90046.
Surprisingly, the Fiat 500e seems to be the most popular electric vehicle in this storied Hollywood enclave, where loads of Chevy Volts, Teslas and BMW i3s cruise Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards. However, the film producers, directors and actors living in LA’s mini-mansions should also consider VW’s only EV offering and so should anyone piqued by the thought of zero emission, no-more-petrol transportation.
In our test of the e-Golf, we were just as thrilled as Green Car Report’s and Motor Trend’s editors to discover this family-friendly five-seat hatch is an overall “best pick” when it comes to 2015’s most affordable and fun-to-drive zero emissions electric vehicles.
Our hot hatch fit right into this densely populated urban center, where parking is challenging. And while the e-Golf can fit into the smallest of curbside spaces, it is also surprisingly roomy inside, even for five passengers. Here are some notes from our Hollywood Hills road test review:
–Fast, fun, sporty, comfortable, quiet and easy to charge sum up the overall e-Golf driving experience.
–Other than e-Golf branding, the exterior is the same as any Golf, which can be a very good thing for those who are seeking a handsome modern hatch that doesn’t look like a bug, a spaceship or a mini-anything.
–Inside, the e-Golf has a quality build with exceptional design, comfort, technology and cargo space.
–Zippy doesn’t even come close to describing the e-Golf’s no-transmission acceleration. The e-Golf’s 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery delivers a whopping 199 lb. ft. of torque and 115 hp.
–World-class steering, handling, braking and suspension in the e-Golf makes even everyday rides feel almost like driving a racy sports car.
–Some current production EVs don’t come standard with a “direct current” (DC) or “fast” charging port, but the e-Golf does. Not only is 240-volt charging efficient, but VW claims its fast charging capability delivers up to 80 percent battery charge in just 30 minutes. Plus, VW’s “connect app” brings the power of your mobile phone to charging your e-Golf.
So, how much does it cost and what comes standard? The good news is that Volkswagen just launched an all-new trim line for the 2015 e-Golf priced almost two thousand bucks cheaper than its SEL model. The 2015 VW e-Golf Limited has a MSRP of $33,450 (or a $229 monthly lease excluding applicable fees).
Just some of the standard equipment on the all-new 2015 e-Golf Limited model includes push-button start, keyless access, dual-zone climate control, automatic halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, 16-inch steel wheels, halogen headlights, cloth seating surfaces, front/rear “park distance control,” rear view camera and navigation system.
What Do #VW e-Golf Owners Say?
Most auto journalists only get to test out a car for a week at a time. So the rubber really meets the road in real life amongst real car owners, right? I befriended some VW e-Golf owners in a global group on Facebook and here’s what they have to say:
I LOVE my e-Golf! And this is from a guy who has driven nothing but VR6 powered R32’s and GTI’s. It’s way faster than VW’s posted numbers (0-60 in 8.9 seconds not 10.2). It feels even faster with the lack of a transmission. My boys call it “the zippy car!” I regularly get over 4 mpkWh in normal mode on my commute without having to drive like a Prius. Charging is fast and easy, although the car-net app could use a lot of work. My only faults with it are the tiny infotainment screen which lacks features the European model has, and the tall side wall tires which take off the usual Golf sharpness IMO. But compared to all others out there, it’s the best size, design and most practical, not to mention it looks sharp with the LED headlamps and ‘C’ shaped DRL’s. It’s also very efficient and flexible with the most driver control than all others including the ability to turn the brake regen off completely, don’t even think TESLA does that. Overall it’s been a blast to own and the guilt-free power makes driving to work an adventure to have more fun than the ICE (internal combustion engine) cars I pass on the way. I should also state that I’ve owned mine since November 4 (2014). My normal commute is about 44 miles roundtrip and I always make it home with more than 55 percent battery left, so my evening charge is never longer than an hour and 40 minutes with my home level 2 charger. I had test driven all available EVs before the e-Golf came out starting with the Leaf and ending with a Model S85 and e-Golf ticked all the right boxes for me — from driving feel to affordability for the performance I expect for a daily driver. No compromises were made. — Alexander Jaeger
I’ve had my e-Golf for three months and driven it 2,700 miles so far. I honestly can’t think of any negatives. It’s my third Golf and the best yet. Around town, it’s at least as much fun to drive as the GTi, and it’s quite capable on highways too assuming there are rapid charge options on your route at least. I took mine on a 400-mile round trip a couple of weekends ago and I’ll be doing a similar journey this weekend. I tested the Zoe, Leaf and i3 as well as the e-Golf. The i3 and e-Golf seemed in another class to the older models — both fine vehicles — but e-Golf won it for me. Didn’t test drive the Tesla, already know the P85D is what I really want but not getting one unless I win the lottery! — Martin Reilly
I’ve had (my e-Golf) for a month now and we are not looking back. 1100km into ownership and I’m as impressed as I ever am with all of the Golfs I have ever owned (this is Golf number five). There are some technical maladies that VW are working with me to fix, all to do with software mind you. Even with that taken into account, it’s an amazing experience driving one and this is coming from previous Golf GT owner. (The e-Golf is so) much fun at legal speeds! This is the first serious competitor for the standard setting Nissan Leaf, though the e-Golf is bigger inside with three real seats in the back, which is a big advantage for a 2+2 family like ours. Now I look forward to putting on the 18-inch summer shoes in April to see what it is really like to drive. — Anthony Devine
Simply the best. A fun, safe, well built, sexy golf with an electric heart. Driving past petrol stations and toll roads makes me smile as well as free charging and parking around my home town of Stavanger, Norway. — Richard North
Fast charging on a CCS is much faster than the Leaf. The Leaf slows down around 80 percent, but the e-Golf continues to charge faster to 100 percent. Combined with 20-30 percent more range, it gives the e-Golf a big advantage when driving longer distances. — Martin Messer Thomsen
I’ve had my e-Golf now for over seven months (and put over 3.500 km on it). Before I decided on it, I had tried Nissan Leaf, Citroen c-zero, VW e-UP and Mitsubishu i-MiEV. I’ve also tried the VW Golf Mk 6 EV test vehicle. Being 6″2′ tall, I found that the space behind the wheel wasn’t great on either of the EV’s made in Japan. I love the car. It has been a great fun to drive and still is. It is a solid car and feels like any other Golf except that it is a lot more quiet. — JP Fagerback
Evidence of Volkswagen’s e-Golf being the top electric vehicle for 2015 is now overwhelming. Are you ready for a road test to see for yourself?