The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Review: In the wake of the Diesel emissions scandal, VW is emphasizing its electric car goals, but so far, its only all-electric car is the e-Golf. I enjoyed a week with a handsome White Silver example. With the sound and vibration of an engine removed, tire noise, wind, and EV functions come to the fore, so the engineers worked hard to make the e-Golf extremely quiet inside. They also installed a tone that’s emitted at low speeds to warn pedestrians that the silent cruiser is close.
The Golf is a car buff magazine perennial favorite, especially the GTI model, because it’s compact but not too small, extremely practical, drives with enthusiasm, and handles precisely. In addition, the interior feels like a driver’s car and not simply a motoring appliance.
The Golf can accommodate folks inside comfortably, and haul 22.8 cubic feet of gear with the rear seat up. Flip it down to make that 52.7 cubic feet.
The original e-Golf’s 85 kw electric motor generated only 115 horsepower, but the new one’s motor is boosted to 100 kW, and develops 134 horsepower. The new motor churns out a generous 214 lb.-ft. versus 199 for the old one. The trip from 0 to 60 takes 9.6 seconds, reasonable if not thrilling; some other EVs do better.
The real benefit of the 2017 model, though, is range. With a larger, 35.8 kW battery (up from 24.2 kW, official range is now 125 miles versus 83. That can change your destination choices. I found the range was more like 145 miles, but this may have been from my careful EV driving habits. You can build those habits, too. The e-Golf provides the Think Blue Trainer electronic aid to teach you how to drive more efficiently and conserve battery life.
VW lets you select from three levels of electricity regeneration. The car’s default setting only regenerates when you brake the car, as in a hybrid vehicle. However, you can easily set it for a more aggressive level with a flick of the transmission level. I tended to leave it in D3, the maximum, which allowed a bit more “one pedal driving.”
Choose from three driving modes: Normal, Eco, and Eco+. Normal uses the full power and features of the car, but Eco and Eco+ progressively limit horsepower, change the accelerator response curve, and reduce or turn off the air conditioning, for increased efficiency.
The 2017 e-Golf’s EPA estimated fuel economy is 126 MPGe City, 111 MPGe Highway, and 119 MPGe Combined. This beats the 2016 EPA estimates of 126, 105 and 116, respectively.
The Golf is not a flashy design, inside or out. Its origins go back to 1975, when it replaced the Beetle as the centerpiece of VW’s sales efforts. The boxy, front-wheel-drive, water-cooled hatchback was totally different from its ancestor, and created the Volkswagens we know of today.
The latest Golf still wears sharp edges outside and solid, straight shapes inside. Materials are more upscale than some compact competitors. Most of the door and dash surfaces are padded, the seats are substantial and supportive, and the doors close with a nice “thunk.”
The e-Golf’s windshield has a fine net of wires in it for de-icing, but I don’t need that in sunny California and it was occasionally annoying. But then there was the beautiful rimless rear-view mirror, and the audio controls that expose details as your hand approaches them. The sporty, flat-bottomed steering wheel wears jaunty blue stitching. The 8-inch dash display is easy to use.
The e-Golf comes in the SE and SEL Premium editions, and now there’s a new Limited Edition that sits between them. You can expect to pay around $29,000 for the SE and $36,000 for the SEL Premium. Despite its virtues, the one thing the new e-Golf can’t do is travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, like the Chevrolet Bolt or a Tesla, but that should change soon. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: The beauty of the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf EV is that it doesn’t lose any of its Golf virtues in the transition to being an Electric Vehicle. Its 700-pound battery lives along the bottom of the car, giving it a low center of gravity, and not intruding into the passenger area or cargo room. At 3,455 pounds, the e-Golf weighs only 432 pounds more than a four-door Golf automatic, thanks to some careful engineering, and the generous use of high-strength steel.
By the 2020s, VW will field a range of EV models under the I.D. brand, including a hatchback, a crossover, and an all-electric successor to the beloved microbus. VW is also helping to build charging networks world wide, which will benefit anyone with an electric car in the future. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”. This Bottom Line Review is provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: The Golf is a perennial favorite
Topic: The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
Word Count: 928
Photo Caption: The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
Photo Credits: Volkswagen Internet Media
Series #: 2017 - 30
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