Feature

New Volkswagen e-Golf vs BMW i3

Electric hatchbacks don’t come much more usable than VW’s latest e-Golf. But is it better than the radical BMW i3?

Words ByWhat Car? team

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BMW i3 dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

Although the e-Golf is one of the most futuristic hatches on the market, its interior is distinctly traditional. In fact, apart from some blue stitching on the steering wheel, a bespoke digital instrument panel and extra modes on the gear selector, there’s little to indicate that it’s an electric car at all. And for some, that familiarity will be a major drawcard.

By contrast, the i3’s interior looks far more modern. The upright seating position, low dashboard and large windscreen give you a panoramic view of the road ahead. BMW has also done away with traditional instrument dials, opting instead for a small digital screen ahead of the driver. Most other functions are handled by the central infotainment screen.

Our only real gripe is that the i3’s driver’s seat doesn’t offer adjustable lumbar support, even as an option, and despite looking distinctly premium, there are a few areas (such as the leading edge of the glovebox) where the VW has the BMW beaten for build quality.

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