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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 By What Car? team

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BMW i3 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Both cars are spacious in the front, although the i3 feels roomier, because there’s no conventional centre console. The fact that the parking brake switch and drive selector are both located on the steering column also frees up space between the front seats.

Things are different in the rear, though. While the e-Golf offers easy access and enough head and leg room for six-footers, the i3 is decidedly cramped and claustrophobic. And although those rear-hinged doors look cool and open to reveal a decent aperture, a high floor hampers access. What’s more, the fact that you can’t open the rear doors without first opening the front ones is highly inconvenient.

The four-seat i3’s rear seatbacks fold down in a 50/50 split, whereas the five-seat e-Golf’s split 60/40. Both cars have a similarly wide boot opening, and there’s virtually no load lip on the i3, but the e-Golf is in a different league in terms of capacity. The i3’s boot is smaller than a Ford Fiesta’s, with just about enough space to swallow a modest weekly shop.


BMW i3

Official boot capacity 260-1100 litres Suitcase capacity 4

Volkswagen e-Golf

Official boot capacity 341-1232 litres Suitcase capacity 5

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