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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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New Volkswagen e-Golf with BMW i3

Our verdict

BMW should be commended for going above and beyond in its attempt to build the ultimate urban runabout; the i3 is fast, energy efficient and well put together. However, for a vehicle designed from the ground up to be all-electric, it’s also surprisingly compromised. The i3 suffers from a poor low-speed ride, while its rear seats are cramped and it can’t cover quite as much distance between charges as the e-Golf.

The e-Golf succeeds because it works brilliantly as an electric car, yet it doesn’t compromise on practicality, equipment or driving dynamics. It may not excite you as much as the i3, but at least it doesn’t over-promise and under-deliver.

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1st – Volkswagen e-Golf

For Longer real-world range; comfortable ride; more practical; cheaper to run

Against Higher monthly PCP payments; so-so performance; dreary interior

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Volkswagen e-Golf review

Find a great Volkswagen e-Golf deal


2nd – BMW i3

For Classier interior; impressive performance; futuristic looks

Against Poor ride; not as practical; nervous handling; costly to service and insure

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full BMW i3 review

Find a great BMW i3 deal


Also consider:


Specifications: BMW i3 94Ah

Engine Electric motor

Battery capacity 33kWh

Gearbox Single-speed automatic

List price Β£33,070

Target Price Β£28,570 (after Β£4500 government grant)

Power 168bhp

Torque 184lb ft

0-60mph 7.2sec

Top speed 93mph

Range (real-world claim) 125 miles

Range (real-world claim) 74 miles

Cost of a full charge Β£4.29

Cost of electricity per mile 5.8p


Specifications: Volkswagen e-Golf

Engine Electric motor

Battery capacity 35.8kWh

Gearbox Single-speed automatic

List price Β£32,190

Target Price Β£27,690 (after Β£4500 government grant)

Power 134bhp

Torque 213lb ft

0-60mph 8.7sec

Top speed 93mph

Range (real-world claim) 124 miles

Range (real-world claim) 78 miles

Cost of a full charge Β£4.65

Cost of electricity per mile 5.9p


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