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Used test: BMW i3 vs Volkswagen e-Golf: verdict

Interest is growing in used electric cars, and they don’t come much more usable than the Volkswagen e-Golf. But is it better than BMW’s radical i3?...

BMW i3 vs Volkswagen e-Golf
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Our verdict

Buying either of these two at this age is a good way to get into electric motoring, although with their limited real-world ranges you'll have to make sure they fit into your lifestyle.

The BMW i3 is a great urban runabout. It's fast, stylish and well put together. However, for a vehicle that was designed from the ground up to be all-electric, it’s also surprisingly compromised. It 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 Volkswagen e-Golf works brilliantly as an electric car thanks to its smooth, silent running, strong reserves of torque and its ability to use regenerative braking to turn it into a one-pedal car. Yet its greatest trick is that you don’t have to compromise on practicality because it is still, essentially, a well-equipped Mk7 Golf. That it also drives better than the i3 seals its victory here. 

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1st – Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf 2017 RHD front left studio

For Longer real-world range; comfortable ride; more practical
Against Performance; dreary interior
Verdict A practical, likeable and classy effort, just like a regular Golf

What Car? rating  4 stars out of 5

Read our full used Volkswagen e-Golf review >>

Find used Volkswagen e-Golfs for sale >>


2nd – BMW i3 94Ah

Used test: BMW i3 vs Volkswagen e-Golf

For Classier interior; impressive performance; futuristic looks
Against Poor ride; not as practical; nervous handling; costly to service and insure
Verdict Great for those who like to cut a dash, but too compromised for everyday life

What Car? rating 3 stars out of 5

Read our full used BMW i3 review >>

Find used BMW i3s for sale >>


Specification: BMW i3 94Ah

BMW i3 rear studio

Battery size 33kWh
Power 168bhp
Torque 184lb ft
0-60mph 7.2sec
Top speed 93mph
Electric range (NEDC official) 125 miles
Electric range (test) 74 miles
CO2 emissions (at tailpipe) 0g/km


Specifications: Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf 2017 RHD right rear studio

Battery size 35.8kWh
Power 134bhp
Torque 213lb ft
0-60mph 8.7sec
Top speed 93mph
Electric range (NEDC official) 124 miles
Electric range (test) 78 miles
CO2 emissions (at tailpipe) 0g/km