Volkswagen e-Golf long-term test review

We like the regular Volkswagen Golf family hatchback, so surely an all-electric version is going to be one of the best cars around? Let's see if that theory holds up across four months of use...

Volkswagen e-Golf long-term test review
  • The car Volkswagen e-Golf
  • Run by Jimi Beckwith, special contributor
  • Why it’s here To prove that electric cars aren’t just for short trips and those who live in the city
  • Needs to Be reliable, leggy transport for three-figure daily mileage, with the comfort and convenience of a long-distance cruiser and the talent to match conventional petrol and diesel models

Price £32,075 (excluding government grant) Price as tested £35,490 (excluding government grant) Miles 4100 Official range 180 miles Real-world range 124 miles Options fitted Heat pump (£830), Winter Pack (£400), Active Info Display (£495), keyless entry and start (£375), carpet mats (£85), metallic paint (£575)

28 June 2018 – the range test

125 miles. That’s the range of the e-Golf in real-world, Volkswagen says.

You might also remember that my daily commute is 125 miles, meaning that should I opt not to charge at What Car? towers, I should roll back onto my driveway in Southampton just as the battery empties.

I dared the car to fulfill this, with a recovery truck number to hand, just in case. I wasn’t going to admit defeat unless the car ground to a halt.

I set off for the first leg to work with 175 miles of charge and turned off the air-con for extra economy. Motorway miles deplete the car’s range at an alarming rate, and while scaling one half-mile hill on the M3, the range sunk by eight whole miles at the top. An hour later, I arrived in Twickenham with 95 miles left.

At the end of the day, the notorious evening rush hour beckoned, and 62-and-a-bit miles now seemed an awfully long way. Overtakes were carefully planned, regenerative braking used to its fullest potential.

Volkswagen e-Golf long-term test review

By Fleet Services, 27 miles away, I’d used 41 miles, and the car was showing 54 left. 25 miles later, the 30-mile warning came, with its lightest restriction of my comfort settings.

Over the last ten miles, consumption slowed - a combination of range-friendly downhills and sensible regenerative braking saw me roll onto my driveway with a heartening 24 miles of range left over – enough to last me all weekend if I’d done this on a Friday. A trip to the gym took my daily total to 131 miles travelled, and 18 miles of remaining range.

The caveats, then? No air-con. If it got too hot, I’d open the window about an inch. Not ideal on the hottest day of the year so far. The heat will also have helped the battery give its all, although perhaps not quite to the tune of 24 miles of remaining power.

On my next economy run I'll be a little more challenging; I’ll go the speed limit, with the air-con on (gently), and it probably won’t be as hot. I’ll keep hold of that recovery truck number, but if I had to put money on it, I’d say I wouldn’t need it.

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