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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
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Jimi Beckwith
6 Sep 2018 08:00
  • 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 8200 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)


6 September 2018 – e-Golf vs Zoe

We've had a Renault Zoe R110 in recently, and I decided to compare it with the e-Golf rival over a long weekend. Having driven our long-term Nissan Leaf a few weeks ago, it seems only fair to give the ‘other’ big-selling EV in the UK a go too.

Right off the bat, the Zoe and the e-Golf are very different cars. The Zoe is light and smaller-bodied than the Golf, meaning I got farther in the Zoe than I do in the Golf between charges. I could comfortably make it to work and back, with local weekend mileage in between in the Zoe, whereas the Golf struggles with my long commute. I got about 150 miles out of the Zoe between charges, compared with the Golf's 124 miles.

Renault Zoe

It’s far more basic inside, though. The e-Golf is a very high-spec machine, bringing the best of Volkswagen’s tech available on the Golf, a solid and ergonomically faultless interior and a decent driving position. You’re perched high in the Zoe, sitting almost on top of the car rather than sinking down into it, while the interior is fairly basic, with interior plastics that make the car feel far cheaper than its £28,520 starting price suggests. It's only £4210 less than the Golf, remember.

The biggest difference between the two, though, was the drive. Being a few months into our test, I’ve grown accustomed to the e-Golf’s handling, but returning to it after three days in the Zoe was eye-opening. The Golf feels planted and steady, cornering flat and composed, as well as picking up speed more confidently than the leaning, more urban-friendly Zoe.

In fact, so profound was the difference, that the Golf felt like a sports car in comparison with the Zoe, and not just because it’s a bit quicker. The regular Golf handles well to begin with, and out of the Zoe, e-Golf and Leaf, the e-Golf has by far the best handling. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to an electric hot hatch, and the best-handling EV this side of the £63,495 Jaguar I-Pace, in my opinion. For now, anyway.

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