GOLF STREAM (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Volkswagen's all-electric e-Golf has evolved in recent years with sharper looks, more power and extra technology. Now it's cheaper too. Jonathan Crouch takes another look at what's on offer.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 49
With a theoretical range of up to 144 miles (WLTP) and a recharging time that can take not much more than half an hour, the Volkswagen e-Golf makes electric power a much more feasible and normal prospect for British motorists. And now it's £2,765 cheaper. Still fancy that turbodiesel?
Backgroundword count: 135
How we laughed when the first electric vehicles arrived on the market. We chuckled at their hopeless real world range, their propensity to leave you stranded for hours should you forget to charge up overnight, their joke pricing and the inconvenient truth that buying a decent turbodiesel always worked out more cost-effectively. Then we stopped laughing. Cars like the BMW i3 appeared that offered smart solutions to thorny questions. In 2013, Volkswagen finally got in on the act with their e-Golf but still take-up was quite slow. Wolfsburg told us it would go 118 miles between charges but in the real world, users were getting around 70 miles which wasn't quite enough. This revised version though, increases that capability by 50%. And it's slicker and most sophisticated. In short, it's a much more credible prospect.
Driving Experienceword count: 264
Turn the key to prime the electric motor and the e-Golf responds with silence. Otherwise there aren't too many surprises. You select D for Drive, prod the slightly heavier-sprung throttle pedal and away you glide. There is some rumble from the tyres but other than that it's as quiet as you'd expect an electric car to be. Like all such vehicles, there's an enormous amount of torque on tap and at city speeds, that 290Nm of pulling power (20Nm more than before) will make the car feel positively punchy. In fact, Volkswagen quotes a 0-37mph time of around 4 seconds, which is quicker than a Golf GTI. Okay, so the GTI would have disappeared up the road at 60mph, the e-Golf getting there in a still respectable 9.6 seconds. That's as long as you've taken it out of the 'Eco Plus' mode where you'll get the best fuel consumption. That mode is capped to 56mph. Switch it into 'Eco' and you get to 71mph, while 'Normal' tops out at 87mph. You can also vary the amount of braking energy recuperation you get between four settings. Much like a Golf Mk7 with an internal combustion engine, the steering is slick and accurate, albeit without a huge amount of feedback. The e-Golf's weighs in at 1510kg, which is about 230kg heftier than a diesel model, but much of the weight is set down low, helping handling. The tyres are 205/55 R16 low-rolling resistance items and the stiff sidewalls are responsible for introducing a bit of bump and thump into the normally very polished Golf ride quality.
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Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen
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