- Electric version of the Golf hatchback
- EPA estimated range of 83 miles on a full charge
- Only available in select areas
Volkswagen takes the electric road with the brand new 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf.
The e-Golf is based on the Golf hatchback which was redesigned for 2015, but swaps out the gasoline or diesel drivetrain of the Golf for an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack found beneath the rear seats. EPA estimated range for the e-Golf is 83 miles, which will vary on a wide range of factors including temperature, use of climate control, and how hard you accelerate while driving.
Though the Golf is offered as a two- or four-door hatchback, the e-Golf is exclusively a four-door. Its styling very closely matches the gasoline version, but it gets its own unique 16-inch wheels and a thin blue trim piece that lines the front grille and headlight clusters.
Total output from the electric motor is 115-hp and 199 pounds-feet of torque, all going to the front wheels. A full charge from empty on a household 110-volt socket will take 20 hours, but the e-Golf offers quick charge capability from a DC fast charging station that will fill the battery to 80-percent of its capacity in 30 minutes. An optional 240-volt charger that can be installed at your home reduces full charging time to about four hours.
To save battery, the e-Golf offers three distinct driving profiles: Normal, Eco, and Eco+. Normal mode taps the full power capability of the motor and battery, but shifting into Eco limits power to 94-hp, reduces the power load of the climate system, and makes the accelerator less responsive. Eco+ goes even further, limiting top speed to 56-mph, switching off the air conditioning, and dropping output to 74-hp.
The 2015 e-Golf is only offered in one trim level, SEL Premium, which means it is loaded to the gills with standard features. Standard leatherette seating, powered/heated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control provide comfort. There is also plenty of standard technology as well, including a navigation system with a 5.8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, HD radio, satellite radio, and the Car-Net app which owners can use to set the charging time or duration, check the GPS to see where the car is, and start the car’s climate control system remotely. More good news: with the battery pack located under the rear seats, rear cargo room is the same as the gas version at 22.8 cubic feet.
Standard safety features include antilock brakes, electronic stability control, rearview camera, and six airbags.
Please note that the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf will have limited distribution in the following states/municipalities: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington D.C.