Volkswagen e-Golf (2014 – 2020) Review

Volkswagen e-Golf (2014 – 2020) At A Glance


+Impressively swift and smooth performance. 119-mile real life range. Regenerative braking makes town driving easier. Feels similar to a petrol Golf.

-118.75 mile range is limited compared to a petrol or diesel and to later generations of electric cars. (Even VAG's Mii electric has an official range of 162 miles.)

New prices start from £31,075
Insurance Group 15

A few years ago, you had to be a die-hard early adoptor to buy an electric car. But they're gradually becoming more commonplace, and if there's one car that will truly take EVs to the mainstream, it's the ubiquitious Volkswagen Golf. The electrically-powered version of the Golf offers the same formula of practicality, quality and refinement as the rest of the Golf range, but with the big advantage of no emissions and no need to ever put fuel in it.

Instead you only need to plug in the e-Golf to charge it up. Using a wallbox, a full charge from empty to maximum can be done in a little over five hours. With the electric charging network in the UK ever expanding, there are now far more charging points available at supermarkets, shopping centre car parks, railway stations and motorway services.

Of course the worry with any electric vehicle is that you will run out of power, miles away from a charging point. But with a realistic range of around 120 miles this is less of a worry with the e-Golf. Of course it's not a car that will suit everyone - but for many people who do even a reasonable distance commute, the e-Golf could make sense as an every day car.

It drives well too. This is no slow eco-special, instead it feels as rapid as a turbocharged petrol Golf. The power figures are reasonable with 136PS and 290Nm of torque, but what makes all the difference is that all the torque is available from a standstill, making the e-Golf a rocket at the lights. From 0-30mph it is effortlessly fast and really enjoyable to drive, even beyond the novelty factor.

It's just as good on larger roads with strong pace on the move. It's incredibly easy to drive with a single-speed gearbox plus there are clever regenerative braking modes which, although slightly disconcerting at first, make driving in town much easier.

The one sticking point is the price: the e-Golf costs £28,230 after the government electric car grant of £4500, about the same as a Golf GTD. However, the BMW i3 is only marginally more expensive and has more power, albeit with a slightly shorter range. At least its relative age now means that it's one of the cheapest electric cars worth buying - it's relatively affordable on the used market

What the Golf does have on its side is familiarity. It's very easy to get to grips with as, bar some different instrument dials, it's very much like any other Golf from behind the wheel. For those who want an electric vehicle without anything weird or wacky, the e-Golf has a lot of appeal.

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What's the best used, small hatchback for low mileage use?
"We are both recently retired and found that having just one car (the brilliant Volvo XC40 T3) is proving inconvenient, so we want a small used car for running around and short trips. Current thoughts are Audi A1, Fiat 500 or MINI. Prices seem fairly equal for recent models and running costs about even, but it's difficult to find information on reliability. It will probably only be doing 5000 miles per year. From those above, what would be the least likely to cause problems and prove not overly expensive? What other makes/models would you suggest in 3 to 4-year-old cars? Thanks in anticipation."
Our Satisfaction Index is a good indicator of reliability: As a guideline, Audi owners are generally fairly satisfied. MINI and Fiat actually perform pretty poorly. We also list common issues under the 'good/bad' section in our reviews. Have you considered an electric vehicle? If you can charge a car at home, it sounds like one would suit your requirements well. Something like a Volkswagen e-Golf, Hyundai Ioniq or Kia Soul EV could be a good option. A little more expensive to buy but you'll save money in running costs. If you'd prefer to stick to petrol, consider a Ford Fiesta Vignale. It's essentially a posh Fiesta with a luxurious interior but low running costs.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best value, used electric car?
"Is the Volkswagen e-Golf the best value, used electric car?"
The Volkswagen e-Golf is certainly an excellent introduction to electric vehicles. We ran one for six months and rated it highly: You might find a Nissan Leaf to be a better choice, however. The 40kWh model can travel 168 miles on a charge (compared to the e-Golf's 144) and, as it sold in bigger numbers when new, there are more to choose from on the used market. We'd also recommend the Hyundai Ioniq Electric which has a range of up to 183 miles.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best app to find public charging points for electric cars?
"What apps do I need for a holiday trip around the south coast and West Country with my new e-Golf?"
I'd recommend downloading the PlugShare app. It'll tell you where all the chargers are in the area you need, along with details about the companies that operate them and reviews from other users.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is an EV actually cost effective?
"I am trying to decide on my next car. With pure EVs I hear of £50 pcm battery lease and then whatever commercial charging points cost. What is the sort of cost per KwH charged at these places? If the cost of motorway fuel is anything to go by, it will be well in excess of the price per KwH I pay at home."
Ecotricity, which operates all motorway EV chargers in the UK (Tesla's Supercharger network aside), charges 30p/kWh. This drops to 15p/kWh for Ecotricity's home energy customers. I regularly use them to charge my Volkswagen e-Golf ( and find it costs around £7 to charge it up to 80 per cent from near empty. I can get around 120 miles from that.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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