Our tame racing driver helps kicks off Evans's CarFest motor show...
You are here
The Top Gear car review:Volkswagen e-Golf
For:Feels like a Golf, drives like one too
Against:Useless if you're regularly commuting from Penzance to Portsmouth
e-Golf 5dr Auto
Not quite the EV to replace petrol cars, but mighty close. The all-electric era is nearly here.
Is the GTE two cars for the price of one? TG tries out the 201bhp petrol-electric hybrid hot hatch.
We take a spin in VW’s all-electric hatch. Is this, finally, an EV that makes sense for normal people?
We’ll be testing the new GTI on this Sunday’s show – here’s a hot version to whet your appetite
Our first test of the most powerful production Golf ever. On a frozen lake in Sweden.
Incredibly confident, engaging and very well refined. But maybe you should buy the cheaper Leon FR instead?
Obviously, we’ll tell you to go all out and get a GTI. But if you want to save pennies, this is a fine, well-sorted eco machine.
The GTI vs its upgraded Performance Pack version. Fight!
New Golf gets the ultra-eco treatment. Click here if you’re interested in ECONOMY
Efficient, fast, confident. But there’s a fly in the ointment…
More than ever, the Golf is all things to all men and women. But in hitting every target, it denies you deep driving satisfaction
We’re back in the iconic hatch, this time without the Performance Pack. How does the standard car stack up?
So, is this still all the car you’ll ever need? Jason Barlow finds out…
You might think it po-faced and humourless, but you just can’t argue with this sort of comfort, economy and quality
If you can find a motorway long enough, this is the car to drive it with. One of TG’s favourite eco cars.
A very nice car, but not actually the hot hatch it pretends to be. And deceit is really quite a bad thing.
The definitive all-rounder for a world in crisis. Cars don’t come more complete than this.
Still the best hot-hatch on the market, even if it’s lost some of that vital visual understatement.
There’s nothing here that will blow your mind, but it’s all where it should be and all works well.
New Golf, new levels of refinement. Even the petrols are better.
Why can’t more eco cars be like this? No leafy logos or pompous wafflings here, which is just how we like it.
In uncertain economic times, you’d do well to buy a car with a good pedigree, like a Golf. And, as luck would have it, the mark 6 is right on hand
Funny how the game of one-upmanship can play out with car manufacturers. At one point, if you had a turbo or supercharger then you were pretty...
Everything’s meant to get bigger and better when it’s replaced, right? So when VW launched the new MkV Golf GT TDI back in 2004, it confused us...
What, exactly, is the point of a four-wheel-drive car? During my test drive of the new Golf 4Motion, VW implored me to drive on some snow they’d...
By the time you get to the fifth incarnation of a car, you should really be getting the hang of things, and as VW has been building the Golf for...
It has to be said, the golf is something of a monster success story. Which is encouraging in the days of an industry blighted by over-supply and...
Luckily for us, VW decided upon the letter R to signify its hot new 3.2-litre Golf and not S, like its Audi stablemate. Today’s launch venue is...
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Golf GTi, so you’d think that after a quarter of a century of development the car would still be the...
It was to be a bank holiday weekend to remember. The plan was to get behind the wheel of the Porsche Boxster S we had in for a group test, fold...
I must admit that I’m not the most technically minded of the Top Gear staff. If ever the topic of conversation swings around to torque or...
What we say:
Volkswagen's take on the all-electric family car is, as you'd expect, an extremely convincing one
What is it?
The first-ever Golf to entirely do away with that old-school notion of an internal combustion engine. The e-Golf is propelled solely by an electric motor sending 114bhp to the front wheels, fed by a 24.2kW lithium ion battery tucked down between the axles. Apart from that, this is very much a Golf, underpinned by the familiar MQB bits underneath.
On paper, the e-Golf doesn’t sound especially fast. 0-62mph takes more than 10 seconds, with top speed a decidedly sedate 87mph. However, in real-world driving, the e-Golf feels not only faster than those figures would suggest, but fast full-stop. There’s a fabulous slug of torque available from standstill, giving the e-Golf a proper kick away from the lights. There’s so much twist on tap, in fact, that it’ll even spin its wheels if you get too lairy on the accelerator. And, with throttle response five times faster than that of a conventional petrol engine, the eGolf has seriously pokey responses. It’s not quite driving as we know it, but rather lovely all the same.
Dial the regenerative braking up to max, and the e-Golf will haul you to a pretty rapid standstill as soon as you lift off the throttle, meaning you virtually never need actually hit the brake pedal. If that’s too weirdyfuture for you, you can crank back the effect of the regen braking, at which point the e-Golf feels like, well… just another Golf: refined, solid, nice to steer.
On the inside
It’s a Golf. Space for a battery pack was engineered into the MQB architecture from the very start – indeed, electric Golfs roll down the same production line as their petrol and diesel counterparts – so no compromise was needed when packaging the e-Golf’s electric gubbins. With the 318kg battery lurking effectively under the passengers’ feet, legroom is identical to that of every other Golf. And, of course, all the nav/music goodies are as we’ve come to expect from the slickest family hatch out there.
VW quotes a range of 118 miles on a single charge, claiming the e-Golf is around 30 per cent more energy efficient than competitors such as the Nissan Leaf, but as ever with EVs it depends how you drive. Exercise reasonable right-foot restraint and you’ll achieve around 100 miles on a charge, which, with the right energy tariff, should cost you 5p per mile. The e-Golf can be 80 per cent fast-charged in just 30 minutes, but you’ll need 13 hours or so to brim the battery at home. The list price says £30k but the Government grant takes £5k off that, making it look like a bit of a bargain to buy, particularly when it’s so well equipped as standard. If an electric car fits your lifestyle, this is one of the best out there.