The 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf takes everything you love about the gas-powered models and adds an all-electric powertrain. As a result, the e-Golf is fun to drive, practical and packed with technology.
With room for five, the 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf compact hatchback comes in SE and SEL Premium trim levels. It has an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery and a single-speed transmission that’s typical for electric cars. Front-wheel drive is standard. The e-Golf’s competitors include the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3, although those vehicles have longer driving ranges.
VW’s electric hatchback gets a newly standard DC fast charger for the 2019 model year.
The brilliance of the e-Golf is that it’s a Golf — except in every way that it’s not. For example, the interior is handsome, well-designed and intuitive to understand, just like the regular Golf. Also like the Golf, the seats are comfortable, the steering is on point, and the bones of the car are made of the same Volkswagen MQB chassis magic that you’ll find beneath many great VW and Audi offerings.
Best of all, the e-Golf looks like a regular car. It doesn’t make any attempt to show off that it’s an electric vehicle beyond some blue stitching, a slightly different front fascia and new wheels.
Basically, the best thing about the e-Golf is that VW started with a car that’s already great instead of starting from scratch, so it doesn’t really feel like you’re making sacrifices in terms of build quality and aesthetic design in order to drive a fully electric car. It also doesn’t feel like the kind of electric vehicle you’d drive just to let other people know you’re driving an electric vehicle.
As for performance, the e-Golf is not fast by any means. It only has a top speed of 85 miles per hour, and it takes over 9 seconds to reach 60 mph. This makes sense, as the motor only has 115 horsepower, and the car weighs several hundred pounds more than a gas-powered Golf. That being said, the e-Golf is actually surprisingly quick on its feet around town due to all that sweet electric torque.
The 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf has a planted, stuck-to-the-ground look with a front end that seems to be shooting forward. It’s a classic hot-hatch appearance that’s complemented by upscale details such as C-shaped daytime running lights. Another traditional Golf touch is the angled sheet metal between the rear doors and the taillights.
The base model is equipped with automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and heated mirrors with integrated turn signals.
Adaptive LED headlights are available.
The e-Golf’s cabin gets the driver-focused treatment to go with the car’s sporty exterior. So the instrument panel and center stack are pressed into the smoothly molded dashboard, and they surround you in the pilot’s seat. The rear seats have split-folding backs. The e-Golf supplies 22.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity when those seats are in use and 52.8 cubic feet when they’re folded.
VW provides standard equipment that includes cloth upholstery, six-way partial power-adjustable seats, heat for the driver and front passenger, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Leatherette seating surfaces are standard for the SEL Premium.
Volkswagen combines the e-Golf’s electric motor with a 35.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. This produces 134 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque. Also standard are a single-speed transmission, front-wheel drive and VW’s Cross Differential XDS system. First introduced for the high-performance Golf GTI, this technology helps you carve corners by specifically adjusting how much power is sent to each of the front wheels.
The e-Golf can handle two levels of charging with its standard setup. It will take you less than six hours to get a full charge with a 240-volt source of electricity. Alternatively, you can charge the battery to 80 percent capacity in an hour at a DC fast-charging station.
The car’s EPA-certified driving range of 125 miles is 25 miles shorter than that of a 2019 Nissan Leaf base model.
The 2014 VW e-Golf comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, Bluetooth, a USB port, an AM/FM stereo, satellite radio and a CD player. The car’s optional navigation system upsizes to a 9.25-inch touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is available.
Standard driver-assistance technology includes a rearview camera. VW offers options such as adaptive cruise control, automatic forward emergency braking, automatic high beams, automatic parking assistance, a blind-spot monitor, forward collision warning, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and pedestrian detection.