HEELS ON WHEELS: 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Review +VIDEO
HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel
INTRO TO THE GOLF VEHICLE
I test drove a 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf with the upgraded 35.8 kW-hour lithium-ion battery and an upgraded electric motor for a total horsepower output of 134. Available in two trims – the base SE and SEL Premium – standard features on my SEL Premium included: V-Tex leatherette upholstery; leather-wrapped steering wheel; heated and powered front seats; rear folding seats; 7.2 KW onboard charger with Combined Charging System and DC fast charging; rearview camera; park distance control; VW Car-Net services (smartphone integration, navigation, emergency assistance); Discover Media 8-inch touchscreen; 8-speaker audio system; Bluetooth; LED head and tail lights; e-Gold bumpers, front grille and exterior trim; and 16-inch alloy wheels. Total price as described comes to $36,995.
In terms of sporty electric hatches, competition includes the Chevrolet Bolt and Toyota Mirai. Although not electric, the all-new hybrid Hyundai Ioniq is an interesting one to check out along with the sporty yet gas-powered Mazda3, Ford Focus, and Subaru Impreza.
HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
Stylish But Comfortable Results: The interior features a mature and spacious feel supported by a substantial list of technology features and VW’s leatherette material that lends a glossy look. Graphics have improved tremendously and remain intuitive to use, and the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster keeps vital information close to the eye. Power seating aids in comfort but it would be nice to have additional settings. Outside, a few visual ques help the e-Golf stand out from its siblings, such as blue exterior lighting, EV badging and very snazzy 16-inch alloy wheel designs. Passenger space is not cramped and the rear area has grown to 52.7 cubic-feet of cargo space. Kid seats snap in quickly, and small children can buckle themselves in with little struggle.
Cost Issues: The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf SE is $30,495 and the SEL Premium is $36,995. With the optional $1,395 safety technology (Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, Rear Traffic Alert) the price neared $40k. The Chevrolet Bolt starts at $37,495 and when loaded reaches $42,720. Keep in mind electric car purchases add potential federal tax credits of around $7,500 which will help lower these prices. The Hyundai Ioniq hybrid starts at $22,200 for the base with a recent Limited test drive (with options) reaching $30k.
The Green Concern: The 2017 e-Golf features 126-city and 111-highway for a combined 119 miles-per-gallon-equivalent. The Chevrolet Bolt exceeds this with an EPA-estimated 238 miles-per-gallon- equivalent – that’s a real game-changer when you realize you could forget to plug in and still be okay.
FINAL PARTING WORDS
The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf offers all the personality and performance expected from this iconic German hatchback with the surprising benefit of being all-electric. However, the Chevrolet Bolt can go much farther on a full charge and be prepared to change your driving lifestyle when going all-electric.
©2017 Katrina Ramser