I own an E-Golf, and generally I love it, but I don't think general discussion touches on two important points. First, my only real negative to the car: the Navigation/Entertainment System is a complete joke. The entertainment/navigation console takes a minute to boot up. So if you're going to use navigation, you have to turn on your car and wait a minute before you can get on your way. Then, the screen is slow, it's small, etc. I do like the little dashboard screen. Overall, Google Maps is incomparably better than VW's navigation. There's also a problem that it doesn't have standard USB power, and they just assume you have an iPhone, so no micro-USB/Android charger is available for their proprietary slot (I got a 3rd party wire off Amazon, but it's crazy slow). Also, it has a weird bluetooth problem where it switches up music sometimes. It's just generally clunky and ugly and problematic. It does allow an SD card full of MP3s, I know that's like 2003 tech but I actually really like it.
Also, about the range: I drive with a heavy foot, mostly on freeway, I don't use the annoying auto-brake or evo modes, and I get 85 miles or so. Before I got the car, I thought charging stations were going to be a big deal. But unless you have charging at work, charging stations are really not a large part of the EV experience. Even in the Bay Area, you just can't count on one being available - somebody else is parked there, and will be parked there for at least another hour or two more. Or it's broken. Or a non electric vehicle parked there. You just can't rely on it 100%. Anyway, who wants to wait around an hour to charge up enough to get home? A better way to think about it is, every morning your car starts with a quarter tank of gas. Sure, if there's an EMERGENCY, or you need to BARELY extend your trip past the car's range, something will probably be available. But if you think this will be a regular occurrence for you, buy a gas or diesel car.
OK, not to scare off buyers, because yeah I do love this car. If you have a regular daily commute it's incredibly cheap to operate, especially with the lease deals out there. Quality isn't luxury car, but it's very high-end for a low-end car. With the torque and tight turns, it's really fun to drive around town - I feel like I'm driving a go-kart around on city streets. It's not quite as good on the freeway, but it's not bad. I'm six and a half feet tall and my wife isn't all that much shorter, and it's still surprisingly spacious inside, I don't keep the slider all the way back. However, tall people up front does mean that the people in the back row have basically no space at all.
Love this car - 50% Tesla for 25% of the price is a great deal
written on 06-29-2015
SEL Premium 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I bought this car January 2015 assuming it is going to be our secondary car. Turns out its so much fun to drive that its used as our primary car, and we use the Honday Oddysee only when we need the extended range going on vacation, need more than 5 seats or transport bikes, or when second adult commutes to near by train station.
At the rate it is going we are putting about 12k miles per year on the car, so I am glad I did not lease it.
Time Delayed Charging Feature-Forced to Use CARNET
written on 11-16-2015
Limited Edition 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
The ONLY gripe with this car is VW's insistence that one must use CARNET software interface to enable time delayed charging feature@!!
Talk about greedy!! Once the free use period runs out, they will begin to charge to use this web interface.
Why would VW set up the car to not be able to support Level II chargers which support time delayed charge start times??
The dealer was "uninformed" or unwilling to disclose the limitation.
This is a 2nd car for me, for driving around in the city. The car does have limited range, I can get 5.5-5.8 miles per kwh, but I am retired and I do drive at or under the speed limit at all times, with most consumer devices turned off.
What I like most about the e-golf is that it is just another Golf. It does not draw attention to itself. It does not say "hey, look at me, I'm a hybrid or electric car". It's low key, it's quiet, it's stealthy, and most importantly, it drives, due to it's heritage, like a german engineered car. Not like a japanese electric or hybrid econobox. It is purposeful, it's a city car, pure and simple. If I need to do a long distance trip, or get out of town and do some major driving, the TDI I have is for long distance trips.
It's hard to put into words how a german car drives, compared to a japanese car... but you know it was designed to drive on Autobahns, and in the German, Swiss, and French alps too, in the twisties. And for all the mountains and canyons I drive in, I demand the way a german car drives, and gladly pay the premium for it.
Update after 6 months: Still a nice car for the city and short trips. Key is to charge it at home, overnight, where filling up isn't so burdensome, and the cost of electricity is reasonable at $0.16 per kw, instead of using public infrastructure for recharging, which is quite a bit more expensive and time consuming, 2.5 to 3.25 hours each session. Forget about mooching electrons for free if you need a recharge, it's a business model doomed to failure. Provide your own infrastructure to charge, and you'll do fine
Update after 1 year of use: Battery life has dropped to about a 7% loss in maximum range. I am averaging 6.0 miles per kwh with careful driving, over the last 2000 miles. My route remains a constant. What was 129 miles of range on a charge when new has dropped off to 120 miles now. Loss first started in the warm weather of May, and continues to drop in the heat of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA. Odometer now reads 7750 on 10/19/16
I Highly recommend this eGolf. An EV with range that feels like a solid, real car.
I'm extremely impressed with how it drives and feels. It's sporty, smooth, responsive, and more powerful than expected. It feels comparable to much pricier luxury compacts. Range is solid (100+ achievable under right conditions).
The Car-Net (think OnStar by VW) bugs are a nuisance. If you need delayed charging, I'd wait for VW to resolve this (keep an eye on myvwegolf.com). As of May '15, some report success with the VW updates/fixes.
My opinion (as a non-delay charger) is that the flawed 'extra' features do not distract from an otherwise solid vehicle and great EV.