I bought the 2016 SE as a commuter and being my first electric, I was surprised how fast the acceleration was. The interior has a lot of room, XM radio controlled by the wiper control, and the range has been great. I am averaging about 100 miles range. I have only been charging at night with the Level 1 charger and can recharge my 60 mile commute in about 11-12 hrs on a 110v outlet. iPhone app and carnet software has some nice features, but there are some glitches here and there. The lower rate charger on the SE has not been an issue for me as i just charge at night and have a pretty predictable commute. I also have other cars, so if this were my only car, I'd get the higher model with the higher rate charger.
The handling and acceleration of e-Golf is beyond my expectation. It is cute and agile on city road and highways. This is compared to the cars (Mercedes E350 and BMW X5) that I have. The perspective of paying $1.4 dollar for my daily commute of 45 miles is very promising. However, I will not recommend this model year to others because of the following pain points:
(1) This car has a 3G module that communicates with VW server. It fails:
The CarNet service on desktop browser or mobile App allows you to (a) lock/unlock the car, (b) activate A/C, (c) charging schedule manage. From day-1, the CarNet server is never able to communicate with my car. It renders the CarNet service useless. My e-Golf is completely off the grid.
(2) Delay charging failure:
If you search for "VW e-golf delay charging issue" on Google, you will find long list of complaints that it doesn't work. Yes, 2015 e-Golf delay charging problem continues to plague 2016 e-Golf. For people living in California, the low electric rate kicks in between 11pm-7am. This is a very fundamental software feature for utilize the discount rate, yet it fails to deliver. For those days that it fails to delay charge, I could wake up in the morning and only find out the battery is not charged. I had to drive my e-Golf with ECO+ mode in one morning commute because battery is low. With ECO+ mode that turns off AC/Heater, I was frozen with inside temperature 45F and thinking what I have trapped myself into. This is a horrible experience for a new car owner.
Using the heater will take away from the battery. I will get a good 60 miles with the heater running. When I want to see that i'm doing better on mileage, i turn off the heater. I use regeneration stage 1 and gain some mileage. When i am in traffic and is not accelerating, i use no battery power. The only other things using the high voltage battery are the AC and heater. If i think that i need more time on the battery as i drive around town, i slow down. That's why this car give more miles in the city than on the highway.
I bought this car in California and told the dealership that I would be moving to Georgia within the year. They never told me that I would not be able to get the car serviced in Georgia. I paid to have it shipped Georgia, and now that it is time for my 1st maintenance, low and behold there are no dealerships who have been trained on servicing the car. Now I am stuck with a car that can't be serviced by VW, and am told that if I have it serviced by a non-dealership mechanic it could void my warranty. When I called VW to try and see if they could have someone trained in the area, they told me it was MY responsibility to know whether or not they service the vehicle in other states. Who has ever heard of a car made by a major manufacturer that could not be serviced by at least one local dealership? So much for customer service! If you are thinking of buying this car, and think you could ever move to another state during the time that you own this vehicle - then by another vehicle instead.