2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
MSRP range
$30,495 - $36,995
2017 Volkswagen e-Golf


  • Looks and drives more like a typical car than other EVs
  • Premium interior materials
  • Plenty of trunk space
  • Comfortable and quiet ride


  • Less electric range than other EVs
  • Less cargo and storage capacity, too
  • Not as many features for your money
  • Limited availability
Volkswagen e-Golf years

Which e-Golf does Edmunds recommend?

It's a hefty price jump from the base SE to the SEL Premium, and beyond the LED headlights and faux leather upholstery (a commendable leather simulation), it's hard to see what you're paying for given that the upper trims' DC fast-charging system is a stand-alone option on the base model. Sure, we'd recommend leasing an e-Golf, but in any case, we'd still stick with the base SE.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Although some shoppers like that electric cars are different from the norm, many others don't want to deal with anything out of the ordinary. Something more normal would be better. Well, the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is about as normal as you can get.

Other than the different wheels and the lack of a tailpipe, you might as well be looking at any other VW Golf from the outside. On the inside, the e-Golf has the same high-quality, user-friendly cabin with comfortable seats and a roomy back seat. The cargo area is even the same. And, yes, even the shifter is the same. There's no confusing or potentially dangerous newfangled thingy included only for the sake of being different.

Of course, once underway, the e-Golf is quite different from any other Golf. For starters, it's very quiet since its electric motor doesn't make nearly as much noise as the Golf's turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Acceleration is also smoother (no gears to work through), and the four-mode regenerative braking system pretty much allows you to drive with hardly ever using the brake pedal.

Now, the e-Golf isn't quite as fast as the regular Golf or even some other EVs, such as the BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt or Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Its driving range of 125 miles is also middle of the pack. Overall, though, the 2017 VW e-Golf is one of the more appealing electric vehicles available. Anyone looking to ditch gasoline would be wise to check it out.

Trim levels & features

The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is the electric version of the regular Golf hatchback. It comes with a 35.8-kWh battery pack and a 115-horsepower electric motor that results in an EPA-estimated driving range of 125 miles. The three trim levels are: SE, Limited Edition and SEL Premium.

Standard equipment on the SE includes a 7.2-kW onboard charger, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated power-reclining front seats (manual height and fore/aft adjustment), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Volkswagen Car-Net Security & Service remote services, an 8-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a USB port, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker sound system that includes a CD player and satellite radio. DC fast-charging capability is a stand-alone option.

The Limited adds the DC fast-charging capability, plus a more energy-efficient heating system, premium vinyl upholstery, parking sensors, an automated parking system, and Maneuver Braking, which can automatically brake the car when you're in danger of striking something while parking.

The SEL Premium adds LED headlights, an auto-dimming mirror and a navigation. It's the only trim level available with the Driver Assistance package that includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane keeping assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, an upgraded touchscreen and the 12.3-inch all-digital Volkswagen Digital Cockpit gauge cluster.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our initial drive of the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium (battery electric | 1-speed direct drive | FWD) and our previous full test of a 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium.

NOTE: While the 2016 e-Golf lacks this year's range and power upgrades, our observations from that model remain broadly applicable.


Sure, it's not going to win any drag races. But the e-Golf still handles, steers and brakes with the same deftness of any other Golf. And its EV powertrain eliminates any gripes we had with the regular Golf's automatic transmission.


An electric motor delivers its maximum torque at launch, so there's usable punch down low. The infusion of more power for 2017 should put acceleration on a par with that of most rival EVs.


The brake pedal engagement is firm and sure. The amount of regenerative braking can be customized to one of four levels to help maximize energy recovery during stops.


The steering provides smooth and direct response when underway, and the e-Golf feels willing to change direction yet doesn't feel nervous when cruising straight. The steering is appropriately light at low speeds for easy parking, but it firms up nicely as the pace picks up.


The e-Golf feels well-balanced through corners. It's a secure-handling EV, but that's about all you can say about it.


As expected, the e-Golf is very smooth because of the direct-drive electric powertrain.


It does just about everything right. The great seats and a well-sorted chassis combine to produce a steady ride that isn't overly couchlike. And the silence of the all-electric powertrain is hard to beat.

Seat comfort

The front seats have a very accommodating shape and offer great support with just the right amount of padding. The SEL has standard seat heaters. The back seat doesn't have the heaters but offers similar levels of comfort and support.

Ride comfort

The highway ride is nicely controlled. Bumps and ruts are smoothed over with minimal harsh side effects. The e-Golf is better than most EVs in this price range in this respect.

Noise & vibration

There's even less overall noise than in a standard Golf due to the quiet electric drivetrain. Wind noise is minimal, and the tires don't call attention to themselves.


The e-Golf's interior is every bit as functional as any other Golf's. VW wisely avoided the temptation to make the controls different just because it's an EV. The batteries don't intrude one bit, so interior space and cargo room are just as excellent as they are in gasoline-powered Golfs.

Ease of use

There's no weird shifter or other interior elements because it's an EV. Maybe that makes it less special, but it's also easier to use. The control layout is very simple, and everything is where it should be.

Getting in/getting out

The squared-off door openings make entry and exit a breeze, even for tall folks. The same is true for those in the back seat. The seats aren't so low that you have to stoop. The doors aren't overly long, so they work well in tight spaces.

Driving position

The driver's seat only offers power recline adjustment. Odd. It's still easy for most drivers to get comfortable, and the range of steering wheel adjustment is ample, but the larger selection of power adjustments offered by rivals can result in a better driving position.


Lots of room and seat travel up front, even for the tallest driver. The back seat is generously sized, too, and the squared-off roofline and bodywork provide good headroom and shoulder room.


There's lots of glass, and the roof and windshield pillars are slender. The standard heated windscreen has countless fine embedded wires that can refract oncoming headlights at night.


The interior of the e-Golf is handsome and precisely assembled, and VW has thankfully avoided the look-at-me weirdness that plagues some other EVs. In this price range, it's hard to think of a better EV in this regard.


Unlike other gas vehicles adapted to EVs, the e-Golf doesn't lose any of its cargo capacity. It's exactly the same as that of the versatile regular Golf. That said, interior storage is unremarkable, and the cargo area isn't as useful as a Hyundai Ioniq Electric's.

Small-item storage

Nothing especially clever or capacious to report up front. Just the usual under-armrest bin and another area forward of the shifter. The cupholders are sufficient.

Cargo space

You don't lose any cargo capacity with the e-Golf, meaning you get the same versatile hatchback cargo area as with any other Golf. At least one competitor, the Ioniq Electric, is better, but that's about it.


The standard 8-inch touchscreen isn't the most user-friendly interface, but it has all the features you'll want. The upgrade system isn't much better. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Advanced driving and safety aids are only optional on the top trim.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great car
Andrew Meister,01/03/2018
Great car, which is only beat by Tesla’s Model 3.
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Features & Specs

126 city / 111 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
134 hp @ 3000 rpm
126 city / 111 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
134 hp @ 3000 rpm
See all 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback features & specs


Our experts’ favorite e-Golf safety features:

Intelligent Crash Response System
Automatically engages the brakes after an accident, turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors and activates the hazard lights.
Lane Keeping Assist
Detects and warns you when you're drifting out of your lane; it can take steering action if necessary.
Forward Collision Warning
Warns you about an imminent collision with an object ahead. Can automatically apply the brakes if necessary.

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More about the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback Overview

What do people think of the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 e-Golf Hatchback 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 e-Golf Hatchback.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 e-Golf Hatchback featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback here.
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchbacks are available in my area?

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback Listings and Inventory

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback and all available trim types. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf Hatchback include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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