2018 Volkswagen e-Golf Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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
Other years
Volkswagen e-Golf for Sale
List Price Estimate
$15,698 - $17,913

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Which e-Golf does Edmunds recommend?

The SE is the trim we recommend since it comes very well equipped. Just make sure to get the DC fast-charging option on this trim level. We don't see the need to spend a bunch more for the SEL Premium, even though it comes with some nice extras.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.9 / 10

Searching for an electric vehicle that doesn't try to reimagine automotive transportation? The 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf could very well be for you. Sure, it has an electric motor and a big battery pack instead of a gasoline engine. But otherwise this electric Golf provides the same sensible design and excellent road manners of the standard Golf.

That means you get all of the driver-friendly ergonomics and high-quality materials we've celebrated in the standard Golf. And unlike some other electrified versions of standard cars, the e-Golf suffers no lack of interior space and provides plenty of hatchback-based utility.

The e-Golf, however, does fall a bit short in regards to its driving range. Its estimated 125 miles on a full charge is decent, but newer EVs such as the Chevrolet Bolt and the upcoming Hyundai Kona Electric can go over 100 miles more. Even so, the e-Golf should work out for the majority of EV drivers.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2018 Volkswagen e-Golf models

The 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf is the electric version of the regular Golf hatchback. It comes with a 35.8-kWh battery pack and a 134-horsepower electric motor that results in an EPA-estimated driving range of 125 miles. The two trim levels are SE 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, power-reclining front seats with heating (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 SEL Premium adds LED headlights, an auto-dimming mirror, a 9.25-inch touchscreen 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 full test of the Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium (battery electric | 1-speed direct drive | FWD).

Driving

8.0
Handling, steering and braking are solid compared to others in the EV segment. But we wish the steering wasn't so light and that the regenerative braking power was stronger when you fully lift off the accelerator pedal.

Acceleration

7.5
The first e-Golf wasn't terribly quick, but this one has more going on under the hood. While it's still not as quick as some of the newest competition, it feels sufficiently peppy unless you're a lead foot who throws caution (and range) to the wind. At our test track, an e-Golf covered 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds.

Braking

7.5
The brake pedal is firm and sure in routine use, with good feel and feedback. At our track, the e-Golf's fuel-saving tires contributed to a ho-hum 60-mph panic stop of 128 feet. There are four levels of regenerative braking, but the most aggressive setting falls short of enabling true one-pedal driving.

Steering

7.5
Turn the wheel and the e-Golf delivers a smooth and predictable response, exhibiting an eagerness in turns without feeling darty on straights. But the effort is a bit too light. It starts that way to ease parking. But even though the steering heft builds as the pace picks up, it never quite feels engaging.

Handling

8.5
Handling is eager and well-balanced through corners, reminiscent of a GTI. It was also able to orbit the skid pad at our test track at a respectable 0.88g, which is good considering the economy-minded all-season tires. Because of the low-mounted mass of the battery pack, the e-Golf leans a bit less in turns than a standard one.

Drivability

8.0
It feels utterly smooth and effortless because the torquey direct-drive electric powertrain never shifts. The lift-throttle brake regeneration has four levels that can be selected with the shift lever, too. We only wish the maximum B level was a bit more forceful for better one-pedal driving.

Comfort

8.0
The e-Golf offers comfortable seats and a ride that is neither too hard nor too soft. The electric powertrain is undeniably smooth and silent, of course. This peaceful ride is something that all EVs do well, but it's worth pointing out to those cross-shopping a regular Golf.

Seat comfort

8.0
The front seats have an accommodating shape and offer great all-day support with just the right amount of padding. But some drivers might find the seat bottoms too flat. The effective side bolsters aren't confining. The rear seat offers similar levels of comfort and support.

Ride comfort

8.0
The highway ride is nicely controlled and settled. Bumps and holes are smoothed over with a minimum of harsh side effects. The result is a steady ride that nicely straddles the line between sloppy and tense.

Noise & vibration

9.0
The utter silence of the electric drivetrain makes the e-Golf less noisy overall than a standard Golf. Wind noise is minimal, and the tires don't call attention to themselves. A subtle whir has been artificially added to alert pedestrians, but it's almost inaudible inside the car and disappears above 15 mph.

Climate control

8.0
Dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats are standard. The main heating system is electric, and it warms quickly because there's no engine that needs warming up. It can be preheated while charging, too. The capable air-conditioning system has an Eco mode to use the system sparingly if you want to preserve range.

Interior

8.5
The e-Golf's interior is ideally suited for people. There's plenty of room, it's easy to get in and out of, and the controls are obvious and easy to reach. Credit goes to the Golf's signature boxy shape, which seems like it was drawn after the occupants were taken care of, not before.

Ease of use

8.0
The e-Golf is refreshingly simple and straightforward. The controls are within reach and easy to use. There's little that will lead you to consult the owner's manual. It might take some time to master the steering wheel buttons, but they come easy once you do.

Getting in/getting out

9.0
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 either. The doors aren't overly long, so they work well in tight spaces.

Driving position

9.0
The relationship between the e-Golf's seat, steering wheel and pedals (also its dash and gauges) is just about perfect. Folks of all sizes will agree on this point because the generous adjustment range of the seat (fore-aft, up-down) and the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel allow nearly anyone to fit.

Roominess

8.5
Boxy on the outside equals roomy on the inside, with abundant legroom and headroom and an airy and broad cockpit. The back seat is similarly spacious with useful leg-, head- and even toe room. It's exactly like a regular Golf.

Visibility

8.0
It's very easy to see out, and the blind spot is small thanks to the abundant glass area and slender roof and windshield pillars. The standard rearview camera and proximity sensors are a nice bonus. The SEL's standard heated windscreen, however, has myriad fine embedded wires that can refract oncoming headlights.

Quality

8.0
The e-Golf looks and feels well put-together inside and out. The seats and door trim are especially handsome. The dash design is pretty simple and uncomplicated, but that's the look VW goes for. It all fits together nicely.

Utility

8.0
You'd likely predict that a boxy hatchback would offer good utility, and in the case of the Golf, you'd be exactly right. There's plenty of room, and it's easily accessed through the hatch and the squared-off doors.

Small-item storage

8.0
It's a compact car, but the e-Golf still offers ample interior storage. You'll find long front door pockets with water bottle nooks, a good-size glovebox and center console, central cupholders, and a hidden bin in front of the shifter. The rear door pockets will also each hold a water bottle.

Cargo space

8.0
The e-Golf's battery doesn't consume any cargo space, which is unusual among EVs adapted from a gas-powered version. Like any other Golf, its rear seats fold flat, the deck is low and the hatch provides easy access. Cargo capacity is abundant with all seats up or down.

Child safety seat accommodation

8.5
The lower anchors are easy to find without digging around between the cushions, and the top tether hooks are equally obvious. The generous rear legroom accommodates most bulky rear-facing seats, and the squared rear roofline eases access to children in back.

Technology

7.5
The e-Golf's simple and effective touchscreen audio and navigation system is easy to live with and offers a variety of ways to integrate your smartphone. But we really wish it had more than one USB port. There's a nice suite of active safety gear, but it's all optional and mighty expensive.

Audio & navigation

8.0
The e-Golf's 8-inch touchscreen delivers high-definition graphics, and the SEL's Fender audio system delivers crisp sound. The easy-to-operate user interface consists of volume and tuning knobs, dedicated off-screen buttons and virtual on-screen touch points.

Smartphone integration

8.0
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard. You can also input sound from your smartphone (or a memory stick) via the USB port directly, or you can stream your tunes via Bluetooth audio. If you'd rather go old-school, there's an auxiliary jack and even an SD card slot. But there's only one USB port.

Driver aids

6.5
A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard. The SEL Premium also comes standard with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking steering assistance.

Voice control

7.0
The system is good at identifying names in your contact list and switching stations within a radio band. But it stumbles if you try anything more complicated because it prefers set phrases over natural speech. Holding the button longer gets you Siri if you want to control your smartphone.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall7.9 / 10
Driving8.0
Comfort8.0
Interior8.5
Utility8.0
Technology7.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf.

Most helpful consumer reviews

An EV for the Golf aficionado
Bryce M.,06/28/2019
SEL Premium 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I just picked up the last 2018 eGolf SEL Premium on the lot - Very pleased. Range could be better, so could performance - The Tesla Model 3 sets a benchmark that this car falls well short of. But if, like me, you love VW Golfs (this is my 4th since high school :-), this car may be for you. Excellent to drive, adequate performance and range, and the "virtual cockpit" experience is great. The Driver's Assistance Package offers the best Adaptive Cruise Control I've driven yet. I doubt that the resale value will hold up like my 2012 Golf R's did because the technology is evolving so fast, but it truly is a fantastic vehicle. My out-the-door price ($28,500) was more than $10k below the Model 3's current $39,900 no-dicker sticker (before the federal and state incentives).

Features & Specs

See all Used 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the e-Golf models:

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. 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.

More about the 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf

Used 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf Overview

The Used 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf is offered in the following submodels: e-Golf Hatchback. Available styles include SE 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), SEL Premium 4dr Hatchback (electric DD), and SEL Fleet 4dr Hatchback (electric DD).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf?

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Which used 2018 Volkswagen e-Golfs are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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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