2018 Volkswagen e-Golf Review
2018 Volkswagen e-Golf Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Senior Vehicle Test Editor
Kurt Niebuhr has worked in the automotive industry since 2005. A automotive photographer by trade, Kurt is now one of Edmunds' high-performance test drivers. He's driven and photographed hundreds, if not thousands, of vehicles all over the world, so Kurt's library of automotive experiences would certainly make for a good book. When not dreaming about getting his racing license or trying to buy out-of-date film for his cameras, Kurt can usually be found cursing at his 1966 Mustang.
- 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
- Simplified to two trim levels: SE and SEL Premium
- Touchscreen interface is increased from 8 inches to 9.25 on the SEL Premium
- Park Distance Control, standard on the SEL Premium, gets active braking
- Part of the first e-Golf generation introduced for 2015
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.
Continue reading Edmunds Expert Rating below
2018 Volkswagen e-Golf EV Insights
See All EV Insights
Estimated Range Based on Age
113 milesThe range for a used 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf is estimated to be 113 miles because electric cars typically experience 1-2% of range loss per year, with slightly faster degradation over the first 50,000 miles as the car settles into its long term state, according to Recurrent's study of 15,000 EVs.
EV batteries lose 1-2% of range per year. Est. range for this car is 113 miles.Electric cars typically experience 1-2% of range loss per year with slightly faster degradation over the first 50,000 miles as the car settles into its long term state, according to Recurrent's study of 15,000 EVs.
Estimated range mapThis map is a visual representation of the possible one-way and round-trips by this vehicle (on a full charge) from the geometric center of Ashburn, Virginia. The depicted ranges are based on the estimated new vehicle range value provided by the EPA, rounded down to miles for one-way and miles for round-trip. Actual range will vary depending on the condition of this vehicle’s battery pack, how you drive, driving conditions and other factors. from
Charging at Home
5.3 hoursStandard port for most electric models. Supports Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast charging.
Total Charging Time (240V outlet)
EV Battery Warranty
8 yrs or 100,000 milesThe federal government requires that EV batteries be warrantied for a minimum of eight years or 100,000 miles. The EV battery warranty includes replacement if your battery capacity drops below a certain percentage of the original capacity.
Estimated battery warranty remaining is 3 years or 30,000 miles for this car.Warranty remaining value is based on the vehicle year, and on driving 14,000 miles per year. Confirm exact warranty coverage for each vehicle with the dealers and the manufacturer before purchasing.
EV Tax Credits & Rebates
Available Rebates. Restrictions apply.
- Restrictions: Beginning January 1, 2023, qualified previously owned electric vehicle or fuel cell vehicle purchased for $25,000 or less, may be eligible for a tax credit under The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (Previously-owned clean vehicles).
For used vehicles sold on or after January 1, 2023, the Clean Vehicle Credit provisions are subject to updated guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.Eligibility under the Previously-owned clean vehicles Credit for Battery Electric (BEV), or Plug-in Hybrid PHEV vehicles are:
- Vehicle price cannot exceed $25,000.
- Verification of the vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
- Gross vehicle weight rating must be less than 14,000 pounds.
- Used vehicle must be at least two model years older than the current calendar year in which the vehicle was purchased.
- Must be the first transfer of title since January 1, 2023 and vehicle must be sold through a dealership, private sales not permitted.
- Who has not been allowed a credit under this section for any sale during the 3-year period ending on the date of the sale of such vehicle.
- With respect to whom no deduction is allowable with respect to another taxpayer under section 151
- Purchased for personal use, not a business, corporation or for resale.
- For joint head of household, $150,000,
- For an individual head of household, $112,500, and
- For an individual, $75,000
To learn more, visit https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/used-clean-vehicle-credit
- Restrictions: Dominion Energy offers EV owners a rebate of up to $125 towards the cost of a Level 2 charging station.
To qualify for this rebate, the customer and/or charging station must meet the following requirements:
- Receive electricity from Dominion Energy.
- Have an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.
- Networked/Smart charging capabilities to program the station to off-peak periods and respond to managed charging events
- You also earn a $40 e-gift card on the anniversary of your enrollment every year you remain enrolled.
Cost to Drive
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
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.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.9 / 10
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).
|Overall||7.9 / 10|
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 & vibration9.0
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.
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.
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 use8.0
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 out9.0
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 accommodation8.5
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.
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 & navigation8.0
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Fun electric commuter car
John Heyer, 01/19/2017
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SE 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I wanted to get a second car for electric commuting to supplement my old Subaru. After looking extensively at the Volt, Soul, Focus, i3, and 500e, I felt the e-Golf was the best option to handle my twisty Highway 17 commute and it was the right decision. The design is solid, the ride is quiet and comfortable, and handling is good, although front tires will spin if the accelerator is … hit hard. Range is generally 80 miles, even with mostly highway driving using the A/C. I generally charge at home on a standard outlet and recover the 60 miles used in about 15 hours (fortunately I only drive it every other day). Updated infotainment system on the 2016 models is really nice and does CarPlay, although I was disappointed to realize the base SE has no steering wheel button to activate Siri. The SE also lacks cruise control.
5 out of 5 stars
Definitely 5 stars overall
Richard Zimmer, 05/20/2018
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
A comment about each of the two single-star reviews from other owners: 1. If the software to time the charging is spotty, then simply make it a pattern to check on the car once during the night to ensure it is charging. Make it a routine, just like taking the dog or cat outside. While having to drive the car without heat in 45F is chilly, it is definitely not "freezing". Have you … noticed the many electric car reviews (of any make) in the winter, the driver is bundled up? 2. For the owner who moved from California to Georgia: Yes, the dealer should have mentioned that VW dealers in GA cannot service the car, but that should be a negative rating on the dealer and not on the car itself. Anyway, the maintenance on E-Golf is pretty much limited to tire rotations, 12-volt battery check, windshield wash fluid fill, and other things which you or your local mechanic can do, and don't worry about violating warranty. I really think VW dealers' service of E-Golfs are just money makers to pad their own pockets - - there's no oil to change, no spark plugs, no radiator. Brakes last twice as long. And yet they charge more than they would charge for regular Golf maintenance.
3 out of 5 stars
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SE 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
I bought (leased) it new, drove it for 3 years and put about 36,000 miles on it. Pros: The car looks, feels, drives and functions amazingly. It has the pluses of the Golf, which include excellent handling, comfortable seating front and back, a great view of the road, and a surprising amount of room for people and cargo. You take for granted how well balanced this car is until you step … into almost any other car. The electric charging saved serious $$. It was very reliable. Cons. Range was a little over 80 miles in the summer and under 60 miles in the winter... with heater frequently off! As this was my only car, range was an enormous, life-style altering problem. Fast chargers began popping up in Portland during my ownership, which made life a bit easier. The charge chord melted, and took several days to replace under warranty. And it was annoying having to take the car for maintenance every 10K miles and get charged dealership fees for a simple electric check. About 2 years in, I tried selling it, but the leasing agreement made the process extremely difficult and I gave up. VW Credit was a pain from beginning to end. At the end of the lease, they charged me $350 fee for returning the vehicle!! It felt like they had me by the neck from the time I signed, were going to screw me over and didn't give a damn if I would be a returning customer. I highly recommend the car IF: It is the second car in your household, you avoid VW Credit, you install a Level 2 Charger at your home, and live in an area friendly towards electric vehicles. If you meet these conditions, i think you will LOVE this car!
5 out of 5 stars
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SE 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
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.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf, so we've included reviews for other years of the e-Golf since its last redesign.
2018 e-Golf Highlights
|EPA Electric Range||125 miles|
|Cost to Drive||$54/month|
|Total Charging Time (240V)||5.3 hours|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||6 years / 72,000 miles|
|EV Battery Warranty||8 years / 100,000 miles|
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.