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Volkswagen's second EV is now on sale, with the e-Golf joining the e-Up.
Based on the SE trim, the e-Golf gets a decent level of kit, with the electric version adding, for example, navigation including extra EV-specific features (e.g. a circle on the map shows the car's reach on both a round trip and single journeys).
On the flip side, the space-saver spare wheel is substituted for a tyre repair kit to snatch back some boot space lost to the batteries. Even with that, the boot, at 341 litres, is 39 litres smaller than the regular Golf, which compares well with the 237 litres of an electric Ford Focus, though is 29 litres shy of Nissan's Leaf. But the e-Golf exudes all the usual Golf qualities in terms of cabin quality and classy understated looks.
The performance is reasonable, but the 85kW electric motor is down on power compared with the Focus's 107kW or the BMW i3's 125kW. While the Golf doesn't feel sluggish, those figures come to bear in terms of the 10.4-second 0-62mph acceleration time versus 7.2 seconds for the i3.
The electric Golf doesn't feel as nimble as its petrol and diesel siblings, which is likely to be due to the weight of the batteries. There are five drive modes that alter the level of regenerative resistance when you lift off the throttle, and there are three economy settings of Normal, Eco and Eco+.
The latter two effectively reduce power from 115hp to 95hp and 75hp respectively, and cut maximum speed from 84mph to 71mph and 56mph. Eco also reduces the climate control efficiency, while Eco+ knocks it out completely to leave just ventilation.
KwikCarcost puts the e-Golf's RV at just 26.4% retained, which is below anything else in the Golf range. It's better than the 19.9% of the Focus Electric, and the Leaf's 24.8%, but shows the difficulty still facing EV adoption. The i3's 36.1% is the exception, and the Golf loses out to the BMW by 3.7p per mile, while the cheaper Leaf in Acenta trim also comes in 1.9p per mile below the VW.