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According to the manufacturer, the e-Golf combines the best features of VW's much-lauded hatchback with a high-torque, zero-emissions electric motor.
You could be forgiven for assuming the car featured in our photographs is simply a well-specced Golf GTD. Check out those subtle blue accents, skinny wheels and tyres, though, because they tell you that this particular Golf isn't powered by diesel, but by electricity.
Like all electric vehicles, the e-Golf offers instant acceleration away from the mark but once past that initial thrust, its performance feels nippy rather than downright electric - forgive the pun.
While a 0-62mph dash in ten seconds is not exactly sluggish, it is quite tardy next to the latest Nissan Leaf, which sprints to the same speed in just 7.5 seconds.
The rest of the driving experience is typically Golf. Yes, you will be aware of some additional battery weight when cornering but the e-Golf still offers an excellent blend of comfort, control, high-speed refinement and the additional benefit of a near-silent power delivery.
More critically, the e-Golf's predicted range of 186 miles is calculated by the old NEDC method, so we expect that figure to decrease considerably with the new WLTP regulations.
Something else you need to be wary of is the little asterisk on Volkswagen's specification sheet, which states "range can vary because of driving style, speed, use of additional electrical consuming equipment, outside temperature, number of people on the car/load, driving style and topology". To be fair, these caveates apply to all electric vehicles.
Judging by our - admittedly brief - test, we reckon motorway driving will zap battery power almost twice as quickly as town driving. Like most plug-in cars, charge time is leisurely at best.
You can charge a fully depleted battery from a household three-pin socket but this can take up to 17 hours. A better option is to install an at-home wall box that provides a 3.6kW supply and reduces the time needed to revitalise the battery to ten hours 50 minutes; however, the latest breed of high-capacity chargers sited at many motorway services will boost the battery to roughly 80% of its capacity in around 45 mins.
Tried and tested
Step inside the car and it's all very Golf. It's not really surprising that Volkswagen has stuck with this tried-and-tested methodology rather than veer off on some whacky interior design tangent, as the company is well aware that EVs are a tough sell, and packaging such technology in a familiar setting makes the transition easier for customers. Well, that's the theory.
Of course, there are some subtle differences; for example, the digital dials provide a crystal-clear read-out of available range, as well as driving and local speed limits, and these can also be configured to show navigation in the driver's eyeline. On another positive note, the driving position, seat comfort and cabin materials are simply superb.
In practicality terms, the boot of the e-Golf is only slightly smaller than the normal Golf at 341 litres compared to 380. There is ample boot space for a full load of shopping and the rear seats fold near-flat. Headroom - front and back - is also fine, even for taller passengers
Not surprisingly, the e-Golf is priced to compete with the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3, with a P11D of £32,675 and a temptingly low BIK rating of 13%.
Will the e-Golf work for you? Well, if you tend to drive briskly or spend a lot of time on the motorway, then probably not. The rather limited range is certainly challenging, especially for business users who regularly undertake long journeys. However, if mileage is not an issue then the ultra-low running costs, plus the everyday qualities that make the Golf such a stellar performer in the first place, are very compelling indeed.
Design remains very similar to conventional Golf, good amount of torque,