In-depth reviews

Volkswagen e-Golf (2014-2019) review

The Volkswagen e-Golf offers all the practicality of Volkswagen's five-door hatchback and is almost as good to drive, too

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5


  • Great to drive
  • Super-low company-car tax
  • Looks like a mainstream Golf


  • Relatively expensive to buy
  • Shorter range than key rivals
  • Smaller boot than a regular Golf
Car typeOfficial rangeWallbox charge timeFast charge time
Electric144 miles5hrs 15mins (7.4kW, 0-100%)36mins (50kW, 10-80%)

The Volkswagen e-Golf was a very important car when it launched in 2014, as it was the German car giant’s first all-electric family hatchback and remained on sale for five years. It’s practical, fun to drive and appeals to buyers after the benefits of an electric car combined with the low-key conservative styling of the regular Golf.

Unlike the Volkswagen ID.3, which was designed from the ground up as a fully electric model, the e-Golf is closely linked to other Mk7 Golfs, albeit with a fully-electric motor under the bonnet and battery pack beneath the boot. It offers a relatively short range of up to 144 miles (more like 130 in real-world driving conditions), which is comparable to rivals such as the MINI Electric and Honda e. But, the Nissan Leaf is capable of a 168-mile range, while long-range versions of the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV can travel much further still.

The Volkswagen e-Golf is fitted with a 134bhp electric motor which drives the front wheels via a single-speed transmission. It’s powered by a 35.8kWh battery, which is considerably smaller than some other EVs, given that it was squeezed into a car originally designed to accommodate a conventional petrol or diesel engine. For some, though, the e-Golf’s similarity to the conventional Golf is part of the appeal, but there are some subtle distinguishing features such as a blanked-off grille, aerodynamic alloy wheels and blue-accented trim.

Charging can be taken care of using a domestic supply, with a full charge from empty taking just over five hours using a wallbox at home. However, most owners will only be topping up a partially used battery overnight, so returning to maximum charge will be much quicker than that. Use one of the ever-growing network of public chargers and you can get back to 80% capacity in just over 30 minutes.

The e-Golf carries around a heavy battery, and that means noticeable extra weight to lug around. This blunts the agility and poise of the standard Golf chassis a fraction, but not enough to take all the fun out of driving it – in fact, the e-Golf remains one of the best pure-electric cars to drive given its direct handling and relaxed ride comfort. The e-Golf also feels quite happy and unstrained at normal motorway speeds.

There’s only one trim level but the equipment levels helped to justify the e-Golf’s price. Standard kit included a Discover Pro navigation system with gesture control and a 9.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. Adaptive cruise control, LED headlamps and Car-Net App-Connect smartphone connectivity are also included.

From the driving seat or any of the passenger seats, the e-Golf experience is remarkably similar to any other model in the line-up. You get the same dashboard layout and interior trim, identical interior space and the freedom to choose many of the same optional extras. Boot space is reduced a little by the underfloor batteries, but still offers a reasonable amount of room.

With typical Volkswagen build quality and a comprehensive safety package built in, the e-Golf is one of the most reassuring and easily accessible ways to get into electric motoring – for those who can afford the purchase price, anyway. It makes a lot of sense for families with a daily school run and for city-based business users, although by its very nature, the electric Golf does have a more conservative feel than its BMW i3 rival. For a more detailed look at the Volkswagen e-Golf, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

Most Popular

New electric cars coming in 2023 and beyond
Polestars under cover

New electric cars coming in 2023 and beyond

With electric cars making up an ever-increasing proportion of sales, the industry is working flat out to launch new models – here's what's on the way …
19 Sep 2023
Volvo EX30 electric SUV: prices, specs and ride review
Volvo EX30 Prototype - teaser

Volvo EX30 electric SUV: prices, specs and ride review

We ride shotgun in Volvo’s smallest electric car, which is set to undercut rivals like the Kia Niro EV
19 Sep 2023
"Everyone wins in the switch to EVs. We must hold our nerve on the 2030 ICE ban"
Comment - 2030 ICE ban

"Everyone wins in the switch to EVs. We must hold our nerve on the 2030 ICE ban"

DrivingElectric’s Tom Jervis thinks the government’s rollback on the 2030 petrol and diesel ban is a blunder that could kill EV consumer confidence
20 Sep 2023

More on e-Golf

Used Volkswagen e-Golf buying guide
Volkswagen e-Golf

Used Volkswagen e-Golf buying guide

All you need to know about buying a used Volkswagen e-Golf electric hatchback, on sale since 2014
5 Dec 2019