By Cars.com EditorsFebruary 7, 2014
About the video
From the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf.
(trunk slamming) (upbeat music) (brakes squealing) Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with cars.com. I'm standing in front of a Volkswagen Golf. You might recognize it as one of the selling cars in the world. This one's different. It is the e-Golf.
It is a battery electric version of the Golf, which will be sold in certain US states by the end of 2014. It's similar in approach to the Nissan Leaf and the Ford Focus. Maybe a little bit more like the Leaf. I'll show you why. Now it's based on the regular Golf. So it looks like one, but there are some differences. For one thing, the grill is much smaller, lets less air in. And down here, there are active shutters that makes it more aerodynamic. Also the first application of led headlights in a Volkswagen in the US. That's similar to the Nissan Leaf. And the wheels here are exclusive. They are ultra aerodynamic too. You can see how flush they are. Now this as a five door or a four door hatchback is again like the Focus and the Leaf. One other way it's like the Leaf is that it charges at a rate of over six kilowatts, which means you can fill it from empty to full in about four hours. That's the highest rate available on the Leaf now. It also can quick charge on a DC public charging station to 80% in about a half hour. One of the differences though, is instead of two different ports, like the Nissan Leaf has, this will be one of the first applications of the new combination charger. So when you do DC charging, it'll use both of these sections, but most of the time for home charging, it's just the upper one. There's also a couple of buttons right here by the charge port, where I've never seen it in other electric cars, that let you decide whether you want to charge immediately or time charge. Usually that's something you control on the inside. One of the best things about the e-Golf, and again, a good comparison to the Nissan Leaf, is there's plenty of cargo space. If you look at the Ford Focus electric, you'll find that the battery pack takes up a lot of your cargo space. That is not the case here. In addition, there's actually enough space down here for a space saver spare tire. And that is not the kind of thing you're gonna see in your average electric car. The e-Golf has a 24 plus kilowatt hour battery pack, lithium ion. And it is under the floor, which is a great location for it. That's partly why there's so much space for cargo. And if you look in here, if you were to compare this to a regular Golf, you might notice this lump here. That's partly because of the battery. But I find when I sit in there, it doesn't really affect my leg room at all. Same story here in the backseat. Yes, the battery is incorporated into the floor and the center tunnel to an extent. But again, if I compare this to a regular gas or diesel powered Golf, my knees are not raised any more than they are in that car. It's not the roomiest small car for a six foot tall adult, but it definitely works with no real change in head room or leg room. In the growing class of electric vehicles, this one is a lot more like the real usable five seat hatchbacks, like the Leaf and the Focus. And it also is like them in that it has roughly an 80 mile range, electric only. We don't know how much it will cost yet. We do suspect when it goes on sale near the end of 2014, that it will be a 2015. Unfortunately it is going to be available only in some of the more fuel efficiency focused states like California and the Northeast. With any luck, it will spread as the popularity of electric vehicles increases and the ability to charge them in public also grows. (engine revving)
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