Kieran973 wrote:I was considering an e-Golf for a few months in 2018. I've never driven or even seen one in person, but after stalking the myvwegolf forum for a couple of months, this is the gist of what I gathered about the car from current owners. @RonDawg is, I believe, a former Leaf owner and current e-Golf owner, and perhaps he can correct me if I mis-state anything:
1. Range - it seems to be quite underestimated, and should really be closer to 150 miles. Owners report averaging 5+ miles/kWh in moderately warm weather with minimum effort (mostly, just driving the speed limit).
2. Performance - sporty, precise, probably not as good as a Tesla but better than the Leaf.
3. Battery - also without liquid cooling, but made by Panasonic, so supposedly a better chemistry than the Leaf's AESC batteries. From what I can tell, current e-Golf owners average about 3.5% battery capacity degradation per year, and that's with A LOT less care and effort than MNL Leaf owners put into protecting their own batteries.
4. Price - at least on the coasts, it is not uncommon to see e-Golfs sold for $10,000 off msrp, so after federal and state tax incentives, some are reporting buying new 2019 SE's (the base model) with DCQC capability for around $15,000 total out of pocket.
5. Looks - not as bulbous/clown-car-ish as the Leaf (a subjective point, I realize, but I agree)
6. Cargo capacity - roughly comparable to the Leaf, but allegedly more useable because the trunk space is more rectangular.
1. The range of 125+ miles is only applicable to the 2017+ models which have a 35.8 kWH battery. The 2015 (mine) and 2016 models have the same size 24 kWH battery as the Leaf.
2. MUCH better than the Leaf. Much better than most if not all econoboxes (except another Golf of course). Far less body lean.
3. Correct. As I stated above, it seems to suffer from far less degradation under similar climate and driving conditions.
4. Yes, ever since Tesla announced they will finally release the (not so easy to obtain) $35k Model 3, VW dealers have significantly dropped the price.
5. BEST FEATURE OF THE CAR. If you're not familiar with the few details that differentiate the eGolf from an ICE version (mainly the rims, but also the C-shaped DRL's and of course eGolf badging), you wouldn't know it's electric.
6. Cargo capacity is actually less. The Leaf has a deep trunk well that the eGolf lacks. However the eGolf from the factory has a flat-ish load floor when the seats are folded down.
1. Maintenance - it's not so much that the e-Golf suffers from poor build quality or an unreliable drivetrain, but that when parts do need to be replaced, they are significantly more expensive than American or Asian parts. As others have alluded to here, the parts that most commonly break in the e-Golf are minor but electrical - power windows, infotainment/instrument cluster problems, back-up camera and headlight/break light issues, etc. And so when these go down - which they will - they're not cheap, plus VW service can be both rude and time-consuming. One of the main reasons I chose the Leaf over the e-Golf was that a lot of these reported problems seem to negate a lot of the maintenance/repair costs savings in owning an EV. I liked how much I've heard from Leaf owners that, besides tire rotations, or the 4 year brake fluid change, they really haven't had to do any maintenance on the Leaf. I didn't hear anything close to this from e-Golf owners when I asked about maintenace, and in fact, what I got was a long list of things which frequently break.
2. Battery warranty - while VW doesn't play the same games as Nissan with their infuriatingly vague "capacity bars" - the e-Golf's capacity warranty is 70% over 8 years/100,000 miles - there is some unfortunate wording in this warranty to the effect that "frequent and consecutive" fast charging "may" void the battery warranty; the e-Golf owners manual also advises owners to (and I'm paraphrasing here) "always follow each DC charge with an AC charge". Some e-Golf owners have interpreted this to mean that if you ever, even once, DC fast charge twice in a row, then this will void your battery warranty. Others say that it's probably OK to fast charge twice in a row occasionally, but it's not clear was occasionally means. Personally, I think the wording is vague enough that VW can't really legally void your warranty if you wanted to take the e-Golf on a 250 mile drive once a month, fast charging twice, consecutively, on each drive. But this vagueness was also disconcerting enough to me that I didn't want to mess with it.
3. ride - a little firm/harsh (as per its "sportiness")
4. seats - stiffer/less comfortable than the Leaf's.
Personally, OP, I wouldn't spend $13.5K on a used, 83-mile-when-new e-Golf, if only because you can allegedly buy new 2019s with 125 miles of range in a lot of regions of the US for $15-20K. But there are of course a lot of subjective variables that go into that yes/no decision.
1. I've spent an average of $20/year on maintenance, primarily due to tire rotations. Yes VW service can be expensive, primarily due to the hourly rate. As mentioned above, I've only had one problem with it.
2. To be fair, Nissan used to recommend limiting DCFC as well.
3. Yes a sporty ride, but no harsher than a Tesla Model 3.
4. Yes seats less comfortable but hold you better in cornering.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.