2016 Volkswagen e-Golf Limited Edition
Since its release in the U.S. in December 2014, the 2015 VW e-Golf has sold a respectable 668 units (as of March 6, 2015). Sure, that’s nothing for a traditional car, but for a niche EV that is only available in certain markets, that is pretty dang good. What’s more, the e-Golf was only available in a single, fully loaded trim level: the SLE. As we move into the 2016 model year, Volkswagen is preparing a lower-level e-Golf Limited Edition to help gauge demand for a less-expensive, lesser-equipped model.
The new e-Golf Limited Edition not only opens the door for more buyers, but it also gives VW the chance to see how well the model would sell among the masses. This is likely phase two of a three-phase launch, and I think the next phase will be a base model that only has the bare necessities. If this phase and the subsequent phases are all successful on a limited-release basis, look for the brand to do a full launch of the e-Golf across the nation.
Will this new e-Golf Limited Edition be successful?
Continue reading to find out what I think.
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf Limited Edition
Horsepower @ RPM:115
0-60 time:10 sec.
Top Speed:87 mph
The exterior of the e-Golf is quite similar to that of the traditional Golf, but there are a few telltale signs that you are looking at the all-electric model. The front fascia is the easiest way to tell, as the grille on the e-Golf is closed off for better aerodynamics, and the front bumper features a U-shaped piece of chrome underlining the lower grille.
Discerning the e-Golf Limited Edition from the pricier SLE model is actually fairly simple from the outside. The most noticeable difference is that the alloy wheels are replaced by 16-inch steelies with hubcaps, and a set of traditional halogen headlights sit in place of the standard LED lights on the SLE model.
Other than those couple of items, the exterior of the e-Golf Limited Edition is identical to the SLE model, including its standard auto headlights and wipers, 7.2 kW onboard charger, electrically heated windshield, and front and rear Park Distance Control.
|Ground Clearance||5 in.|
Interior of the SLE trim level shown here.
The interior of the e-Golf is also nearly identical to the standard model, save for VW replacing the standard rev counter with a more EV friendly power gauge, a slightly revised touchscreen, and a smattering of blue highlights throughout.
The original e-Golf SLE was loaded with all sorts of high-end features, and the Limited Edition loses a few of these to help lower the MSRP. These deleted features include the heat-pump system and the leatherette seating. Everything else remains in place, including the keyless entry with push-button start, navigation, Climatronic auto dual climate control, and a rearview camera.
|Front Headroom||38.4 in.|
|Front Legroom||41.2 in.|
|Front Shoulder Room||55.9 in.|
|Rear Headroom||38.1 in.|
|Rear Legroom||35.6 in.|
|Rear Shoulder Room||53.9 in.|
|Cargo Room (Min/Max)||22.8 Cu. Ft. / 52.7 Cu. Ft.|
Under the hood, the e-Golf Limited Edition is identical to the SLE model. It comes standard with an electric motor that delivers 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The motor mates to a single-speed transmission, and this combo get the hatchback to 60 mph in about 10 seconds and up to a top speed of 87 mph. Additionally, it delivers high efficiency ratings of 126 mpg-e in the city, 105 mpg-e on the highway, and 116 mpg-e combined. It does fall a little short with an EPA-certified 83 miles of range.
The e-Golf Limited Edition carries over the same trio of driving modes as the SLE trim. Normal mode keeps everything as they normally are straight off the showroom floor. In Eco mode, the engine’s output is limited to 94 horsepower and 164 pound-feet of torque, while the air conditioning output is reduced, and the accelerator response is tamed. The reduced power drops the top speed to 72 mph and increases its 0-to-60 mph sprint time to 13 seconds.
In Eco+ mode, the engine is dropped to 74 horsepower and 129 pound-feet, while the torque curve is flattened, and the air conditioning is disabled. Top speed is limited to just 56 mph in this mode.
With its standard 7.2 kW onboard charger and the optional 240-volt charging station, the e-Golf recharges in just four hours. On a standard household plug, the e-Golf will take 20 hours to recharge a dead battery.
|Top Speed||87 MPH|
|Acceleration (0-60 MPH)||10 Sec.|
|Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined)||126 / 105 / 116|
|Electric Range||83 Miles|
The point of creating this lower trim level is to open up the all-electric e-Golf to buyers with a lighter budget. The reduction of features drops the e-Golf’s price by $2k to $33,450. Alternatively, you may also lease the e-Golf Limited Edition for $229 per month.
The Focus Electric is the perfect competitor for the e-Golf, as it matches the VW in just about every metric. It is powered by an electric motor that delivers 143 horsepower that mates to a single-speed transmission. Fueling the motor is a lithium-ion battery pack that takes four hours to charge on a 240-volt power source.
This powertrain allows the Focus Electric to hit 60 mph in just under 10 seconds and top out at 84 mph. Fuel economy checks in at 110 mpg-e city, 99 mpg-e highway, and 105 mpg-e combined. Range is slightly lower than the VW at 76 miles.
The MSRP on the 2015 Focus Electric is $29,170, putting it a few thousand dollars under the e-Golf Limited Edition.
The Nissan Leaf remains the king of mass-produced electric vehicles, and though it may not have the sexy looks of the e-Golf, it is a great option.
Under its hood, the Leaf comes with an electric motor that produces 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque, which allows the hatchback to hit 60 mph in 9.9 seconds. A 24 kWh lithium-ion battery fuels the motor, and it affords it an 84-mile range. It takes about four hours to recharge a discharged battery on a 240-volt charger, and it can reach 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes on a DC Fast Charge system.
In terms of pricing, the 2015 Leaf starts out at just $29,010 before federal and state tax credits.
The e-Golf has been a pretty decent seller since it debuted, particularly considering its price point and the class it competes in. The addition of this lower trim level not only will draw in more buyers, but it also shows that VW is interested in possibly expanding the model into other markets within the U.S. Only time will tell if this will be successful or not, but it is a nice jumping-off point.