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 High Resolution Exterior
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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.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 168.1 in.
Width 70.8 in.
Height 57.1 in.
Ground Clearance 5 in.
Wheelbase 103.6 in.


2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Interior
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2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Interior
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2015 Volkswagen e-Golf High Resolution Interior
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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.

Interior Dimensions

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.


2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Drivetrain
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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.

Drivetrain Specifications

Motor Electric
Output 115 Horsepower
Torque 199 Pound-Feet
Transmission Single-Speed Auto
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.


Ford Focus Electric

2013 Ford Focus Electric High Resolution Exterior
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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.

Nissan Leaf

2014 Nissan Leaf High Resolution Exterior
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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.

  • Leave it
    • Limited range
    • Pretty slow
    • Still more expensive than its competitors
Justin Cupler
Justin Cupler
About the author

Press Release

Volkswagen of America, Inc., today, announced that a lower-priced version of the fully-electric 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf will go on sale at participating dealerships. The 2015 e-Golf Limited Edition is priced nearly $2,000 less than its SEL counterpart at $33,450, without compromising performance, quality, or versatility. The e-Golf Limited Edition is also available at a monthly lease price of $229, plus applicable fees.

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf Limited Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The e-Golf Limited Edition is built on the same sporty Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform as the rest of the award winning Golf family. It is powered by a compact electric motor and a 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery (built in-house at the Volkswagen facility in Braunschweig, Germany), and offers 115 horsepower and class-leading torque of 199 pound feet.

Changes compared with the SEL Premium models include 16-inch steel wheels in place of aluminum-alloys, halogen instead of LED headlights, cloth in place of leatherette seating surfaces, and deletion of the heat-pump system. Equipment and features that remain unchanged from the SEL Premium model include:

DC Fast Charging with the Combined Charging System (CCS) that allows up to 80 percent battery charge in 30 minutes
Standard 7.2kW onboard charger
Versatile cargo area, with 22.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats; 52.7 cubic feet with seats folded
Three driving profiles designed to preserve energy (“Normal”, “Eco”, and “Eco+”) and three driver-selectable regeneration modes
KESSY® keyless access with push-button start
Navigation system
LED Daytime Running Lights
Climatronic® automatic dual-zone climate control system
Electronic parking brake
Electrically heated windshield
Automatic headlights and wipers
Rearview camera
Front and rear Park Distance Control

The e-Golf achieves an EPA-estimated Miles per Gallon of Gasoline Equivalent (MPGe) of 126 city, 105 highway, and 116 combined; the EPA estimates that range is 83 miles on a single charge. This makes the e-Golf the most fuel-efficient compact car in the U.S. according to the 2015 Most Fuel Efficient Cars by EPA Size Class (including electric vehicles) list.

In addition to its EPA recognition, the e-Golf shares the 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year and Green Car Reports “Best Car to Buy 2015” awards with the entire Volkswagen Golf family.

To further improve the ownership experience, Volkswagen is taking a holistic approach to e-Mobility. This includes a collaboration with 3Degrees®, a renewable energy services provider, to invest in carbon reduction projects to help offset the emissions created from Volkswagen e-Golf production, distribution and charging of the vehicle up to 36,000 miles of driving. Charging solutions from Bosch® and Chargepoint®, along with a new Roadside Assistance program and the VW Car-Net® e-Golf app are designed to make owning the e-Golf a thoroughly reassuring, rewarding and enjoyable experience.

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