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Let’s face it; not everyone wants an electric vehicle. However, the automotive industry is taking a sharp turn into electric cars. In fact, many companies are vowing to switch solely to electric vehicle production within the next few years. One of the limiting factors for many anti-EV folks is the design cues. It seems like most EVs have some sort of over-the-top design that screams, “look at me, I’m electric!” For those who don’t want that much attention drawn to them, there’s the Volkswagen e-Golf.

2016 and older e-Golf models are the cheapest

Blue 2016 Volkswagen e-golf electric vehicle EV parked in front of evening sun in Missouri
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf | Braden Carlson, Motorbiscuit

A quick glance at nationwide Autotempest listings for the Volkswagen e-Golf will show that 2016 and older models are significantly cheaper than newer models. There’s a good reason for that. In 2017, Volkswagen improved the e-Golf’s electric driving range by over 40 miles on a charge. Models from 2017 and newer are capable of 125 miles on a charge, whereas 2016 and older models can only go about 80 miles. That being said, 80 miles is enough for most people’s commute.

If the 80-mile range is within reason for you, then buying a 2016 or older model can save thousands of dollars compared to getting a newer one. However, you still get the benefits of the e-Golf. Namely, the styling benefits.

Save for the wheels (which can be easily replaced if you so desire); the Volkswagen e-Golf is the least EV-looking EV there is. Mostly, the styling remains identical to the standard Golf models. There’s no goofy, obvious difference in the front end. Sure, the grille is closed off like with most EVs, but it’s left black, so it doesn’t stand out until you get closer. From the back, if not for the e-Golf badge, one wouldn’t even know it’s an EV. For many, that’s a plus.

2016 Volkswagen e-golf electric vehicle EV engine start button
e-Golf “engine” stop/start button | Braden Carlson, Motorbiscuit

EV styling isn’t for everyone. The truth hurts sometimes, but it has to be put out there. Many EVs are just a little too eccentric in their futuristic aesthetic cues. If you like them, that’s great, but some people just don’t.

Keeping up the theme of not standing out, the e-Golf’s interior is virtually identical to the standard one. So much so, in fact, that it even has a start/stop engine button, which is a little funny.

What’s it like to drive an e-Golf?

2016 Volkswagen e-golf electric vehicle EV infotainment screen
2016 e-Golf infotainment screen | Volkswagen

As one might expect, it’s a lot like driving, well, a Golf.

Save for the regenerative braking, which is adjustable by either putting the car in Drive or bumping the gear selector back once to activate maximum regenerative braking; it’s pretty standard Volkswagen fanfare. The interior is lovely, though not to an extreme luxury level. The seats are comfortable, and thanks to its electric motor, it’s got a decent amount of punch from a stop. Though, the acceleration dies down past about 35 mph.

Cornering is fine, too. It’s no GTI, but then, it isn’t trying to be.

What it is, though, is a fantastic middle ground for those looking to get into the EV game without being too, you know, EV about it. Whether you spring for a newer model for the extra 40 miles of range or not, you’re likely to enjoy the simple, not-so-flashy daily use of a Volkswagen e-Golf.

If the e-Golf isn’t for you, keep scrolling to see more affordable EV offerings!


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