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There are more EVs on the road today than ever. The problem is that most new EVs cost well over $30,000 to bring home. But what if you looked into an older, used EV to bridge that gap? One option would be a used Volkswagen e-Golf, but is it a good used EV to buy? As with most early electric vehicles, there are compromises that mean the e-Golf isn’t right for everyone.

What years did Volkswagen make the e-Golf?

The VW e-Golf was around for just five model years, from 2015 to 2019. Based on the lauded MK7 Golf platform, the first e-Golf was an exciting prospect for drivers considering an electric vehicle. With the Golf’s sprightly handling characteristics and high-quality cabin, the Golf EV made a great first impression. Unfortunately, it also fell short in a number of areas.

The initial e-Golf came with 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque from a single electric motor. The one-speed direct drive transmission meant a completely linear power delivery, for better or worse.

The e-Golf got an update for 2017, which improved horsepower and torque for an even more Golf-esque experience. The revised electric powertrain delivered 134 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque, though the one-speed direct-drive setup remained. That model remained through 2019 when Volkswagen discontinued the e-Golf in the U.S.

The VW e-Golf interior, showing the electric Volkswagen's steering wheel and infotainment system
VW e-Golf Interior | Volkswagen

How long will a battery last on an e-Golf?

Every VW e-Golf came with an eight-year, 100,000-mile EV battery warranty, so many of the models on the used market still have factory coverage. With the exception of the first edition models, a used e-Golf under 100,000 miles will have battery replacement coverage, and many also come with a rust warranty.

Unfortunately, the six-year, 72,000-mile basic and drivetrain warranties mean that far fewer models qualify for complete coverage. That said, choosing a 2018 or later e-Golf below that mileage target will still give you quality warranty protection for at least the first year or two of ownership.

What is the range of a VW e-Golf?

The e-Golf badge on a white electric Volkswagen Golf hatchback
Volkswagen e-Golf badge | Volkswagen

The sticky issue with any used e-Golf is its range, and that’s where the battery warranty may be important. Early e-Golf models came with just 83 miles of EPA-estimated range, and that’s when the package was new. Over time, EV batteries degrade, lowering that already-scant mileage target.

However, the later electric VW hatchbacks saw a marked improvement in range targets. And while 125 miles is hardly impressive, it makes the e-Golf a competent daily driver. For drivers just looking to reduce their carbon footprint, the updated Golf EV could be a bargain. Just keep in mind that any longer road trips will require plenty of charging stops, a rental, or a second vehicle.

How long does it take to charge the Volkswagen Golf EV?

On a public fast charger, the e-Golf can recharge to 80 percent capacity in about an hour. That’s glacially slow compared to modern EVs, so there will be no quick top-ups on those longer road trips. That said, a 240-volt at-home charger can completely refill the battery in less than six hours. So plugging in overnight will always mean a full charge in time for the morning commute.

We don’t recommend home charging an e-Golf from a standard 120-volt outlet, however. That process takes over 24 hours to complete, so it only works for those who rarely hit the road.

Is the Volkswagen e-Golf a good car?

The trunk of the Volkswagen e-Golf hatchback with the rear seats folded down
Volkswagen e-Golf Cargo Area | Volkswagen

With an impressive 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space and roomy seating for five, the e-Golf is a quality vehicle on par with its siblings. It gets the same upscale cabin treatments as the rest of the Golf lineup, as well as the same quality suspension setup. Overall, the e-Golf has a quality advantage over its contemporaries, though it will still lag behind newer options.

That said, with electric Golf models going for between $12,000 and $17,000 for models still under factory warranty, an e-Golf is a good EV bargain for those who don’t need massive range.

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