Volkswagen campaigns have long been as reliable as their engineering. A decade ago, a UK commercial included a series of characters such as a Top Gear-like car presenter having the track-time of his life in something that drives just “like a Golf”; the ad closing with the tagline: ‘Why drive something like a Golf, when you can drive a Golf?’
In a meta twist, Volkswagen answered their own rhetorical question with the release of the e-Golf. The 2020 model is a real gem that truly drives just like ‘the real thing’. The silence and smoothness is almost disconcerting as it furiously chews up the freeway—the digital instrument display offers a speedometer and current speed that’s easy to see at a glance, which comes in handy as this thing really does move when you floor it. Even more fun is the way it handles the winding country roads of Auckland’s east and west coasts where Verve really put it through its paces—night driving being especially satisfying thanks to some atmospheric strips of blue low lighting along the inside door panels.
Interior highlights include an eight-speaker sound system controlled courtesy of a 9.2-inch infotainment gesture control screen replete with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Mirrorlink and the Discovery Pro Satellite Navigation System. A nice touch is the ability to have your GPS route transposed onto the instrument cluster behind, which, while not quite as cool as a heads-up display is a very close next best thing. More tech treats include voice control, electronically folding heated side mirrors, and a rear-view camera. There’s a two-zone air conditioning system replete with allergen filter, and the gear shifter knob and steering wheel are wrapped in leather. Safety features include blind spot monitoring, lane assist, pedestrian monitoring and adaptive cruise control. The 220km range is in Normal mode accounts for two passengers and the air con running. The Eco and Eco+ drive modes will save further battery power, though limit the top speed to 115km/h and 90km/h respectively (Normal tops out at 150km/h).
Charging via a regular domestic pug socket takes 21 hours to 100% (though you’ll likely rarely be anywhere near empty if you plug it in every night), a wall box can reduce that time to 5.5 hours. Rapid charging stations re-juice to 80% in just 45 minutes.
Expect 0-60km/h in a not-too-shabby 4.2 seconds, to 100km/h in just over 5 seconds more. To (mis)quote that ad, the e-Golf looks just and feels just ‘like a Golf’, minus the satisfying sound. But that’s a price worth paying for the sake of a greener world. On the subject of price, you can snap one up for $61,990 (usually $69,490) until the end of October, or while stocks last—which might not be too long.