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PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The all-electric 2016 Volswagen E-Golf looks almost the same as the gas version, and is just as much fun to drive.I have a new favorite electric car, and it’s the 2016 Volkswagen E-Golf. It’s easy to explain why it’s my new favorite. The E-Golf combines the fuel-saving benefits of an electric car with the utility of a four-door hatchback and the speed and handling of a sports car. To put it simply, this car does it all, and it will put a grin on your face.


The Volkswagen Golf has been around since 1974, when it first arrived in America as the Rabbit. Seven generations and 42 years later, VW is still making the Golf more or less along the same lines. The VW Golf was the original “hot hatch” compact sports car, and they haven’t lost that sensibility with the electric model.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Aside from some different guages, the interior of the 2017 Volkswagen E-Golf is just like the gas version, whch means comfortable and practical.The raw power numbers aren’t very impressive on their own. The E-Golf is rated at 115 horsepower, but has a healthy 199 pound-feet of torque. You get about 83 miles of range on a full charge. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. If you give the E-Golf some throttle, this car moves out quickly and has plenty of power from a standing start right up to freeway speeds.

Don’t forget, with this car, visiting a filling station is a thing of the past. You can use DC fast charging in downtown Portland, 240-volt Level 2 chargers, or just plug the E-Golf into any 120-volt socket.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - A full charge gives the 2016 Volkswagen E-Golf about 83 miles of pollution-free driving fun.Out on the road, the steering is quick and predictable, and a quick flick of the shift lever puts the car into battery regeneration mode, which will slow the car down immediately as you let off the accelerator pedal. The ride is tight, yet comfortable, and the interior offers plenty of room in both the front and back seats.

The technology story on the E-Golf is also good. With the SEL Premium trim level, you get a rear-view camera, parking distance control, an 8-inch touchscreen interface to navigation and the CD/Satellite/Bluetooth infotainment systems, and keyless entry with push-button start. You also get VW Car-net, which provides concierge and emergency services, as well as data apps for smartphone integration.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The battery pack does not reduce the usable cargo space in the 2016 Volkswagen E-Golf.The SEL Premium trim also includes heated leather seats, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, and a heat pump for your air conditioning and heater functions. The basic E-Golf starts at $29,815 for the SE trim, or you can plus up the car with SEL Premium trim at $36,415.

For the relatively small difference in price, there’s very little reason not to upgrade to the SEL Premium trim in the E-Golf. As you figure out the finances, remember that the E-Golf is eligible for various tax refunds, but check with your tax accountant to be sure.

2016 Volkswagen E-Golf SEL Premium

Base price: $36,415

Price as tested: $36,415

Type: Compact Hatchback

Engine: Electric Motor (115 hp, 199 lbs-ft)

Transmission: Direct drive

EPA estimated mileage: 126 city, 105 Highway MPGe

Road noise: Above Average

Curb weight: 3,419 pounds

Final assembly: Wolfsburg, Germany

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