The 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf, was named Best Compact in the 2016 AAA Green Car Guide, a comprehensive report published annually by the largest member of the AAA federation – the Automobile Club of Southern California and its Automotive Research Center.
AAA tests cars on the basis of 13 categories, including: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. Scores of 0 to 10 points in each category are totaled to determine the top vehicles.
The guide summarizes vehicle specifications, test scores, data and observations and lists its strengths and weaknesses. Each year, the research center tracks significant changes to a vehicle from model year to model year. If no significant changes were made to the power train in 2016, a prior model year’s results were used.
The 2016 e-Golf is based on the award-winning Golf architecture, which redefined the hatchback category with enough space for five adults and more cargo space than any midsize sedan. The e-Golf is powered by a synchronous permanent-magnet alternating current (AC) motor, capable of delivering a 199 lb-ft of torque along with 115 horsepower, all the while not using a single drop of fuel and producing zero tailpipe emissions. The EPA-estimated range for the e-Golf is 83 miles and the combined EPA-estimated 116 MPGe puts e-Golf at the top of the 2016 compact EV class.
Available in select states, two trim levels of e-Golf are offered for model year 2016. A value-oriented e-Golf SE lowers the price of entry to e-mobility with a starting price of $28,995 and $199/month lease offer. It comes equipped with a 3.6 kW onboard charger, but can be upgraded to the 7.2 kW onboard charger with the DC Fast Charging Package ($1,675). The e-Golf SEL Premium has a 7.2 kW onboard charger as standard equipment, enabling the EV’s battery to be recharged in less than four hours using the available 240-volt wall box. Using the SAE standard DC fast-charging infrastructure (available at select stations), the battery can be charged to up to 80 percent in approximately 30 minutes.
The 2016 e-Golf features a suite of new connectivity features that includes USB connectivity and VW Car-Net® App-Connect technology, as well as a number of newly available driver assistance systems. The e-Golf offers a high level of standard and available equipment, including: Keyless access with push-button start; heatable front seats; a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; a rearview camera; Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Park Distance Control (Park Pilot); and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist).