"Impressively, the e-Golf didn't feel particularly heavy, despite its 701-pound battery pack, which makes it about 500 pounds heavier overall than the standard Golf. The car felt reasonably balanced, although I stuck to typical urban and suburban driving rather than attempting to carve up the corners. However, I did not care for the steering, which had that electric rheostat feel I remembered from early electric power-steering systems. Overboosted, the wheel turned too easily, and was accompanied by a whirring noise. But despite its feel, the steering is precise.
For the 2017 model year, Volkswagen boosted the e-Golf's drive motor from 85 to 100 kilowatts, which comes out to 134 hp and 214 pound-feet of torque. The torque number pays off in typical urban driving, as I could get off the line quickly when traffic lights turned green. In hilly San Francisco, the e-Golf pulled up steep ascents easily, without my having to dig deep into the accelerator."
— Wayne Cunningham, Roadshow by CNET
"The e-Golf first came to our shores and showrooms at the end of 2014, a later entry to the field that included, at that time, just the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiEV. Now the market is lousy with EVs, with everything from the Fiat 500e to various Teslas. But the e-Golf may just be my favorite among all of them. The 2017 model year e-Golf is so smooth and quiet, it's like being carried over the road on the electrically operated wings of Ferdinand Piech, or at least angels hired by Piech for the express purpose of carrying you. I have driven most, if not all, electric cars on the market now (except the mythical Model 3) and I honestly think this is the quietest, smoothest and most effortless of them all. Yes, that includes the big Teslas. I haven't done a head-to-head comparison with a dB meter, but as wonderful as the Tesla Models S and X are to drive, and they are wonderful, I gotta think this e-Golf is wonderfuller. It's certainly more affordable."
— Mark Vaughn, Autoweek
"We had forgotten that the e-Golf has no idle creep when stopped, a detail that's easy to overcome but could baffle novice drivers.
And the standard regenerative braking, while obviously stronger than that in an automatic-transmission gasoline Golf, is relatively mild — nothing like the 'one-pedal driving' either standard or possible in a variety of other electric cars.
Reversing the car into parking spaces was as smooth as forward acceleration.
We noted no whine from either motor or power electronics under any circumstances, an impressive feat.
We smiled at the translation from German in the digital gauge clusters; in an e-Golf, it's not 'regeneration' but 'recuperation.'
Otherwise, at the risk of disappointing those seeking decisive first-drive impressions ... yep, it's an electric Golf. Just as we expected, frankly."
— John Voelcker, Green Car Reports
"Still, to me, driving the e-Golf is like driving an iPhone. It's fine, but it's not tactile or engaged. Points are due the e-Golf for its many comforts: optional driver assistance, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian monitoring, lane assist, and blind-spot monitor with rear traffic alert. I bring these up to point out that if you buy the e-Golf, it's not like you're foregoing every creature comfort. Yes, the car can feel spare inside. But it's not monastic.
Points also for the ability to access three different levels of regenerative braking, which means you don't have to jolt.your.way.through.midtown if you don't want to."
— Hannah Elliott, Bloomberg Pursuits
"Like most electric cars, the last e-Golf launched with a firm, silent shove but petered out long before highway speeds were attained, which is what happens when a wimpy 116-hp electric motor is charged (pardon the pun) with getting a 3,400-pound hatchback up to speed. This year's upgrade to a 134-hp motor helps cut the 0-60 time from almost 11 seconds to a more acceptable 9.6, all in that eerie silence for which electric cars are known. Keep the right foot planted and you can now hit 93 miles per hour, up from 87 before. When not on the gas, the car is stoic and obedient, with excellent high-speed stability and quick and precise, if numb, steering."
— Steve Siler, Motor1.com
"In Normal mode the e-Golf is quick — an electric powertrain means instant torque and the e-Golf likes to flaunt that fact. It was noticeably quicker to accelerate than the Hyundai Ioniq EV, and I had a good time driving it around. The bump in power for 2017 also raised the top speed to 93 mph. The e-Golf had plenty of juice for passing on the highway as well, although driving with a lead foot will bring down the range. Eco mode tones it down a little bit, but not so much as to make the car feel like a drag.
That's left to the final driving mode, Eco Plus, which is the Eeyore of the drive modes. To get the e-Golf to respond required leaning on the pedal even more, and what was even worse — on an 80-degree day like the one on which I was testing the e-Golf, it shuts off the air conditioning to conserve energy. I spent about two minutes in Eco plus before sweat made me give up on it for the rest of the drive."
— Brian Wong, Cars.com