November 20, 2018 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2018 Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium

Soothing Electric Orchestra

Now no longer just an “also-ran” modest participant in the full-EV market, the newly updated Volkswagen e-Golf got more than a cosmetic upgrade to align with its model stablemates’ corporate identity. Volkswagen replaced the old 24.2-kWh battery pack with a 35.8 kWh new unit, which effectively increased range from 133 kilometers to 200 kilometers. Together with this battery upgrade is an appropriately stronger motor too, mildly bumping up power from 115 hp to 134 hp and torque from 199 lb-ft to 214 lb-ft, so the new e-Golf is almost 2 seconds quicker from rest to 100 km/h, and is tangibly brisker at every speed up to its ironically lower governed top speed of 136 km/h, down from last year model’s already marginalized 144 km/h allowable top-speed. Motor speed has also been reduced from 12,000 rpm to 10,000 rpm without affecting dynamic performance.

Also, a bit odd, the mostly untouched power bay looks less polished now despite the updates. Our white silver metallic test model came with all the new fixings along with the light facelift that also differentiates it from the standard Golf model range with its unique but very subtle aesthetic nuances to the front grille, bumpers, roof-edge spoiler, interior and exterior trim. The new, stronger LED headlights and overall lighting is a big improvement in illumination, energy saving, and looks. Even the small 16-inch alloys have grown on me and don’t look pitiful anymore;they conversely look and perform with unique purpose.

The central control head unit is now an 8.0-inch touchscreen with a better acoustic 8-speaker new infotainment system. With the standard 7.2kW DC charger for the top-spec SEL Premium model, you can get a full charge, with a 240-volt power source, in 4 hours, the same as before. Our test unit also still uses the standard three driving modes: Normal, Eco, and Eco+ for the most aggressive power-saving measures which makes the e-Golf feel like you’re driving with the weight of the world on its shoulders combined with much less electric motor power, less performing conveniences like reduced climate control and less power to the sound system amplifier.

Just like in the previous model, Volkswagen ensuredthat the actual driving experience is consistent with being a Golf so it is still quite engaging while being very compliant when you are not in a rush. I am no longer worried like I was with the first e-Golf model in the sense that Volkswagen did not compromise its core dynamic values, classiness, and versatility, but I did expect considerably more range and significantly more thrust. Yet I am once again further reinforced that you certainly can drive an affordable yet still premium pure electric vehicle on a daily basis without the lingering specter of having given up on the sensuality of the combustion engine.




Engine Permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor, 35.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 132.1 bhp
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 214 lb-ft
Transmission 1-Speed Direct Drive


Top Speed 136 km/h (85 mph) Governed
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 8.7 seconds

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) MPGe 126 City / 111 Highway


Price as Tested (PHP) US$ 37,845.00
What's Great Better 200-kilometer range on a full charge and quicker performance than before. Retains the feel and driving dynamics of a Golf
What's Not So Currently ranked third in range and speed against the slightly more expensive current champsChevrolet Bolt and Nissan LEAF
C! Editors Rating 10/10
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