E-Golf & Leaf

The elec­tric duo glide away for the last time


For the past six months we’ve been run­ning two elec­tric cars, the Volk­swa­gen e-Golf and Nis­san Leaf, side by side. Time for a fi­nal points tally up.

OM: Nul points for yours, eh?

TH: Not quite nul. The Leaf isn’t with­out merit – it’s got a bet­ter app than yours, for ex­am­ple – but it has is­sues. I can’t un­der­stand how they made the driv­ing po­si­tion so bad, and it sim­ply isn’t very ef­fi­cient. I couldn’t get it over 4.0mp­kWh. OM: It’s telling that mine’s done over a thou­sand miles more – it’s one of those cars that peo­ple bor­row and come back eu­lo­gis­ing about. And then ask to bor­row again. Mine of­ten topped 4.0mp­kWh, but needed charg­ing ev­ery day. Driv­ing the Hyundai Kona brought this home. It was just as ef­fi­cient, but had a bat­tery twice as big. I pre­ferred the Golf’s qual­ity and smooth­ness of driv­ing, but you can’t ar­gue with a range like that. It means dis­tant rel­a­tives are reach­able. In the Golf they’re not.

TH: Nor in the Leaf. Nis­san claims more range, but like yours it man­aged about 140 miles. I drove the Kona too, and I thought it was great. Much nicer item than the Leaf, if not the Golf.

OM: In my mind, the e-Golf has done two things for VW. Its pres­ence in the model range has helped sweep Diesel­gate un­der the car­pet, and it’s made me ex­cited about the ID range. Can’t wait for that, es­pe­cially the ID Buzz cam­per.

TH: To­tally. That’s what’s ir­ri­tat­ing about the Leaf. Nis­san got the jump on ev­ery­one with the first gen and had time to per­fect the sec­ond gen but re­leased a car with glar­ing flaws.

OM: What it’s also showed me is how easy elec­tric cars are. I drive the e-Golf and re­alise that for ev­ery­day cars, in­ter­nal com­bus­tion is in­fe­rior in al­most ev­ery way. Re­lated to that, it’s also showed me that while home charg­ing is great, the na­tional in­fra­struc­ture is hope­less.

TH: Yeah, good point. For all the Leaf’s flaws, I do like e-com­mut­ing. It’s quiet, easy and re­lax­ing. But to make EVs a real thing, the in­fra­struc­ture needs sort­ing.

OM: Last one, then. Straight choice, Volk­swa­gen e-Golf or Nis­san Leaf?

TH: The e-Golf. Ev­ery time.

De­spite e-Pedal, Leaf can’t match Golf’s ef­fi­ciency

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