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