2017 Volkswagen e-Golf offers 124 miles of range, more power

Among mass-market plugin cars, the 2017 e-Golf's extended range is outdone only by the Chevrolet Bolt. The vehicle will go on sale in the US early next year. 

Jens Meyer/AP
The new e-Golf model is on display during the car presentation in the German car manufacturer Volkswagen Transparent Factory (Glaeserne Manufaktur) in Dresden, eastern Germany, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.

The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf was unveiled Thursday at the second of two Los Angeles Auto Show media preview days.

Along with the many updates made to other models in the 2017 Golf lineup, VW's electric car gets a 50-percent boost in battery capacity and a more powerful electric motor.

The battery rises from 24.2 kilowatt-hours to 35.8 kwh, boosting its range rating from 83 miles to what VW expects to be 124 miles.

That matches the range of the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq, and exceeds the ratings for this year's BMW i3 (114 miles) and Nissan Leaf (107 miles).

The only mass-priced electric car with more rated range is the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, at 238 miles (our Green Car Reports 2017 Best Car To Buy award winner).

Every Tesla model also has more than 200 miles of range, but prices start at roughly $70,000.

The 2017 VW e-Golf also gets a boost in motor power, from 86 kilowatts (115 horsepower) in the prior year's model to 100 kw (134 hp). Torque increases as well, from 199 to 214 lb-ft.

All models now have a 7.2-kw onboard charger, and a CCS DC fast-charging port is standard on the SEL Premium model and optional on the SE base model.

Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is quoted at 9.6 seconds, a reduction of more than 1 second. Top speed is 93 mph.

Other changes to the 2017 e-Golf include slightly updated front and rear styling, a larger optional touchscreen display, and more available active-safety features.

Though it's remarkably subtle, the new front end includes not only new LED headlights and running lights, but a new bumper and even new front fenders.

The optional "Volkswagen Digital Cockpit" is a 12.3-inch digital instrument display behind the steering wheel in which all gauges are digitally rendered, with the driver able to configure individual sets of information as desired.

A Discover Pro 9.2-inch digital touchscreen display in the center of the dash is another option, with hand-swipe gestures planned as an addition within the next two years.

On the SEL Premium model, a driver-assistance package bundles together the digital cockpit, adaptive cruise control, the forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and parking assist.

The forward-collision warning system with automatic emergency braking also now adds pedestrian detection for lower-speed travel.

The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf will go on sale early next year, at selected dealers only in certain states.

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