2015 Volkswagen E Golf

2015 Volkswagen E Golf

Episode 3425
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The Volkswagen Golf lineup earned our 2015 Drivers’ Choice Award for best small car. One of the reasons being the wide variety of choices you have when it comes to buying one. You can go basic with a TSI, sporty with the GTI, or long range with the TDI. And, there’s even a totally green one on that list, the e-Golf EV. 

It’s not only us that have showered high praise on the 7th generation, 2015 Volkswagen Golf; as 57 veteran auto writers also picked it as the 2015 North American Car of the Year. Our mission here, is to spend some additional time in the all-electric e-Golf to see if it indeed lives up to the rest of the family’s reputation; and if it brings anything new to the EV world. 

Well, it doesn’t take any time at all behind the wheel to realize that the e-Golf drives almost exactly like every other Golf. It does feel a bit heavier, thanks to the additional 700-pounds of battery weight, but that just helps make it feel even more stable. Handling certainly feels similar, though some steering feel seems to have gone missing. 

Now, as for how it compares to other EVs, well it appears to be easier on range, as the distance to empty gauge seems to hang onto numbers a little longer than most before letting them count down. 

Regenerative braking feel can be harsh, but it’s also adjustable. So, you can dial it up for maximum energy recuperation and brake pedal-free treks down steep hills, or dial it down for a more normal feel. One thing’s for sure, it will certainly change the way you drive, as no matter which mode you’re in, there’s not much “coasting down” to stop signs.

Drivers can also control power output by choosing between Normal, Eco, and Eco+ driving modes. 

Overall, it is a very impressive piece of engineering, with almost seamless integration of all EV componentry; and it has by far the most natural throttle feel of any EV we’ve driven. It even had a few of our staffers forgetting that they were driving an EV after some time behind the wheel. 

The Fed’s driving range is listed at 83-miles. Now, that’s less than both the Nissan Leaf and the Kia Soul EV, but its Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 126-City, 105-Highway, and 116-Combined MPGes beats both of them. And of course there’s an almost perfect Energy Impact Score of just 0.2-barrels of annual oil use with zero CO2 emissions. 

The powertrain is VW’s own design and features an 85-kW motor that outputs 115-horsepower and 199 lb-ft. of torque; juiced by a 24.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the rear seat.

So, notably, cargo room is unchanged from other 4-door Golf hatchbacks with 22.8 cu-ft. of space in the rear, 52.7 with the seatbacks folded. 

And while the new-gen Golf certainly impresses us with its ride-and-handling capabilities, interior build quality is equally impressive. The e-Golf has the same sporty feel as the rest of the lineup, and even retains elements like a flat-bottom steering wheel.

Unique components to the e-Golf include blue trim, and of course an exclusive gauge panel with a power/charge meter and a battery meter that looks exactly like a traditional fuel gauge.

Navigation, back-up camera, heated leatherette seating, 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment, and keyless entry are all standard. And like most newer EV efforts the e-Golf uses an efficient heat pump for cabin climate control.

Things outside are a little more of a departure, with LED headlights, C-shaped LED DRLs located down low, blue trim, updated grille, 16-inch alloy wheels, and of course unique EV badging.

But, from the rear, other than the lack of a tail pipe, there’s little to indicate the e-Golf’s fossil fuel-free nature. Even the charging port is located behind the traditional fuel filler door, and the cord locks into place with the vehicles central locking system. 

Available only in very well equipped SEL Premium trim, e-Golf pricing is in line with rival EVs, starting at $36,265. And of course the usual government rebates apply, bringing actual cost down to $28,765. 

The 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf with its solid feel, terrific handling, and great throttle response, is a true high water mark for mainstream EVs.  And much like the equally new and impressive Kia Soul EV, the more time we spend in them, the more EVs start to make sense.  They even have us thinking that a plug-in driving future might not be so hard to take after all.


  • Engine: 85-kW electric motor
  • Horsepower: 115
  • Torque: 199 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 126 mpge city/ 105 mpge highway
  • Energy Impact: 0.2 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 0

Long Term Updates

Mileage: 3,000

So far, our petroleum-free Volkswagen e-Golf long-term electric car has been problem-free, smooth, and ultra-quiet. 

But, with only 3,000 miles on the clock, we’re still in the “get-to-know-you-phase”.

The feds lists the eGolf’s range at 83-miles. Yet, with careful driving and maximum regen braking dialed in, you can easily do much more. Around town and on commutes we’re impressed at how slowly the range decreases. Only on the open highway does it plunge as rapidly as rivals, but they don’t have this EV’s GTI-like handling. 

So, it doesn’t take too much time behind the wheel to realize that this car is the home run of current EVs.  

Mileage: 3,700

Admittedly, trips in our Volkswagen e-Golf have been mostly of the short variety, having only racked up 3,700–miles so far in our 2-months with Volkswagen’s first pure-EV. But we’re slowly venturing further afield, with a good grasp on how far we can push the e-Golf before needing a recharge.

That confidence has also been enhanced by a new 220-volt charger, helping us get a full charge in about half the time compared to 110. 

Most comments from our driver’s log center around how much the e-Golf feels just like a typical VW. Which is to say there are no weird EV eccentricities; just all Volkswagen Golf sporty feel in a gasoline-free package.

A very nicely equipped package at that, as in SEL Premium trim, backup camera and navigation are standard. 

Mileage: 4,300

It’s with much sadness that we bring you the following news about the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf… …it’s no longer here! 

And that’s the only negative that we can come up with after our 3-month 4,300-mile plug-in adventure, except for some odd noises that emanated from the climate control system on startup. 

We’re very much in love with the whole Golf lineup, and our time spent in the e-Golf has only deepened our affection. 

Much like the GTIs that recently passed through our long-term fleet, the e-Golf is way more enjoyable than the typical 4-cylinder hatchback, with every stoplight reminding you of its awesome EV torque.

2023 BMW X7 Driving

2023 BMW X7

Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More

Episode 4238
Lucas Oil "Keep That Engine Alive"Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.

When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.

There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…

…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.

2023 BMW X7 Interior Dashboard

Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.

The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.

At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!

New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.

In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.

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Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.

There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.

Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.

It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.


  • Engine: I-6
  • Horsepower: 375
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
  • EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined