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Volkswagen e-Golf will come with a reasonable price tag – for a top-trim EV

Volkswagen has announced U.S. pricing for the all-electric version of the beloved Golf. The e-Golf will only be offered at VW’s highest trim level, and the price reflects that.

Though the Volkswagen e-Golf is not expected to sell in large numbers here in the United States, it promises to be one of the better electric vehicles on the market. Today VW unveiled U.S. pricing for the new battery electric - $35,445 before destination fees and the $7,500 federal tax credit.

Comparable to a top-trim Nissan LEAF

The e-Golf will only be available as a fully equipped SEL Premium model. It comes with standard features like DC fast charging (with the new CCS standard), a 7.2 kW onboard charger, a 5.8-inch touchscreen system with navigation, Sirius XM, an “Automatic Post-Collision Braking System,” a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED headlights, and heated front seats.

The all-electric hatch features a 115-hp electric motor with 199 lb-ft of available torque, powered by a 24.2 kWh battery nearly identical in capacity to the Nissan LEAF. Volkswagen has yet to release a helpful range estimate, only stating an expected range of “between 70 and 90 miles” depending on driving conditions.

How does the e-Golf compare to other electric vehicles on the market? It slots just above the top-trim Nissan LEAF SL, which goes for $35,120 before destination fees. Of course, the entry-level Nissan LEAF S starts at just $29,010, which makes us wish VW offered the e-Golf with slightly fewer bells and whistles and a more accessible price tag.

Also of note, the BMW i3 and Mercedes B-Class ED are electric vehicles with comparable range that start at $41,350 and $41,450 before fees, respectively.

What about a gasoline-powered Golf SEL?

Arguably more important is the price premium the e-Golf brings over its gasoline sibling. When compared with the top-trim SEL model of the 4-door Golf, the difference is not unreasonable by current industry standards - $8,450. But for the sake of argument, without considering any tax credits or rebates that premium will require more than a couple of years to pay for itself in fuel savings.

The trade-off, of course, is the privilege of driving an exciting and practical electric vehicle that offers all the benefits that EVs provide: low carbon footprint, low maintenance, the smoothest acceleration on the road, instant torque, quietness, the convenience of refueling at home, the cool factor...oh yeah, and it’s a member of the legendary Golf family that retains or enhances the best characteristics of the legacy model. Most impressively, VW packaged the battery without intruding into the passenger or cargo space - the interior volume of the e-Golf is the same as its gasoline sibling.

If you’ve got the cash and it fits your driving needs, we expect you won’t be disappointed in the e-Golf, so long as you can get your hands on one.

The VW e-Golf hits U.S. dealers “in select states” this November.