The powertrain is quiet even by the extra-quiet standards of the modern EV. Most battery cars have a gentle, high-pitched turbine whistle-cum-whine, which is detectable mostly at low speeds before road roar and wind noise drown it out.
But the e-Golf’s motor and high-voltage power inverter barely register any noise at all. Flex the accelerator a long way and the crunch and chirp of rubber slipping momentarily against asphalt as the car takes off from standing is the only audible sign of expended effort.
But this is also a powertrain with a bit of low-end muscle, which gives the car not only the sense of classy refinement that you hope for from a VW but also competitive performance and a strong impression of flexibility. The e-Golf proved 0.4sec quicker to 60mph than the Leaf that we road tested three years ago and, more tellingly, 0.3sec faster to 30mph than a current 148bhp Golf diesel.
That neatly sums up how the car feels around town: very responsive and quite vigorous up to typical ring road speeds. An i3 has it licked on darting-into-gap potential, but every other ultra-low-emissions option could be quite easily shrugged off everywhere except on the motorway, where the e-Golf’s single-speed gearing means that overtaking performance is less effortless.