Volkswagen e-Golf vs the BMW i3. Which to buy?


Published on September 11th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Volkswagen e-Golf vs the BMW i3. Which to buy?


The BMW i3 has just been launched and we had the chance to take it for a small spin at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week. The BMW i3 is priced at 34,950 EUROS and will enter showrooms in Germany this November. With the i3, “we are setting new technological standards for the industry,” BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said at a press conference on Monday at Frankfurt. BMW’s i8 hybrid electric-petrol sports car is also making its debut at the Frankfurt show.


The Volkswagen e-UP will go on sale this October for 26,900 EUROS in Germany, which is about 25% less than the BMW i3. Then there is the just launched Volkswagen e-Golf that could be a best seller globally with its mass production capabilities. (pricing yet to be announced and the e-Golf will be launched early 2014). (BMW i3 pictured below).


For the electric e-UP and e-Golf, standard 230-volt wall-socket chargers will fully charge the e-UP!’s 18.7 kWh battery from empty within 9-hours, VW claims, and can do the same for the e-Golf’s 24.7 kWh battery within 13-hours. Step it up with an optional wall box charger for garages or carports (and charging stations) and the e-Up! will go from empty to full within 6-hours; it will do the same for the e-Golf within 8-hours. The quickest charge comes courtesy of an optional combined charging system (CCS) using a DC power supply. Using that, the e-Up! and the e-Golf can be charged from empty to 80% in just 30 minutes (half an hour). For the BMW i3, the battery can be charged from a domestic plug socket in around 8 to 10-hours or in 3 to 4-hours from a public charging station.(BMW i3 driver has to open front door first before opening rear door……pictured below).


Examining the ownership position, the e- Golf makes more sense than the BMW i3 in many ways. First, the e-Golf uses all the external and cabin parts as with the conventional Volkswagen Golf Mk7. This reduces after sales and accident damage repair. The BMW i3 is very special inside and outside and parts would cost more in the long run.


The BMW i3 uses ‘suicide’ doors….where you can only open the rear doors with the front doors open…..not very practical for family usage. It is also very tight at the back with space for just 2 adults. Luggage room in the BMW13 is also less than with the e-Golf. Therefore, Volkswagen Group has a better solution in the long run and with lower production costs, the savings would be transferred back to the buyers.


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