The 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf has two direct competitors: Both the high-volume Nissan Leaf, and the very low-volume Ford Focus Electric are all-electric compact hatchbacks.
The Leaf offers a higher 107-mile range this year, which gives it a definite leg up on the VW, while the Focus lags at an increasingly uncompetitive 73 miles.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is also a battery-electric compact hatchback, but it comes in at least $10,000 more expensive than the VW, as does the BMW i3.
The Mercedes is a unique model to the U.S., but it's much more conventional in appearance, while the tech-forward i3 is the most efficient car of any kind sold in the U.S.
this year—but tops out at 83 miles of range, just like the VW.
Finally, the Chevy Spark EV is an electric minicar, though a surprisingly roomy one that can actually seat four adults, and it's startlingly powerful while offering a similar 82-mile range.
But the 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt EV has been promised for 2017, and so has a second-generation Nissan Leaf with a similar range—and they'll be game-changers.
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