The 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf electric car's base price will drop by some $4,500 compared to the 2015 model, thanks to the addition of a new entry-level model.

The VW e-Golf SE will start at $29,815 including destination, before any Federal, state, or local incentives.

That compares to the $36,415 starting price of the only other e-Golf trim level, the SEL Premium.

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This model is analogous to the top trim levels of gasoline and diesel Golf models, so Volkswagen had some room to slot in a new model beneath it.

The SE replaces the 2015 Limited Edition model, which was priced about $2,000 beneath the SEL Premium--and was, as its name indicated, limited in production.

While it boasts a lower price, the SE does without the standard 7.2-kilowatt AC onboard charger and DC fast-charging capabilities of the SEL Premium.

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

Instead, it gets a standard 3.6-kW charger, although buyers can specify the more powerful charger and CCS DC fast-charging in an extra-cost option package.

The powertrain remains unchanged, with an electric motor producing 85 kilowatts (115 horsepower) and 199 pound-feet of torque driving the front wheels.

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A 24.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack provides enough storage capacity for an EPA-rated 83 miles of range.

Both 2016 e-Golf models also get Volkswagen's new MIB II infotainment system, although the SE makes do with a 6.5-inch display screen, rather than the SEL Premium's 8.0-inch screen.

SE buyers also won't have the option of a new Driver Assistance package, which is only available on the SEL Premium.

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

This package includes forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and park assist features.

Volkswagen claims the addition of the SE trim level to the lineup makes the e-Golf price competitive with the Nissan Leaf S--the least-expensive version of the world's best-selling electric car.

MORE: 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Rated At 83 Miles Range, 116 MPGe (Nov 2014)

The 2015 Nissan Leaf S starts at $29,860, and has an EPA-rated 84 miles of range.

The 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SE should arrive in dealers by September. Thus far, sales remain limited to the 10 Northeast and West Coast states in which the 2015 model was offered.


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