2017 VW e-Golf lease can cost more than longer-range Chevy Bolt EV

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2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Model years can be confusing: the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf electric car just went on sale this month, at a time when some other makers have already rolled out 2018 models.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, meanwhile, went on sale since last December; at some point this fall, we expect to get information on the 2018 version.

Comparing the two 2017 compact electric hatchbacks shows significant differences in range and lease cost.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf, 125-mile electric car, starts at $31,315

Surprisingly, the top version of the electric car with the lower EPA-rated range (the 2017 VW e-Golf at 125 miles) costs more to lease at the moment than the longer-range 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, rated at 238 miles.

In sticker prices, the 2017 e-Golf is significantly less expensive, with the base SE trim level starting at $31,315 including delivery, against the $37,500 of the base 2017 Bolt EV.

As CarsDirect explained on Friday, the first leases offered on the updated e-Golf with 125 miles of range come in at $279 per month.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Nissan Leaf

2017 Nissan Leaf

2017 Ford Focus Electric

2017 Ford Focus Electric

That's $120 more per month than the superseded 2016 e-Golf, with its 83 miles of range.

It's also $129 higher than the 115-mile 2017 Ford Focus Electric, $59 more expensive than the 107-mile 2017 Nissan Leaf, and $108 more costly than the 84-mile Fiat 500e.

Of those cars, only the Leaf is available throughout the U.S. The 500e is limited to California and Oregon, and the Focus Electric has a different sales footprint altogether.

READ THIS: Volkswagen ID electric car to launch in 2020 along with new VW Golf

In more detail, factoring in the $2,349 due at signing on the basic $279 monthly e-Golf SE lease brings the effective monthly cost to $344 over a three-year lease that allows 10,000 miles a year.

More surprising, though, is that the top-of-the-line 2017 VW e-Golf SEL model actually leases for more than a Chevy Bolt EV.

The upcharge for a new electric Golf with all the bells and whistles, including active-safety features, is a substantial $120 a month, which brings the monthly lease cost to $399.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Factoring in the down payment and other costs, the effective monthly lease payment for a 2017 e-Golf SEL is $464.

The comparable effective lease price on a 2017 Bolt EV is $413, and it's $447 for a 2017 BMW i3 REx with its range-extending engine.

In other words, if you want the anonymity of a perfectly standard VW Golf that happens to be the all-electric e-Golf version—versus the identifiable designs of the BMW i3 and Chevy Bolt EV—it'll cost you some extra cash every month.

CHECK OUT: 2017 VW e-Golf: first drive of updated 125-mile electric car

All lease costs factor the $7,500 federal income-tax credit for all the electric cars named into the overall cost.

All of the electric cars in this article also qualify for California's $2,500 clean-vehicle rebate, though that program now carries income limits for eligibility.

The lease prices on the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf are valid throughout California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

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