Review: Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen’s best-selling electric car, the ID.3, had a facelift last year and is now smarter both in looks and innovation.
As one of the first wave of all-electric models at launch in 2020 it was soon overtaken by rivals that were better in any number of ways.
VW acknowledged the concerns and criticisms of its customers and took them on board and this is the result.
The exterior design is more mainstream. The bonnet looks longer now the black strip under the windscreen is absent and it has larger air intakes. The rear lights are larger.
But it is the interior where most of the changes have occurred. Instead of hard scratchy plastics and a spartan cabin, more of VW’s trademark luxury is present with smart stitching and soft touch materials.
The ID.3 is a rear-wheel drive vehicle, like the original Beetle, with a longish wheelbase. This translates to a tight turning circle, better than expected room in the back for passengers and a decent-sized boot of 385 litres. Headroom all-round is good.
There are two versions: the 58kWh (ID.3 Pro) and 77kWh (ID.3 Pro S). The official range is 266 miles for the small battery and 347 for the larger one. The real world figures for the Pro S we had on test is 248 miles on the motorway and it wasn’t far out.
We had no complaints over the ride quality of the ID.3. It was super-smooth and with very little wind and tyre noise to disturb the quiet of the engine.
The driver sits relatively high and there is plenty of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel. Visibility is good all round.
The gear selector controls are high up above the steering wheel and take some getting used to. Once you do, you’ll probably find, like we did that, you’ll like it.
There are a few physical switches on the steering wheel and the instrument panel but most functions are via the centre tablet as is becoming the norm.
The driver’s screen could do with being a bit bigger - it has to cram in a lot of information and seems a bit cluttered.
There’s plenty of storage, including a handy place for two mobile phones.
In the UK, sales of the ID.3 are picking up slowly. In 2022 VW sold 131,850 passenger vehicles - of these 9,832 were ID.3s.
Prices start at £37,430 for the Pro and £43,185 for the Pro S with plenty of scope to add on extra bells and whistles.
Our Pro S came incredibly well specified with the addition of a few cosmetic enhancements such as mats and removable luggage compartment floor and three packs: driver assistance pack plus ( £2,095) which added such as area and rear-view camera, keyless entry and traffic jam assist; exterior pack (£1,725) upgraded lighting and Interior Pack £770) which adds head-up display and a 30-colour interior ambient lighting function.
Total price of our test came in at £50,245.
VW iD.3 Pro
Price: £42,130 (£50,245 as tested)
Engine: 77kWh lithium-ion battery
Transmission: direct drive single speed
Top speed: 99mph
CO 2 emissions: 0 g/km
EV range: 347 miles WLTP