Volkswagen ID.3 vs Nissan Leaf: interior and infotainment

Modern-feeling interior means the Volkswagen edges ahead of the Nissan despite some quality issues

Volkswagen ID.3

The Volkswagen ID.3 has a striking interior when you first get in, because it’s much more minimalist than those of traditional family cars. There are few buttons on the dashboard; instead, most functions are contained on the large 10-inch touchscreen display. Sadly, this screen – while responsive – is fiddly to use. It’s not easy to make fine adjustments to the air-conditioning while driving, for example. It’s a shame, because otherwise the infotainment setup is good.

There’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on both cars here, but it’s better to use on the larger, sharper and more responsive screen in the Volkswagen. The Leaf’s screen looks really old-fashioned, with ugly graphics and a smallish display, but at least it has plenty of buttons for ease of use.

The ID.3 misses out on wireless phone charging, which seems a strange oversight, but the Leaf doesn’t have it either. EV-specific functions are present on both cars, for example predicted range overlays on the map in the Leaf and driving information on the Volkswagen’s digital dashboard dials.

The Volkswagen's interior has a modern feel, but the materials don’t live up to that. They’re disappointing, partly because we’ve come to expect better from Volkswagen over the years, and partly because the launch version of the ID.3 costs over £35,000. The Nissan’s interior is no better, with similar hard-wearing but cheap-looking plastics. It also looks dated and dull next to the ID.3's, which at least has a futuristic design. Build quality in both cars is good, though.

Most Popular

Top 10 best luxury electric cars 2021
Best cars

Top 10 best luxury electric cars 2021

From Audi to Tesla, here are our top picks of the most luxurious zero-emissions motoring options on the market right now
7 Oct 2021
Complete guide to the IONITY charging network
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback charging
Your questions answered

Complete guide to the IONITY charging network

The manufacturer-backed IONITY rapid-charging network is expanding across the UK and Europe – here's all you need to know
13 Oct 2021
2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV: single-motor version on sale now
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Volvo XC40 Recharge electric

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV: single-motor version on sale now

Volvo has introduced a new single-motor version of its electric SUV, available in two trim levels and with prices starting from £48,300
20 Oct 2021