Volkswagen ID.3 review

The Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback isn’t without its faults, but it’s a solid electric family car that’ll take most things in its stride

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£39,425 - £47,470
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Good to drive
  • Decent range and power
  • Stylish but not flashy looks

Cons

  • Weak regenerative braking
  • Interior quality disappointing
  • Fiddly infotainment
Battery sizeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
45kWh*214-216 miles7hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)31mins (5-80%, 100kW)
58kWh258-264 miles9hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)31mins (10-80%, 120kW)
77kWh340 miles12hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)32mins (10-80%, 135kW)

* currently unavailable

Volkswagen ID.3 verdict

The Volkswagen ID.3 is a very sensible and competent electric family hatchback. It offers the range, space and practicality most people will be looking for from this class of EV, as well as being comfortable and quiet on the road. 

However, VW’s electric alternative to its iconic Golf suffers from infuriating climate controls, fiddly infotainment system and sub-par interior quality – which is particularly disappointing to see from such an established brand, or indeed an EV that now starts at over £39,000. The ID.3 is being updated later in 2023, and hopefully this will allow it to catch up to newer rivals from MG, Renault and Cupra.

Range details, specs and alternatives

The ID.3 was the first true entry in Volkswagen’s rapidly expanding line-up of electric cars (after the ageing e-up! City car) which now includes the ID.4 SUV, ID.5 coupe-SUV and ID. Buzz minibus, while the ID.7 saloon is due to arrive later this year. It’s also the model that Volkswagen hopes will come to define how we see the next generation of family cars, in the same way the Beetle and Golf did in their respective eras. So clearly, this is a very important EV for the German automaker.

Competition includes cars of all shapes, sizes, and fuel types. On one hand you have traditional petrol and diesel-powered hatchbacks like the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf. Then, there are electric models such as the budget-friendly MG4 EV, sporty Cupra Born, long-lived Nissan Leaf, and stylish Renault Megane E-Tech. Plus a smattering of other zero-emissions family cars in the same price range, including the Kia Niro EV and even the Tesla Model 3.

The Volkswagen ID.3 line-up was cut back in 2022, due in part to semiconductor chip supply issues hitting the automotive industry. There are now three versions of the electric hatchback available, with prices starting at £39,425 at the time of writing. In comparison, the MG4 starts at a smidge under £27,000, while the Niro EV and Megane E-Tech both come in under £37k.

The entry-level model is now the ID.3 Business. This uses the 'Pro Performance' drivetrain which consists of a 201bhp electric motor and 58kWh battery; enough for a range of up to 264 miles. Standard kit includes 18-inch alloy wheels, Matrix LED headlights, a 10-inch touchscreen, 5.3-inch digital driver’s display, reversing camera, adaptive cruise control, ambient lighting and keyless entry and start. Every 58kWh model also gets 120kW rapid charging capability.

Next up is the ID.3 Style at £42,560, which uses the same Pro Performance running gear, but offers a slightly shorter 260-mile range. You do get lots of luxuries with this version, however, including a panoramic sunroof, augmented reality head-up display and ergoActive front seats. 

Finally, at the top of the range is the ID.3 Tour. This particular version features a 77kWh battery – the largest unit VW currently offers in its EVs – allowing for an impressive 339-mile range. That bigger battery and means it’s also only available as a four-seater, which might be an issue for some buyers. But other kit includes 20-inch alloy wheels, 135kW rapid charging, and extra safety systems like lane assist, traffic jam assist and emergency assist.

For a more detailed look at the Volkswagen ID.3, read on for the rest of our in-depth review..

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