In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID.3 review

The Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback is an electric family car that promises to be as big a breakthrough as the Beetle and Golf before it – but is it a true revolution?

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£28,930 - £38,810
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
DrivetrainBattery sizeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Pure Performance45kWh215-217 miles7hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)31mins (5-80%, 100kW)
Pro / Pro Performance58kWh258-263 miles9hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)33mins (10-80%, 100kW)
Pro S77kWh336 miles12hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)36mins (10-80%, 125kW)

The ID.3 is a very important car, both for Volkswagen and for drivers everywhere. Mainstream VW models such as the Beetle and Golf defined how we saw family cars in their respective eras, and that’s what the company hopes will happen here, too.

Unlike the e-Golf and e-up!, there won’t be versions of the ID.3 with petrol or diesel power – it was designed purely for electric motors and batteries. The model range spans 45, 58 and 77kWh batteries for claimed ranges of between 215 and 336 miles.

There's useful 100 or 125kW rapid-charging depending on battery size, as well as an 11kW on-board charger for swift home charging (as long as you have three-phase power). Models with the Pure Performance drivetrain have a 148bhp electric motor, while the Pro drivetrain produces 143bhp but gets a much larger battery. Finally there’s the Pro Performance and Pro S drivetrains which make 201bhp – enough for 0-62mph in a nippy 7.3 seconds. The ID.3 is rear-wheel drive, because the motor is at the back, although it still drives more like a normal family hatchback than a sports car.

The ID.3 is agile and good to drive, and while it can't disguise its weight, the powerful motor helps it to feel more energetic than an equivalent Golf with a petrol or diesel engine. Its tight turning circle helps make city driving a breeze, and it’s comfortable as well. Even on 19-inch wheels, the ID.3’s suspension is soft enough to keep big bumps in the road from causing too much discomfort. It’s quieter inside than the e-Golf was, too, because less road noise comes into the cabin.

Speaking of the cabin, the ID.3’s interior is merely okay. We wish there were fewer cheap-looking plastic materials, as the car is pretty expensive. At least the smart, modern look goes some way to counteracting that impression. Equipment includes digital dials and a responsive and feature-packed touchscreen sat-nav. It has the all-important Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity, and there’s even a phone app to help with energy management and to schedule charging.

The Volkswagen ID.3 may never generate the kind of fanbase that Tesla has built, and it seems a stretch to think it’ll be as successful as the Beetle was – but it’s a really competent and sensible electric-car choice. It’s reasonably priced, practical and good to drive, with enough range for most users to never have any issues. For a more detailed look at the Volkswagen ID.3, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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