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Facelifted Volkswagen ID.3 is now on sale with one big flaw

Volkswagen’s electric family hatchback gets refreshed styling and new technology... but no backlit climate controls

Updated Volkswagen ID.3 front end

The updated Volkswagen ID.3 is now on sale, with prices starting from £37,115. This mid-life facelift comes just two-and-a-half years after production began and brings a new look, new technology and a new “more refined” interior which, unfortunately, still lacks any form of illumination for the climate controls.

2023 Volkswagen ID.3 prices and specifications

In the UK, the outgoing ID.3 was available in three trim levels – Business, Style and Tour. However, to simplify things, the facelifted car is only available in two forms: Pro and Pro S.

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The entry-level Pro utilises a 58kWh battery to provide a range of 266 miles and, as mentioned, starts from £37,115. Standard equipment is virtually the same across the range, with all facelifted ID.3s getting LED exterior lighting, a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and front and rear parking sensors.

Pro S models get a larger 77kWh unit for a maximum range of 347 miles – seven miles more than the pre-facelift model. Starting at £42,870, the Pro S also includes electric front seats and larger 19-inch alloy wheels – Pro cars get slightly smaller 18-inch wheels. However, aside from this, the only reason to shell out the extra £5,500-ish for the Pro S over the base Pro is for the larger battery.

Design and interior

On the outside, Volkswagen has updated the ID.3’s look with a more dynamic front end – moving away from the cuter, friendlier face of the outgoing model. Claas-Lennard Stöhr,  ID.3 product manager, told us: “With the new front end, there’s definitely a little more aggression. The sharper bumper and the surfacing mean it’s more grown-up, more mature.”

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There are new lights designed to resemble the human eye, as well as fresh bumper and bonnet designs. The Cupra Born and MG4 EV rival gets a new colour palette, too, including the Dark Olivine Green in these images.  

Elsewhere, Volkswagen says that customer suggestions have been taken on board and implemented, specifically with regards to interior quality. The maker has added foam-backed surfaces on the dashboard, and added larger, softer surfaces to the doors. Now vegan-friendly, with a “high proportion” of recycled materials, the ID.3 is delivered to customers carbon-neutral. 

Another often-criticised area of the ID.3 was its on-board tech – namely the infotainment system and associated hardware. However, while the updated car will be offered with a new 12-inch screen in some markets, UK buyers have to make do with the old 10-inch display until 2024 at the earliest. Only then will Volkswagen fit backlit climate controls – a big gripe for existing owners.

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The display will at least feature updated software, including more easily accessible charging menus and intelligent sat-nav routing. The 5.3-inch driver’s display and rocker-style gearlever remain, while an augmented-reality head-up display is available as an option.

Powertrains and range

There have been no changes to the available battery and motor options; Volkswagen continues to offer a choice of the 58kWh ‘Pro’ and 77kWh ‘Pro S’ batteries – both mated to a single 201bhp motor powering the rear wheels. A less powerful model with a smaller battery has been touted, and a hot ID.3 GTX is expected to join the range later this year.

Volkswagen says the 58kWh model can return up to 265 miles according to the WLTP test cycle, while the 77kWh version maxes out at 347 miles. The range-topping ID.3 Pro S can now rapid charge at speeds of up to 170kW (5-80% in 30 minutes) – the same as the recently-launched VW ID. Buzz minibus – while Pro cars top out at 120kW, taking five minutes more to complete the same benchmark charging curve.

The ID.3 is currently produced in two facilities in Zwickau and Dresden, Germany, but starting this year, ID.3s will also be built at the main Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg in order to keep pace with high customer demand.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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