Volkswagen ID.3 electric: specs, price, details and release date

Further models have been added to the Volkswagen ID.3 range, including a new entry-level Life Pro variant, priced from £28,670 after the government grant

Volkswagen ID.3

Further models have been added to the Volkswagen ID.3 range – including a cheaper, entry-level version badged Life Pro. This car features a less powerful 143bhp electric motor and starts from £28,670 after the government's £3,000 plug-in car grant has been deducted.

With the UK's allocation of the '1ST Plus' launch-edition cars now sold out, that means pricing for the regular production version of the fully electric family hatchback runs from £28,670 to £39,290 across the various versions.

Six trim levels are available, named Life, Business, Family, Style, Tech and Max (equipment and prices detailed below). The first three get a 58kWh battery and the 143bhp 'Pro' electric motor as standard, for an official driving range of between 258 and 263 miles.

The Life, Business and Family specs can also be fitted with the 201bhp 'Performance' motor for an extra £1,320, increasing power without affecting range. The Style, Tech and Max models all get the Performance motor as standard.

A further model, called Tour Pro Performance, is also available. This has the same 201bhp electric motor as the other Performance models, but a larger 77kWh battery, boosting range to 342 miles. The extra space needed to accommodate this battery means this version of the ID.3 is a four-seater, not a five-seater.

Volkswagen ID.3 pricing, trim levels and specifications

The ID.3 launched as a limited-edition ‘1ST’ model, which in Europe was offered in three guises. The UK only got the mid-spec 1ST Plus, which cost £35,880 after the government grant. All ID.3 1STs are now sold out; orders for the standard production car opened in the UK in October 2020, with further models added in early 2021. For these, sat nav, adaptive cruise control and wireless phone charging are standard across the range; there are then seven trim levels to choose from.

Life costs £28,670 post-grant and includes steering-wheel heating, seat heating, USB-C ports, 18-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, cloth seat trim, a digital dashboard, air-conditioning, keyless start, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and power-folding heated door mirrors. Adding the Performance motor to this trim costs £1,320 more.

Business cars (from £32,400) sport matrix LED headlights, along with tinted windows, a comfort package, a rear-view camera and keyless access, while Family (from £33,330) brings together the matrix LED headlights and panoramic glass roof with two-zone air-conditioning, a rear-view camera and keyless access. As with the Life, the Performance motor costs an extra £1,320 to add to the Business and Family models.

Style adds ambient lighting, the same matrix LED headlights as seen on the Family trim, plus LED tail-lights and a panoramic glass roof. This model costs £34,180 and is only available with the more powerful Performance motor.

The Tech (£36,190) focuses on driver assistance systems and in-car technology, coming with semi-autonomous driving features as well as a major infotainment package including a head-up display and premium audio system. Max (£38,220) is the standard range-topper and includes all the equipment from the other trim levels, along with a 12-way adjustable massage seat, progressive steering and dynamic cruise control. As with the Style, Performance is the only motor option for these two trim levels.

All those models get a 58kWh battery, but the flagship Tour trim boasts a 77kWh battery – boosting the car's range to 342 miles. This long-range version of the ID.3 costs £39,290 and has the same electric motor as the other Performance cars. Additional space needed to fit this battery sees the seating capacity drop from five to four in this version, but the Tour equipment pack is generous, with a head-up display, matrix LED headlights, comfort package, 12-way massage seat, the full suite of driver-assistance systems and 19-inch aluminium wheels all included.

Battery, charging and electric motor

The cheapest ID.3 available right now is the Pro drivetrain, combining a 143bhp electric motor with a 58kWh battery for a 260-263-mile driving range. This setup is available in Life Pro, Business Pro and Family Pro trim levels, ranging in price from £28,670 to £33,330.

The ID.3 Performance drivetrain consists of the same 58kWh battery, but with the electric motor producing 201bhp – although range is unaffected. Prices run from £29,990 for the Life Pro Performance equipment pack to £38,220 for the Max Pro Performance spec.

The ID.3 Pro S drivetrain – available with the Tour equipment pack for £39,290 – consists of a 77kWh battery for a 342-mile driving range. It makes the car a four-seater due to the space needed for the extra battery cells.

Every UK car gets 100kW DC fast charging capability, as well as two forms of AC charging – 7.2 and 11kW. Tour cars with the Pro S drivetrain get even quicker 125kW charging.

Volkswagen ID.3

Design and dimensions

The ID.3’s design is markedly different from Volkswagen's other models. Short overhangs, a long wheelbase, flowing surfaces, a unique honeycomb design on the C-pillar, a black glass bootlid surrounded by slim LED lights and a black panoramic roof set it apart. Three alloy-wheel sizes are available: 18, 19 and 20 inches.

As an electric car doesn’t require large cooling ports, the focal point for the front of the ID.3 are its ‘interactive’ LED matrix headlights. One of the ‘party tricks’ of these lights is to make the car ‘flutter its eyelids’ when the driver approaches. The headlights also feature Dynamic Light Assist main-beam control, which uses a camera on the windscreen to monitor the road and adjust the lights to avoid dazzling other motorists.

The ID.3 also features Volkswagen's new ID. Light technology, which uses an LED strip in the cabin to convey information to the driver. The ID. Light changes colour to show when the car is switched on and if it's locked or unlocked. Green indicates a fully charged battery, while red acts as a warning during braking. The LED strip will blink to recommend changing lanes, and also signal incoming phone calls

The ID.3 is as long as a Golf, at 4.2 metres, and is 1.8 metres wide, 1.5 metres high and weighs 1,700kg. With a turning circle of 10.2 metres, it has been engineered to be easy to drive in urban environments. There’s also a special towing bracket incorporated in the rear bumper of the ID.3 for carrying bikes.

Volkswagen ID.3

Interior and technology

Inside, the five-seat ID.3 feels spacious and airy. It doesn’t have a centre tunnel, freeing up space between front and rear, and with short overhangs VW has been able to maximise every millimetre of space. The boot is big, too, holding 385 litres with the seats up thanks to a flat battery. The low placement of the battery helps with the car’s handling, too.

There’s a centrally positioned 10-inch touch screen and an LED light strip for navigation that can also warn you to brake. An optional head-up display projects relevant information on to the windscreen, and all the buttons are touch-sensitive. There’s also natural voice control, allowing drivers and passengers to talk to the car in a more human way, while safety technology is plentiful. A camera on the windscreen identifies road signs, and there’s emergency braking, pedestrian monitoring and lane-keeping aids.

Low-speed sound signature

Volkswagen previewed the low-speed sound signature that its ID.3 electric hatchback will emit in order to warn other road users of its presence at the 'DRIVE.Forum' event in Berlin in early December 2019.

As of July 2019, all newly introduced electric cars have had to come with a sound generator that emits noise at speeds up to 30kph (19mph), as well as when moving off or reversing. This came in response to concerns that other road users – such as pedestrians and cyclists, and in particular visually impaired people – could be in danger of not noticing a nearby electric car due to its near-silent running.

The setup is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS), and although the volume of sound emitted is specified by regulations, the noise itself is not, which gives car manufacturers the opportunity to develop different 'sound signatures' to set their models apart. You can hear the ID.3's by playing the embedded video above.

The AVAS in the ID.3 can be heard both inside and outside at up to 19mph. Inside the vehicle, different stages of the driving sound can be heard based on your speed and accelerator pedal position. Beyond this speed, the vehicle’s rolling resistance and driving noise become more prominent.

Commenting on the sound, VW's chief development officer for passenger cars, Dr Frank Welsch, said: "An electric vehicle’s sound defines its identity. The sound should be confident and likeable. It may well sound futuristic and must also impress with its unique character."

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