Volkswagen ID.3 interior, dashboard & comfort
The Volkswagen ID.3 feels well built, but the interior has a few too many cheap-looking plastic surfaces for our liking
The Volkswagen ID.3 is part of a new generation of cars with barely any physical buttons in the cabin. Almost all controls are contained within the touchscreen display on the dashboard. This is both good and bad – it means the cabin looks neat and tidy, but can make functions frustrating to access while driving.
There’s a small gear selector, but everything else – the navigation, climate control, audio and other functions – is controlled on the touchscreen. There’s also a tablet-like screen behind the steering wheel, which takes the place of traditional dials and has lots of useful information on it.
Volkswagen ID.3 dashboard
An interesting feature of the ID.3's dashboard is the 'ID. Light' bar that runs along the bottom of the windscreen. It can change colour in certain situations, flickering white when you're giving a voice-activation command, blue when giving sat-nav directions, green when a phone call is incoming, and red when the driver-assistance technology is warning of a possible hazard.
Material quality of the dashboard is a letdown, though. Despite all the high-tech kit, it’s clear Volkswagen has cut corners with the materials – the plastics look a bit too cheap considering the asking price of the car. It’s a strange combination of modern screens and disappointing materials.
Equipment, options & accessories
The ID.3 launched as a limited-edition ‘1ST’ model, which in Europe was offered in three guises. The UK only got the mid-range 1ST Plus, which cost £35,880 after the government grant. All ID.3 1STs are now sold out, but as of July 2021, there are now five trim levels of you to choose from, as well as a selection of option packs you can add on. For 2022, the ID.3 is available in Life, Style, Family, Max and Tour trim.
Life trim costs £27,120 after the £2,500 grant, and includes a 10-inch infotainment screen, wireless smartphone charging, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, parking sensors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. However, you can upgrade to the Pro powertrain, with prices for ID.3 Life Pro starting from £28,420 after the grant. The ID.3 Life with the Pro Performance drivetrain costs from £29,740.
The ID.3 Style(£31,520) is only available with the entry-level Pure Performance electric motor and battery. But it builds on the Life trim with upgraded 18-inch alloys, Volkswagen’s IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, 30-colour interior ambient lighting and tinted windows, as well as keyless entry and a reversing camera.
Family trim comes with matrix LED headlights and a panoramic glass roof, as well as two-zone air-conditioning, a rear-view camera and keyless access. With the Pro powertrain, the ID.3 Family starts from £31,140 after the grant, or £32,460 if you opt for the more powerful Pro Performance powertrain.
The ID.3 Max (£37,730) is the standard range-topper and includes all the equipment from the other trim levels, along with augmented reality head-up display and adaptive chassis control. The ID.3 Max is only available with the 201bhp Pro Performance electric powertrain.
The flagship Tour trim boasts a 77kWh battery, boosting the car's range to 340 miles. This long-range version of the ID.3 now costs £38,800 and has the same 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 augmented reality head-up display, matrix LED headlights, the full suite of driver-assistance systems and 19-inch alloy wheels all included.
As of July 2021, the Comfort and Infotainment packages are now standard on all ID.3s. That means all come with heated front seats and steering wheel, Discover Navigation Pro sat nav and wireless smartphone charging.
For 2022, Volkswagen has also introduced other option packs for the ID.3. The £2,200 Infotainment Package Plus includes an upgraded sound system and the augmented-reality head-up display from higher-spec models. Others include the Assistance Package (£1,040) and Assistance Package Plus (£2,000) which add more safety features.
The new Sport Package (£340) includes progressive steering and sports suspension, while the Sport Package Plus (£1,140) builds on that with dynamic chassis control. The other new option packages include the Comfort Package Plus (£1,190), the Design Package (£1,780) and the Design Package Plus (£2,470).
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The 10-inch touchscreen display right in the middle of the dashboard is the main way you control the ID.3's functions.The panel is well positioned, the graphics are super-sharp and it’s responsive, so it’s fairly easy to use.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are standard, as well as built-in sat-nav. Early examples didn't have wireless phone charging, even as an option, but it is now available. There’s also a smartphone app for use outside the car, which can pre-heat or cool the interior, control charging and let you see how much range you have left.
Sadly, the design of the system results in frustration when you’re trying to adjust the climate control or the radio. It’s simply not as easy to fine-tune these things using a touchscreen as it is with buttons, as you have to take your eyes off the road for too long to touch the right option.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe 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?
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Volkswagen ID.3 offers a choice of three battery sizes and all promise enough range and charging capability to keep most buyers out of trouble
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Volkswagen ID.3 should be much cheaper to run than an equivalent Volkswagen Golf for most drivers – especially company-car users
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Volkswagen ID.3 has a powerful electric motor, so it almost feels like a hot hatchback from behind the wheel
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingThe Volkswagen ID.3 feels well built, but the interior has a few too many cheap-looking plastic surfaces for our liking
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Volkswagen ID.3 has enough space for a family, but it’s not the most spacious electric car of its type
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Volkswagen ID.3 is likely to be reliable, but there’s very little data yet. It does have a five-star safety rating, though