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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID.3 review: performance, motor & drive

The Volkswagen ID.3 is quiet, refined and easy to manoeuvre around town, but not the most exciting EV to drive

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

4.0 out of 5

Fuel Type:
Electric
Drivetrain0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
Pro/Pro S7.4s99mphRear201bhp

The Volkswagen ID.3 weighs around 1,700kg, so it’s quite a lot heavier than an equivalent petrol or diesel family hatchback. Thanks to well designed suspension and powerful motors, though, it does a good job of handling that extra bulk. Over bumpy country roads, we found the ID.3 felt stiff but still quite comfortable – even on large 20-inch wheels. Around town, where the potholes are bigger and the speeds are lower, it should still be smooth enough to keep anyone happy.

Volkswagen ID.3 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

While the Volkswagen ID.3 was once offered with two electric motor options, buyers are now limited solely to the more powerful of the pair. Mounted to the rear axle, the ID.3’s motor outputs a punchy 201bhp, propelling the electric family hatch from 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds.

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Most of the ID.3’s performance can be felt at normal speeds, with the 0-30mph sprint dispatched with ease. As a result, we found the car felt eager and smooth around town, even if acceleration started to tail off as we got up to higher speeds. That’s not an issue exclusive to the ID.3 however, as it’s the nature of electric motors. They provide all their power from the off, rather than building up like combustion engines do. The top speed of all models is limited to 99mph, but that’s largely irrelevant to UK drivers.

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If you’re after an electric alternative to Volkswagen’s legendary Golf GTI, the brand is set to launch a hot version of the ID.3 very soon. Called the ID.3 GTX, the electric hot hatch is expected to feature the dual-motor setup from the VW ID.4 GTX and ID.5 GTX, which produces close to 300bhp in all.

Handling

The Volkswagen ID.3 is good to drive, and a tight turning circle means it’s easy to park and move around city streets. The cabin is nice and quiet around town and on the motorway as well, with little road noise infiltrating into the cabin and that near-silent electric motor contributing to the serenity.

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But the ID.3 is a car of many talents. The low centre of gravity and rear-mounted electric motor means this is a fun EV to drive. It doesn’t lean or roll excessively in the bends, and the steering is well weighted. Mated to instant acceleration, while it might not be quite as engaging as an MG4 or Cupra Born – the latter sharing many of its parts with the VW – we’re pretty convinced every ID.3 has the ingredients to put a smile on your face on a twisting country road. Plus, despite its sporty rear-driven setup, the ID.3 always feels secure and confident – even in the wet.

One thing that’s a little disappointing is the brake pedal feel, which offers quite a bit of travel before the pads bite the discs. This can be mitigated slightly by engaging B mode for the regenerative braking system, but even this isn’t as strong as we’d like and doesn’t offer the one-pedal driving capability of rivals like the Nissan Leaf.

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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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