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

Price
£39,425 - £47,470
Fuel Type:
Electric
Drivetrain0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
Pure Performance8.9s99mphRear148bhp
Pro9.6s99mphRear143bhp
Pro Performance7.3s99mphRear201bhp
Pro S7.9s99mphRear201bhp

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, the ID.3 is comfortable, even on large 19-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

The 201bhp electric motor in the Pro Performance and Pro S drivetrains (the only two you can currently order) can propel the ID.3 from 0-62mph in under eight seconds. The less powerful Pure Performance (148bhp) and Pro (143bhp) will do 0-62mph in 8.9s and 9.6 seconds respectively.

Most of that rush is in the initial sprint from 0-30mph, where the car feels eager and smooth, before acceleration starts to tail off as you get 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 start, rather than building up like combustion engines do. The top speed of all models is limited to 99mph as a result, but that’s largely irrelevant to UK drivers.

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.

This isn't the most exciting car, however, despite being a rear-wheel-drive model with over 200bhp in the versions available at the moment. Instead, it’s solid, safe and easy to handle, rather than having any dynamic pretensions. The Cupra Born is the ID.3’s sportier sister car and more enjoyable to drive, while the MG4 EV is surprisingly entertaining on a back road thanks to its direct steering and point-and-squirt power delivery. Still, the ID.3’s relatively punchy performance means that there’s some fun to be had from behind the wheel. It leans in corners more than a Golf would, but it’s just as grippy and agile overall.

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