Volkswagen ID.3 review

Trying out Volkswagen's new electric car, the ID.3.

Pros: space, design, tech, range

Cons: glitchy software

The ID.3 is the first of Volkswagen’s new generation of electric cars. It lands in Ireland in plenty of time for the start of 2021 registrations and is about the same size as a Golf. It’s expected to be phenomenally successful.

Volkswagen ID.3 Design

While the ID.3 is unmistakably a Volkswagen, it debuts the company’s new design language that is thoroughly contemporary. It’s characterised by clean and simple surfacing, interspersed with distinctive detailing and high-tech LED lighting. The ID.3 is a five-door hatchback that has similar exterior dimensions to the current Volkswagen Golf, though it has a distinctly long wheelbase and short overhangs.

Volkswagen ID.3 Interior

The ID.3’s cabin, however, is notably more spacious than that of the Golf’s, especially in the rear, where there’s generous legroom. Up front, the ID.3 gets an all-digital dashboard with very few physical buttons. It looks great, but we found the software controlling the touchscreen and touch-sensitive switchgear a little glitchy, sometimes slow to respond and inconsistent. We’re assured by Volkswagen that this will be cleared up in subsequent software updates.

Volkswagen ID.3 Performance & Drive

While the ID.3’s 0-100km/h time of 7.3 seconds is hardly headline-grabbing, the car is pleasingly quick on the road. The rear-mounted electric motor produces up to 204hp, while its 310Nm of torque is available from a standstill. That motor is wonderfully silent, and the car in general feels refined at low speeds, but there’s a little too much road noise and wind roar on the motorway for our liking. Nonetheless, the suspension does a great job, whether you’re dodging city potholes, tackling a mountain road or cruising along the motorway.

In terms of range between charges, it depends on where and how you drive the car, obviously, but we managed over 300 kilometres on a full charge, including some 175km at motorway speeds - comparing with the official range of 419km for this particular version of the ID.3.

Volkswagen ID.3 Pricing

If you hurry, you may still find a few examples of the high-spec 1st Editions in the Volkswagen Ireland dealer network, but once they’re sold out, the range kicks off with the ID.3 Life, at €33,650 on-the-road. Above that are the Business, Family, Style, Tech, Max and Tour versions, each with their own equipment specifications. They all have the same 204hp electric motor, incidentally, and all except for the ID.3 Tour use a 58kWh battery pack, allowing official ranges of between 415- and 425km. The Tour, costing €43,350, gets a 77kWh battery pack, for an official range of 542km.

Carzone Verdict 4/5

There’s a wide range of options in the ID.3 range to choose from, depending on your budget, and it’s more spacious than the Golf it’s ostensibly trying to convince buyers out of. Once the software issues are overcome, and once lower-priced versions arrive, we suspect it will do very well indeed.

Test Car Details:  

Model driven: Volkswagen ID.3 1st Plus
Price: ID.3 1st from €33,715 on-the-road (including SEAI grant, VRT rebate and delivery)

Electric system: electric motor, 58kWh battery

Transmission: automatic

Annual motor tax: €120

0-100km/h: 7.3 seconds

Power: 204hp

Boot space: 385 litres

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