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Volkswagen ID.3 Review

Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3
Volkswagen ID.3

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2020
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      EV
Andy Brady

Written by

Andy Brady

00/10
heycar rating
Volkswagen's revolutionary EV has arrived

Best bits

  • Excellent all-round package
  • Easy and fun to drive
  • Generous 260-mile range on mid-range model

Not so great

  • Distracting media system
  • Some of the interior plastics feel a bit cheap
  • High-spec Tour model is nudging £40,000

Read by

Volkswagen ID.3 front

Overall verdict

Volkswagen ID.3 interior

On the inside

Volkswagen ID.3 UK driving

Driving

Volkswagen ID.3 side profile

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen ID.3 front headlights

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Volkswagen ID.3 really is the Golf of the electric car world. It might not excel in any particular area, but you’d struggle to find a better all-rounder. It’s good to drive, cheap to run and there’s a model to suit every requirement (or at least, there will be). We have our reservations - namely a few cheap-feeling interior finishes and a distracting media system - but it could still make a strong introduction to electric vehicles."

Volkswagen ID.3 front

Volkswagen describes the ID.3 as its ‘most important car of a generation’. It’s the first in a long line of ID-badged vehicles, all designed from scratch as battery-electric vehicles. It’s a successor to the Volkswagen e-Golf, expected to sell in much larger numbers and take on rivals like the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3 and Kia e-Niro.


If you think of it as My First Electric Car, the Volkswagen ID.3 ticks all the boxes. For a start, it’ll be cheap to run, with First Edition models capable of travelling up to 260 miles between charges. Most of us will rarely cover more than that in a day. If you do, half an hour on a rapid charger will provide an extra 180 miles of range in just half an hour.


With a bigger battery, the top-of-the-range ID.3 Tour will be able to cover 336 miles between charges, while a more affordable model is due in 2021 - expected to have a range of around 205 miles.


The ID.3 couldn’t be easier to drive. You don’t even need to turn a key or press a button to start it - as soon as you jump in, it’s ready to go. Simply select drive from the gear selector behind the steering wheel, press on the accelerator and off you go. When you’re done, select park and jump out.


As you’d expect from a car without an engine, it’s very quiet and refined on the move. You won’t notice any creaks or rattles - the ID.3 is typically well-built for a Volkswagen (although we’ll come onto the interior plastics in a moment). With the electric motor positioned in the back, it’s a very agile car - with a tiny turning circle out of town and eager handling out of it.


It’s also very practical. Despite being similar to the Volkswagen Golf hatchback in size, there’s loads of room for a growing family inside - with space for even the tallest of adults in the rear. A high seating position means it almost feels like an SUV (although wait for the new Volkswagen ID.4 if that’s what you’re after), while access is easy thanks to wide-opening doors.


So what are the negatives? Well, for the time being you can only buy it in First Edition spec. This is well-equipped, but you’ll pay nearly £36,000 after the government grant. It’s in demand, too, so while dealers do have cars in stock, you’re not going to get a huge discount on a nearly-new model.


The interior, while attractive, isn’t as well-finished as you might expect for a Volkswagen of this price. We’re sure it’ll stand up well to day-to-day family life, but there are a few harsh finishes and flimsy plastics.


This shouldn’t put you off the Volkswagen ID.3 entirely, though. It feels leagues ahead of the old e-Golf and makes the Nissan Leaf look ancient in comparison. While it doesn’t do anything that other electric vehicles don’t already do (the Tesla Model 3 can travel further between charges, the Kia e-Niro is more practical while the smaller Honda e has more tricks up its sleeve), it’s a superb all-rounder.


 That’s something Volkswagen has mastered with the Golf, and is what makes the ID.3 such an appealing introduction to the world of electric cars.

What’s the best Volkswagen ID.3 model/engine to choose?

Early Volkswagen ID.3 models wear First Edition badges. They used the mid-range 58kWh battery pack which suits a lot of buyers, with its 260-mile range providing a perfect halfway house between affordability and useability. If you need to travel further, the 77kWh model can cover 336 miles between charges while, if you only want a car for short journeys, a more affordable 45kWh version is also on its way.


Standard equipment of the First Edition includes the 10-inch sat-nav system, a rear-view camera and 19-inch wheels. A huge panoramic sunroof is a desirable feature fitted as standard to ID.3s fitted with the Design Plus pack, while some prefer the optional 20-inch alloy wheels which might well have a negative impact on ride quality.

What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen ID.3?

The Nissan Leaf is a popular electric hatchback that’s also a bit cheaper than the Volkswagen ID.3. The ID.3 is leagues ahead in terms of design and showroom appeal, though, and can travel further between charges.


The Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro and Kia Soul EV are three very practical, stylish electric vehicles - each with a generous range and long, transferable warranty. They’re all crossover SUVs rather than hatchbacks, though, so aren’t direct competitors for the ID.3 even though we’d recommend them as strong alternatives.


Then there’s the Tesla Model 3. The most affordable Tesla, the Model 3 is pricier than the ID.3 and doesn’t feel as well-finished. The Long Range model can travel an impressive 348 miles between charges, though, and the firm’s Supercharger network makes long journeys easier.

Learn more

Volkswagen ID.3 interior

On the inside

Volkswagen ID.3 UK driving

Driving

Volkswagen ID.3 side profile

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen ID.3 front headlights

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the Volkswagen ID.3 a good electric car?

The Volkswagen ID.3 is a really good introduction to electric vehicles. It's easy to drive, has a spacious interior and represents good value for money.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

How far can the Volkswagen ID.3 travel on a charge?

First Edition models can cover up to 260 miles between charges, while the top-of-the-range ID.3 Tour will be able to travel 336 miles. An upcoming entry-level model is expected to have a range of around 205 miles.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

How much does the Volkswagen ID.3 cost?

The Volkswagen ID.3 starts from around £30,000, rising up to £39,000 for top-spec ID.3 Tour models.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady