Volkswagen ID.3 Review
The Volkswagen ID.3 is an electric hatchback with an impressive range and great Volkswagen interior fit and finish. It’s also the first standalone electric car from VW.
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The Volkswagen ID.3 is the first standalone electric car VW has produced. It has five doors, room for five inside and is capable of travelling up to 340 miles on a charge.
VW has resisted the temptation to give the ID.3 the kind of polarising styling that’s put some buyers off getting alternatives like the BMW i3. It has the look of a stylish MPV (or people carrier) that has shrunk in a hot wash, thanks to its stubby nose, swept-back windscreen, van-like straight roofline and a flat tail.
The 2020 Volkswagen ID.3’s interior is dominated by two large infotainment screens. The first is similar to the Active Info Display that’s currently available on the Volkswagen Golf. It will be able to switch between functions including a huge map that’ll make it easy to follow the car’s sat-nav directions.
This can be upgraded to the optional augmented reality head-up display (HUD). It projects sat-nav information straight onto the windscreen, right into your line of sight. That will allow you to devote all your attention to the road.
The other display is a floating touchscreen on the centre of the dashboard. You can expect it to offer smartphone connectivity and to also understand spoken-word voice commands. It will be able to provide a detailed analysis of the car and drive settings, along with allowing you to plan longer drives by making use of charging stations on the way. There are very few buttons in the ID.3 – only the electric windows and hazard lights are operated by a physical switch.
Volkswagen's aim is to make switching your car from petrol or diesel to electric as easy as possible, and the ID.3 looks like it'll do just that.
From launch the ID.3 will be available with three battery sizes – 48kWh, a 58kWh and 77kWh. The larger the battery, the longer the range and the longer it takes to charge. Fitted with the smaller battery, the ID.3 should have a range of around 200 miles.
Electric cars fitted with mid-sized batteries should have a top range of around 260 miles, while the 77kWh cars should have a max range of around 340 miles. Whichever model you choose, you’ll be able to give the ID.3 a full charge overnight or over the course of a working day using an 11kWh wall charger. According to VW, 70% of the time, this is exactly what you’ll do.
Underneath all this clever tech, however, the ID.3 will be a traditional VW. That means you can expect the interior to be decked out in high-quality plastics and expensive-looking trim pieces.
Switchable ambient lighting will be on the options list, allowing you to bathe the interior in a colourful glow. Unlike before though, it’ll be interactive. So, for example, having the air-con at full blast might bask the interior in a cool, blue light, while ramping up the heater may do the opposite – producing a warm log-fire glow.
Top-spec cars have a panoramic roof that is the biggest in the VW range. Another upgrade is the Beats package – which adds eight speakers and a subwoofer to bring, Volkswagen claims, an audio atmosphere like a live concert.
We’ll have a full review once we’ve been behind the wheel, but for now, head to our Volkswagen ID.3 news story for the full details.