Volkswagen ID.3 interior

The VW ID.3 interior looks suitably stylish and futuristic, but some of the interior quality isn’t what you’d expect from a Volkswagen and its air-con controls are tricky to use while driving.

Style

There are three interior colour schemes to choose from, all with grey as the main colour, with either grey (for a change), white or orange highlights. The design is inoffensive and futuristic, with the main focal point being the pair of screens that dominate the view ahead.

The first screen sits ahead of the driver and displays all the driving and navigation information. In the middle of the dashboard sits a 10-inch touchscreen that controls all the usual stuff, such as audio set-up, satellite-navigation and various vehicle systems.

Unfortunately, VW has seen fit to equip the car with touch-sensitive ‘sliders’ for the audio volume and cabin temperature, which are much less precise than traditional knobs.  Also, the touch-sensitive buttons below the central screen are also too easy to activate by accident when you’re operating the touchscreen. Physical buttons would be better.

Even the buttons on the steering wheel are confusing, because they’re touch-sensitive as well as being conventional buttons that need to be pressed. In the end, you’re left wondering what gesture produces what action. And why are the buttons for the lights hidden behind the indicator stalk? Odd.

The dashboard features a full-width LED strip, which changes colour according to the function set-up on the vehicle. It can tell you when you need to follow a sat-nav command, and also warn of cars in your blind spot, which is good.

If you’re used to the sort of trim quality you get in a Golf or Passat, you’ll be disappointed by the ID.3, because some of the materials you touch on a daily basis feel decidedly scratchy. There’s even less felt in the bottom of the door pockets than you get in other VWs.

It’s a shame if this is how VW sees the future panning out, because at the moment rivals such as Tesla have the edge in interior quality. Who’d have thought that a few years ago?

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Infotainment

The bulk of the car’s systems are controlled through the 10-inch screen that sits in the middle of the dashboard, which is sharp and bright and responds quickly to your touch.

The software behind the system is intuitive, too, so negotiating the various functions doesn’t take too much time or brain power.

Early cars have neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto, although it will appear on cars from early next year. As mentioned, there are two USB-C sockets in the centre storage area, and another two on the rear of the centre storage bin to allow rear passengers to charge up their devices. Again, these are USB-C-only, so you might need an adapter.

What all cars do have is a brilliant keyless-entry-and-go system. As long as the key is in your pocket, you can just walk up, open the car, sit down, belt in and put it into Drive – and off you go. When stopping, just press Park and get out – the car will switch itself off.

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