2020 Volkswagen ID.3 electric car: Price, specs and release date

Russell Campbell
October 21, 2019

This is the all-new VW ID.3 electric car – and it’s the start of Volkswagen’s electric car revolution. Here is everything you need to know about it.

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the new 2020 VW ID.3:

  • VW’s first bespoke electric car
  • Futuristic looks
  • Dual infotainment displays
  • Roomy cabin and big boot
  • 48, 58 & 77kWh batteries
  • Up to 340 miles of range
  • Eight-year battery guarantee
  • On sale now
  • Costs from around £30,000
  • First UK deliveries in late 2020

Volkswagen ID.3 latest news

Even before the Volkswagen ID.3 goes on sale, it has managed to pick up an award – from carwow! The ID.3 collected the Most Wanted award at the 2019 carwow Car of the Year awards. This award is given to the brand that has the most-read news story here on carwow – and the ID.3 scooped that accolade by some margin.

“Will the ID.3 be the electric car for the masses? The excitement the car has generated over the past 12 months suggests it just might be,” said carwow Editorial Director, Mat Watson. “It has consistently been at the top of the most-read news stories on carwow and we can’t wait to drive it.”

The ID.3 is a hugely significant car for Volkswagen and marks the third major chapter in its history after the Beetle and the Golf.

The VW ID.3 is the German manufacturer’s first electric-only car.

Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK said: “We are working to bring electric cars to the masses and with great range, an affordable price and fun handling promised we aren’t entirely surprised at the reception to the car so far.

“The ID.3 will start production next month and we expect the first cars to arrive with our pre-bookers in the summer next year.”

Find out about all of the award winners here: BMW 3 Series wins carwow Car of the Year 2019

The VW ID.3 will feature LED headlights as standard.

Volkswagen ID.3 lights

Volkswagen hopes to inject personality into its ID.3 electric car using a light bar to communicate with you and your passengers. It’s an idea you’ll have already seen in the Mini 3-door which uses a lit-up infotainment bezel to communicate what it’s doing to its passengers – a bit a like a chameleon changes colour depending on how it feels.

In the ID.3 an LED light strip – called ID. Light – that runs across the dashboard changes colour depending on the function it’s set in. A green light, for example, signals to the driver that the car is on, charged and ready to go – a handy feature in lieu of the humming petrol or diesel engine you’ll get in most VWs. Once you’re under way the same light bar will be used to communicate information on the car’s driver assist, navigation, braking and wireless phone connection.

The VW ID.3’s lightbar can be used to relay information.

The effect, according to VW, is to reduce the stress of driving by giving signals that you can react to instinctively, leaving your brain to worry about driving the car.  For example, a red light will tell you need to apply the brakes – flashing when a potential collision nears – blinking could also indicate you’re in the wrong lane for your turnoff, so there’s no need to sit gazing at the sat-nav screen, while another new colour could indicate whether the car is responding to you or your passengers voice commands and is acting upon them. 

While there’s no mention of it in this press release, the ID.3’s exterior will also get the full light treatment. You can expect its outside LEDs to perform a ‘hello’ sequential dance when you unlock the car, illuminating your way when you get in. Locking the car, meanwhile, will spark a ‘goodbye’ light show that’ll guide you safely to your door at night.

The idea is to give the ID.3 a personality of its own – like an electric Herbie – time will tell if it works.

The VW ID.3 looks more futuristic than the rest of the German brand’s cars.

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 price and release date

You can order your VW ID.3 now – and more than 30,000 customers have already done so – but deliveries to customers in Europe won’t start until the middle of 2020, so UK customers can expect to see their cars shortly after then. VW says the basic VW ID.3 price in Europe will be under 30,000 euros, with first-edition cars coming with a 40,000-euro price tag. Given the almost 1:1 exchange rate at the moment, you can expect UK cars to cost in excess of £30,000.

Its small size and silent running will make the ID.3 right at home in town.

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 specs and range

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 a 11kWh wall charger. According to VW, 70% of the time, this is exactly what you’ll do.

A 125kWh charger will boost the ID.3’s battery from empty to 80% full in 35 minutes.

Using a 125kWh charger you’ll be able to replenish the battery even quicker. It’ll get the VW’s battery from zero to 80% in as little as 35 minutes. Improved infrastructure will also be key to combating range anxiety (or the worry that you’ll be stranded with a flat battery). VW plans to build 36,000 additional charging points around Europe by 2025, including 3,000 at VW dealerships. You’ll also have access to 125kWh IONITY chargers, although the company currently only has two sites in the UK. The final piece in a puzzle that VW hopes will encourage you out of your petrol or diesel car and behind the wheel of an ID.3 is the warranty on the battery. It guarantees that the ID.3 will maintain a 70% battery capacity after eight years and 100,000 miles.

Not needing to cool a petrol engine means the ID.3 does away with a conventional grille.

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 styling

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.

Even if the styling’s conservative, there are plenty of clues that the ID.3 isn’t a conventional petrol or diesel car. That short bonnet is only possible because the VW’s single electric motor is mounted at the back, driving the rear wheels. As there is no engine, there’s also no radiator and so no need for a grille to cool it. In its place, the ID.3 gets a flush plastic panel. That panel is flanked by a pair of high-tech headlights, connected by an optional LED strip that runs across the front of the car. As you approach the car, its headlights will briefly ‘look’ at you, and flutter its ‘eyelids’ at you – a bit like Herbie in The Love Bug.

A large glass bootlid dominates the rear of the VW ID.3.

The main lighting will be provided by matrix headlights. They use a bank of individually operated LEDs that are controlled by a camera mounted in the top of the windscreen. It can detect other road users, casting a dark spot over them by turning off the corresponding LEDs. This clever tech means you can use your full beams without temporarily blinding drivers of other vehicles. The stretched design of the headlights means they will be visible side-on, boosting visibility at night. The striking design of the alloy wheels will also help reduce drag and improve efficiency.

The other notable features of the car’s flanks are its tall floor and wheels pushed right out to the edges of the body, both of which are necessary to accommodate the batteries without intruding on interior space. What you’ll also notice are its vast windows, which should give you excellent visibility when driving and make the car feel light and airy. At the rear, between the roof and the wheels there is a diamond-shaped honeycomb design on the ‘C’ pillars that is supposed to reflect the ID.3’s sustainable and stable design.

If you look closely you’ll also spot taillights that wrap around to the back of the car. Like the headlights, they’ll use power-saving LEDs. The large spoiler above the rear window will help reduce drag to save power, while the rear bumper will likely flow into a flush-fitting underside that’ll also help the ID.3 cut through the air with as little disturbance as possible.

The VW ID.3 is one of the smallest electric cars out there.

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 dimensions

The ID.3 is 4261mm long, 1809mm wide and 1552mm high, which means it’s 3mm longer, 10mm wider and 60mm taller than a Golf. Thanks to its batteries, it’s about 200kg heavier than a Golf, too, and boot space is between 416 and 541 litres – again a bit bigger than a Golf’s. The turning circle is 10.2m, which is not only better than a Golf, but even tighter than the nippy VW Polo.

Taking pride of place in the VW ID.3’s cabin is a huge infotainment screen.

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 interior

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.

No analogue dials here – everything’s done through a digital driver’s display.

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.