Volkswagen ID.3 review
The Volkswagen ID.3 is a proficient family hatchback that’s a pleasure to own and drive
The Volkswagen ID.3 is an accomplished all-electric family hatchback. It gets the basics right with competitive pricing, desirable looks and great levels of comfort - all wrapped up in a practical package with a usable, real-world range.
On-board tech is also a plus point, but the touch-sensitive infotainment screen could divide opinion and some might find the harder interior plastics slightly disappointing. Nonetheless, the ID.3 is an outstanding electric car and stands apart from its less-proficient rivals.
About the Volkswagen ID.3
After spending a few years on the back foot in the wake of its dodgy diesel emissions scandal, it’s fair to say the Volkswagen Group is once again on the march having redirected its forces towards a gleaming electric future.
Spearheading the advance is the ID.3, the first of a new-generation of ID-badged all-electric models. The crisply-styled family hatchback has already been joined by a new and larger SUV model called the ID.4, and we’re promised many more to come. Indeed an electric ID.1 supermini has been confirmed for 2025, while the twee-looking ID.Buzz people-carrier - inspired by the old Type 2 Microbus - will hit the road next year.
It’s fair to say the Golf has been the benchmark in the hatchback sector for decades, so as the first battery-powered production VW the ID.3 certainly has a lot to live up to.
Aside from peerless green credentials, the ID.3 also has to deliver in the areas that matter most to customers - providing good value for money, while maintaining the levels of quality and reliability the manufacturer has built its reputation on.
So has the ID.3 succeeded? The short answer is, yes, most definitely. Practicality and passenger space are both up to standard. There are superior levels of comfort and refinement, while the latest on-board tech and generous standard equipment mean that the case for choosing an ID.3 is pretty compelling. Despite the ID.3’s hefty weight of around 1,700kg, its 201bhp electric motor provides more than enough power to make swift progress and, of course, there’s the typical instant acceleration that comes with pure electric drive.
As an electric five-door family hatchback, a little bigger than a Golf, the ID.3 pulls its rivals from various sectors of the market. Buyers of traditional petrol, diesel or hybrid hatches like the Golf, Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla might be tempted.
Alternatively, those set on an electric car will be considering models like the similarly-sized Nissan Leaf or the smaller Renault Zoe supermini. There’s also a raft of electric SUVs for similar money, most notably the impressive Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric. Finally, higher-spec versions of the ID.3 push towards the Tesla Model 3 in price, where customers may be persuaded by the US car’s extra size, pace and high-end image.
Three battery sizes are on offer for the ID.3; the mid-spec 58kWh version was initially available for most cars from launch, providing around 260 miles of range. The biggest 77kWh variant is included in the top-of-the-range model, while the entry-level 45kWh battery was added from 2021.
Volkswagen calls the 58kWh battery and 201bhp motor set-up, Pro Performance, while the 77kWh version is named Pro S. Volkswagen offers the ID.3 in a choice of no fewer than eight individual trim levels named City, Style, Life, Business, Family, Tech, Max and Tour.
The smallest 45kWh battery is fitted to City and Style trims, while everything else except the Tour gets the 58kWh power pack. Only the flagship Tour comes with the 77kWh top-of-the-range battery.
Each trim level comes pre-fitted with a range of different equipment packs and additional ‘Plus’ variants which add to the generous roster of kit.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Volkswagen ID.3 is a proficient family hatchback that’s a pleasure to own and drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveWith plenty of pace and a composed ride, the all-electric ID.3 is a family hatchback that’s good to drive
- 3Range, charging and running costsThe ID.3 is cheap to run day-to-day and will hold onto its value, but insurance premiums could be expensive
- 4Interior, design and technologyIt’s all very modern and hi-tech inside the ID.3, but some may find the controls take a bit of getting used to
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWith a big boot, plenty of passenger space and usable electric range, the ID.3 is a practical family car
- 6Reliability and safetyThe ID.3 comes with the latest safety kit as standard, while reliability needs to be top-notch