Volkswagen ID.3 - Rivervale Review
The Volkswagen ID.3 is an electric car. That might not sound like important news, but it sure is, as it’s Volkswagen’s first electric car also based on a bespoke, electric car platform (unlike the e-Golf).
The perfect eco-conscious city-friendly family car, the ID.3 offers up batteries at three levels. They entail giant leaps in range and performance (and thus price point), but allow you to properly spec your electric car to suit your needs.
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This is a five-seat, five-door hatchback. The motor rests beneath the rear wheels, and the steering wheel and infotainment screen will feel familiar for those who have driven the latest Golf 8.
Easy-going, comfortable and yet nimble, the ID.3 is the perfect car for the traditional Volkswagen Golf customer - but in eco-conscious electric form. The long wheel-base (as the electric model does not have to accommodate all that room for an engine and its cooling system) makes for more comfort for the passengers, as there’s more room. These add up to make for a car which is nippy and compact enough to make city driving (and parking) a breeze, whilst still offering up plenty of room to comfortably act as a family car.
The current, market-entry model is rear-drive only, but look out for plenty of new models forthcoming from Volkswagen’s electric range. An SUV-shaped ID4 is imminent, and VW may add a twin-motor ID3 later on - an ID3 R - as an electric hot hatch. This model is easy to place on the road and is responsive. It’s perfect for nimble city driving. A clean, seamless drive offers up 0-62mph in a respectable 7.3 seconds, and the top speed is 99mph. That undermines the real nimbleness the model shows when you jump out from traffic lights or nip onto a roundabout. This is a nippy car with great traction, which handles corners beautifully.
The ID.3 is basically slightly wider, slightly taller and slightly less long than the latest Volkswagen Golf. The ID.3 claims to be a ‘third chapter’ in VW history, following the success of the Beetle and the Golf - but the first to truly offer up a people-friendly, easy-selling EV.
Like in a Tesla, you step into the ID.3 and don’t have to do anything to commence your drive. As soon as you’re in the driver’s seat, the infotainment turns on, the ID light illuminates, and you’re good to go.
Driving assistance systems here are arguably some of the best in the market, too, with well-calibrated steering taking any of the difficulty out of the drive.
Charging & Range
The top of the range variant here brings competition for market-dominators Tesla, with a whopping 78kWh battery offering 341 miles between charges. The entry-level model, though, offers 200 miles in a 45kWh battery. Accepting anything up to a 100kW rapid charger, the ID.3 is modern and isn’t going to stop you in your tracks for an overnight refuel.
On the usual 7.4kW wall box, you might expect the ID.3 to take nine hours for a full charge or give you 100 miles of range in about four hours’ worth of charge time. TO really put your eco-credentials front-and-centre, VW claims that even the factory that builds the ID.3 is carbon neutral and totally reliant on renewable sources of energy.
The ID.3 proffers a great, lofty driving position here and has something in common with the BMW i3 in this respect - and more, through its interior. That extra headroom makes it really comfortable for tall passengers, too. With a twin-screen layout, the VW ID.3 is more minimalist, getting rid of the vast range of buttons for the bare minimum and simplicity. The central touchscreen is intuitive and simplified. Some clever shortcuts for things like ventilation options are handy to have at easy-access, and plenty of customisation is available to the driver for your own preferences. The Hello ID voice control is an added bit of tech, too to add to the futuristic feel of the interior.
There is nothing to shock aesthetically, especially on the outside of the new ID.3, but all of the decisions taken here have been carefully considered to set this model up as the next ‘people pleaser’ from Volkswagen. The high-tech yet minimal interior creates a feeling of confidence that VW hasrt5 tried to create more of a ‘future-proofed’ EV. The spacious, and relaxed yet nimble drive, all add up to create a model which is perfect for a family or a couple, for nimble city driving or longer spells. We’re excited to watch the further ID iterations roll out, too.
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