Well here it is and if you haven’t seen one on the roads yet, you are in for a real treat. The ID.3 is Volkswagen’s all-new electric hatchback, which comes with a choice of variants, six versions of the 58kWh model (Life, Business, Family, Style, Tech and Max) with a range of up to 425km and a flagship variant with the 77kWh battery capable of up to 542km. As of now only the ‘First Edition’ specification is available here in Ireland all using the same 204hp electric motor and 58kWh battery pack. Volkswagen sees this vehicle as important as the Beetle was to the brand back in the late 1930’s. The trusty VW Beetle sold 22 million units and was only superseded by the success of the Golf, which has so far sold 35 million units. With this said, it’s all about timing and now Volkswagen believe the ID.3 is to be the bread and butter EV of VW’s future. So how does the future look and will the ID.3 be the EV you might consider in the future? Lets find out.
Entry into VW’s new electric range kicks off with the ID.3 ‘First’ which comes with navigation, a DAB+ digital radio, ‘Air Care Climatronic’ air conditioning system with 2-zone climate control, seat heating and steering wheel heating, armrest at the front, fast charging with 100kW direct current (DC) or 11kW alternating current (AC) and 18-inch alloy wheels. The impressive array of standard features includes ‘Light Assist’, natural voice control and ‘ID.light’ in the interior, and many more. It has a WLTP tested range of 424km on a single charge. Our test vehicle was the ID.3 First Plus, which in addition to the above featured a rear-view camera system and the ‘Keyless Advanced’ keyless access locking and starting system. The interior of the ID.3 First Plus also includes a centre console with two additional USB-C connections in the rear. Outside you get the exterior ‘Style’ package in silver, LED rear taillights with dynamic indicators and 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear rubber. It has a WLTP tested range of 419km on a single charge but sadly our test vehicle was in high demand and we had limited time with the car. The flagship ID.3 First Max has an augmented reality head-up display (AR), two additional loudspeakers, a large panoramic roof as well as 20-inch wheels. It also gets the ‘Travel Assist’ driver assistant package including the ‘Side Assist’ lane change assistant and ‘Emergency Assist’ as well as the ‘Comfort’ telephony function with inductive phone charging. Comfortable seats including electrically adjustable front seats with massage function round off the interior tech for the ID.3 First Max. It has a WLTP-measured range of 410km on a single charge.
As mentioned the new ID.3 comes with a choice of a 45kWh, 58kWh or 77kWh electric motor. The First Edition which we reviewed had the 58kWh which was very impressive with 204bhp giving it plenty of go. Driving it in Eco mode is smooth and comfortable but when the need to overtake arises, simply flick the car into Sport Mode using the hot key on the dash and the rear wheel drive power train comes to life! It really has all the power one needs in a daily road car!
In standard trim the ID.3 comes with a suite of crash avoidance systems, including an automatic emergency braking system that recognises pedestrians and cyclists as well as other cars and is able to react if the driver is about to cross the path of an oncoming vehicle. It also has lane and speed assistance systems that work well to prevent collisions. The ID.3 is equipped with a centre airbag to protect against occupant-to-occupant collision in side impacts. This system worked well in Euro NCAP’s test in October 2020, with good protection of the head for both front seat occupants. Euro NCAP awarded the ID.3 the maximum five-star overall score, as well as 87% and 89% for adult and child occupant protection respectively, plus 88% for its safety assistance systems. You are in safe hands.
The advertised price of €32,157 is based on the ID.3 Life with the government incentive SEAI Grant of up to €5,000 and the VRT rebate of up to €2,558. (VRT rebate varies per model based on grant criteria). The Plus model we had on test was priced €40,570 whilst the Max variant will come in at €47,410. Most punters will opt for VW’s new ID. Plan, which is a finance product, introduced specially for the ID. range of vehicles. This finance package enables you to drive the ID.3 for a low monthly rate while removing any depreciation risk on the vehicle with guaranteed future value. PCP finance kicks off from 1.9%. It is also possible to claim up to €600 towards the purchase and installation of an electric vehicle home charger unit from the SEAI. Those worried about battery life will find piece of mind in the fact that the ID.3’s battery pack has an eight-year/160,000km warranty.
For us this is one of the more exciting cars to come out of 2020. We love the styling and drive offered by the new ID.3 but will it be enough to give VW that resounding success story that the Beetle or Golf delivered? Our answer is yes but perhaps not at the current price point. Although the cost of EV ownership is coming down, they are still too expensive to tempt drivers away from their current petrol or diesel powered cars. Battery tech is getting better, our charging infrastructure upgrade is underway, but will the ID.3 tempt buyers to skip hybrid technology and go straight to full EV? We are not sure just yet but this is certainly the most stylish offering on Irish roads at this price point. Well-done Volkswagen.