What is it?
The ID.3 is a hugely important car for Volkswagen. It was introduced to represent the ‘third era’ of Volkswagen – the first being the brand’s initial inception, and the second the arrival of the Golf in the ‘70s.
Introduced in 2020, the ID.3 was built around a specific EV platform and influenced a range of other electric models from not just VW itself, but the wider Group too. Despite not being on sale for all that long, the electric car market moves at pace, which is why Volkswagen is now introducing a facelifted model. Let’s find out what it’s like.
Changes are relatively mild on this updated ID.3, but aim to address some small criticisms that customers had previously. The main change is that many of the hard plastics from the old car’s interior are replaced with new soft-touch materials that bring the overall feel and quality of the interior up a notch. The touchscreen also has new menus to make it easier to use on the move.
There are small design changes too, including the removal of the gloss black section on the bonnet of the ‘old’ ID.3 and various new colours.
What’s under the bonnet?
The choice of powertrains remains identical on the Volkswagen ID.3, with the option of a 58kWh battery or larger 77kWh unit. These offer claimed ranges of up to 266 miles and 347 miles respectively – the latter being especially impressive for a hatchback of this size. All ID.3s send drive to the rear wheels too.
We tried out the 77kWh model, which is able to accelerate from 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds and max out at 99mph. This version can also charge at up to 170kW, meaning a 10 to 80 per cent charge can take place in as little as half an hour if connected to a fast enough rapid charger.
What’s it like to drive?
Volkswagen hasn’t changed anything with the ID.3’s driving experience, and that’s certainly a good thing as this remains one of the best EV hatchbacks on the market in this respect.
The use of rear-wheel-drive helps to make it that little bit more exciting and lively, with smooth and linear acceleration allowing for nifty progress. Yet, at the same time, the ID.3 also manages to be a relaxing cruiser. Even on the largest 20-inch alloy wheels, the ride is comfortable while refinement is excellent. It’s an EV that can quite happily do longer distances.
How does it look?
Volkswagen describes the updated ID.3’s styling as a bit more “grown up”. It says there were some ‘EV’ elements on the original that helped it to stand out but are no longer needed, including the black bonnet strip we’ve mentioned, as well as some textured elements on the front bumper and C-pillars. Both of these are no more.
It’s all helped to give the ID.3 a classier appearance, and to our eyes at least, this is an attractive-looking option. Two new colours, Dark Olivine Green and Costa Azul Blue – bring some added flair to the car, too.
What’s it like inside?
The ID.3 at launch led with a very modernist interior, though it wasn’t appreciated by all buyers. This update puts a greater focus on quality, with more soft-touch materials, including on areas like the door cards and dashboard, and brings it up the quality levels we’ve come to expect from Volkswagen.
Despite relatively compact dimensions, the ID.3’s cabin offers a great deal of space, particularly when it comes to rear space. Even adults will be able to get quite comfortable back there.
What’s the spec like?
The ID.3 doesn’t come with any trim levels as such – just the choice of the Pro version and the longer-range Pro S model with the bigger battery.
Standard equipment is generous, though, including adaptive cruise control and an overhauled 10-inch touchscreen that’s easier to use than before, owing to its new shortcut menus. There are plenty of optional extras available too, mainly bundled into packs, but just be relatively cautious of choosing too many as the price can quickly rack up.
Speaking of prices, the ID.3 starts from £37,115 for the Pro or £42,115 for the big-battery Pro S.
Volkswagen might have only made small tweaks to the ID.3, but they’ve really helped to take this electric hatchback a step further.
Now packing an easier-to-use touchscreen and higher-quality cabin, the ID.3 remains just as good to drive and practical as it was previously. If you want a compact EV that can do the job of a much larger car, the ID.3 is ideal for the job.