2020 Volkswagen ID 3 electric car revealed: price, specs and release date

New Volkswagen ID 3 electric family hatchback will offer a Tesla-rivalling range for much lower price...

Volkswagen ID 3 Reader Award

On sale: Summer 2020 | Price from: £29,000 (est)

The Volkswagen ID 3, just like the Beetle and Golf before it, represents the start of a new chapter for its maker. Indeed, the ID 3 is the genesis of the electric ID sub-brand; after years of concept cars, bold statements about electrification and endless speculation, it’s the first ID-badged Volkswagen that you’ll actually be able to buy.

The ID 3 is similar in length to today’s Golf, but it’s significantly wider and taller. It also has more space between its front and rear axles, because there’s no engine to work around. Design highlights include alloy wheels of up to 20in, a gloss black roof and tailgate and ‘interactive’ LED matrix headlights that “flutter their eyelids” as you approach. Yes, really.

The new Volkswagen ID 3 is one of 12 cars nominated for the 2020 What Car? Reader Award. To see all of the contenders and have your say on which is most exciting, just head over to the voting site.

2020 Volkswagen ID 3 rear

2020 Volkswagen ID 3 power and range

Three versions of the ID 3 will be offered, each driven by a rear-mounted electric motor. This produces 148bhp in the cheapest version and 201bhp in the two pricier models, but the peak torque output is 229lb ft in all three.

The entry-level car uses a 45kWh battery and has a WLTP-certified official range of 205 miles, while the mid-range model – predicted to be the most popular and the only one available at launch – has a 58kWh battery that’s good for 261 miles. And for long-distance drivers, the 77kWh battery yields 342 miles. In its most expensive form, then, the ID 3 comes very close to matching the Tesla Model 3 Long Range.

If you’re charging the mid-range ID 3 from a rapid charger at its maximum rate of 100kW, you can add 155 miles in just half an hour. 

Owners will be given up to 2000kWh worth of free charging from Volkswagen’s We Charge network; there aren’t many of those charging points in the UK at the moment, but the firm has committed to installing them at 600 Tesco shops. Plus, Volkswagen will guarantee the car’s battery for eight years or 100,000 miles. 

2020 Volkswagen ID 3 interior

2020 Volkswagen ID 3 interior

Inside the ID 3, there’s a 10in touchscreen infotainment system mounted high on the dashboard and angled towards the driver, along with a smaller digital display that takes the place of traditional instrument dials. 

Following the trend of reducing the number of physical buttons in cars, even the controls on the ID 3’s steering wheel are touch-sensitive. As has also become fashionable, you can control some of the car’s functions using natural speech after prompting the system to listen by saying “Hello, ID”. What’s more, a head-up display can project augmented-reality sat-nav directions onto the windscreen. 

There’s slightly more boot space than you’ll find in today’s Golf, at 385 litres.

2020 Volkswagen ID 3 instrument cluster

2020 Volkswagen ID 3 equipment and price

The ID 3 will be offered in three trim levels. The most basic version gets sat-nav, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and 18in alloy wheels. Plus trim brings a rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and 19in wheels, while range-topping Max includes a Beats sound system, a panoramic glass roof and 20in wheels. 

Safety systems on offer include lane-keeping assistance, parking assistance and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

2020 Volkswagen ID roof

Prices are expected to start from around £29,000 – with the mid-range model at £39,000 or so – before the Government’s £3500 grant. That's significantly more than the current Golf will cost you. Volkswagen will also offer a range of domestic wallbox chargers that it claims will be cheaper than those currently on the market.

Before long, the ID range will expand to include small and large SUVs, a retro people carrier and a luxury saloon. 

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