Autotrader ad desktop

In partnership with Auto Trader

New Volkswagen ID 3 vs used Tesla Model 3: interiors

If you're shopping for a new electric car, the Volkswagen ID.3 is well worth considering, but for just a little bit more you could have a used Tesla Model 3. Which it the better buy?...

Volkswagen ID.3 2021 dashboard


Driving position, visibility, build quality

Neither of these cars offers what you'd call class-leading interior quality. While the Volkswagen ID 3 feels well screwed together, the plush-feeling plastic strip across its dashboard is the only nod to luxury. Presumably, Volkswagen hopes you won’t notice the hard, cheap feeling materials used everywhere else.

The Tesla Model 3 is better in this respect, with a greater array of soft-touch plastics. However, it doesn't feel especially solidly constructed; this was addressed when the car was facelifted, but that was at the start of 2021.

Used Tesla Model 3 dashboard

The news is also mixed when it comes to the Model 3's driving position, because the seat, steering wheel and pedals all line up neatly, but the windscreen pillars are exceedingly thick, so can hamper your view at times.

Visibility is better in the ID 3, thanks to its windscreen pillars being super slim, although taller individuals might still find that they get in the way a little at T-junctions, due to how steeply they're angled. Fortunately, as in the Model 3, the driving position itself is fundamentally good, so you'll be comfortable behind the wheel.


In addition, the ID 3 comes with front and rear parking sensors to help with manoeuvring. However, the Model 3 goes one better, combining these with a rear-view camera.

Infotainment systems

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID.3 2021 touchscreen

All ID 3s come with a 10.0in infotainment touchscreen, which features sharp graphics and fancy pictures of the car that twirl as you change menus. However, many of those menus are confusingly laid out and Volkswagen's software is full of bugs, making the system prone to crashing. It's best to bypass it altogether, then, by making use of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring, both of which are standard.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 touchscreen

The Model 3’s touchscreen is much bigger than the ID 3's, at 15.0in, and its software is much slicker. The only issue is that, with so much controlled from the screen, some of the icons are rather small; that’s fine for the passenger but distracting if you’re the driver. It has more features than the ID 3's system, including Netflix streaming and video games, plus Google Maps with live traffic updates, although there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.