Volkswagen ID 3 long-term test: report 4

When we group tested the Volkswagen ID 3, we were so impressed that we named it Small Electric Car of the Year. But does it continue to cut the mustard during the daily grind?...

Volkswagen ID.3 long term

The car Volkswagen ID 3 Pro Performance Family Run by Allan Muir, managing editor

Why we’re running it To see whether this electric hatchback has the versatility to be Volkswagen’s new people’s car

Needs to Be at least as comfortable and practical as an equivalent Golf and deliver on the promise of a better real-world range than its nearest rivals

Mileage 3830 List price £34,995 Target Price £34,480 Price as tested £37,270 Test range 175 miles 

20 January 2022 – The heat is on

Because I’m not commuting regularly to the office at the moment, I haven’t been taking full advantage of the fact that my Volkswagen ID 3 is equipped with an optional heat pump that can be used to pre-condition the interior prior to departure on frosty mornings. I’m still glad I’ve got it, though.

What tends to happen is that – probably like most people – I suddenly decide I need to go grocery shopping and emerge from the house to find that the ID 3’s windscreen is covered in ice. Fortunately, the heat pump provides an efficient way of warming up and demisting the interior of an electric car like mine (in the absence of heat from an engine), and the windscreen clears quickly when I whack the temperature up to ‘hi’ and hit the ‘max demist’ button. 

Volkswagen ID.3 long term

The only downside is that the heat pump is surprisingly noisy when it’s running. If I want to raise the temperature inside the car to any significant degree, it emits a none-too-subtle drone from somewhere up front and sends small vibrations through the pedals. 

This is usually just for short periods, though, so I’m not too bothered about it. Plus, if I could plan ahead enough to pre-condition the interior before setting off (which can be done remotely), I probably wouldn’t hear it at all. I just find it slightly ironic that this supposedly quiet electric car sounds rather like something with a petrol or diesel engine at times.

Volkswagen ID.3 long term

Meanwhile, I’m finding that when I plug in my car to charge the battery at home, it doesn’t always want to start the process straight away. On one occasion recently, having arrived home with the battery almost flat and wanting to replenish it without delay, I spent what seemed like an eternity repeatedly attaching and detaching the cable, locking and unlocking the car, cursing under my breath and even rebooting my wallbox (just in case) before the car decided it was ready to receive some juice. Thankfully, such delays don’t happen all that often.

I’ve had a more consistent problem with the keyless entry system, which wasn’t working when my car first arrived. It’s worth mentioning that my ID 3 wasn’t brand new when I got it, but it was still in as-new condition. 

Volkswagen ID.3 long term

With the appropriate settings turned on within the depths of the infotainment system, the doors are meant to unlock automatically as I approach the car with the key fob in my pocket. Alternatively, the locks can be operated by touching the door handle. But none of that was happening.

I could have continued locking and unlocking the car by manually plipping the key fob (oh, the hardship), but keyless entry is a feature that I find very handy, so I was keen to get it sorted. A couple of days in a Volkswagen workshop ascertained that the car had lost communication with the spare key, and this was limiting the keyless entry function, even though I’d been using the other key. The solution was to recode both sets. With that done, the keyless entry is now functioning normally.

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