Volkswagen ID.3 review

Category: Small Electric

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:electric
Available colours:
Volkswagen ID.3 2020 infotainment
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  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 wide rear cornering
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 front seats
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 boot open
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 front cornering
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 rear tracking
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 dashboard
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 rear seats
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 infotainment
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 wide cornering
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 right panning
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 wide rear cornering
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 front seats
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2020 boot open
RRP from£32,990
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

As we’ve mentioned a few times already, we don’t yet know the exact UK pricing of all the versions of the ID.3. However, the least expensive models will cost cash buyers a similar amount to the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe, while the pricier versions will equate with the Kia e-Niro and entry-level Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus. We don’t know what its resale values will be like, either, but the Volkswagen brand is usually pretty good at preventing hefty depreciation, and if that’s the case with the ID.3, it should keep PCP finance costs sensible. 

Being an electric car, the ID.3 will save you a heap of cash over a petrol or diesel, not just in fuel costs but also company car tax. Current tax breaks mean benefit-in-kind tax will be extremely reasonable for at least the next few years. 

The ID.3 has the ability to fast charge at up to 100kW (125kW for the top model). That should be enough to get the mid-range 58kWh battery from a 10-80% charge in around 30mins, which is faster than the Leaf or the Zoe. But, most service stations' chargers are currently 50kW, so you'll be waiting for around 60mins to go from a 10-80% charge, while from a 7kW home wall box, you’re looking at empty to fully charged in around nine hours. The Tesla Model 3 can charge even faster, and currently Tesla's Supercharging network is the best in terms of reliability and proliferation.

Equipment, options and extras

Only the 1st Edition trim is on sale at the moment. It's well kitted out, with 19in alloy wheels, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, power-folding door mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, privacy glass, 30-colour interior ambient lighting, as well as the infotainment system, LED Matrix headlights and parking aids we wrote about earlier in the review. 

There aren't many options to choose from, but you'll need to add a Type 2 charging cable if you want to guarantee you can top up at any charging point. That seems like a bit of a cheeky thing to charge extra for, but at least it isn't too expensive.

What will follow is subject to change. We understand there will be several trims called Life, Business, Family, Style, Tech, Max and Tour – the latter will only be available with the largest battery. There will also be a range of five packs, which you can add to each trim to enhance the specifications and styling as you see fit.

We’ll be updating this review as and when more information filters through, so do subscribe to the What Car? Newsletter, which will notify you when we make any changes.

Reliability

We haven’t got any reliability data for such a new car, and there’s not even anything similar to go on as a pointer in Volkswagen’s back catalogue of electric cars. 

However, Volkswagen as a brand finished a relatively lowly 20th out of 31 manufacturers in our 2020 Reliability Survey. That puts it behind other electric car manufacturers such as Honda, Hyundai and Kia, but above Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Tesla and Vauxhall.

Safety and security

There's an extensive suite of safety kit fitted as standard to 1st Edition trim, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, a driver fatigue monitor and traffic sign recognition, which shows you the current speed limit. 

At present the ID.3 hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, so we have no crash test data to go on. We’d be very surprised if Volkswagen’s latest platform hasn’t been designed to do well in the crash tests, though, but we will let you know when the results appear.

Volkswagen ID.3 2020 infotainment

Overview

The 1st Edition model that we’ve driven, and which will be the only model available initially, comes with the upper-mid-level motor and battery that equip it with decent performance and range, as well as plenty of kit. However, for similar money to that, you can buy the entry-level Model 3, which strikes us as a better overall package, not least because of its better charging network. We think the pick of the ID.3 range will come later on; when the cheaper versions are launched they'll present stiff competition to the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.

  • Good electric range
  • Sprightly performance
  • Decent to drive
  • Iffy interior quality, especially for the pricier versions
  • Charging network weaker than Tesla’s
  • Infotainment system needs some upgrades

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