By Trish Whelan MMAI (Brian Byrne is on holidays).
Volkswagen’s ID.3 all-electric model arrived here in Ireland back in August 2020 offering a range of around 410 kms on a single charge and priced from €33,825 inclusive of incentives. The car went on to be a big seller with Irish motorists.
Fast forward four years and the refreshed ID.3 has been given a redesigned front bumper and air intakes, new light signatures for the LED headlights and tail lights, a black roof with silver on the sides and some new exterior colours including Dark Olivine Green metallic paint which looked quite stunning on my review car. The ID.3 is now one of a larger family of VW electric cars, now up to ID.7 in models.
This is a car I felt very much at home in with its good exterior looks, lovely interior styling, great driving position, and for the car’s drivability. It is slightly longer than the iconic Golf for which it is the electric equivalent, and taller by some 17cm. Practically a four seater car, you can pull down the ‘middle’ rear seat-back to provide a wide rear arm rest for two passengers, and there’s a hatch through to the boot. Luggage capacity is a decent 385 litres.
The interior is where the significant change is with the revision, a vast improvement with some nice quality materials and soft suede-like surfaces. Colours in the review car were mostly dark and light grey which was quite a pleasing combination, but I’d have liked a bit more chromeware. Recycled materials on doors and seat covers help sustainability. The front seats were really comfy.
Two stand-alone screen displays comprise a compact driver’s information cluster and a 10-inch touchscreen for the navigation system, media, assist systems, the car’s settings, and your phone. Graphics are bright and clear. Below the main screen are touch-sensitive sliders for climate control which I dislike intensely. Proper knobs please, Volkswagen. The transmission shift lever is attached to the side of the driver cluster, really neat. Between both displays is a small screen located in the dash to manage the car’s lights.
The front seats have narrow armrests to the centre of the car, which can be folded back out of the way. The flat of the central console is taken up with good storage areas, two mug holders, and the wireless charging pad. Here too, are two small C-type USB ports (there are two more in the rear). Other storage areas include a smallish glovebox, and large door bins.
I found that the A-pillar windows aided visibility especially when coming up to roundabouts and being able to see kerbs in suburban areas when cornering. I appreciated the Head Up Display on the front windscreen and the really excellent blind spot alerts on side mirrors.
Trims are ID.3 Pro with a 58kWh battery and 428km range (from €40,813) and the ID.3 Pro S which was my review car with the larger 77kWh battery and a claimed range of 557km. Power consumption for the latter is 15.4kWh/100km. Both versions share the same rear mounted electric drive motor with 210hp and 310Nm torque. And, of course, you get instant acceleration with an electric car. At an ultrafast charge facility, the 77kWh battery could be juiced from 5-80pc in 30 minutes.
Standard across both trims are a heated steering wheel, 2-zone climate control, pedestrian warning sound at low speeds, car-to-car wireless information transfer, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and an 8-year/160,000km battery warranty. My review Pro S spec added the Head Up Display, heat reflecting windshield, 19-inch alloys, and velour seats.
The Park Assist Plus with a memory function allows automatic retrieval and use of saved parking manoeuvres. With the car’s We Connect connectivity, you can upgrade your ID.3 with new functions after you have purchased the car.
The ID.3 Pro S is big on refinement, with comfort for four adults. But also has a hefty price tag.
PRICE: From €48,230 after incentives plus delivery; Review car €56,445. WHAT I LIKED: The upshift in the interior refinement.