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Car Review

Volkswagen ID.3 review

£29,565 - £40,495
Published: 17 Nov 2022


What should I be paying?

A quick reminder, then: the ID.3 is available in a choice of five trim levels (Life, Style, Family, Max and Tour) and three battery packs: 45kWh, 58kWh battery and 77kWh. 

However, the global semiconductor shortage means that VW is focusing its production on most its popular/profitable variants, meaning the sole model you can currently buy in the configurator is the ID.3 Life paired with the 45kWh battery and 201bhp electric motor (see below for a more detailed breakdown), which starts from £36,990 – that’s in line with a well-specced Golf.

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On lease, you’re looking at around £550 on a four-year contract with a six-month down payment.

Talk charge times to me.

VW offers 100kW charging capacity on the ID.3, something that's standard across the line-up in the UK. This can add 180 miles of range in half an hour – if you can find an operational 100kW charger, that is. On a UK-spec 7.4kW wallbox, for a full charge you’re looking at seven and a half hours for the 45kWh battery, nine and a half hours for the 58kWh battery, or around 13 hours for the 77kWh battery. Need a quick top up? It’ll take around four hours for 100 miles. 

If you’re struggling to get your head around all these numbers, you’ll be relieved to hear that VW has handily simplified its battery line-up jargon. The entry-level 45kWh battery and 148bhp electric motor is branded as ‘Pure Performance’. Next up is the 58kWh battery, known as the ‘Pro’ when combined with the 143bhp electric motor, and ‘Pro Performance’ when combined with the more powerful 201bhp unit. Last but not least is the top-of-the-range 77kWh battery and 201bhp electric motor combo, which VW has nicknamed ‘Pro S’. Got it?

How does its range cope in the real world?

We’ve tested the Pro Performance variant in both freezing winter conditions as well as searing summer heat, with predictable results.

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On a cold, frosty, dark December day, against an official range of 260 miles, the readout predicted 180 miles, which dropped into the 170s when we were forced to use the heater to avoid losing our fingers to frostbite. Our fault for not pre-conditioning the heating to warm up the cabin before we set off, resulting in a rate of 2.8 miles per kWh of electricity consumed.

It fared slightly better in milder climes. We say milder… the temperature readout was north of 34 Celsius, which meant we had no choice but to run the air-conditioning at full blast. In those conditions, our ID.3 displayed a starting endurance of 220 miles versus 260 claimed, and consumed charge at a rate of 3.2 mi/kWh, giving a nominal range of 185 miles in ultra-hot weather, mainly on A-roads.

We’ve also run an ID.3 Pro (with its 58kWh battery and 143bhp) in ‘normal’ British summertime weather – i.e. on drizzly days with temperatures in the mid-teens. With the climate control firmly off and the ID.3 in Eco mode, you’ll get much closer to 4.0 mi/kWh and the WLTP range of 264 miles.

What's the best spec?

As is the way with most EVs, the cheaper, lesser-powered version is arguably the pick of the bunch here – we’d go for the ID.3 Pro, and spend any savings on a better trim levels/optional extras. VW tells us you can still ask your dealer nicely if you have a specific trim in mind.

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