Volkswagen’s bestselling EV within the UK has had an replace for 2023 – we drive the brand new, improved ID.3…
The VW ID.3 electrical hatchback has been handled to a gentle makeover and tech replace, regardless of solely being launched in 2020.
Volkswagen has listened to suggestions (a few of it lukewarm) and acted on it swiftly. The result’s a extra mature proposition.
Crucially, the adjustments can even preserve the automotive aggressive within the ever-increasing EV household hatch sector, the place rivals embrace the ID.3’s VW Group cousin, the Cupra Born, plus the MG4, Nissan Leaf, Renault Megane E-Tech Electrical, Vauxhall Astra Electrical and Peugeot e-308.
The ID.3’s exterior styling tweaks are delicate, to say the least. The entrance now incorporates a longer-looking bonnet because of the elimination of the black strip beneath the windscreen, plus bigger air intakes. The honeycomb impact on the bumper has additionally gone and LED headlights at the moment are customary.
Badging alongside the aspect of the automotive, plus decals on the rear pillar, have vanished too, leading to cleaner strains, whereas the rear mild cluster is tweaked and it has a particular X-shaped mild signature.
The cabin has had an improve too. There at the moment are extra soft-touch surfaces, whereas the seat covers and door trims use material manufactured from 71% recycled supplies.
Lastly, the infotainment system (one of many unique ID.3’s greatest points), has improved software program and might now be up to date over-the-air.
The menu construction is clearer and it appeared slicker and extra responsive on our check drives. Even the controversial touch-sensitive sliders on the backside of the touchscreen and on the steering wheel labored higher.
Sadly, UK patrons must wait till 2024 for the brand new, bigger 12.9-inch central display screen, which advantages from backlit local weather and quantity controls – one of many huge criticisms of the unique automotive.
There’s additionally a extra clever route planner for the sat nav (which schedules charging stops extra successfully on longer journeys), improved voice management and a powerful augmented actuality head-up show which initiatives instructions from the sat nav onto the street forward.
Mechanically, the rear-wheel drive ID.3 is far the identical, so there’s nonetheless a alternative of two batteries – 58kWh within the Professional and 77kWh within the Professional S, delivering ranges of as much as 266 miles and 347 miles respectively.
Priced from £37,115, each develop 204bhp, although the Professional accelerates a tad faster to 62mph (7.4 vs 7.9 seconds).
One other change is that the ID.3’s charging capability has been uprated. So, the Professionals S may be charged from 5-80% inside half-hour at speeds of as much as 170kW, whereas the Professional takes 35 minutes with a charging capability of as much as 120kW.
The revised ID.3 is not any totally different to the “first era” mannequin on the street, which implies that it’s competent and warranted.
It’s no Golf within the dealing with division and is unlikely to place a smile in your face like some EVs, however it’s straightforward to drive and a refined cruiser.
It’s additionally good within the metropolis with first rate all-round visibility, mild steering and a decent turning circle of simply 10.2 metres.
There’s additionally loads of grip and it smoothed out poorer street surfaces properly, however it’s not at its happiest when hustled on extra demanding roads.
There are three drive modes (Eco, Consolation and Sport), however the actuality is that the ID.3 is all about consolation and extracting most miles from a cost.
Frankly, there’s not a lot between the Professional and Professionals S, apart from vary. If something, the 58kWh Professional S is a tad extra nimble, however finally, the ID.3 nonetheless lacks the driving engagement of some rivals.
So, there aren’t many gripes with the improved ID.3. The brake pedal nonetheless has a comparatively lengthy journey, which takes a little bit of getting used to, and paddles or buttons behind the steering wheel to regulate the brake era degree can be a bonus.
And the ID.3 can’t be faulted on the subject of house contained in the cabin the place there’s a lot entrance and rear, whereas the boot has a wholesome 385-litre capability, rising to 1,267 litres with the again seats flipped down.
It’s secure too, boasting a most 5 stars from Euro NACAP. The ID.3 has all the most recent security and driver help techniques. And new for 2023 is Journey Help, which helps preserve your automobile in its lane, retains its distance from the automobile in entrance and preserve your pre-defined pace.
Verdict: The up to date Volkswagen ID.3 is a welcome enchancment. Secure, spacious, refined and a doddle to drive, it’s a smart electrical hatchback alternative with an excellent vary.