When someone wants to underline that simplicity and clarity lead to best results, it use a saying: less is more… If someone would ask me to resume, in 3 words, the experience of driving the VW ID3 1st Max, these would be the first that comes into my mind.
The VW ID.3 is an exercise and a manifesto to simplicity that brings, in the same time, an air of novelty and a feeling of familiarity. This car is interesting enough to make the early adopter feel like a pioneer, normal enough to cause them joy in their everyday life.
The ID 3 sits on the Volkswagen Group’s new MEB platform – a versatile structure that will underpin a wide range of new electric-powered passenger cars and commercial vehicles from VW and its various brands.
The lack of some elements other competitors use – cameras for wings, retro mish-mash, leather etc ( that would bump up costs, by the way), does not diminish the pleasure of driving it, on the contrary. Some people comment about hard plastic throughout the cabin, but to me it seems it fits in the overall design, because this car is not claiming to be a premium one. Although, if we name all the features VW ID3 1st Max reveals, can be considered a premium one. And, after all, it is a cost-cutting move used to help offset the high costs of the battery.
The ID3’s designers managed to create a roomy interior with compact MPV-like levels of versatility. The car is refined, quite confortable and pleasantly airy throughout.
VW ID 3’s dashboard has a clean, futuristic design, with a twist that makes you think of a spaceship. The unique design of the dashboard is simple and uncluttered, with a clear emphasis on functionality and ease of use. Digital instruments are housed within a small free-standing display in front of the driver and the infotainment functions are grouped within a touchscreen above the central air vents. Most controls are operated via touch-sensitive buttons, and they are easy to find, and the screens are easy to read, especially the digital counter with a head-up display.
The rear seats offer good legroom and generous headroom. Too bad the backrest in the middle of the bench, serving as an armrest, is hard.
Behind the wheel, the ID.3 impresses with its maneuverability in town, thanks to a very short turning radius. Regenerative braking is not very pronounced even in Brake mode, but stopping distances seem very short.
Despite its relative tallness, the aerodynamic properties are quite impressive. Among the wind-cheating measures are aero-optimised wheels, an almost completely enclosed front end, a panel at the end of the bonnet to channel wind more efficiently over the windscreen, substantial cladding along the entire underbody and a large cowl with an integrated spoiler set within the rear window.
The ID 3’s launch has been delayed for a few months, because of some software problems, but VW has decided to release the car without various features, including the App Connect function used to run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Early adopters will drive the car without some functions of the augmented reality head-up display. Both will be restored with a software update as soon as engineers are confident the new car’s E3 electrical system is able to reliably support them.
Accessible from € 39,900 (excluding bonus) in its 58 kW 1st launch version, the ID.3 requires choosing the top of the range Max at € 50,000 to have the glass roof, electric seats, rims 20-inch and semi-autonomous driving, unavailable on the other optional versions. It is also the only one to have a heat pump (which optimizes autonomy) and a modular boot floor.
The top version ID.3 1ST Max also includes the Augmented Reality (AR) head-up display, the Beats sound system, a large panoramic slide-tilt glass roof to accentuate the sense of space, and 20-inch alloy wheels. This range of equipment is complemented by a lane-keeping system with emergency assistant, a lane change system, comfort telephony with contactless high-voltage battery charge, comfort seats, a flat boot floor and large 20-inch alloy wheels.
Verdict: This car gives you the fewest reasons not to buy one. Fast enough, cheap enough, big enough, inoffensive enough, rangey enough, and desirable enough to make you jump straight from petrol or diesel to electric, with no worries.Like all electric cars, the VW ID.3 seduces with its smoothness of driving, its responsiveness, its silence and its honorable autonomy.
Here is the technical data from the producer:
|ID.3||ID.3 1ST & ID.3 Plus||ID.3 Max|
|Price in Euro||under 30,000€||under 40,000 €||under 50,000 €|
|Battery capacity||45 kWh||58 kWh||77 kWh|
|Charging speed||DC up to 50 kW (series) and up to 100 kW (surcharge)||DC up to 100 kW||DC up to 100 kW|
|Range||330 km||420 km||550 km|
|max. power||110 kW – 150 hp||110 kW – 150 hp||150 kW – 204 hp|
|0 – 100 km/h||8.0 s||8.5 s||7.5 s|
|Weight||1720 kg||1800 kg||1900 kg|
|Dimensions||L 4.26 / B 1.81 / H 1.55 m|