VW’s electric revolution starts here. While the likes of the E-Golf and E-Up were mere dalliances with the world of battery electric vehicles, the new ID 3 is something altogether more drastic.
This plug-in hatchback is built using VW Group’s new MEB ‘modular toolkit’, an architecture which may one day become as widely used as MQB. The ID 3 gets a ‘skateboard’ style structure with a battery pack sitting under the floor and between the two axles, plus a permanent-magnet synchronous motor at the rear.
Yep, it’s rear-wheel drive, giving it a neat link with the VW Type 1. But no, you probably won’t be able to drift it.
At the other end of the car, all the auxiliary stuff like the air conditioning compressor lives, helping the ID 3 achieve a perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
As for the battery pack, its capacity depends entirely upon how much money you want to spend. The special edition ID 3 1ST has the mid-range 58 kWh pack giving a 261-mile range, but if you can make do with a range of 220 miles, there’s a 45 kWh version too. Opt for the 77 kWh battery, and the range leaps to 342 miles.
The maximum DC charging output for the VW ID 3 is 100kW. Plug it into a unit with that capacity, and you’ll have 180 miles of charge in just 30 minutes. Get a wall box fitted at home, and overnight charging sessions become possible.
The electric powertrain is good for a total of 201bhp and 229lb ft of torque. VW hasn’t given an acceleration figure, but we are told the top speed is 99mph.
Moving on to something more relevant for ID 3 buyers, we need to take a look inside. Here, you’ll find a non-threatening, quite conventional dashboard with a big ‘floating’ touchscreen sat in the middle. With no transmission tunnel in the way and a design featuring short overhangs, it’ll be plenty roomy in there - in terms of cabin space, VW says the ID 3 “sets new benchmarks in the compact vehicle category”. With a capacity of 385 litres, the boot’s also comfortably bigger than that of the Golf.
All sounds rather lovely so far, and that’s before we get to the icing on the BEV cake - it’s not too expensive. The ‘basic’ version will cost under €30,000 in Germany. In other words, similar to the anticipated price of the Honda e, but with nearly double the range and much more space.