With the launch of the Electric Volkswagen ID.3, Volkswagen declares the “Blitzkrieg” to Tesla. Less cumbersome than a Model 3 and well motorized, the compact electric Wolfsburg hits hard! But it lacks logistical support …
If the legendary VW Golf began its energy transition in 2013, it is the ID.3 that really rings the burden of electric mobility. To fight head-on with the Tesla Model 3, the electric compact inaugurates a brand new platform with an imposing 58 kWh battery of useful capacity integrated into the floor (and even 77 kWh in November!).
As short as a Golf (4.26 m), the ID.3 opts for a 5-door single-volume bodywork more in line with the expectations of European motorists. A questionable choice on the aesthetic level especially with its “short nose” the Volkswagen does not have a second trunk at the front unlike the American. The 385 dm3 trunk is roomy but not much larger than that of a Golf and the modularity remains basic with a folding bench in two parts and a ski hatch.
On the other hand, the rear seats offer good legroom and generous headroom. Too bad the backrest in the middle of the bench serving as an armrest is so hard. At the front, the presentation is very refined and the upholstery with numerous adjustments adapts to all calibers. Storage is plentiful between the seats and is accompanied by large interior door bins at the front and rear. The controls are easy to find and the screens are easy to read, especially the digital counter with a head-up display.
The menus of the multimedia system are quite intuitive and the GPS works wonderfully. In contrast, ventilation and air conditioning settings require intensive training and lack speed. A concern that we had already noted in the new Golf 8.
Another disappointment, the finish. Both the furniture and the storm doors are made almost exclusively of hard, hollow-sounding plastic. The absence of paint under the hood is also puzzling. Behind the wheel, the ID.3 impresses with its maneuverability in town thanks to a very short turning radius.
This propulsion ensures flawless traction (in the dry) and excellent heading hold thanks to a low center of gravity. The 204 hp synchronous motor located in the rear axle delivers acceleration and tonic pick-ups despite its heavy weight. Regenerative braking is not very pronounced even in Brake mode, but stopping distances seem very short. Biting this electric! In bends, the roll hold is not exaggerated but is felt because it is not possible to wedge with the knees (lack of central console).
The damping controlled with two laws (sport or comfort) absorbs well the manhole covers and the bleedings in spite of the large rims of 20 inches. Note, however, that the roads in our test between Hanover and Wolfsburg were billiards. On unlimited motorways, the ID.3 does not struggle to gain its 164 km / h top speed. The active cruise control coupled with automatic lane keeping and the reading of traffic signs adapts the pace with exemplary precision and smoothness.
Able to go down to around 16 kWh / 100 km of average consumption on the road, the ID.3 rather claims 20 kWh / 100 km by moving on the fast track which allows between 290 and 350 km of autonomy. It remains to find fast charging stations to recover 80% of energy in about 30 minutes at a speed of 100 kW. A real pain in France these days.
The integrated 11 kW charger allows a “full” in 6 hours on a public terminal. Count 9 hours with a Wallbox at home or 30 hours on the domestic socket. 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. In short, the Wolfsburg compact lacks generosity and practices prices as daring as those of Tesla. Risk…
Verdict: Like all electric cars, the VW ID.3 seduces with its smoothness of driving, its responsiveness, its silence and its honorable autonomy. But in the absence of a reliable and extensive network of quick terminals, the German compact cannot be the main car of the household today. Its price therefore seems very daring for a second knife.
The advantages of the VW ID.3:
- Electrifying performance
- Neat handling and braking
- Effective driving aids
- Quite substantial autonomy
Cons of the VW ID.3:
- No VW private charging network
- Disappointing finish
- Perfectible multimedia package
- Pretentious price in MAX finish and reduced bonus (3000 € instead of 7000 €!)
BUY a VW ID.3
- Motorization: Electric
- Version tested: 1st Max
- Starting at: € 49,990
- Average manufacturer consumption: 16.3 kWh / 100 kmduring the test (l / 100 km): 20 kWh / 100 km
- CO2/ bonus: 0 g / km / 3000 €
- Fiscal power: 3 CV
- Country of manufacture: GermanyMarketing: mid-September
- Electric 58 kWh, from 39,990 to 49,990 €
- 204 hp
DRIVE VW ID.3
- Motor: synchronous electric with permanent magnets
- Transmission: to the rear wheels, 1 report + reverse gearbox
- Battery capacity: 58 kWh
- Power: 204 ch
- Couple: 310 Nm
- Operating weight: 1,794 kg
- xlarg.xhaut.: 4,26 x 1,81 x 1,57 m
- Wheelbase (m): 2.77 m
- Max speed: 160 km / h
- 0 to 100 km / h / 1000 DA: 7.3 s / NC
- Average range (WLTP): 409 km.
- Test tires: 215/45 R 20
Live in VW ID.3
- Elbow width AV / AR (cm): 145/144
- Rear legroom (cm): 73
- Chest at 5 / at 2: 385/1267 dm3
OPTIONS of the VW ID.3
- Metallic paint: €
- Leather upholstery: €
MAIN CONCURRENTS of the VW ID.3
- Tesla Model 3
- Hyundai Ionic electric
- Kia Niro electric
- Nissan Leaf