Volkswagen ID.3 long-term test: electric hatch excels as urban runabout

First report: it feels like a new beginning for our man with an electric hatch

  • 4.0 out of 5

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    In due course, I’ll need to look into the challenges of public charging, but to start with, I’ll be topping up the car exclusively at home, and from a three-pin socket. My theory is that I don’t do many miles, so I’ll never be charging the car from ‘empty’, and I’ll almost always be able to top it up sufficiently overnight for whatever I have planned the next day.

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    My most regular longer haul is down to the Sussex coast to visit family, but given that the car has a quoted range of 347 miles, I should be able to get there and back on a single charge easily enough. That’s a story for a future report, though, when I’ll also see how cooler weather affects the range.

    Hopefully, the answer to that is ‘not much’, because one of the options fitted to this car is a heat pump. This means that the car uses less energy from the battery to power the heater, preserving the range.

    It’s one of several optional features on this ID.3 – despite it being the top-spec Pro S model – with the two most expensive being the Driver Assistance Pack Plus and the Exterior Pack. The former bundles together Side Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist with Area View and a rear-view camera, plus keyless entry and Park Assist Plus.

    The Exterior Pack adds matrix-LED headlights with dynamic light assist, an illuminated ‘grille’, LED tail-lights with dynamic turn signals, and tinted rear glass.

    The driver-assistance features are most welcome, given how much time I spend in London traffic; and overall, I think the styling add-ons make the ID.3 a very smart-looking car, particularly in the (also optional) Olivine Green metallic paint.

    This car benefits from being the recently revised model, too. That means it has a new-look nose, with extra air intakes in the front bumper and a longer bonnet, plus a chrome-effect strip running along the sides of the car over the windows. Inside, meanwhile, there are smarter materials designed to lift the perceived quality.

    In all honesty, I think the interior still says £30k, rather than the £51k that the car actually costs once all the options have been taken into account. And I confess that, as with many others, I am rather underwhelmed by the laggy infotainment system. But otherwise, I’m finding EV life quite easy at the moment.

    The ID.3 is perfect as Dad’s Taxi in suburban south west London, thanks to its combination of a smooth and refined powertrain with strong performance and relatively compact dimensions. It’s nice and relaxing in even the heaviest traffic, easy to navigate through city streets and no problem to park at the end of the journey.

    Model:Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S 77kWh
    On fleet since:September 2023
    Price new:£42,870
    Powertrain:77kWh battery, single e-motor, 201bhp
    Options:Mains charge cable (£165), front and rear carpet mats (£105), removable boot floor (£75), 20-inch alloy wheels (£1,580), heat pump (£970), Driver Assistance Pack Plus (£2,095), Dark Olivine Green metallic paint (£860), Exterior Pack (£1,725), Interior Pack (£770)
    Insurance*:Group: 28E uote: £984
    Any problems?None so far

    *Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

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