Volkswagen ID.3 2020 review – a thoroughly good car that happens to be electric

Finally there’s a mainstream EV that takes advantage of its elements to be a thoroughly well engineered modern everyday vehicle

The ID.3 is an important car for VW. It’s the first model from a ground-up exercise in the creation of not just one battery electric model, but a whole range of different electric cars across the Volkswagen Group on its highly anticipated MEB architecture.

A Golf-sized, high-roof hatchback, the ID.3 will sit right in the middle of its eventual family. Volkswagen is keen to point out some similarities between its new arrival and the original Beetle, not least its rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, but also the notion that it too will mobilise the masses – only this time by electrical means.

Volkswagen ID.3 electric car (Image:

Volkswagen ID.3 electric car (Image:

Engine, transmission and 0-60 time
The ID.3’s powertrain comprises a single 201bhp synchronous electric motor mounted within the rear axle and driving the rear wheels via a single-speed gearbox. Torque is rated at 264lb ft and is available from zero rpm, so it’s not hard to tap into.

The motor draws power from a 58kWh (net) battery pack, although later ID.3 models will add 77kWh and 45kWh options. The batteries themselves are stored in a panel that sits underneath the entirety of the cabin, with the axles pushed right out to each corner of the chassis. Despite its Mk5 GTI-like power figure, the ID.3 is not a fast EV, with 62mph taking 7.3sec.

Claimed ranges are just that, claimed, with the 58kWh battery rated at 263 miles give or take a few miles based on wheel choice. The larger 77kWh option extends this to 331 miles, while the smaller 45kWh battery reduces it to 205 miles. The two larger battery options are also capable of up to 100kW charging where available.

Technical highlights
While the technical components of the ID.3 don’t sound especially different to those of most EVs, it’s the way Volkswagen has packaged the powertrain that makes all the difference. Almost every bit of the chassis is different from VW’s internal-combustion models, designed from the beginning to work exclusively with an electric powertrain and battery pack.

The interior’s impressive packaging is arguably the most advantageous bit for buyers, with a cavernous cabin considering the car’s Golf-like exterior dimensions. Space up front is vast, and the feeling is exaggerated by the compact dash, low scuttle and deep glazing that together totally transform what the ID.3 feels like to sit in. It’s superbly airy, and feels genuinely fresh and interesting.

Read more: evo

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