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Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S 77 kWh 2023 Review

The Volkswagen ID.3 has been updated, now with an electric range of up to 347 miles, good levels of efficiency, and the driving experience remains refined and comfortable.

  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen_ID3_Fastned_Q1_2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
  • Volkswagen ID.3 2023
Green Car Guide Rating: 9/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:   Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S 77 kWh 204 PS (MY ‘23)
  • Fuel:   Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP): 347 miles
  • Maximum ultra-rapid charging rate: 170 kW

Summary

  • Very refined and comfortable driving experience
  • Long range of 347 miles
  • Efficient
  • Infotainment system needs to be more user-friendly

BACKGROUND

The ID.3 was Volkswagen’s first purpose-built electric vehicle, developed from the ground up for zero tailpipe-emission motoring, and it has gained some updates for 2023.

Minor exterior changes include front air curtains which direct air flow around the wheels in a more aerodynamic way. In the interior, more sustainable materials made from recycled plastics are used. There are also minor changes to the touchscreen layout, and charging has been made easier.

Volkswagen ID.3 2023Volkswagen ID.3 2023

 

DESIGN & ENGINEERING

For 2023 the ID.3 gains front-end styling tweaks. The body shape looks aerodynamic, and it is, boasting a drag coefficient of 0.263 Cd.

The ID.3 remains rear-wheel drive – a departure from the traditional front-wheel drive layout for petrol and diesel Volkswagens for this size of car. Our test car had the largest battery on offer, 77 kWh (net) / 82 kWh (gross).

Volkswagen says that the updated ID.3 has a higher quality interior. The cabin is modern and minimalistic; although the interior feels spacious, with lots of storage between the front seats, the boot, at 385-litres (or 1,267 litres with the rear seats down), isn’t significantly bigger than other cars in this class. Rear legroom is decent, but the rear seats sit quite a lot higher than the front seats, and our 77 kWh test car only had two rear seats, making it a four-seater rather than a five-seater; if you want a five seater, you need to opt for the smaller 58 kWh battery.

Volkswagen ID.3 2023Volkswagen ID.3 2023

 

VOLKSWAGEN ID.3 DRIVING EXPERIENCE

When you get in the Volkswagen ID.3 there’s no need to switch the car on, because it does this by itself. All you need to do is twist the gear selector to D – or B for increased brake regeneration – and you’re off. The gear selector is positioned on the right-hand side of the driver’s instrument display, which frees up space between the two front seats for storage, but the gear selector is virtually completely blocked from view by the rim of the steering wheel.

Once you’re underway you’ll be aware that the ID.3 has a very smooth powertrain, the overall driving experience is extremely refined, and the ride quality is very comfortable. The rear-wheel drive chassis means rewarding handling, and this eliminates the wheelspin that can happen all too easily with front-wheel drive EVs. Don’t expect to be able to indulge in any power slides, because the traction control system will keep any such behaviour in check. However the traction control system is very well judged – it intervenes very smoothly.

So the overall driving experience of the ID.3 is very likeable, whether you’re driving around town or on a long motorway journey (although if we’re being picky the brakes don’t have much feel). However… the car controls, accessed via the infotainment system, need to be more user-friendly…

Let’s start with the touchscreen, and its lack of conventional permanent shortcut buttons, such as Home, Navigation, Media, Phone. Instead, there’s a blue square at the right-hand side of the screen which you need to press to access more controls. If you press this blue square once, then you get some information on the screen, but you still don’t get a button for navigation. To find navigation, you need to press an icon with a collection of small squares, which brings up another screen with buttons for Navigation, Media, Phone etc. When you do finally get to the navigation screen, you’ll probably get a diagram of previous routes; to get a map, you’ll need to press another button.

There are also no permanent controls on the touchscreen for climate. Under the screen are four buttons, for P Menu, Clima, Assist and Mode. If you press Clima, this brings up heating and ventilation options on the screen, but obliterates whatever you were looking at previously, such as satnav directions.

The Assist button brings up a visual of the car and its surroundings; if you press the blue dotted line, it switches off the lane departure warning system.

The Mode button gives three drive mode options of Eco, Comfort and Sport, as well as Individual. The car appears to stay in the same mode next time you start the car, although there’s no obvious display to show which drive mode you’re in.

There’s a strip of plastic under the touchscreen with temperature and volume controls. If you press the red and blue graphics for the temperature, nothing happens, because you have to press somewhere else instead – above the graphics. Both sets of controls are ‘haptic’ buttons, in other words they don’t click to give you feedback that you’ve pressed them, so you’re never quite sure if you’ve pressed them properly. And you can’t see these controls at night because, amazingly, these buttons aren’t lit up in the dark… we would have expected the ID.3’s updates to address this basic omission.

If you’re looking for front and rear window demister buttons, these are on a small panel between the touchscreen and the driver’s display – lumped in with the light controls.

And then there’s the electric window switches. There are four electric windows, but only two switches – you have to press the button that says ‘rear’ to make the switches work for the rear windows. This sums up the ID.3’s infotainment system: there aren’t enough buttons, which results in too much button-pressing for the driver.

There’s also the issue of when talking to a passenger in the car, the touchscreen is regularly taken over with a message asking “What would you like to do?”, even though you’ve not asked the car for any help.

Volkswagen ID.3 2023Volkswagen ID.3 2023

 

VOLKSWAGEN ID.3 ELECTRIC RANGE AND CHARGING

The Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S 77 kWh has an official WLTP combined electric driving range of 347 miles. After a week on test, with 80% of driving being long journeys, the ID.3’s real-world range was a respectable 314 miles.

The ID.3 Pro S has an energy consumption figure of 4.2 miles/kWh, which translates to it being very efficient. In real-world driving we averaged 4.1 miles/kWh.

Another benefit of the ID.3 is that it can ultra-rapid charge at up to 170 kW, allowing a 10% to 80% charge in 30 minutes.

Three-phase workplace charging at 11 kW will give a 0% to 100% charge in 7 hours 30 minutes, and a 7.2 kW home wallbox will take 12 hours 40 minutes for a 0% to 100% charge.

‘Plug & Charge’ is now included as standard, which means that an ID.3 driver can stop at a charge point, plug the car in, and the EV automatically authenticates itself and starts charging without any action being needed by the driver to use an app, a charge card, or make any payment.

An Electric Vehicle Route Planner can also select charging stops on a route, with the ability to identify if the chargers are in use or not.

Electric cars do not charge at their maximum charge rate for an entire charging session – their charge rate typically starts off high with a battery with a low state of charge, then the charge rate decreases as the battery charge increases. See the charge curve for the Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S 77 kWh from Fastned:

Volkswagen_ID3_Fastned_Q1_2023

How to charge an electric car

Volkswagen ID.3 2023Volkswagen ID.3 2023

 

PRICE AND MODEL RANGE

The Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S 77 kWh 204 PS (MY ‘23) costs £42,870. Our test car had the options of Driver Assistance Pack Plus, including rear view camera (£2,095), Exterior Pack including LED Matrix headlights (£1,725), 20-inch ‘Sanya’ alloy wheels (£1,580), Dark Olivine Green metallic paint with Black Roof (£860), Interior Pack including interior ambient lighting with 30 colour options (including Infinity, Eternity, Desire, Euphoria and Vitality) and Augmented Reality head-up display (£770), mode 2 (3-pin) mains charge cable (£165), carpet mats (£105) and removable luggage compartment floor (£75), taking the total price to £50,245.

The Volkswagen ID.3 can be specified with battery sizes of 58 kWh (Pro) or 77 kWh (Pro S). The Pro S with the larger battery is only a four-seater.

Prices and specifications correct at time of review

Volkswagen ID.3 2023Volkswagen ID.3 2023

Conclusion

The Volkswagen ID.3 is an excellent car overall. The driving experience is very refined, the electric powertrain is responsive, the ride quality is comfortable, and the rear-wheel drive handling is enjoyable. The 77 kWh offers an impressive official WLTP combined driving range of 347 miles, and our 314-mile real-world range came close to this. The ID.3 certainly succeeds in being an efficient car. So with so much going for it, it’s a shame that the infotainment system hasn’t been thought out well enough. The shortcut buttons that you need aren’t there, resulting in too much button-pressing on the touchscreen – which isn’t ideal when you’re driving. If the menu structure on the touchscreen was improved, our review wouldn’t have to focus on the usability challenges so extensively!

The Volkswagen ID.3 is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 9 out of 10.

Car facts and figures Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S 77 kWh 2023 Review

  • Test Range: 314 miles
  • Electric energy consumption combined: 4.2 miles/kWh
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):   £0 year 1
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2020/21): 0%
  • Price:   £42,870
  • Insurance group:   28E
  • Power:   204 PS
  • Torque:   310 Nm
  • Max speed:   99 mph
  • 0-62 mph:   7.9 seconds
  • Weight:   1,933 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor