Volkswagen ID 3

vw id3 review 2023 01 tracking front
Volkswagen’s electric hatchback receives mid-life updates to styling and that much-criticised interior

Here are a few key dates for you: 1938, 1974, and 2020. It’s a chronological sequence that Volkswagen dearly hopes will look right and natural when we gaze back on events in decades to come. That’s how important the cartoon-faced electric Volkswagen ID 3 was to the German car maker when it launched back in 2020. And despite the software glitches that delayed the ID 3’s launch last year, it’s not going so badly. It’s since gone on to become the second best-selling car in Volkswagen’s electric arsenal, behind the combined sales of the larger ID 4 and ID 5.But the firm is in a sticky situation as of late, and it’s hoping that this new, facelifted version of its electric hatch is at least the start of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.You’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing has changed, and most drivers most likely won’t notice the model’s exterior design changes. But take a closer look and you’ll see that the ID 3 now features a much tidier design.The bonnet is cleaner with a sportier look, and new intakes have been added at the front and rear for improved cooling. Volkswagen has also removed the previous car’s rear decals and the ID badge from the front wheel arches, all of which contribute to a more mature look, if subtle. The key changes come inside the car. VW has taken flack for the interiors of its electric cars, which earned a reputation as a hub for scratchy plastics and cheap-looking vinyls. By its own admission, in fact, its interiors were “frustrating”. To make amends, VW has added plusher materials including a new door trim, now a soft fabric consisting of 71% recycled materials. Soft-touch plastics are also abundant, but glossier items do remain.The ID 3’s infotainment system is also due an upgrade with a larger touch screen and back-lit temperature sliders, but frustratingly neither of these features will be introduced until next year. It’s now powered by Volkswagen’s 3.5 software version, but our short time with the system still brought up some technical glitches, plus latency and loading issues as seen in the previous model. But all is not lost though, as the system will again receive continuous improvements through over-the-air updates. The ID 3 range at a glanceThe previous version of the ID 3 offered three specifications, but just two will be offered for the facelift. The previous entry point, a 45kWh battery, is no more.The range now opens with a 58kWh unit (net capacity) with a 201bhp electric motor and 266 miles of range. The ID 3 Pro S features a larger 77kWh battery with the same motor, but with an increased 347 miles of range. While there were six trim levels before, there are just two this time around: S and Pro S. Prices start from £37,115 in the UK, rising to £42,870 for the range-topping Pro S. 
Source: Autocar

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