I wondered long and hard at the meaning of ‘id.3’ and discovered that it means ‘Intelligent Design’, ‘Individual Design’ etc. and the ‘3’ refers of course to its position as the third-generation Volkswagen, its siblings include the first-generation Beetle, the Golf being the second and the forthcoming id.4, an eagerly awaited all-electric SUV.
Talking of siblings, I feel that this car can be underestimated from the publicity and web site images, it looks modest in size, well quite to the contrary – this is a really good size 5-seater family car.
So, to my review – it was a miserable day for the test drive that was brightened considerably by the id.3! This is driving made simple and fun.
A brief introduction to the car taught me that it has a mind of its own, and in my opinion that is an asset; keyless entry and ignition, voice-powered interaction, touch screen controls of tap or slide on a central consul that faces towards the driver, which really pleases me as it illustrates that the car has been designed with the driver as a priority, right-hand drive in this case rather than facing through to the back seats, in a ‘one size fits all’ as is so common with infotainment systems in the id.3’s marketplace.
The car’s controls are very cool and come in a choice of grey or white in terms of the steering wheel, facia and controls and that can be modified with the special edition Saffron Orange. Park mode is either when you open the door or depress a button on the side of the gear handle (knob) behind the steering wheel which also has the controls that we are used to now such as volume, cruise control and lane assist etc.
The body of the car is slick in its lines, a short bonnet to house …absolutely nothing, ample room in the front of the car as is the case for the three back seats and boot – which can be home to suitcases, shopping, tip runs, pushchairs, picnics and the leads associated with the charging of course. The battery takes up the whole footprint of the car, I test drove the 58kWh (one can currently buy the 58kWh and 77kWh and pre-order the 45kWh), which represents 204ps and 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds.
This car has a capacity of 260 miles on one charge and a ‘fast charge’ can provide a good proportion of that battery power in an impressive 30 minutes! One can elect to drive in eco, comfort or sport mode – it would be rude to be out of sport for much of the time, yet the battery life and performance both reflect your choices, but with a top speed of 99mph – why not?
There is a cunning brake regeneration system whereby the car will brake almost unnoticeably as one decelerates and in turn recharge the battery.
The ride is fabulous, the driver’s position is high, with superb 360-degree visibility. One feels safe in this car, it is sturdy in a thoughtful VW way!
I drove on the outside, and country, lanes, I parked, pulled out and answered questions when the id.3 caught the eye of passers-by!
This feels to me like the middle of the electric era and the beginning of the autonomous era, the car has the spirit of a car that could do so much more, we’ll see if my hunch is right when we meet the siblings in due course!
And finally, I have re-established the meaning of id.3 – it’s ‘I Desire’ quite obviously – because when you test drive one, you will! Book yours here: