The Volkswagen ID.3 Might Just Replace Your Golf

After many months of waiting, Volkswagen has finally stripped the ID.3 of its camouflage at the Frankfurt Motor Show. According to the automaker, it’s set to be it’s third ‘most important’ launch ever…

Sitting With The Beetle And Golf 

Volkswagen has a lot of faith in the ID.3, the first model in the I.D. series. So much so that it expects the all-electric to prove to be as iconic as the Beetle or Golf. That’s a pretty bold statement, given that the model represents new territory for the automaker. This isn’t, after all, an electrified version of a pre-existing diesel or petrol; it’s a new beast altogether, built on an electric powertrain from the ground up; upon the ‘MEB’ platform, in fact, that VW will be using for all of its upcoming EV models. But can it really rival models that sold millions of vehicles for the company over many decades?

What’s Inside 

A car looking to take on the Golf needs to have a lot going for it. Fortunately, looking at the stats, the ID.3 seems to show some promise. Unlike previous electric models from VW (like the e-Golf), the ID.3 actually had a range worth getting excited about. It sits between 205 and 340 miles, based on WLTP calculations; depending on which battery option you go for. But this span suggests a broad range of appeal for the vehicle; whether as a largely urban offering or something for the more itinerant motorist. The cheapest level uses a 45 kWh battery that can charge to 180-mile capability within half an hour. In other words, this is a practical EV regardless of what trim you opt for.

The interior is spacious, having dispensed with the cumbersome arrangements of ICE vehicles. A shorter bonnet and short overhangs leaves plenty of interior space for the driver and passengers. As as car for the 21st century, the cabin is about as futuristic as you might expect. Minimalist by design, buttons have been replaced with touch-sensitive haptic controls; most of which sit on the 10.0-inch display and the steering wheel. As Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID family, said “the ID.3 is an all-rounder that is suitable for everyday use. It is compact, as such offering the manoeuvrability of a small car with the interior space of a mid-range vehicle. It combines exciting design with innovative technology and significant range.”

The Car Or The Trend?

As soon as the first edition of the ID.3 came up for pre-order, VW was overloaded with orders; so much so that its website crashed under the weight of the traffic. It sold out within days. But when VW suggests the car will be as iconic as the Golf, one has to wonder at what precisely they mean. From a purely technical standpoint, the model will undoubtedly secure historic relevance for itself. It’s the first mass-market EV to come from a legacy automaker. It’s accessible to a broad market and has a sufficient amount of range to render it viable for people who need to drive further than their local grocers. But what about the car in of itself? We’re not sure, not yet.

Despite an enormous amount of investment and press coverage, electric vehicles remain niche. In the UK, they make up around 1% of the market. So, whilst the ID.3 may pave the way for mass-adoption, it has an enormous battle ahead if it wishes to match even a quarter of the sales figures of the Beetle or Golf. Either way, we wish it well; for VW’s sake and the future of the emissions crisis. If you’d like an ID.3, expect to pay under £27,000 for the entry level or around £35,000 for the top-end versions.

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