Volkswagen ID.3 Pro

S

Volkswagen ID.3, 2024, front
Volkswagen ID.3, 2024, nose
Volkswagen ID.3, 2024, side
Volkswagen ID.3, 2024, rear
Volkswagen ID.3, 2024, interior
Volkswagen ID.3, 2024, rear seats
Volkswagen ID.3, 2024, boot

VOLKSWAGEN wasted little time in subjecting its first ID all-electric model, the family-friendly ID.3, to a midlife facelift.

As similarly sized rivals began sprouting at every turn it became quickly apparent that the big guns from Wolfsburg needed to not only raise the bar but set it at a much higher level.

The result is a car that looks sharper, is more comfortable, feels appreciably more upmarket and gives buyers a simple choice of two models, dependent of the size of battery they require.

Buyers can opt for the ID.3 Pro variant with its 58kWh battery, boasting a range of 265 miles, or the Pro S with a 77kWh battery giving a longer range of 347 miles. Prices start at £37,700 and there are various options packs.

If you aren't familiar with Volkswagen's electric line-up and its ID signature, the initials stand for "intelligent design, identity and visionary technologies" and the range also now includes, in ascending size order, ID.4, ID.5, ID.7 and ID.Buzz models.

Built on the adaptable MEB platform designed exclusively for electric cars of which the VW group expect to have built 20 million by 2029, the ID.3 is pretty much the same size as the successful Volkswagen Golf.

And like another icon of the company's heritage, the original Beetle, the ID.3 is rear-wheel drive and the motor and gearbox are located on the rear axle - yet together they weight only 90kg and are compact enough to fit into a gym bag.

It looks very different though, altogether more racy and modern with a sharper overall design as well as a more upmarket interior than before.

Passenger space is plentiful up front and roomy enough to accommodate six-footers in the back, though our Pro S model only has seating for four, unlike the regular Pro version which has a centre rear seat - albeit a perched one.

Boot space is excellent - five litres more than the Golf - at 385 litres and well capable of stowing a pushchair, fold-up cycle or multiple DIY boxes and the rear seats split/fold 60:40. There's also a ski hatch.

Visually the ID.3 cabin looks quite futuristic if fairly minimalist with its two-tone seats, soft touch materials and 10-inch infotainment touchscreen plus a 5.3-inch display behind the steering wheel.

Front and rear parking sensors are also standard along with a parking camera on Pro S but all cars include LED headlights with high beam.

You also get some smart design touches like PLAY and PAUSE symbols on the accelerator and brake, a lit smartphone compartment, door and side panel trim in something called Artvelours Eco (a blend of natural and mainly recycled microfibre materials) as well as ambient lighting with 10 colour options.

Out on the road, the ID.3 is a joy with its light, accurate steering and instant acceleration - particularly from models with the larger battery - and silent way in which it goes about its business.

There's plenty of engagement around country lanes too, while the driver benefits from an optimum driving position and favourable all-round visibility.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S

Price:£43,185

Mechanical:204PS, electric motor powered by 77kWh battery, driving rear wheels via direct drive single speed gearbox

Max Speed:99mph

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Combined MPG:347 miles

Insurance Group:28

Bik rating:2%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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