VW ID.3 Prototype Driven: Are You Sure You Still Want That Golf?

Volkswagen’s electric revolution is coming our way fast – and the ID.3 compact EV is the first of a big family of battery-powered vehicles promised by Wolfsburg.

Of course, the German carmaker already sells electric vehicles such as the e-Golf and e-Up, but those are compromises that haven’t been developed from the ground up as EVs. The ID.3, on the other hand, is a different story.

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Autocar had a quick go in a late development prototype and shared with us some interesting things about the compact EV, such as the fact that it feels roomier than a VW Golf Mk7 inside, despite the fact that the ID.3 is actually shorter.

That’s obviously due to the packaging enabled by the electric powertrain, although placing the batteries in the vehicle floor means that headroom is just about the same as in the Golf even though the ID.3 is taller. The location of the battery pack also has an impact on the driving position, which is a bit high although still perfectly comfortable.

So what is it like to drive? Bearing in mind that this was not a final production vehicle, the ID.3 feels like a bigger car and that’s due to the fact that it’s heavier than the average ICE-powered compact hatch. Depending on the battery size, it weighs between between 1,600 kg and 1,700 kg (3,527-3,748 lbs).

The fact that it’srear-wheel-drive is not that obvious from behind the wheel, as the ID.3 is definitely no sports car. In terms of performance, the top-spec 201 hp (204 PS) model feels quick but the reviewer did not seem blown away by it, probably because the weight dulls things a bit. It’s probably too early to say whether or not the ID.3 will become as significant as the Beetle or the Golf for Volkswagen but the first signs are promising.


  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Are You Sure You Still Want That Golf?
    Who said anything about wanting a golf?

    • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

      the golf its the bestsellingcar in europe so alot of people want vw golf.

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        I see.

  • Paulo Almeida

    The ID.3 is only marginally shorter … 5 mm, that is not even worth mentioning.
    ID.3 :
    – Length: 4,261 mm
    – Width: 1,809 mm
    – Height: 1,552 mm
    – Wheelbase: 2,765 mm

    Golf Mk7:
    – Length: 4,268 mm
    – Width: 1,799 mm
    – Height: 1,452 mm
    – Wheelbase: 2,626 mm

    • scjeff

      8 – 1 = 7

      I totally agree with your sentiment though, 7mm is hardly anything.

      • ThatGuy

        Off the topic for the hatch lovers.

        VW Tiguan:
        – Length: 4,486 mm
        – Width: 1,839 mm
        – Height: 1,673 mm
        – Wheelbase: 2,681 mm

        Prefer to buy the cheaper hatch there.

  • uS’gedlemba

    Are these VW articles paid for?

  • TheBelltower

    They need to get the efficiency up so that it’s on par with the class leaders, and hurry with their charging infrastructure.

  • Felipe Politano

    I’m betting the ID-3 nameplate won’t last more than a decade since it is sure set to become the next Golf. VW should have called it the Golf ID or something already.

  • Six Thousand Times

    With any luck, solid state batteries will be lighter and that will bring handling benefits to the electric car.

  • ThatGuy

    I have seen articles alot on this vehicle, like a giant marketing campaign.
    This car will price majority of people out of its market

    • Matt

      You’ve seen a lot of articles because this could become the best-selling EV on the market and is Germany’s big attempt to enter the ‘affordable’ EV market with a ground-up model. Also considering VW has invested billions into this platform, you would expect them to have a marketing campaign to gain interest.

      • ThatGuy

        Matt i totally understand your point, however affordable and VW dont sit well with me ever since the Glf MK 6. This car in my opinion will be priced just under the GTI or equivalent to the 2.0 TDI, meaning i my opinion is not that affordable as an EV for the mass market. At that range it will be out of the price range of the “people”.

        I know that was a ramble, but there are many EV’s out there, they just dont have the VW economy of scale and size. Plus i will bet real money this will be expensive.

        $ 25,000.00 or slightly lower is expensive for many, then there is range, charging stations, time and all the other things that give the expensive Tesla its drawbacks.

        Plus charging at home will cost you alot. Lights bills will far outway any fuel proposition.
        Though i like and commend VW for this push, overhyping and expensive “nice to have” irks me.

        But that me an how i see it, not all the facts from my side to keep this short, but the main points is why i like the car but pass by.

    • Vassilis

      As most EVs have… How much is the Leaf or the Zoe?

      • ThatGuy

        Leaf is $ 29,000.00 for 150 miles range. VW will beat this out i will assume, as they like to be the bench mark. The leaf will not have the speed, quality, range or reliability.
        The ZOE is $27,000.00 for a Clio sized EV. WHile i am biased to Renault the Zoe is a no thanks like its sister company same issues.
        So they priced out families and have a sort of range but not family school runs and daily range. WIth these two vehicles i get that range anxiety issue.

        • Vassilis

          So I think that shows there’s really no affordable EV yet and there won’t be for some time.

  • SteersUright

    Rear drive? Awesome. There may be some real potential here!

  • Benoît Etienne

    i love how EV power trains are getting so compact.

  • erly5

    VW late to the party as usual yet getting all the hype. Nissan, Renault, BMW and Tesla, to name but a few, have been doing this for years.

  • Vassilis

    I’m still struggling to understand your point and the negativity towards this car in particular. Your complaint is that it isn’t more affordable? It’s priced similarly to its competitors.

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