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.
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.