2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k

The ID.3 Life model costs £29,990 after the plug-in car grant; seven trims available in total

  • Rest of the range available to order from 22 October
  • 1ST launch models have already been delivered
  • Three battery sizes set to be offered

You’ll soon be able to order the Volkswagen ID.3 in cheaper trim levels, with the new entry-level model starting at £29,990 after the government’s £3,000 plug-in car grant.

That price is around £6,000 less than the initial launch cars, and means the ID.3’s starting price is only £125 more than a top-spec diesel Volkswagen Golf. Order books for the rest of the range open on 22 October and deliveries will take place shortly after.

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 UK prices, specifications and equipment packs

Trim levelPrice (after PiCG)Packs fitted
Life£29,990Infotainment, Comfort
Business£33,720Infotainment, Comfort, Design, Assistance
Style£34,180Infotainment, Comfort, Design Plus
Family£34,650Infotainment, Comfort Plus, Design Plus, Assistance
Tech£36,190Infotainment Plus, Comfort, Design Plus, Assistance Plus
Max£38,220All 'Plus' packs + Sport
Tour£39,290Infotainment Plus, Comfort Plus, Design, Assistance Plus

The ID.3 has been positioned as an easy and comfortable way to make the switch to an electric car but its hierarchy of seven trim levels is a little complicated. Most equipment is bundled into packs, such as Comfort and Infotainment, with a ‘Plus’ version of each. But even the cheapest car gets LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless start, 18-inch alloy wheels and parking sensors all-round.

‘Infotainment’ appears on every model and includes a 10-inch sat nav touchscreen, dual Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and two USB-C ports, while Plus adds an upgraded audio system and an augmented reality head-up display. ‘Comfort’ means you get auto wipers, rear USB sockets, heated seats, a heated steering wheel and folding mirrors; Plus brings two-zone climate control and a variable-height boot floor.

Cars with the ‘Design’ pack get matrix LED headlights, ambient lighting, an illuminated headlight strip and tinted windows, while Design Plus cars also feature a large panoramic sunroof. The Assistance pack includes a rear-view camera, keyless entry and illuminating door handles, to which you can add extra safety equipment - including VW’s Travel Assist system - with the Assistance Plus pack.

’Sport’ includes sports suspension and a Plus version with dynamic chassis control is coming later.

Volkswagen ID.3 1ST Edition

The first production run of 30,000 cars have been ID.3 1ST Editions, with the UK version costing £35,880 after the PiCG (£38,880 before the subsidy). Every ID.3 1ST Edition model gets the mid-range 58kWh battery (likely to be the most popular size) for a range of around 260 miles, features fast-charging as standard, and gets a year’s free charging at compatible charging points.

Rivals and styling

The Volkswagen ID.3 rivals the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro and Nissan Leaf.

Volkswagen has managed to make the styling similar to its petrol and diesel-powered cars but with a futuristic touch. The ID.3 is almost the same size as a Volkswagen Golf but has a much stubbier bonnet. The front and rear lights are LED units, while its sleek shape, roof spoiler and fared-in alloy wheels will help aerodynamics and range. Most cars are likely to have a gloss black tailgate and roof, and the concept’s sliding doors have been replaced with conventional versions. The production car will be very slightly bigger than the original concept, due to extra pedestrian safety requirements.

Interior and technology

With batteries under the floor and no conventional engine, the ID.3 offers a surprising amount of space. Despite appearances, four adults will have plenty of room - about as much as you’d get in the larger Volkswagen Passat.

The ID.3 will also feature autonomous technology more prominently than any current VW, with sensors all around the vehicle and multiple cameras. Volkswagen will showcase a new kind of ‘augmented reality’ head-up display, which presents navigation information about the world around you on the windscreen, including which street you need to turn down.

Once it’s been in production for five or so years, VW expects to roll out full ‘Level 5’ autonomy, which will allow the ID.3 to take its occupants from door to door with no driver input. Selecting autonomous mode could even see the car’s headlights feature dynamic patterns that can beckon other vehicles and pedestrians across its path.

Range and charging

If the entry-level ID.3 hatchback meets VW’s promise of being an alternative to a mid-range diesel Golf, it’s likely to have around 120bhp from its electric motor. VW will offer several different battery sizes, with the entry-level version using a 48kWh battery for a range of 205 miles, the mid-range 58kWh model capable of 260 miles and the 77kWh managing a WLTP-certified 342 miles of range. Entry-level versions are also expected to have a single rear-mounted motor powering the rear wheels, while more expensive models are likely to have two motors and four-wheel drive.

The ID.3 has a charging point at the rear of the car offering two types of AC charging (7.2kW and 11kW), as well as DC charging at up to 125kW.

Volkswagen is aiming to make all ID.3s carbon-neutral, offsetting production emissions with currently unnamed climate projects. The company is also forging partnerships with UK companies to provide chargers at hundreds of locations - including 600 at Tesco stores nationwide by 2020. Using a fast 100kW charger, you’ll be able to add around 160 miles of range in just half an hour.

What does it mean for car buyers?

The ID.3 has been billed as one of the most important cars in VW’s history, following in the footsteps of the Beetle and Golf. A confusing trim level line-up and a couple of features not ready for the car’s launch suggest the ID.3’s release may have suffered some disruption. Still, once the car is on sale it should be popular because it brings the familiarity of a Golf with a decent electric range and a hi-tech interior. At the moment, the cheaper trim levels seem to offer the best value-for-money.

If you're looking for an electric hatchback, take a look at our Volkswagen e-Golf and Nissan Leaf reviews, or check out our picks for the best electric cars you can buy now.

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