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New Volkswagen ID.3 facelift brings highly-requested improvements

Volkswagen has revealed an updated version of its MG4 and Cupra Born rival

  • Tweaked exterior and improved interior
  • UK doesn’t get larger touchscreen
  • Due on sale later in 2023

Just two-and-a-half years after it originally launched, the Volkswagen ID.3 has been given an early mid-life facelift. Volkswagen says the update for its smallest electric model has been heavily based on customer feedback, with the new car getting a tweaked exterior design, plus improved interior quality and tech.

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Pricing for the new ID.3 is yet to be revealed, though the outgoing car has gradually crept up in price over the last few months – now starting from just under £40,000. That’s almost £13,000 more than a basic MG4 EV, but still on par with other competitors such as the Cupra Born, Renault Megane E-Tech and Kia Niro EV. 

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The new ID.3 will be available with the same two batteries as before, but a shorter-range version is expected to arrive in the near-future, which should hopefully make the entry point into the lineup slightly more affordable.

2023 Volkswagen ID.3: design

Not a huge amount has changed on the exterior of the ID.3, but eagle-eyed readers will notice that the facelifted car now has a new body-coloured bonnet, without any of the outgoing model’s gloss-black elements. You also get a redesigned front bumper, which features ‘air curtains’ to channel air down the side of the car and, in turn, make the car more slippery and efficient. 

Buyers now have more colours to choose from – including the striking Dark Olivine Green seen here – while, at the rear, the facelifted ID.3 gets a set of redesigned tail-lights. These incorporate LED technology, which creates an ‘X’ shape and illuminates all the way into the bootlid – just like on the Volkswagen Polo.

Interior and technology

One of our key criticisms of the Volkswagen ID.3 is that while it is supposed to sit parallel to the petrol-powered Volkswagen Golf in the German brand’s lineup, it fails to match its combustion-engined sibling in terms of interior quality. 

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It seems ID.3 owners agreed, and Volkswagen has responded by adding more soft-touch materials to the cabin – namely on the doors and dashboard. VW was also proud to admit that, in its focus on sustainability, all the fabrics used in the interior of the ID.3 are animal-free, while the suede-effect trim is constructed from 71% recycled plastics.

However, while European-spec cars now benefit from a larger 12-inch display, UK buyers must make-do with the current 10-inch setup that we found to often be laggy and unresponsive. The lack of illumination for the fiddly touch-sensitive climate control sliders was another sticking point, and hasn’t yet been rectified. 

Volkswagen has said that UK cars will run an updated and refined version of the software with smarter route planning and quicker access to certain menus – we’ll make sure to give our verdict on this as soon as we get our hands on the facelifted car. A larger 12.9-inch screen will be fitted to UK cars next year though, along with a much-requested backlight for the climate controls.

Range, electric motors and specs

The electric motor and battery lineup for the Volkswagen ID.3 is unchanged; all cars come with a 201bhp rear-mounted electric motor, which propels the car from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. An even faster ID.3 GTX version is in the works with a more powerful rear-wheel-drive setup and a host of other performance tweaks.

Buyers can choose from one of two battery configurations: the 58kWh Pro and the 77kWh Pro S. Entry-level Pro models are claimed to be able to return up to 265 miles on a single charge, while Pro S models can manage up to 339 miles. As previously mentioned, a  smaller battery version is planned to arrive later on – possibly with a range of around 220 miles, surpassing that of the base MG4 EV.

As standard, the ID.3 can utilise 120kW ultra-rapid charging speeds, while the Pro S model can charge at speeds of up to 170kW – the same as the recently-launched ID. Buzz minibus. Charging both ID.3 models at their maximum capacity from 10-80% should take around half an hour.

Exact trim levels and specifications will be revealed closer to when the new Volkswagen ID.3 goes on sale later in 2023.
 

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