In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback - Interior & comfort

The Volkswagen ID.3 is certainly futuristic but material quality has suffered

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Interior & comfort Rating

3.5 out of 5

The Volkswagen ID.3 features a futuristic-looking interior design based heavily around touchscreens and touch-sensitive buttons. All the familiar elements of a car interior are here but not quite as you might expect them.

VW ID.3 dashboard

There are few physical controls, and the ID.3’s digital screens are really prominent. The touchscreen infotainment takes centre stage, like it does in the Model 3, and appears to float in front of the dashboard.

Meanwhile, the instrument display sits like a tablet behind the steering wheel. Like in the BMW i3, the gear selector sprouts from the instrument pod, which may take a bit of getting used to but is only needed to select drive, reverse and park. 

A light bar beneath the windscreen changes colours to interact with the driver, glowing white when 'listening' to voice commands, giving directions in blue, warnings in red and showing an incoming call by turning green.

The futuristic approach is not surprising - this is the car that represents a new era for Volkswagen after all - but the drop in quality is more of a shock. Soft-touch materials are sparse, replaced with lots of grey and scratchy plastic that seems a big backwards step for a brand that built its name on quality. Electric cars are expensive to produce and we can only imagine this has made margins tight - especially as the ID.3 isn’t much more expensive than a mid-spec Golf.

Equipment

Rather than a few set trim levels with increasing amounts of equipment, the ID.3 range includes a whole host of models, each with various equipment packs. Trim levels are named with their target audience in mind, and from mid-2021, more options can be added to more affordable versions to help buyers tailor the ID.3 to suit their budget.

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Standard equipment on every ID.3 includes LED headlights, all-round parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, sat nav and keyless start. There’s also a digital dash, lane keep assist and heated front seats on every car from the entry-level Life version.

Style is one of the few trims to get alloy wheels, plus a wider range of ambient lighting colours, keyless entry and a reversing camera. 

The Family model has all that as well as the Comfort Pack Plus, which adds climate control, a variable boot floor and an auto-dimming main mirror. It also has the Design Pack Plus which adds a panoramic sunroof. Max model is the priciest version you can get with the 58kWh battery and has augmented reality head-up display and upgraded speakers, as well as adaptive suspension and the Comfort Pack Plus.

Finally there’s the ID.3 Tour, which has everything bar the adaptive suspension. This is the trim level that comes with the larger 77kWh battery, so it has a longer range than the other models, despite being fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels.

Options

If there's a feature or piece of tech in a higher trim level, the chances are you can add it to any ID.3, but only as part of a pack. For instance, the Infotainment Package Plus adds an augmented reality head-up display system and upgraded speakers for £2,200. The Assistance Package adds a rear-view camera, illuminated door handles and keyless entry and start for just over £1,000, while Sport Package Plus brings adaptive suspension (DCC) for around the same amount. Packs to add design and safety features are also offered. 

Technology 

While the 10-inch infotainment system looks futuristic and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, the move away from physical buttons has made it a little fiddly to use. 

Everything’s accessed through the touchscreen, and even the climate control functions are now changed through touch-sensitive sliders. The ride may be good but you often still prod in the wrong place while driving.

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