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Volkswagen ID.3 shows a bright electric future

Thursday, 29th October, 2020 10:17am

Arguably, the ID.3 is the most important, the most significant new car of the year, and it came close to edging out the Puma for our top spot.

An all-electric model, it sits on Volkswagen’s new MEB electric car platform, which will not only spawn a whole family of VW-badged electric cars (including the imminent Tiguan-sized ID.4 SUV and next year’s ID.5 Passat-alike) but will, as is the Volkswagen way, also spin off into a huge range of cars from the rest of the VW empire, with Skoda, Seat, and Audi badges.

It’s also the five-years-in-the-baking apology from VW for its diesel emissions scandal, sort of a way of saying ‘we messed up on diesel, but here’s a really good zero-emissions car to say sorry’. Given that the climate crisis has erupted in the years since, the ID.3 could not have arrived at a better time.

Time is possibly one thing that VW should have taken a little more of, though — the software for the big infotainment screen remains slightly unfinished, and as a result it can be glitchy and annoying when it comes to doing things such as connecting a telephone or even just turning on the A/C.

However, the fundamentals of the ID.3 are little short of terrific — it has a very decent 420km one-charge range, and under realistic conditions should easily put 300km between charge-ups. With 204hp, it’s smooth and powerful, and very slick to drive, with an exceptionally comfy ride quality.

It’s also massively spacious and welcoming inside, with a big, airy cabin. It won’t replace the Golf, or at least it won’t just yet, but this is a big, and impressive, step into the electric car future.

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