Volkswagen reveals the updated VW ID.3

Max McDee, 01 March 2023

Volkswagen unveiled what it calls a second generation of VW ID.3 - its electric pioneer. The old ID.3 has been introduced over 2 years ago as the first production electric VW but it hasn’t had an easy life. It quickly became the source of constant complaints from customers who struggled with its glitchy infotainment system. VW wants us to believe the second generation fixes all the problems.

First off the exterior has been updated, there are new bumpers, new lights and new colors. Top it off with new aero-friendly alloy wheels and the VW ID.3 starts looking all grown up and serious, no longer the pioneer but a leader in its group.

Volkswagen reveals the updated VW ID.3

The more aggressive front bumper gives the car a more sporty look, the hood is longer and gone is the plastic trim that made the old hood look small and narrow.

The headlights and taillights have been updated, there are optional matrix LED items available and those will display welcome and goodbye sequences but their main purpose is to improve night driving.

Volkswagen reveals the updated VW ID.3

The interior is where the biggest change happened but it’s difficult to spot at a first glance. Design is the same but the materials are different, there are far more soft fabrics and there is extra cushioning in many places. Previous owners all complained about the car feeling harsh and plasticky in comparison with VW Golf.

The company took those complaints seriously and now the ID.3 feels properly plush - the dashboard is covered in double-stitched fabric, the door panels are soft and have more elbow support. There’s new ambient lighting as well to spice things up a bit.

Can you spot the difference? Can you spot the difference?

VW desperately needs as much distraction on the inside to stop people paying attention to its infotainment. Because that has not been changed. VW claims they made a huge change by moving the charging menu, which was previously buried in an obscure sub-menu, to the main screen - and they did do it.

Finally, after more than two years of people getting lost and frustrated in VW’s confusing control system, the company graciously moved the charging to the main screen. Once again, it took VW 2 years to do it and it claims it’s a generational change.

Find as many differences as you can Find as many differences as you can

And that’s it, that’s where the big changes end. The screens are exactly the same, UK drivers still can’t get the 12-inch center screen and are stuck with the 10-inch item because the whole thing is not designed for right-hand-drive vehicles. There still is no way to safely adjust heating or volume at night without using a torch. VW promises this will be addressed some time in 2024 when the ID.3 will get a new infotainment system.

Somehow VW managed to sneak in an interesting update to the infotainment though. The navigation system is a bit smarter and can calculate routes with multiple charging stops and it can pick fast chargers over the slow ones. But the sneaky bit is the inclusion of temporary menu items - these are paid-for subscription options that can last as little as one month.

Yes, VW is quietly jumping on the subscription bandwagon and is starting with 30-color ambient lighting instead of standard 10-color setup. Some markets will see dual-zone climate control as an add-on or the smart navigation can be a subscription item. Thankfully the VW ID.3 supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto out of the gate.

The ID.3 is still the same spritely 5-door hatchback that we became fond of. It’s not super fast, depending on the market it either comes with the 204 hp electric motor or 150 hp version. The batteries for now remain the same - either 45 kWh or 77 kWh. Top speed is still limited to 160 km/h (99 mph) but there is a GTX version on the way and apparently it will come with as much as 299 hp output - but not AWD. Oh no, the ID.3 GTX will be rear-wheel drive electric hot-hatch.

Volkswagen reveals the updated VW ID.3

Volkswagen is addressing supply issues with adding Wolfsburg as a manufacturing site to the already existing Zwickau and Dresden sites. This should cut the waiting times once the car goes officially on sale by the end of spring. The deliveries are expected to follow a few months later and yes, the prices will very likely be higher.

The ID.3 will remain the best selling model for much longer because it is exactly what we need, despite its shortcomings it offers plenty of room, good range and it is fun to drive plus the cheaper versions are almost affordable. With the better quality interior it is getting harder to say no to ID.3 - all it needs now is a usable infotainment system.

Volkswagen reveals the updated VW ID.3



Reader comments

same battery and range ? lol ...



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