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Some quick thoughts on the ID.3

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,036
1,019
Leamington
We picked up my wife's new ID.3 yesterday. I've driven maybe 75 miles (and given it a good wash!), so hardly an exhaustive test, but a few initial observations:

Positive things over the Model 3:
  • Build quality is notably better. Panel gaps are perfect and even. Door and tailgate fit is very precise and they close with a very nice clunk that inspires confidence. Seals on doors and windows look well designed and engineered.

  • Paint quality is great. Less orange peel effect than the Tesla and coverage into non-accessible areas like door jambs etc looks faultless.

  • Cabin noise and refinement is very good. Wind and road noise is better than the Model 3, esp at motorway speeds.

  • Turning circle is very tight - I find the Model 3 a bit of a pain at times with its large circle.

  • Display above the steering wheel is nice to have. I wish the Model 3 had a second display like this.

  • Active Cruise Control is great. It works very well and has none of the phantom braking we get on our Teslas.

  • The interior lighting is lovely with great ambient lighting across the dash and the doors. It feels a nice place to be, despite the hard plastic on the door cards (which are nowhere as bad as the reviewers would have you believe).

  • Buying experience was excellent. Calls were answered and we even got unsolicited call giving us an update on the ordering/delivery process. The car was well prepped when we collected and despite Covid we got more of a briefing/handover than we got with the Tesla last Sept at the Heathrow collection centre. We even got a call this morning from the sales guy asking us if all was going well and thanking us for our business.
Negative things over the Model 3:
  • The software! Yes, it's still a beta release, but as well as missing features, it's also just really clunky. It's slow, unresponsive at times, and buggy. Usability is poor with related functions separated and in hard-to-find places. Then there are annoying things such as not being able to display the battery % unless you have the vehicle stats screen showing on the main display, which means you lose the sat nav, music display etc. None of it is really gelling with me at the moment - it feels a bit of a mess. I'll probably get used to it, but I pity anyone who's not tuned into computer interfaces (which applies to my wife actually so I'll need to do a cheat-sheet for her). I get the impression that it is an evolution of earlier VW software rather than a clean-sheet design. It feels very "under-developed" from a UI perspective and does not address well what an EV user would want out of it.

    On top of all this, there are huge bits of functionality missing in the beta release - Carplay/Android Auto, scheduled charging, navigation that can plan a charging stop if needed to reach the destination, and more. The software weaknesses extend to the mobile app which is similarly slow and buggy (and severely lacking in features).

    This all sounds pretty bad, but it's not so bad as to make the car unusable (or even unlikable) - but VW have a hill to climb to get anywhere near to Tesla. There's a big release just going out now (ME2) which adds many of the missing features (and hopefully improves the responsiveness and fixes the bugs) - but early cars like ours will need it installing via the dealer since OTA isn't supported in the beta. I'm hopeful that things will improve with that, and then incrementally thereafter. But I assume the basic UI design will not be changed so my expectations are appropriately calibrated. Time will tell!

  • The regen isn't as strong or as fluid to use as the Model 3. Single pedal driving is not possible since it won't go down to a stop - it cuts out at about 5mph necessitating use of the brake pedal. More annoyingly, it's always in "creep" mode.

  • The sound system is a definite step down from the Tesla. It's perfectly acceptable, but the Model 3's system is the best stock sound system I've ever experienced.

  • Performance is OK - faster than my wife's old Golf so a perfectly good replacement - but it's not a Tesla!
Neutral:
  • The car drives well, but so does the Tesla. They are different, but both nice cars to drive and be in.

  • Interior materials are better than I thought they'd be. I was ready for a cheap-feel to the interior given that all the reviews complained bitterly about the hard plastics on the door cards - but actually it's just fine. Maybe not quite as plush as the Model 3, but given that it's £15k cheaper I'm more than happy with it.

  • Consumption. I did a drive back home this evening of about 25 miles. Consumption was 270 Wh/mi which given that it was cold, damp and dark I'm pretty happy with.

  • Charging seems fine. Home charging just worked off the bat at 32A with my EVBox 7kW charger, and a quick stop at a Shell Recharge 50kW charger was uneventful (it just worked). I've not had time to look at charge rates etc, but more detailed reviews show that it's broadly similar to the SR+ in the real world even if the headline max charge rate is limited to 100kW.
So there you have it! Overall, I'd say that VW have done an extremely good job of the basic car design and their construction processes and quality controls show that Tesla still have a way to go in that department. However, the software badly lets it down. I really hope that the ME2 release represents a big step up, but my suspicion is that the core code rests on an older architecture and UI that will continue to hamper VW's efforts. It's not a deal-breaker, esp for anyone who hasn't had the delights of a Tesla beforehand, but it's the car's biggest disappointment for sure.

Finally, a few pics - it's pretty, esp in the turquoise.

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Neilman

Member
Mar 27, 2020
257
152
Southampton, UK
Rear end looks quite low down - what's the rear view mirror like?
That centre-console looks almost like an "aftermarket add-on" - kind-of looks like it doesn't belong there.
Otherwise it looks quite good really.
 

mrobins64495

Member
Aug 23, 2019
357
135
bedfordshire
Don’t mind it, but the interior is a problem for me personally.

I also did a quick finance check on the similar range to the LR and it’s as expensive per month over 15000 miles as my lease which wouldn’t work for me personally.
 

nxsynjs

Member
Jul 5, 2020
225
169
UK
OP. I had a test drive and from that brief time I would agree with your assessment. I would add however is that VW have created something designed to be as "normal" and inoffensive as possible. It doesn't drive or look cutting edge and so is ideal for someone who wants an EV, but also wants a "playing it safe" EV
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,036
1,019
Leamington
Rear end looks quite low down - what's the rear view mirror like?
That centre-console looks almost like an "aftermarket add-on" - kind-of looks like it doesn't belong there.
Otherwise it looks quite good really.
It's not as good as the Golf it replaces, but it's not too bad. It's no worse than the Model 3, and maybe a little better in that you know it's basically the end of the car!

Centre console is better in the flesh, but I agree they could have done a better job/
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,036
1,019
Leamington
Don’t mind it, but the interior is a problem for me personally.

I also did a quick finance check on the similar range to the LR and it’s as expensive per month over 15000 miles as my lease which wouldn’t work for me personally.
I think at the RRP they are overpriced. There are some great deals at the moment, but they are only on the currently-available models, so I guess the 77kWh versions will have monthlies reflecting the RRP so probably up there with the Model 3.

Interior is nicer in the flesh than the photos.
 
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pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,036
1,019
Leamington
Two questions, assuming both cars equally accessible.

15 minute trip to the shops - which car?
100 mile return trip, including A roads and motorway - which car?

Same for the wife?
Early days, but I don't think I'd mind using either. The ID.3 is more manoeuvrable and a bit smaller so arguably better for the shopping trip. The 100 mile trip - hmmm ... the Tesla would give me more performance, but OTOH the ID.3 is a bit quieter and the ACC wouldn't keep phantom-braking!

However, if it were a 300 mile or longer round trip, the Tesla SuC network would remove a lot of the anxiety.

Wife would probably go for the ID.3 because she finds the Tesla just that bit too big.
 
Last edited:

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,036
1,019
Leamington
One other point I didn't mention though is the lights. The ID.3 has amazing headlights. They are LED matrix lights so you can leave them in main beam and they will do all sorts of trickery to stop blinding other drivers but still provide a lot of illumination. I used it on an hour's driving tonight and didn't have a single person flash me. The Tesla lights are fine, but these are at another level.
 

Latibes

Member
Sep 13, 2019
149
52
London
Saw an ID3 in black the other day and wasn't impressed, the colour you have is far better. The all black gave the rear end a weird look without colour to break up the lines
 

mrobins64495

Member
Aug 23, 2019
357
135
bedfordshire
I think at the RRP they are overpriced. There are some great deals at the moment, but they are only on the currently-available models, so I guess the 77kWh versions will have monthlies reflecting the RRP so probably up there with the Model 3.

Interior is nicer in the flesh than the photos.

Agreed. Once the deals start it’ll be fine. Interior wise I couldn’t get on with it when I sat in one. I wanted to love it as it’d make a good high mileage run around but it felt cheap. I sat in an Zoe opposite and it felt like a nicer car which shocked me.

Then as above there was the price. The Zoe could be bought for 230 a month over 15k miles and the ID3 was double.
 

Battpower

Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2019
1,967
1,942
Uk
I sat in an Zoe opposite and it felt like a nicer car which shocked me.

Then as above there was the price. The Zoe could be bought for 230 a month over 15k miles and the ID3 was double

On 3rd Zoe (plus Raven S LR) and I love the Renault. I find it hard to believe its already several years since release and imo always been ahead of competition like Leaf. Obviously the S isn't really a shopping car (certainly not ideal in the UK!), but I can say that as a run-around I find the Zoe excellent. It has some pretty weak (rapid wearing) lower ball joints but over all simple, functional and easy to live with. My 40kwh battery is still at 94% capacity after 3 years 30k miles so happy with that.

The latest model seems just as good and pushes the same design brief even further.

My friend (also previously Zoe owner) went for eGolf which he likes and looked closely at ID3. Said the software was far too 'beta' and far too clunky. He is happy with the Golf. I can see keeping the Zoe for several more years.
 

mrobins64495

Member
Aug 23, 2019
357
135
bedfordshire
On 3rd Zoe (plus Raven S LR) and I love the Renault. I find it hard to believe its already several years since release and imo always been ahead of competition like Leaf. Obviously the S isn't really a shopping car (certainly not ideal in the UK!), but I can say that as a run-around I find the Zoe excellent. It has some pretty weak (rapid wearing) lower ball joints but over all simple, functional and easy to live with. My 40kwh battery is still at 94% capacity after 3 years 30k miles so happy with that.

The latest model seems just as good and pushes the same design brief even further.

My friend (also previously Zoe owner) went for eGolf which he likes and looked closely at ID3. Said the software was far too 'beta' and far too clunky. He is happy with the Golf. I can see keeping the Zoe for several more years.

they are surprisingly good. We’re holding out for the new Fiat 500 electric. Seen a couple of reviews looks great and everyone raves about them so far.
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,036
1,019
Leamington
On 3rd Zoe (plus Raven S LR) and I love the Renault. I find it hard to believe its already several years since release and imo always been ahead of competition like Leaf. Obviously the S isn't really a shopping car (certainly not ideal in the UK!), but I can say that as a run-around I find the Zoe excellent. It has some pretty weak (rapid wearing) lower ball joints but over all simple, functional and easy to live with. My 40kwh battery is still at 94% capacity after 3 years 30k miles so happy with that.

The latest model seems just as good and pushes the same design brief even further.

My friend (also previously Zoe owner) went for eGolf which he likes and looked closely at ID3. Said the software was far too 'beta' and far too clunky. He is happy with the Golf. I can see keeping the Zoe for several more years.
The worst car we ever owned was a Renault (Scenic) so I'm highly prejudiced against them as a brand. Irrational I'm sure, but there it is.
 

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