ID.3 Family - my thoughts

I thought I would offer my (initial) thoughts on the ID.3…

Pre-warning - this is all a bit rambling and long and disjointed so apologies in advance.

In no particular order:

It feels huge compared to the e208 - a bit like driving a van, with the big (normal sized) steering wheel, high seating position, big windscreen, short bonnet, and also the individual arm rests.

I think it drives really well though when on the move - so smooth and refined, very good ride quality, and handling is better than the Kona for sure. RWD is a big bonus for me - it just feels so much more ‘mature’ and unflustered with no torque steer or even a hint of wheel spin.

It’s plenty quick enough for just about anyone - it definitely has the extra bit of oomph that was missing in the e208, and it’s much easier to make use of the power than it was in the FWD Kona.

That said, it doesn’t (for now) particularly feel fun to drive like the e208 and even more so the i3 did. It’s amazingly well composed and comfortable and handles well, but it’s not particularly fun.

I think it looks really smart externally especially with the Andoya wheels. I’d go as far as saying I prefer it over the e208. Very pleased with the silver colour.

Overall quality in terms of a general feeling of solidity, boot/ door closing sound/feel, overall fit and and finish etc is definitely there. I haven’t really got a problem with the appearance of the material inside - even the door card which lots of reviews tend to mention. I just don’t think I spend that long looking at bits like that. That said, a few bits do stand out to me as not being that great - but that’s not because of how they look but how they feel. Main one so far is the door arm rests are insufficiently padded and are inconsistent with the central arm rests (which are nicely padded). The other one is the gear selector doesn’t offer enough resistance for my liking - the i3’s was nicer.

Display quality of the screens is excellent-the best yet. Super sharp, and it really makes a noticeable difference to how nice it is using CarPlay on it.

The driver’s display is nice but sort of frustrating - battery SoC% is the obvious thing missing but also it could just generally bit a bit larger so didn’t have to compromise on what’s showing.

Seats are very firm vs the e208. I was really comfortable in the Peugeot seats, so this will take some getting used to. I haven’t immediately found a comfortable driving position. The steering wheel doesn’t go low enough for my liking - even in the lowest position it’s still quite angled so I sort of feel like I’m driving a van quite often.

General feeling is that it’s quite a fancy car - with the pano roof, multi colour mood lighting, exterior lighting displays, ID light etc etc. Similar to the e208 in that regard, and something the Kona didn’t do for me.

Something I didn’t really expect is that is seems to be quite a head-turner - already had one chap in the car next to me get me to lower my window at a red light to ask about the car.

Rear visibility seems poor, due mainly I think to the rear headrests - particularly the central one. I actually went to lower it thinking it had been left up only to find it was already as low as it goes.

ACC (in operation) seems great - smooth and reliable. Still need to experiment with the different options in terms of having eco-assist on or off and seeing which I prefer in different circumstances.

Steering feels quite heavy compared to the e208 - for some reason I expected the ID.3’s steering to be very light, but I’m pleasantly surprised by the weighting. I will miss the e208’s small wheel though.

Stereo is acceptable. e208 was better.

The electric windows do that thing which I think seems unrefined and a bit cheap of just smashing into the top and bottom position at full whack, instead of doing it with more control.

The window wipers are a bit weird (obviously were designed for a LHD car), and there’s an oddly long delay between pulling the stalk to get screen wash and it actually appearing on the screen.

Central cubby area is nice, big and feels well made… but the wireless charger is going to have to be for occasional short use as it heated my phone up to the point of it shutting down.

Pano roof is nice - was nice this morning on a dingy autumn day to have the shade open letting more light in. I can see it being something that might actually be more useful in winter and just either side rather than in summer when it will probably need to stay shut quite often.

Haven’t had need to test it yet, but the rear passenger and boot space is great - it’s on another level compared to the Kona.

And now the main bad points… (with the proviso that I fully expect to become more accustomed to these aspects over time).

Touch sensitive buttons - I don’t know what they were thinking really. It’s not really just that they are touch sensitive but also the positioning and the fact that some aren’t backlit at night.

In the first 24 hours I’ve accidentally:

  • Activated the central locking switch on the door.
  • Activated the electric window lock.
  • Turned on the hazard warning lights on a motorway.
  • Changed the volume when I wanted to change the temperature.
  • Changed the ACC distance when I wanted to change the set speed
  • Changed the ACC set speed when I wanted to the change the distance

I just find it pretty amazing that VW bosses signed off on it like it is. Like I said I’m sure I’ll get more used to it all, but it’s not good. I’ve seen plenty of comments from owners on other forums sort of defending it for one reason or another, but I think if most of them were really honest with themselves they’d accept that at least some of the touch sensitive controls need to be removed / relocated / redesigned, and the car would be better for it.

Media system - it’s acceptable, but it needs further improvement. Touchscreens just aren’t a sensible solution for interaction when driving. It’s just common sense. More manufacturers need to provide a rotary controller like BMW / Mazda.

Voice control - seems fairly hopeless a lot of the time. The i3’s was better. I’ll give it time though.

Miscellaneous (unless I just haven’t found it yet)

There doesn’t seem to be any indication of what radio station you’ve changed to unless you have the radio widget / app displayed. So if you are navigating via CarPlay and change the station via the steering wheel buttons, you have no indication of what you changed to.

No way of changing audio source via the steering wheel. Will be the first car I’ve had in a long time that has this omission.

ID light thing - meh, seems like a bit of a gimmick so far rather than anything really useful.

Headlights - very good. I hadn’t really appreciated that the matrix thing is also useful when driving on a straight road behind other vehicles … it means the hedgerows etc either side of you are lit much better. Tried it on the motorway for 10 mins and nobody on either side flashed or made any indication of being annoyed. Probably won’t use it on motorways again though just in case.

Autohold works alright but the brakes grab and creak when coming to a stop - like all EVs I’ve had bar the i3.

Overall, it’s very nice but I don’t feel like it’s super amazing wonderful.

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Great to see your in depth feedback, il keep mine on order then as it seems like a good car.

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I think I agree with your overall assessment @BillN – Very nice without being super amazing wonderful.

If I could have the i3 with the motorway presence / slightly larger size and range of the ID.3 I’d be even more happy (particularly iDrive and the BMW steering wheel). I don’t find the touch sensitive buttons as irritating as others and do find you get used to them pretty quickly, I’m hopeful that you will too!

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Good read.

Same thoughts here so far pretty much as yours. I got so used to the 208 driving position and feel of it that this feels like driving a really fast van. Even though this is a golf sized car. I’m sure I’ll get used to that.

As an audiophile I’m noticing the difference in speakers between the two also.

I think I’ll be fine once I decide on a seating position but just can’t at the moment. If u find one akin to the 208 let me know

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Great write up @BillN

A couple of comments from me…

Touch sensitive buttons - They haven’t been a problem for me. I’ve knocked them once or twice. Also accidentally changed the main screen using gesture control a few times. However, I don’t really have an issue with them. Saying that, I don’t find them any advantage whatsoever over regular buttons, so if I had the choice, I’d go for buttons every time.

ID light - Agreed , it’s a gimmick. I like the fact that it shows you the SoC when you start to charge but I’d love to be able to bring that up again at the touch of a button. I can’t find a way to reactivate it after it goes off. Also, I like the turning prompts from the ID light. Otherwise, it’s a wasted feature. I’m sure they could come up with some more uses for it if they only thought about it for 10 minutes!

Gear selector - I love it. It’s the quickest car I’ve had for getting in and driving off, also, switching from drive to reverse and vice versa. It’s interesting that you want more resistance. I guess that’s just a subjective thing?

Media System - I’m torn. On the one hand it looks lovely but on the other, there are features hidden away that are so hard to find and annoying quirks like having to drag (or swipe) over to see the song playing etc.

Overall, I’ll miss my ID.3 when swapping next week. I guess I’ll find out how much after I’ve had the eC4 for a few weeks and the new car shine has worn off.

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It is a great car - just let down a bit I think by some of the technology choices made on the interior.

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Yeah Mrs Bill and I were reminiscing a bit about the i3 this morning when doing 70 on the motorway in the ID.3 in total serenity… the i3 was definitely a different experience on motorways!

I’m pretty sure I’ll get more used to where not to rest my hand / wrist to avoid accidentally turning stuff on/off, and I reckon eventually, even in pitch dark, I’ll learn and store in muscle memory where to press to change the temperature etc.

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@BillN that was an awesome read and a great perspective - I’m liking the ID3 even more on the back of that :raised_hands:

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Thinking of swapping our 2008 for the ID3 family. Has anyone done this and would they recommend it?

I went from the E2008 to the ID3 Life.
I wasn’t keen on the E2008 at first but I did get use to it.

The ID3 is a better driving car. Just done 600 miles today and it performed well in the mixed weather. I’ve done a few long runs now and I would say the E2008 is a good town family car and the ID3 is more of a drivers car. I found the seats ok on long trips also.

You will feel that there is something missing when you get into the ID3 due to is design.
Everything you need is in the ID3 Family (if you need a reversing camera and a sunroof) and I have got pretty quick with the info system. It will play videos from a usb while you charge if you want to.

The touch pads on the steering wheel are not the best but again you will adjust.

You will find ID3 will beat the pants off the E2008 when it comes to range on a motorway. The ACC system is very good but does get fooled by some road signs and you have to stop it zooming to 70 in a 50. It’s an aid not a full driving system.

To answer your question, my answer is YES, but as with any car you need to satisfy yourself with Needs and Wants. Meeting your ‘needs’ and then look at everything else a car has you may want.

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This is helpful, thanks @tomspiccs_EV - I’m swapping out from an e2008 to a Family ID3 tomorrow. I’ve really grown to like the e2008 - it’s quiet, comfortable and relaxing to drive, but for my once or twice drive up to London each week on the motorway, I think the ID3 is going to do the job better in terms of ACC and slightly better range.

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It would be interesting to know which vehicles subscribers keep for the least amount of time, upgrading as soon as there’s more choice. I’d say the DS3 if two of my neighbours are representative. They both started with DS3s, but are now in Konas. And then of course there was the scathing review by Mr and Mrs EV, who were subscribers at the time.

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Add me to that. I also started with the DS3 and had it only for a month as I then switched to a Kona.

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Its difficult, i’m still yet to find one in madly in love with. My partner has the Tesla M3 which is a fantastic car but having two just inst cost effective not any more haha. I have loved parts of all the ones that i have had i3, e208 & Kona but they have all had slight issues too making me swap. i3 and e208 was charging, kona is driving style.
Im hoping i fall in love with the id.3 next week

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Haha, I had the same experience. I started with the DS3, had it for 3 months and as soon as the Kona was available, I got it. First month in the Kona and absolutely loving it. Was looking forward to the ID4 but pricing is too much.

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Thank you.

I drove to work this morning for the first time in it and it was so serene and lovely to be in very early and the pre-conditioning worked very well.

So nice having a car that pre-conditions nicely again - I never found that either the Kona or e208 really did much and/or were unreliable.

So far the ID.3 seems to be effective and hopefully continues to be reliable.

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That reminds me - does any body know what battery level the ID.3 needs to be at in order for pre-conditioning to work?

All I know so far is that when I’ve used it around the 50%+ mark it has always worked, but when I tried it at 11%, it gave me a spurious failure message in the app which didn’t mean much, but I presumed it was because the battery level was too low.

I’d be interested to know the cut-off point.

Thought I would mention also, in case it’s of interest to others, that I’ve been able to use my VW We Connect account details to link the car with a few other connected services (in addition to Tronity / ABRP).

The first is Jedlix - a smart charging app

And the other is Pump - an alternative EV route planner

Jury still out of whether they are any good, but the link with the VW API seems very solid so far (touch wood) and seems to update much more often and quickly than Peugeot and Hyundai did.



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Mine’s currently at 25% and I’m going to charge it at Ubitricity at the weekend, I’ll let you know if it lets me start preconditioning then :slight_smile:

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Mines coming tmrw - I’m only expecting good things anyway based on the Life - it’s a lovely drive no matter what mood your in :raised_hands:

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