17 December 2020

Plug n play. VW ID.3 1st Edition test drive

UCM student and photographer Alice Morgan tests Volkswagens all-electric ID.3

Two days in my third electric car, I was really looking forward to comparing it to my own ICE (internal combustion engine) car, and the VW e-Golf and Nissan Leaf I had driven briefly before.

On collecting the car from island VW dealership Jacksons, my initial thoughts on the new Volkswagen ID.3 were simple; its electric, its small and its pretty cute. Through driving the car, I realised it had its own personality, bucketloads of space and plenty of features. My daily car is a 2017 Toyota Auris, which is longer than the ID, although inside the ID felt huge. There is more than enough boot space for anything you can dream of putting in the boot of your car, and the leg room imitated that of an emirates business class flight.

The car is packed with driving assist features which can aid you in everyday driving. The built-in cameras can detect passed road signs and display them above the speedo, which is useful for people that may not have seen a particular sign in passing – although it seems to read ‘National Speed Limit’ signs as 60mph – Maybe this is VW’s way of implementing a national speed limit on the IOM! The car also can detect if you cross the centre white line on the road and will gently nudge the steering wheel back to the centre of the lane.

The kerb weight of the ID.3 is 1,600 kg, down to the big battery unit being under the floor of the car, but this is what gives you the extra space in the cockpit. But the steering is very light and responsive, even at speed the car holds its weight, which makes it an all-round fun car to drive – especially on winding Manx back roads. It also has a great turning circle making tighter manoeuvres a piece of cake.

Now the headlights, they are definitely the best I have seen in a family sized car. You can almost see into the future with how bright they are, and auto high beam is a particularly interesting experience. The ID.3 will track an oncoming car and, instead of returning the lights to dipped beam, will simply darken the lights around the tracked vehicle which keeps the rest of the road well-lit, perfect for rural night-time or winter driving on the many unlit roads we have.

The range of the new ID.3 is more than enough to get you around the Isle of Man, and charging is fairly simple. You use the Pod-Point app to find a charger, park up, plug in, and confirm the charge through the app. You should be aware that there is a cost of charging, averaging around 18p per kWh from public charge points. For reference, if I fill up my Auris with petrol for £40 (a full tank) I get around 350 miles. Whereas in the 24hours I had the ID.3 I spent £2.49 and 2 hours adding 40 miles to the range. Having researched running costs, EVs are going to be a fraction of the cost to run, especially if you can charge at home on reduced Manx Utilities EV tariff. If you don’t have off street parking so you can easily charge at home, it doesn’t feel like the infrastructure is quite there yet, but Manx Utilities have plans for island wide coverage.


Like it or not, we’re all going electric! Zero emissions and the increasing use of recyclable materials in the manufacturing stage are all designed to benefit the environment and global emissions targets are now in place for all major economies.

So, as a confirmed petrol head, did I like it? Actually, yes I did, a lot! That instant torque is literally electrifying, which in the bigger battery version is as fast 0-62 as a Golf GTi, and the low centre of gravity gives it great handling while the space and technology all combine to deliver a great driving experience. They’re so easy to drive and very relaxing in the peaceful no-engine noise interior. Cheaper to run, fun to drive and saves the planet… where do I sign up?

Facts & Stats

VW have released the ID.3 with 3 battery options. The cheapest models will feature the 45kWh battery giving up to 205 miles range, mid-range models will have the 58kWh which offer up to 261 mile range and the top option 77kWh giving up to 336 miles. All benefit from ultra-fast charging options which can deliver 80% charge in just over 30 minutes. Home charging via an 11kW wall box takes just over 6 hours for the 58kWh and 7 hours 30 minutes for the 77kWh.

There are 9 model variants currently on offer with prices ranging from £35,990 to £45,290. Prices are still higher than traditional fuel cars but the margins are shrinking and running costs of the new EVs are a fraction of petrol or diesel, especially when using the Manx Utilities EV tariff offering discounted electricity overnight.

About Alice

Alice Morgan is 19 years old and currently studying a degree in Visual Communication at UCM alongside her many professional photographic assignments. Her love of cars started from a young age pushing ‘Hot Wheels’ around the living room carpet. “I really am ‘living the dream’, driving and photographing the finest brands, and I am extremely grateful to Jacksons for their support during my UCM course.”

Jacksons are the islands approved VW dealership for sales and servicing.


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