Volkswagen ID.3 Test: the Clean Car Supertest

After the Renault Megane e-Tech, we decided to switch to our test bench for its natural competitor: the Volkswagen ID.3. Contact a Pro Performance version equipped with a similar battery and under identical temperatures to better compare them.

The Supertest, what is it? This is a new test format on that follows first impressions collected during initial handling. It is an in-depth study worthy of the greatest speleologists carried out at much greater distances and always on the same route according to a very precise protocol that is intended to be repeated with each new development. We started this exercise with plug-in hybrids and are now also applying a dedicated evolution to electrics. The goal? Gather comprehensive information from a long-term test in real conditions!

Feel free to suggest other questions in the comments for this new section!

Electric car supertests
our full test protocol

The Volkswagen ID.3 is the first electric model to register the manufacturer in its power change. Last year, it was overtaken in the final stretch of December by the Renault Zoé, to complete the year in third place with more than 69,000 copies sold in Europe. With us, it is in eighth position, between the Peugeot e-2008 and the Kia e-Niro, with 5,860 units registered. Therefore, great ambitions are based on it. But will it keep its promises?

Presentation of the Volkswagen ID.3

The ID.3 technique

At 4.26 m long, just 5 cm longer than the Renault Megane e-Tech, the first protagonist of our Supertest, the Volkswagen is “available” in several versions. Strict quotes, however, as the economic and industrial situation led Wolfsburg to purify the compact catalog. In the configurator, only the Pro Performance version is available. This version is equipped with the 58 kWh battery usable capacity, as well asa 204 hp engine to 310 Nm of torque, installed at the rear as provided for by its MEB platform. But not enough to clear the space under the hood.

In the technical sheet, the ID.3 promises 415 km of autonomy with 18 inch rims. Special mention for the online configurator who takes the trouble to modify consumption and range with the optional 19-inch wheels with which our test model was equipped, with 2 km less range. Another important detail is that this model was equipped with Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 winter tires. Although sober in the face of competition, the excessive consumption it generates is inevitable (we will not be able to quantify it), and it is quite noisy.

The push/pull socket installed on the rear right of the car hides a Combo socket. The Type 2 port is connected to an integrated 11 kW AC charger, while fast charging is entrusted to a 120 kW DC system in series. Also according to the brochure, 0-100% on AC requires 6:15, while it will take 35 minutes for 5-80% on a fast-charging station. Charging powers are respectable for this electric that aims for a certain form of versatility.

Renault Megane e-Tech

All our Volkswagen ID.3 consumption measurements

Mixed range: 277 km

First Supertest workshop, the mixed loop to measure the average daily autonomy of the ID.3, under a temperature of 9°C and light rain. The opportunity also to lead the compact on the roads a little more in the corners, where it shows a very balanced chassis, but firmer damping. It hits the rear on certain deformations, but has a much better base on the road. On the other hand, you can’t keep your pace as easily as you can on Megane: because while the Frenchwoman’s chassis allows you not to slow down before a corner to maintain your speed, the ID.3’s is less transparent about its limits. Also, braking is perfectible and lacks bite while pedaling back is messy. There are therefore more decelerations and accelerations. On the secondary road, it showed us an average of 20.7 kWh/100 km.

In the city, he feels perfectly at ease: silent but light steering, formidable turning radius and quite good peripheral vision, despite the rather thick vertical columns… The ID.3 is pleasant to drive. Still, its automatic regenerative braking system, which it has the advantage of being, is very cautious. That’s why we’ve come to prefer the standard mode (with a very similar regeneration power to Megane). But to modulate the power on two levels, it is necessary to turn the prominent right satellite that would not make those of a Citroën Axel blush. The paddles behind the steering wheel are more practical. Like its competitor, too, the ID.3 does not have a one-pedal actuation system. In its standard configuration, we measured an average of 19.9 kWh/100 km on this terrain.

In the end, the Volkswagen ID.3 presented an average consumption of 20.9 kWh/100 km in a mixed “daily” trip. This translates to a total range of 277 km. An unsurprising result, cold temperature and tire strength are not unrelated.

Road vs highway: more comfortable at high speeds

Therefore, no surprise in the other exercises as our comparison of consumption in the antipodes. On our very favorable standard road, with a temperature of 8°C (compared to 9°C during the test with the Megane), the German compact completed the 50 km trip at an average speed of 59 km/h with a consumption fuel consumption of 16.5 kWh/km, that is, a total range of 351 km. Megane can sleep soundly.

On the other hand, it began to show one of its specificities on the highway: at high speeds, the ID.3 is more linear in its excessive consumption. So much so that the German crossed the finish line with a reading of 24.1 kWh/100 km. With a high average speed (120 km/h), it has a range of 240 km.

Volkswagen ID.3 instant consumption

This character trait is confirmed during instantaneous measurements of fuel consumption at 110 km/h and 130 km/h. Unsurprisingly, the two values ​​recorded are higher than its competitor with an average of 21.7 kWh/100 km at 110 km/h and 24.6 kWh/100 km at 130 km/h. This corresponds to a difference of 13.36% between the two, against 21.48% for Mégane. The difference in consumption is 2.9 kWh/100 km, that is, 32 km of autonomy with a full tank or 22 km with a full tank, useful from 10 to 80% of charge.

Instant consumption -9°C ext.

Long-distance travel: 170 km of useful range

And because we only judge a car for long distances, the Volkswagen ID.3 in its test configuration showed an average consumption of 23.8 kWh/100 km in the 500 km journey on the A6 motorway. Always credited with higher fuel consumption during our intense night of testing, it managed to be more sober on this terrain due to slightly cooler temperatures. So here’s the only limit on our Supertest that we can never control, despite our precautions: the thermometer.

Anyway, the ID.3 is side by side with the Megane, with a total range of 243 km against 242 km for the French. In detail, it is possible to foresee 220 km of road for the first part of a long journey, with a 100% charged battery. Afterwards, it will be necessary to have 170 km of useful autonomy for the remaining stages of the motorway. In terms of versatility, they do not emerge from each other in terms of autonomy.

Volkswagen ID.3 comfort and performance

Less powerful at 14 hp (204 hp versus 218 hp), but heavier at 176 kg (1,812 kg versus 1,636 kg), the Volkswagen ID.3 is naturally less efficient than the Megane. This is less the case in the 0-100 km/h exercise, with a much less muzzled power curve at low speeds, without this failing in the traction that always remains exemplary. Lateral times of 80-120 km/h, the ID.3 drops the exercise by 5.16 s to 80%. It is okay to pass without worries. But the timer gets longer as the load drops. At 20% it takes an extra second. From 15% load, the Power Gauge gradually retracts, taking the available power with it. Don’t imagine trying to overtake with 10% load, overtaking a truck at the last minute to reach a recharging area in extremis, for example: we clocked a time of 9.6 seconds!

A little stricter in its suspension, the Volkswagen ID.3 is, however, a little firmer. Nothing really prohibitive in itself on smooth road bitumen. Especially since the comfort of the seat is very pleasant with the ErgoActive massaging and heated seats (although very hot in position 3 and warm in position 2).

On this terrain, comfort is quite significant, in a bright cabin that offers a good impression of space with the low center console. On the other hand, the materials don’t live up to the brand’s usual standards, while the general ergonomics of the infotainment system don’t score. As well as touch controls with haptic feedback on the steering wheel, which are not easily manipulated. On the road, our sound level meter picked up, at worst, 1 dB louder than the Megane. With a wet finger, no one will be able to tell which one is noisier than the other. However, the air noise on the highway is here more located at the top of the windshield.

Additional data

Volkswagen ID.3 Supertest: the results

Jumping from one car to another, we understand that the Volkswagen ID.3 was in the crosshairs throughout the development of the Renault Megane. Admittedly, they have notable design differences. But they are neck-and-neck in performance and battery life with very similar ambient temperatures. Less incisive and always considerate, the ID.3 is for anyone who wants a “small” electric, comfortable, relatively high-tech and do-it-all. This is what its 58 kWh battery promises, the only one currently available in the catalog and the most recommended for the day-to-day of an ID.3. Anyone who would be tempted by a 77 kWh battery when reinstated should rather keep an eye on the ID.4, certainly more expensive, but with a habitability in keeping with its versatility. For now, there’s only one price that appears in the compact’s catalog with a €44,800 check to sign the Active finish.

Its consumption – almost – reasonable on the highway does not allow it to travel all at once, this is a fact. And if you’ve read this entire article so far, you can imagine that the battle promises to be tough with Megane on long journeys. See you in the second part of our Supertest dedicated to recharge time and cost that we will put online next Saturday. The Supertest is every weekend!

What is the Supertest?

Lovers of numbers and allergic to official sheets, Supertest, Automobile-Propre’s new test format, is made for you, gathering data collected during a test under real conditions and according to a transparent and accurate protocol.

If you want to go further, do not hesitate to consult our tests and exchange with the community in our discussion forum.

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