Categories: News

TEST - facelift Volkswagen ID.3 (2023): this is what learning from your mistakes looks like -

Three years after its launch, the Volkswagen ID.3 is getting a welcome facelift. Feedback from some customers has been listened to, but hearing other complaints, Volkswagen designers quickly put their fingers in their ears. Lalala, I can't hear you.

The introduction of the ID.3 in 2020 was undoubtedly an exciting moment for Volkswagen. The model marked the beginning of the great electric adventure. There were already all kinds of ID models in the pipeline that would copy their powertrain, design and operation from the ID.3. Let's just hope it's a success...

In the first year of sales, the ID.3 went like a rocket in the Netherlands. With 11,000 units, only the Kia Niro sold even better in 2020. But the following year, the fun was largely over. The electric hatchback dropped from second place to fifty-two in the sales charts. In retrospect, you can say that persistent software problems scared off potential customers, but the real culprit was probably the business addition. It jumped from 8 to 12 and then 16 percent.


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The good ideas of the Volkswagen ID.3

Many of the ideas that Volkswagen introduced with the ID.3 still make us happy. Like how the selector lever of the automatic transmission is behind the wheel and is therefore within reach. This allowed the center tunnel to remain compact and you have a striking amount of legroom in the front. The fact that the floating touchscreen is turned towards the driver looks so nice. We overlook the fact that the menu is still a bit complicated.

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We are still happy that Volkswagen opted for rear-wheel drive at the time. In an electric car you would rather be pushed forward than pulled. And because the electric motor is in the back, the front wheels can turn in nicely. That extra maneuverability remains a useful feature of the ID.3, which few manufacturers copy. The chassis still offers a wonderful balance between comfort and sportiness. Especially on clinker roads, the ID.3 has a smoother suspension than the rather stiff one Cupra Born.

Volkswagen ID.3 (2023): changes

For this facelift, Volkswagen says it has listened carefully to customers to implement improvements. This mainly concerns the interior, of which the materials used were so cheap that even Volkswagen's own accountants had to blush. In the updated ID.3, the door panels are decorated with a beautiful fabric and the dashboard has both a soft-touch top layer and a chic decorative stitching. It is just enough ostentation for an EV with a base price of 44,990 euros.

The exterior has also been subtly changed, with the disappearance of the black bulge on the bonnet being the biggest change. In combination with vertical air slots in the front bumper, new 20-inch wheels (option) and two new paint colors, there is suddenly a fresh car in front of you. Our olive green test car shows one new color and you can also choose a bright blue metallic paint. At the back of the ID.3 we discover two subtle changes: the C-pillars no longer have decorations and the part of the taillight that is on the tailgate now contains a light and lights up. Previously, that part of the light unit remained strangely dark.

The bad ideas

Volkswagen has done nothing about the annoying touch buttons on the steering wheel. They are a thorn in our side with every ID model, but during our introduction to the updated ID.3 we give them a second chance. With the adaptive cruise control set to 100 km/h, we concentrated on pressing the up arrow and saw the speed gradually increase to 101, 102, 103 and then the desired 104 km/h. That went perfectly. Have we been too strict all this time? Not really! The next day we perform the same action and this time the set speed unintentionally runs to 110, 120, 130 and 140 km/h. The car jerks forward and other motorists look up in surprise. We look back just as surprised.

Apparently we're pressing wrong, but if you can misuse a button at all, then there's something wrong with the button itself. In short, touch buttons suck. And Thomas Schäfer, the top boss of Volkswagen, shares our opinion. He banishes the touch buttons and provides the new Tiguan that will be launched next year with a steering wheel with physical buttons. Unfortunately, this change of course comes too late for the facelifted ID.3.


The Volkswagen ID.3 is now as it should have been when it was introduced in 2020. With an interior that matches the hefty price tag in terms of appearance and a design that is slightly better from all angles. It's a shame the steering wheel still features touch controls, but that annoyance will be addressed at some point in the future.

This post was last modified on August 27, 2023 5:17 am


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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