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 identical temperatures to compare them better.

What is the Supertest? This is a new test format on that follows the first impressions collected during the initial handling. This is an in-depth study worthy of the greatest speleologists carried out over much longer distances and always on the same route according to a very precise protocol that is to be repeated with each novelty. We had started this exercise with plug-in hybrids and now we are also applying an evolution dedicated to electric ones. The goal? Gather complete information of a long-term test in real conditions!

Feel free to suggest more questions in the comments on this new section!

Electric car supertests
our complete test protocol

The Volkswagen ID.3 is the first electric model registered by the manufacturer in its energy shift. Last year it was surpassed in the final straight of December by Renault Zoé, to complete the year still in third place with more than 69,000 copies sold in Europe. With us, it occupies the eighth position, between the Peugeot e-2008 and the Kia e-Niro, with 5,860 registered units. Great ambitions are therefore based on it. But do you keep your promises?

Introducing the Volkswagen ID.3

The technique ID.3

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. Strictly speaking, however, as the economic and industrial situation pushed Wolfsburg to refine the compact’s catalog. Only the Pro Performance version is available in the configurator. This version is equipped with the 58 kWh battery useful capacity as wella 204 hp engine for 310 Nm of torque, installed in the rear as provided by its MEB platform. But it is not enough to clean the space under the hood.

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

The push / pull plug installed in the right rear of the car hides a combined plug. 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. However, according to the brochure, 0-100% AC requires 6:15, while it will take 35 minutes for 5-80% at a fast charging station. The charging powers are respectable for this electric that claims a certain versatility.

Renault Megane e-Tech

All our Volkswagen ID.3 consumption measurements

Mixed range: 277 km

First workshop of the Supertest, the mixed loop to measure the average daily range of 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 turns, where it shows a fairly balanced chassis, but a firmer damping. It hits the back with some warping, but has a much better base on the road. On the other hand, you can’t keep up as easily as Megane: because if the French chassis allows you not to brake before a turn to maintain speed, the ID.3 is less transparent than does to its limits. In addition, the braking is perfectible and lack of biting while the return to the pedal is confusing. Therefore, there are more slowdowns and accelerations. On the secondary road he showed us an average of 20.7 kWh / 100 km.

In the city, it feels perfectly at ease: a quiet but light direction, a formidable turning radius and a pretty good peripheral view despite the rather thick amounts … The ID.3 is pleasant to drive. However, its automatic regenerative braking system, which has the advantage of being, is too prudent. Therefore, we come to prefer the default mode (with a regeneration power quite similar to that of the Mégane). But to modulate the power on two levels, you have to rotate the prominent right satellite that would not blush those of a Citroën Axel. The blades behind the steering wheel are more practical. Like its competitor, ID.3 does not have a single-pedal drive system. In its default configuration, we measured an average of 19.9 kWh / 100 km in this terrain.

In the end, the Volkswagen ID.3 had an average consumption of 20.9 kWh / 100 km on a “daily” mixed journey. This translates into a total range of 277 km. Not a surprising result, the cool temperature and the resistance of the tires are no strangers.

Road vs road: more comfortable at high speeds

Therefore, there is no surprise in other exercises such as our comparison of consumption to antipodes. On our rather favorable standard road, with a temperature of 8 ° C (compared to 9 ° C during the Megane test), the German compact completed the 50 km route at an average speed of 59 km / h. h with a fuel consumption of 16.5 kWh / km, ie 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 speed, the ID.3 is more linear in its overconsumption. 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.

Instant consumption of Volkswagen ID.3

This feature is confirmed during instantaneous fuel consumption measurements at 110 km / h and 130 km / h. Not surprisingly, the two values ​​recorded are higher than those of 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, compared to 21.48% for the Mégane. The difference in consumption is 2.9 kWh / 100 km, ie 32 km of autonomy with a full tank or 22 km with a full useful tank of 10 to 80% load.

Instantaneous consumption -9 ° C ext.

Long-distance journey: 170 km of useful range

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

In any case, the ID.3 is side by side with the Megane, with a total range of 243 km compared to the 242 km of the French. In detail, 220 km of road can be foreseen for the first part of a long journey, with a 100% charged battery. At that time, it will be necessary to have 170 km of useful autonomy for the rest of the stages of the motorway. In terms of versatility, they do not arise from each other in terms of autonomy.

Comfort and performance of the Volkswagen ID.3

Less powerful at 14 hp (204 hp vs. 218 hp), but heavier at 176 kg (1,812 kg vs. 1,636 kg), the Volkswagen ID.3 is naturally less efficient than the Megane. This is less the case in the exercise of 0-100 km / h, with a much less dead power curve at low speed, without this failing the traction that is always exemplary. Side times of 80-120 km / h, ID.3 drops the exercise by 5.16 s to 80%. It is right to go without worries. But the timer lengthens as the load plummets. At 20%, one more second is needed. After 15% load, the power indicator is gradually retracted and the available power is taken away. Can’t imagine trying to get ahead with a 10% load, overtaking a truck at the last minute to reach a recharging area in extremis, for example: we set a time of 9.6 seconds!

A little more rigorous in its suspension, the Volkswagen ID.3 is, however, a little firmer. Nothing really prohibitive in itself to the soft bitumens of the roads. Especially because the comfort of the seat is very nice with the ErgoActive seats with massage and heating (although too hot in position 3 and warm in position 2).

In this sense, comfort is more important, in a bright passenger compartment that offers a good impression of space with the lower center console. On the other hand, the materials do not live up to the usual standards of the brand, while the overall ergonomics of the infotainment system does not score. Like tactile controls with haptic feedback on the steering wheel, which are not easy to handle. On the road, our sound level meter picked up, at worst, 1 dB more than the Megane. With a wet finger, no one will be able to tell that one is noisier than the other. However, the noise from the air on the highway is more localized here 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 spotlight throughout the development of the Renault Megane. It is true that they have notable design differences. But they are throughout the performance and battery life with very similar ambient temperatures. Less incisive and always considered, the ID.3 is for those who want a “small” electric, comfortable, relatively high-tech and capable of everything. This is what its 58 kWh battery promises, currently the only one available in the catalog and ultimately the most recommended for the daily life of an ID.3. Those who would be tempted by a 77 kWh battery when reinstated should rather look at ID.4, certainly more expensive, but with a habitability consistent with its versatility. At the moment, therefore, there is only one price that appears in the compact catalog with a check of € 44,800 to sign the Active finish.

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

What is the Supertest?

Lovers of numbers and allergic to the official tabs, the Supertest, the new test format of Automobile-Propre, is made for you, gathering the data collected during a test in real conditions and according to a transparent and precise protocol.

If you want to go further, feel free to check out our tests and exchange with the community in our discussion forum.

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