Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

There’s nothing exceptional, groundbreaking or even surprising about the way in which the Volkswagen ID 3 stops and goes; but remember that this is a VW. As such, its mission is very much to redefine the ordinary rather than to be extraordinary in itself.

Throttle response is keen but still feels natural enough, and acceleration from low speeds is as smooth as it is immediate. There’s very little mechanical noise to be heard even when you bury the accelerator.

Once you reach open road speeds, the gusto with which the car initially accrued pace begins to gradually taper off. It’s all very predictable and, as such, it proves that VW has no ambition to present the electric car driving experience any differently from so many of its rivals.

Examine the finer details of the ID 3’s motive character and you might begin to appreciate it better. For instance, thanks to its rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout, it’s far better at getting its power down than some of the front-driven EVs.

Unlike in the Kia e-Niro, and the Hyundai Kona Electric in particular, suddenly stepping on the ID 3’s throttle doesn’t result in a snatch of wheelspin, as the front tyres scrabble for purchase before they’re reined in by electronic governance. And so what results is a more consistent level of straight-line performance and better low-speed drivability than some EVs offer, even when the conditions are less than perfect.

In near freezing temperatures on a drying mile straight, the VW covered 0-60mph in 7.0sec with no traction-related issues whatsoever. That’s 0.2sec quicker than the torquier e-Niro managed on a dry circuit, and only 0.3sec slower than the Hyundai’s time at the height of summer. Roll-on acceleration is perhaps less strong but still good: the car required 6.5sec to accelerate from 30mph to 70mph, compared with 5.8sec for the Kona and 6.2sec for the e-Niro.

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However, one area where the ID 3 differs from its Korean EV rivals is the level of configurability afforded by its regenerative braking system. There are only two settings – regular ‘D’ mode and the slightly more forceful ‘B’ setting – and neither really allows for genuine single- pedal driving.

Nevertheless, brake-pedal feel is decent, as is stopping performance. The ID 3 was able to slow from 70mph to a standstill in 46.5m, only fractionally behind the Kia’s 45.3m effort and well ahead of the Hyundai’s 49.9m. In the test conditions, that’s to be applauded.