In Auto Review issue 6 we compare the most expensive Volkswagen ID.3 with the cheapest Tesla Model 3. Both cars cost just under 50,000 euros. We are talking about the Model 3 Standard Range Plus with 55 kWh and the ID.3 Max with 58 kWh. The new Volkswagen ID.3 Pro S with 77 kWh battery was not yet available.
Tesla Model 3 is more powerful and faster
The base model of the Tesla Model 3 is called Standard Range Plus and, like the ID.3, has one electric motor and rear-wheel drive. That’s where the similarities end, because Tesla offers 325 hp and 420 Nm. Volkswagen takes it less sporty and finds 204 hp and 310 Nm enough. Although the ID.3 is two hundred pounds heavier.
The outcome is easy to guess: the Model 3 sprints at lightning speed (5.7 s) from 0 to 100 km/h and zooms smoothly up to 225 km/h. The ID.3 takes 7.1 seconds over the standard sprint and throws in the towel at 160 km/h. The performance of the Tesla is wonderful, that of the Volkswagen fine.
Sporty driving in the Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen chooses to fit tires with a low rolling resistance in view of power consumption, but at Tesla they think that Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires are a good idea. We agree, because the 1,627 kilo family car turns out to be a fast-paced sports sedan on our test track.
The precise steering reacts very quickly to steering commands (much faster than the ID.3) and a lot of grip is built up in the bends. We measure high speeds on the slalom test and fast times on the clocked lap. The ID.3 is not only slower, the control systems intervene earlier and the bond between car and driver is just as superficial as yours and your great-aunt in Lutjebroek. Or did she now live in Abbekerk?
Comfortable driving in the Volkswagen ID.3
In the Tesla Model 3 you will find seats and you can sit on them. But if you order the most expensive version of the ID.3, you get Ergo-Active seats. These are not only more comfortable in shape and equipped with an extendable seat for long legs, they also have a massage function. Soberly, you sit comfortably on the American furniture to sit out long journeys, but the seat is on the short side and the lateral support could be better. The back seat is rather shapeless and you sit so low that your knees stick up and your thighs don’t touch the seat.
The Volkswagen is also more comfortable in other areas: wind and rolling noises are better kept out of the cabin and the suspension comfort is of a higher level. This is thanks to the adaptive shock absorbers that Volkswagen has specially supplied from the parts warehouse for customers who order the ID.3 Max. The Model 3 has naturally quite firm suspension. That fits with the sporty character of the car, but the chassis keeps you informed of asphalt damage and transverse ridges.
The danger of a comparative test with a Tesla in it is that it quickly seems that any car that performs less dynamically is a bad choice. But I believe that a Volkswagen ID.3 offers enough power and dynamism for most families.
Which EV drives better? The Tesla Model 3 from the car enthusiast’s point of view. Do you think that ‘nice driving’ means that a car offers a lot of comfort, then the Volkswagen ID.3 is the first choice.
There is much more to say about the Model 3 and the ID.3. Next week we will tackle the subject of ‘Value for money’ where we will discuss the range, the interior space and the equipment.
Curious about the full test from Auto Review 6/2021? Don’t feel like going to the store? Order Auto Review 6 in our webshop.