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Does the recently facelifted Volkswagen ID.3 bring enough innovation to stay ahead of the BYD Atto 3 and the MG4 Electric? One thing is certain: the Volkswagen is hampered by its typically German price tag.
This article is a shortened version of an extensive comparative test in Auto Review 9. We focus here on the high price of the Volkswagen ID.3.
Volkswagen ID.3 in the rematch
The Volkswagen ID.3 came onto the market in 2020. His success was hampered by global chip shortages, persistent software problems and criticism of the materials used. The facelift feels like a second chance, with higher-quality interior materials, an updated design and simplified software.
At the same time, competition is fiercer than ever, with ample and affordable alternatives in the form of the Atto 3 WORLD and the MG4 Electric. The Atto 3 is a compact SUV, a body style that is currently more in demand than a traditional hatchback. The MG4 has many similarities with the ID.3, but is considerably cheaper.
Comparing apples with apples
To make sure we’re not comparing apples and oranges, we’ll highlight the obvious similarities between the MG4 and the ID.3. Both cars have a tidy dashboard with a small instrument cluster and a floating touchscreen. The differences in terms of interior space, luggage space and safety equipment are small.
The rear-wheel drive hatchbacks from MG and Volkswagen are also involved in an exciting race in terms of driving characteristics. The light-footed MG4 gives you a lot of driving pleasure with its direct and sensitive steering – just like the Volkswagen ID.3.
Reach and performance
Each test car is powered by a 204 hp electric motor. Volkswagen and BYD increase the pulling force to 310 Nm, while MG settles for 250 Nm. But the MG4 is also the lightest car in the test. The ID.3 wins the standard sprint (7.2 seconds), but the MG4 (7.6 s) and the Atto 3 (7.7 s) are hot on its heels.
The ID.3 can fast charge at 120 kW and the MG4 peaks at 140 kW. The Volkswagen has a slightly smaller battery and a slightly higher power consumption, so you can travel 33 kilometers less on a battery charge (322 km). With the MG4 you have to plug it in again after 348 kilometers. If you deliberately drive as economically as possible, you extend the range of each car by about 80 kilometers.
Given the many similarities, it is not surprising that we compare the prices of the ID.3 and MG4. The tested Volkswagen ID.3 costs 50,350 euros and the MG4 can be taken home for 35,785 euros. The cheapest ID.3 is listed for 42,690 euros in the price list.
If you look at the basic prices, the MG is already seven grand cheaper than the Volkswagen. If you calculate the additional costs of all the options that VW has given its test car, we are talking about 14,565 euros. Actually, the difference is even greater, because the MG is eligible for a purchase subsidy, while the Volkswagen is not due to its extra options. The purchase price of the BYD Atto 3 (42,998 euros) is exactly in between.
Next time we will highlight the positives of the ID.3 – all the little things that may make you want to pay the high extra price of the car.