Ranking as the best selling battery electric vehicle globally since its launch, Model 3 is the crown jewel for Tesla. The German automaker Volkswagen is diving full speed in the EV race by pouring billions of dollars into its all new electric fleet, its latest vehicle named ID.3 was unveiled in September 2019 and is expected to hit production by mid 2020. So, does VW ID.3 stand a chance against the king of the EV arena? Lets find out.
Tesla Model 3 is offered in four different versions, three of them are available for online booking. The base model Standard Range can only be booked in person. Standard Range and Standard Range Plus variants are rear wheel drive with a single 211 kilowatt motor in the drivetrain, while the Long Range and Performance versions are all wheel drive powered by dual motors.
Volkswagen ID.3 is expected to be launched in three distinct models namely; Pure, Pro and Pro S, powered by a single motor at the back. All models are rear wheel drive.
Since VW ID.3 is not EPA rated, we will have to rely on WLTP rating for both vehicles. Tesla Model 3 Long Range with 75 kWh battery is WLTP rated for a range of 348 miles on a single charge, while VW ID.3 Pro S offers up to 342 miles of range with its 82 kWh (77 kWh usable) battery pack. Driving range is a key factor when competing in the EV area, and ID.3 seems to have potential to become a formidable opponent — until you see its performance and price.
DC Charging Speed (miles per 15 min)
As should be expected, Model 3 takes the lead by a significant margin when it comes to DC fast charging, thanks to 250 kilowatt V3 Tesla Supercharger, that can add 180 miles of energy to a depleted battery in 15 minutes for Long Range and Performance variants. The VW ID.3 Pro S can charge at maximum power of 125 kilowatt, that should get you about 105 miles of range after 15 minutes of charging.
AC Charging Speed (miles per hour)
According to a study conducted by Idaho National Laboratory, over 80 percent of EV charging is done at home. This study included 8,300 EVs in 22 regions of US, over 125 million miles driven and 6 million charging events over a span of three years. This puts light on the importance of Level 2 charging speed, and it seems Volkswagen has caught up with Tesla in this category. Based on 11 kilowatt on-board charger, 77 kWh battery capacity and 342 miles range — VW ID.3 Pro S should theoretically gain about 44 miles of range per hour of charging, same as Model 3.
All Model 3 variants offer significantly better horsepower. The Performance version offers almost three times the horsepower than top of the line ID.3.
All VW ID.3 models offer 230 lb-ft of torque, about half of M3 Performance.
Volkswagen does not provide official acceleration figures for ID.3, but according to CAR magazine who road tested 62 kWh Pro version, it can accelerate from naught to 62 mph in less than 7.5 seconds — which is not slow, but slower than a standard Golf GTI (6.5 seconds), and significantly slower than Tesla Model 3. Although, it has been confirmed by Volkswagen that a performance version of ID.3 is in the works and should be available within next few years.
As of this writing, the curb weight of base model is only known for ID.3, which stands at 3790 lbs. Dividing the weight by horsepower gives us 25.6 power-to-weight ratio for VW ID.3 Pure. The lowest rated Model 3 Standard with 12.8 power-to-weight ratio is exactly half of ID.3.
The top speed of ID.3 is electronically limited to 100 miles per hour.
VW ID.3 offers 13.6 cubic feet of cargo volume behind second row seats, its a good amount of space considering its a hatchback.
VW ID.3 is 167.8 inch long, 71.2 inch wide and 61.1 inch tall, with a wheelbase of 108.9 inch. Model 3 is 184.8 inch long, 72.8 inch wide and 56.8 inch tall, with a wheelbase of 113.2 inch.
Volkswagen hasn’t disclosed exact prices for ID.3 yet, but they did make a press release which stated that the starting price of Pure will be less than 30,000 euros, and less than 40,000 euros for the mid range Pro version — which translates to about $32,500 and $43,500 respectively at current exchange rate. Exact prices are expected to be revealed by summer 2020.
But, it seems Volkswagen hasn’t been entirely forthcoming about the price range. The highly publicized prices turns out to be after government incentives. The Republic of Ireland’s leading newspaper, The Irish Times published an article, that covered a local launch event for ID.3 mid range Pro model. The newspaper mentions, “Its mass appeal will be limited by its price tag: starting at just under €40,000 for the introductory 1st edition model, a price that’s inclusive of the €10,000 in Government grants.” The promotional specifications displayed by Volkswagen at the event included a small disclaimer at the bottom, “Prices are Net of Private customer grants and subject to final confirmation.”
Therefore, the real starting price, excluding of all incentives, is around 40,000 euros for base Pure model, and 50,000 euros for mid range Pro model — which translates to about $43,500 and $54,000 (US dollars) respectively, at current exchange rate. There are no price estimates for the top of the line VW Pro S model at this time, but it should be within $60,000 to $65,000 price range. Model 3 price can vary between countries in Europe, so as an example, Ireland price inclusive of government subsidies is compared in the chart.
There are no buttons or knobs on Model 3, everything is operated from 15.4-inch touch screen — a fact disliked by many — but it seems this is where automotive industry is headed. At first glance, you will find plenty of buttons on VW ID.3 below the 10-inch touch screen, but they are not physical buttons. They’re all touch sensitive with haptic feedback. The only physical switches are for the electric windows. But the lack of instrument cluster on Model 3 is a major drawback, inconveniencing drivers to look at center screen when checking speed. ID.3’s interior is more elegant, functional and is simply better to look at.
Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
Tesla Model 3 comes standard with industry leading semi-autonomous Autopilot system on all models except the Standard Range. Features include lane centering, adaptive cruise control, self-parking, auto lane changing and steering on highways, collision avoidance system, and the ability to summon the car to and from a garage or parking spot. But many of these features are degraded in European models. Also, it doesn’t have 360-degree bird’s eye view.
VW ID.3 offers similar features to Tesla (in Europe), including adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance system, lane assist with auto corrective steering, rear traffic alerts, blind spot monitor and 360-degree bird’s eye view.