They don’t really occupy the same segment, but the Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.3 have some similarities that may cause some customers to hesitate between the two models. Which one best suits your needs? Answer in our comparison.
With the advent of the 100% electric car, the number of models continues to grow, without reaching the plurality of thermal models available for the moment. Slowly but surely, barring a turnaround, the European and world automobile fleet will become electrified and 100% electric cars will multiply . No matter what, today we are still in the dawn of the electric car. While most manufacturers have mastered the technology now, some are doing better than others, especially because they were interested in this type of energy several years ago, before the legislator forced manufacturers to move towards electric.
Tesla is arguably the automaker with the best knowledge of electrical technology today, in addition to offering advanced driver assistance technologies. And while waiting for the arrival of the behemoths, Germanic in particular, in this field, Tesla is still very much alone today in the different segments it occupies , the Model 3 not yet having a real competitor. strictly speaking. The next one being the future BMW i4 which should show its nose later this year and the Polestar 2 which is still slow to arrive in France.
To face the best-selling Tesla, namely the Model 3, we must therefore look in other segments to find a model with similarities on paper, particularly in terms of technologies and autonomy . And the one that comes closest to it is currently the Volkswagen ID.3, which is part of the compact segment, like a Volkswagen Golf, while the Model 3 is more of a sedan that comes rather to play elbows with the BMW 3 Series and other Audi A4. But on closer inspection, there are a few things that could cause a customer to hesitate between a Model 3 and a Volkswagen ID.3. Elements that we will review in this file.
Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.3 technical sheets
Style, dimensions and weight
As stated above, the Tesla Model 3 does not occupy the same segment as the Volkswagen ID.3 . This is immediately noticeable on reading the technical sheet of the American sedan. It measures 4.69 meters long , 1.85 meters wide and 1.44 meters high. Depending on the versions and the equipment, the weight is announced between 1612 and 1847 kilos . Regarding the style, the whole is rather clean with very fluid lines and a design shaped to favor the coefficient of penetration in the air, since Tesla announces a Cx of 0.23 .
On the other hand, the Volkswagen ID.3 is much smaller than the Tesla Model 3 and belongs to the compact sedan segment, that is, the Volkswagen Golf, Peugeot 308 and other Audi A3. And even in this category, it is considered one of the smallest models. It is 4.26 meters long , 43 centimeters shorter than the Tesla Model 3, 1.81 meters wide and 1.57 meters high.
Depending on the versions and equipment, the weight fluctuates around 1800 kilos . In terms of design, the Volkswagen ID.3 is a bit different from the Model 3 with a fairly high roof that almost gives it a small MPV look when viewed from the side. The German Cx is less good than the American one since Volkswagen announces 0.26 .
Interior, comfort and roominess
While some people blame the assembly and adjustment problems of some components on board the Tesla Model 3, especially on the first models, the American firm has made up for it at this level. What is obviously striking about the Tesla is its huge 15-inch (38-centimeter) central screen allowing you to manage all of the car’s functions.
There are no more buttons on the dashboard, even the glove box can now be opened via the display. There remain the mandatory hazard warning lights and eCall buttons near the central mirror, the window and door opening controls, and two pop-up knobs on the steering wheel, which are used to adjust the exterior mirrors, music or the cruise control. of speed.
The Tesla Model 3 doesn’t necessarily set the benchmark for comfort in its class, but it’s clearly not bad at that level. Be careful, however, for the “Performance” model, which emphasizes sportiness, with its 20-inch rims as standard (against 18 or 19 inches for the other versions) and its lowered suspension which slightly deteriorates comfort in favor of sensations. .
Inside the Tesla Model 3, we’re pretty comfortable with a decent driving position, room for rear passengers, even the middle one. There are two chests, one at the front of 50 liters and the second at the rear which is advertised at 425 liters with 70 liters also under the floor, for storage cables in particular.
Inside the Volkswagen ID.3, we find two very distinct screens, one for the instrumentation and the other, in the center of the dashboard, 12 inches, to manage most of the orders. There are a lot more physical buttons than on board the Model 3, but that’s not necessarily why the German is more ergonomic. For example, the ergonomics of the central screen menus are more complicated than on board the American, not to mention that some physical controls are far from practical, such as adjusting the mirrors for example.
When it comes to comfort, the Volkswagen ID.3 is pretty much on par with the Model 3, the suspensions are a bit drier in compression, but the seat is softer. On the other hand, regarding the driving position, it is more pleasant on board the Tesla, we are a little too high in the ID.3.
Obviously, at 43 centimeters shorter, the Volkswagen is less roomy in the rear, but is far from ridiculous. Despite its 4.26 meters, it is more welcoming than some other compact, yet longer, in its segment. On the trunk side, Volkswagen announces a volume ranging from 385 to 1267 liters or, to within a few liters, the same volume as a Golf. Unlike the Tesla, there is no trunk up front.
In terms of on-board technologies, Tesla brings out the big game with a multitude of functions, sometimes unnecessarily essential, but which make it possible, for example, to make the Supercharger’s time pass. We find, among other things, a satellite map with real-time traffic visualization, music and multimedia streaming in the vehicle with the presence of applications such as YouTube for example, Internet browsing or some video games rather well. achieved. The Model 3 also offers four USB ports and wireless charging for two smartphones.
As far as driving aids are concerned, you have certainly already heard of the famous “Autopilot” semi-autonomous driving system. This equipment, dubbed “Automatic driving” at Tesla in France, is standard on the Model 3 and allows your vehicle to stay on a path, accelerate and brake for you if other vehicles or pedestrians are in its path. way.
As an option at 7,500 euros, this system can even go further with the automated driving of the entry lane to the motorway exit, including on interchanges and to overtake slower vehicles, automated lane changes on the freeway, automatic parallel and battle parking, exit from automatic parking, and recognition and reaction to traffic lights and Stop signs.
Soon, and certainly via an update for those who already have a Tesla Model 3 with the option “fully autonomous driving capability”, the brand will offer automated driving in the city and an improved parking exit system. , where the car will be supposed “to meet you in the parking lot” .
Volkswagen also worked on the technological aspect on board with a new infotainment system and new software which gave it a lot of trouble . An update will come from this month of January 2021 with the addition of some features for the heads-up display, a correction of some bugs and a trip planner indexed to the charging stations present on your route and to the range. . The infotainment system is pretty well done. There are hardly any physical controls, everything is almost integrated in the central 12-inch touch screen whose fluidity and graphics are more than adequate.
When it comes to connectivity, almost everything is there: we find USB-C ports on the front and rear and, as with Mercedes on its new compacts, the total absence of a USB-A port. The ID.3 is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto . Volkswagen has also implemented an app called We Connect ID. where the features are pretty much the same as we already know. You can manage the charging remotely, for example, activate the air conditioning or heating or geolocate your car. Tesla offers the same with its app.
Connected, the car can also be connected with urban infrastructures, if they obviously are, but also with other cars thanks to the Car2X function. The technology does not use the mobile phone network, which means it provides extensive coverage within the limits of the system. Within a radius of 800 meters maximum, connected vehicles directly exchange information and positioning data. Today, few cars are equipped with this system, the ID.3 is in a way one of the pioneers in the field, but its usefulness today is quite relative today since the environment that revolves around it is not yet mature enough.
In terms of driving aids, the Volkswagen ID.3 is also equipped with lane keeping assistance, centering in the lane, adaptive cruise control … In short, all the elements to have the right automated driving, which also works quite well as we had seen in our recent test.
On the road
Our two protagonists are quite different on the road, especially because of the power that separates them. We will see that a little further down in another part. Overall, the two manage to combine two contradictory qualities that are comfort and dynamism . If the Volkswagen ID.3 places a little more emphasis on comfort, the Tesla Model 3 will offer a slightly wider range, in particular thanks to the “Performance” version which mainly focuses on dynamism. It even has a “Circuit” mode that allows you to disconnect certain driving aids in order to amplify the driving sensations.
This is not at all the niche of the Volkswagen ID.3, nor even the Tesla Model 3 “Standard Range Plus” and “Grande Autonomie”. The “Standard Range Plus” version has a single engine at the rear and is therefore rear-wheel drive. The “Long Range” and “Performance” versions benefit from an additional engine at the front, making them all-wheel drives. The Volkswagen ID.3 is only offered in rear-wheel drive.
On the side of Tesla, we are going to run into a small problem at this level since the brand no longer officially communicates on the power levels of its vehicles. Why ? Simply because Tesla was accused a few years ago of communicating overly ambitious power compared to the reality of the top-performing Tesla Model S at the time this happened.
On the other hand, a quick look on the Internet gives an idea of the power level of the different versions. Thus, the basic version “Standard Range Plus” would make approximately 275 horsepower for a 0 to 100 km / h shot in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 225 km / h. The “Grande Autonomie” version would make 351 horsepower for a 0 to 100 km / h shot in 4.4 seconds and a maximum speed of 233 km / h, and the “Performance” model approximately 482 horses , allowing it to shoot down from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 261 km / h.
As for the Volkswagen ID.3, it is much less complicated since the German firm has officially communicated on the power level of its model. For the moment, a single engine of 204 horsepower is available, allowing the car to shoot down from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.3 seconds and reach 160 km / h in top speed. . A version with a less powerful 146 horsepower engine will arrive a little later in order to lower prices.
Autonomy, battery and recharging
Regarding the battery capacity, here again Tesla no longer communicates official figures. However, the manufacturer communicates on the autonomy of each model, which makes it possible to broadly deduce the capacities of each. The “Standard Range Plus” version would carry a battery of 50 kWh and the “Long Range” and “Performance” versions a battery of 75 kWh . As of this writing, Tesla announces that the Model 3 “Standard Range Plus” can travel 430 kilometers on a single charge, 580 kilometers for the “Long Range” and 567 kilometers for “Performance”.
For Europe, Tesla chose to equip its Model 3 with the Combo CCS standard for fast charging. The connector, which now equips some of the Superchargers, can also be used to recharge the car at the terminals of third-party operators such as Ionity or Fastned. Allowing a load of up to 250 kW, the Model 3 can recover 80% of the load in about 30 minutes. For slow or accelerated charging, the Tesla Model 3 has a type 2 connector.
For the moment, only the battery of 58 kWh (ID.3 Pro Performance) is marketed on the ID.3, allowing it a range of approximately 425 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle. A second battery is also available, larger, with a capacity of 77 kWh (ID.3 Pro S) allowing it to travel 542 kilometers . A smaller one will be offered in the course of 2021 with 45 kWh of capacity (ID.3 Pro).
The 58 kWh battery, like the 45 kWh battery, accepts fast charging up to 100 kW while the larger one can take up to 125 kW. At 100 kW, this recovers up to 80% of range (up to 290 kilometers) in 26 minutes of charging.
In France, the government has set up an ecological bonus system in which certain versions of Tesla Model 3 and all Volkswagen ID.3 are concerned. As a reminder, models under 45,000 euros benefit from a bonus of 7,000 euros until June 30, 2021 (then 6,000 euros after this date), within the limit of 27% of the price of purchase including tax. Between 45,000 and 60,000 euros applies a bonus of 3,000 euros until June 30, 2021 (then 2,000 euros after this date), and beyond 60,000 euros there is no longer bonus.
The Tesla Model 3 is not affected by the biggest bonus since it starts from 50,990 euros in the “Standard Range Plus” version, 57,800 euros in “Large Autonomy” and 65,990 euros in “Performance”. The Volkswagen ID.3 starts from 37,990 euros , excluding ecological bonus. To arrive at a model that can elbows in terms of autonomy and technologies with the Tesla Model 3, you have to look for high-end versions and it will take from 48,990 euros [ 19459008] for an ID.3 in “Tour” finish, ie the best equipped model, with the large 77 kWh battery and a range of 542 kilometers. Just below, a Volkswagen ID.3 with the “Tech” finish authorizing the 58 kWh battery and many equipment can be exchanged for 44,990 euros . The “Life” finish is priced from 37,990 euros (all prices on the official website ).
Which is the best electric car?
Even if they do not evolve in the same segment, the customer looking for an electric car in a budget between 40,000 and 50,000 euros will certainly look at the case of the Volkswagen ID.3 and Tesla Model 3. Other models will be added in this price range this year, including the Polestar 2, a direct competitor of the Model 3, especially in terms of size.
Faced with the Tesla Model 3, the Volkswagen ID.3 is far from being ridiculous, even if it must concede a few points in terms of livability and driving assistance, but that it justifies by prices less expensive. Regarding autonomy, depending on the battery of each, the two models hold. The Model 3, on the other hand, will take a clear advantage when it comes to driving pleasure with more power, and even a fun side for the “Performance” version, if the budget allows it.
Another advantage of the Tesla, and not the least, is the density of its charging network and the reliability of the Superchargers . Charging long journeys with a Model 3 will be absolutely no problem, while it will be a bit more complicated for the Volkswagen ID.3, even if the Ionity network starts to become denser.