Volkswagen ID.3 Vs Volkswagen Golf: Moneyshake Compares< Back to blog
With electric cars making themselves known among the current crop of internal combustion engine (ICE) models, how does one decide which type of vehicle to go for next? Two models competing directly from both camps are the Volkswagen ID.3 and Volkswagen Golf. Which one should you choose? Find out here.
Read on to discover our comparison of Volkswagen’s award-winning hatchbacks, the ID.3 and Golf, to find out whether fuel or electric power is the best option.
Straight from the bat both the Volkswagen ID.3 and Volkswagen Golf are very smart-looking cars.
The ID.3 uses a bespoke electric car platform created by VW known as ‘MEB’ which is set to be the base for many future EVs produced by giant carmakers like Ford.
This flexible structure makes it possible for the ID.3 to house multiple battry sizes that allow the car to drive between 200 and 336 miles. Meanwhile it has performance advantages too, with Volkswagen claiming the car has perfect 50:50 weight distribution. In our opinion, this is what makes it more engaging to drive than many of its electric-power rivals, but what about when compared to the impressive, proven Golf?
Speaking of which, the Volkswagen Golf is certainly the sharper, sportier design out of the two. This eighth-generation model has a rather less-conventional look than the ID.3 which has much more of a family car style.
The Golf’s platform, known as the ‘MQB’ platform, is a front-wheel-drive, front-engined layout. Alternatively, the MEB structure accommodates rear-wheel-drive and a rear-wheel-engine, like the Volkswagen Beetle used to have. This leads to very contrasting driving experiences (which we’ll get into later), not least because they’re powered by very different engines.
Interior design and space
In terms of both these cars’ designs, the Volkswagen ID.3 isn’t quite as well screwed together as the Golf, but it feels modern and fresh. A soft-touch strip along the dashboard and a leather multifunctional steering wheel are about as far as it goes for nice materials inside.
If you like a bit of ‘snazziness’ inside your car, you’ll appreciate the fact that the ID.3’s 10.0in infotainment system comes with a 10-colour ambient lighting system and wireless smartphone charging as standard.
Everything inside the Volkswagen Golf has a bit more conventional look and feel about it. For example, you’ll find more soft-touch materials dotted about the place, such as on the inside of the doors. Storage compartments also get plusher woven fabric which steals a march on the ID.3.
The Volkswagen ID.3 and Golf are more or less the same size, with both cars having similar space for passengers in the back. A pair of six-footers will be comfortable enough sat there, even for longer journeys. However, we’d avoid trying to sit three alongside one another back there, especially because the middle seats are narrower and kneeroom is limited by the protruding centre console.
Where the electric ID.3 has the upperhand over its combustion rival is in the front. For starters, there’s a massive centre console which is great for storage (inside are various cubbies and cupholders). On top of this the door bins and glovebox are a hefty size too.
Both cars have a handy tray in the front for your phone which has wireless phone charging for devices that are compatible.
We wouldn’t say that the Golf’s storage up front is stingy by any stretch of the imagination. In the centre console there are a couple of cupholders, while a storage bin under the centre armrest and a roomy, air-conditioned glovebox comes in handy for storing loose bits.
Performance and price
By now you’re probably aware that electric cars are capable of much quicker acceleration times than their combustion engine counterparts. That’s because accelerating happens instantly when you press on the pedal because no combustion process has to take place before power is delivered.
So, for this reason, it should be no surprise that the entry-level Volkswagen ID.3 outsprints the standard Golf. With a 148bhp electric motor that’s powered by a 42kWh battery pack, the ID.3 goes from 0-62mph in a nippy 8.9 seconds. Compare this to the Golf’s 130bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which does this same sprint in 9.2 seconds, and you can see the obvious difference in power delivery.
But driving isn’t just about being quickest from the lights. You’ve got to consider mid-range shove which comes in handy for overtaking, plus handling, among other things. So, how does the ID.3 and Golf match-up look in terms of these attributes?
It’s true that the Volkswagen ID.3 handles much better than its chief rivals – the Renault Zoe and Hyundai Kona Electric. Grip is very good thanks to the downforce from the hefty battery in the back, plus there’s specific ‘Sport’ driving mode you can select to provide more weight to the steering.
If you’re going to choose a Golf, we recommend looking at our favourite R-Line trim for the best driving epxerience. It includes a lowered sports suspension which firms up the handling, while at the same time offering driving modes (Comfort, Normal and Sport). In Comfort mode, the Golf is one of the smoothest riding experiences in is class.
Depending on which battery size you go for in the Volkswagen ID.3 (45kWh, 62kWh or 82kWh), you’ll find charging costs differ. This is because you’ll require more range on those with a bigger battery and they also have a faster rate of charging which will cost more at public charging stations in particular.
As an example, if you were to choose the base 45kWh battery model and charge your car from 20% to 100% using a 7kW home charger, the average cost would be around £5.04p*. This would add around 139 miles to your car.
Compare this with the standard 1.5-litre 130 TSI petrol Golf, which has a fuel efficiency of 52mpg, to fill up from 20%-100% would cost around £36**. However, this would add around 457 miles to the car’s range.
*Average cost based on electricity tariff being 14p/kWh (UK average)
*Average cost calculated using average UK fuel price of £5.16 per gallon as of 05/10/21
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