Volkswagen ID.3 Vs Volkswagen Golf: Moneyshake Compares

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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.


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Volkswagen ID.3 Vs Volkswagen Golf - design

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.


Winner: Volkswagen Golf


What we think


While the ID.3 impresses us, being the first to debut the bespoke MEB platform, it’s the Golf that edges it for us. Its style is timelessly sophisticated and somehow VW keep finding ways to improve on it with each facelift.


Interior design and space



Volkswagen ID.3 Vs Volkswagen Golf - interior design

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 and Golf come as standard with a 10.0in infotainment system display, 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.


Winner: Volkswagen Golf


What we think


The Golf and ID.3 have an identical infotainment system and features inside, so it was always going to boild down to onboard quality.

With this being the decider, it’s the Golf that comes out on top for us, getting more soft-touch materials on the easy-to-reach surfaces.



Volkswagen ID.3 Vs Volkswagen Golf - interior space

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.

One handy feature the standard Golf gets over the standard ID.3 is a skit hatch in the back that allows you to load longer items into the car without the need to drop the back seats. If you want this for the ID.3, you’ll need to choose the higher-spec Life trim.

Moving around to the boot and while these cars have similarly sized cargos, it’s the ID.3 that slightly edges the Golf, getting 385 litres ID.3 over the Golf’s 380 litres. A marginal difference, but every little helps.


Winner: Volkswagen ID.3


What we think


Onboard storage space up front and in the boot of the ID.3 is more than in the Golf, so for this reason it gets our vote.

For passengers sat in the back, things are more or less identical.



Volkswagen ID.3 Vs Volkswagen Golf - driving

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 0-60mph in a nippy 7.3 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.


Winner: Volkswagen ID.3


What we think


It’s amazing how alike the Golf and ID.3 are in terms of their driving experience. There’s literally nothing in it when it comes to comfort and refinement.

The Volkswagen ID.3 wins it for us because it’s much quicker (0-60mph takes 7.3 seconds). Only the priciest plug-in hybrid spec in the normal line-up (barring the hot hatch GTI and R trims) can match this pace.


Price and running costs


It should be no surprise that the Volkswagen ID.3 is more expensive to lease than the Volkswagen Golf. We currently have deals available for the ID.3 for around £386 per month, versus £249 per month for the Golf.

However, much cheaper running costs for the ID.3 will more than likely offset this spend.

To help you get a rough idea of how charging and fueling costs compare with the ID.3 and Golf, we’ve taken a closer look at each of them.

Using the standard 58kWh version of the ID.3, charging costs are as follows:

  • Volkswagen ID.3 avg. home charge cost (empty to full)* – £15, adding around 215 miles of range.
  • Volkswagen ID.3 avg. public charge cost**(20%-80%) – £13, adding around 129 miles of range.

*Assumes tariff of 28p/kWh. Cost of home charging will vary depending on electricity rate.

**Assumes tariff of 44p/kWh applicable to most rapid chargers as of April 2022.


Using the entry-level 110bhp 1.0-litre petrol Volkswagen Golf as an example.

This version has a fuel economy of 52mpg and a 50 litre (10.9 gallon) fuel tank capacity.

  • Filling up from empty to full would cost roughly £71*, adding around 567 miles of range.
  • Filling up the tank from 20%-80% full would cost around £43*, adding around 343 miles of range.

*Average cost calculated using average UK fuel price of £6.5 per gallon as of August 2022


What we think


The Volkswagen ID.3 is the cheaper of the two cars to run as far as charging/fueling is concerned, to the point where it’s likely to offset the higher asking price. This is especially true if you make use of home charging and free workplace/supermarket charges.

If your driving style is primarily long-distance driving, then we’d recommend choosing the Golf. This way you won’t be overly reliant on pricier public charging.


Overall winner: Volkswagen ID.3


The Volkswagen ID.3 is a very good electric hatchback and there are few models that drive better too.

With interior style and space that’s on a par with the Golf and cheaper running costs, the Volkswagen ID.3 is our champion.


Find the best Volkswagen ID.3 and Volkswagen Golf lease deal


Are you interested in either of these cars and want a quote? At Moneyshake, we compare lease deals on brand-new cars and show you the best deal on the market from a variety of the UK’s top leasing providers.

We have great offers available on brand-new Volkswagen ID.3 and Volkswagen Golf models for their latest ranges.


Compare Volkswagen ID.3 car lease deals


Compare Volkswagen Golf car lease deals


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