Volkswagen ID.3 refresh begins to address lapses in brand's EV pioneer

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Such a little car has made such a big fuss at Volkswagen. After just 2.5 years and some CEO swaps at VW, the automaker has introduced the ID.3 with a "comprehensive upgrade" to address owner feedback. The hatchback's appearance is only marginally altered. The front bumper gives up its dimples for a reshaped lower intake and air curtains. Above that, the black trim piece running from the cowl to halfway down the hood is gone. In back, tweaked taillights carry their illumination into the hatch and show X-shaped DRLs.

Previous owners suffered so that new owners can thrive, VW's head of sales and marketing Imelda Labbé saying, "We have systematically taken on board the wishes of our customers." The improved touches in the cabin start with a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen. Automotive News says the larger screen is only for left-hand-drive markets; right-hand drivers will stick with the pre-refresh 10-inch screen. All markets benefit from a reworked interface targeting more efficient operation. For example, charging options have been raised to the top level, all the better to take advantage of the increased DC fast charging capability of 170 kW and standard Plug & Charge.

Material quality steps up thanks to enhanced plastics and more foam backing for all trims. Reshaped door cars should make matters more comfy for arms, and upper trims will feature a new treatment for the upper part of the instrument panel, too.

The ID.3 runs on the brand's latest ID 3.0 software with additional capability for over-the-air upgrades. The next-generation ID 4.0 is due later this year, we'll find out if this ID.3 can be upgraded without a trip to the dealer. It wouldn't be a software-defined car if there weren't more options available for purchase, so VW's done its work there as well. Buyers will be able to download assistance features like adaptive cruise control and Travel Assist.

Hoped-for changes like illuminated HVAC controls didn't make this edit, but VW's been vocal about addressing omissions.

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