The first review of the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car from a major car magazine is in, and it's not good.
In a review of a pre-production model ahead of the hatchback's launch, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the ID.3 falls short of VW's usual standards of build quality, noting uneven panel gaps and other faults.
"The inner side of the hood like it was painted with a spray can," the magazine said (through translation).
The review also calls the infotainment system "unfinished," with many rough spots, although it was nearly all positive on the driving experience.
The ID.3 is the first of a family of mass-market electric cars based on VW's modular MEB platform. VW announced the start of production last November, but only started taking binding reservations in June. So this is an unexpected review to see from a publication that follows every twist and turn of Germany's domestic auto industry, usually with a positive hook.
Volkswagen ID 3
Volkswagen ID 3
What does this say about the MEB models to come? Probably not a whole lot on the assembly-quality front. But with the infotainment due to be deployed over a wide range of vehicles, it's a cause for concern.
Infotainment was reportedly one of the reasons behind the ID.3's delay. Deliveries were originally slated to start in the middle of this year, but now the first cars aren't scheduled to reach European customers until later this month. Those first cars will ship without certain software features, VW previously said. Customers can opt for later delivery with all features activated.
VW just previewed the interior of its ID.4 crossover on the way to the U.S., and it appears that much has been carried over from the ID.3, which won't be sold here.
Tech is an important focus for the ID-family electric cars. VW has said it wants to make it feel like "you're driving the future" with its ID vehicles.
VW's targets for EV sales depend on many launches going very well—and some analysts see them as being unrealistic.