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I recently watched a video of EVM( he makes some good informative videos) on the Ioniq 5 and during which he made I felt quite a critical remark about VAG cars internal quality. A lot of car reviewers have also had quite a go at the(lack of) internal quality of the ID3. So are EVM and the car reviewers fully justified in their criticism? Here is what I think. I own an ID3 so I know I may be forgiving of some of VW's inadequacies in design quality due to confirmation bias. However I do know the car is far from perfect but on balance for me satisfies on most of the factors I care about. The prevailing view it appears to me is that internal quality is all about (faux)leather and soft materials - akin to a Victorian drawing room with leather suites/ velvet materials and all soft fabrics? So go back to the design intent originally with car interiors - were materials used to be hard wearing and simply to cover bare metal and maybe for sound suppression/ deadening? The ID3 is a very quiet car - so you don't need more soft materials for that - are hard plastics, judiciously used, properly and robustly fastened to the car not OK? I personally like the minimalist design (e.g. loads of storage space) of the ID 3 but I would change 2 aspects of the interior.
1. Replace the hard plastic top section on all 4 doors with softer recycled plastic (preferably reclaimed plastic bottles from the sea) - same as BMW, and would give VW some needed extra environmental kudos
2. Replace the glossy hard-to-keep piano black plastic sections with a muted wood effect material (like BMW/Honda) or with a version of cork - like Mazda?
What would you do if you were VW to respond to this (perceived) internal quality issue.
 

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ID.3 1st
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1. The car is net carbon neutral when you collect it (reviewers seem to forget to mention this)
2. I like the minimalist design
3. The build quality is very good
4. The materials quality is influenced by points 1 and 2

Quality is a subjective term anyway.

I've altered my driving position so my elbow is on the door rest rather than the top edge of the panel. I've covered the black plastic on the doors and centre console in a wrap.
 
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Renault Zoe 50
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Builds quality is worse than my Zoe for the interior.

Ride quality and noise is very good.

Performance is very good.

Infotainment is pretty good.

It’s a bigger car, but costs more. Almost into Tesla territory.
 

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VW ID.3 1st Edition & Tesla M3 LR
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My own view;

Materials quality is perhaps below par in some areas than in some competitor products.

Build quality, ie how it all fits and is screwed together is as good as anything I’ve driven in the last couple of years, and better than some. Time will tell if issues manifest themselves in the long term.

Interior ‘quality’ seems to be more of an issue for reviewers than anything, particularly as they don’t define the term before they start using it.
 

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Key word there is "Perceived".

Quality is fitness for purpose, nothing more or less than that.

I do think VW have fallen a little from their high pedestal recently. The MK7 Golf was perceived as use to the point of treading on Audi's toes, but when you look closely a small amount of spongy/rubbery plastics in the right places classes as "premium".

The top half of the ID3 door card is a softer plastic than the top half of the MK7 Golf's door card below the top 3" which is a soft spongy plastic. The bottom of the Golf's door card is as hard and cheap as any other big marque.

Isn't the Ioniq being given its own premium brand status within the Hyundai/Kia group, like Lecus is to Toyota or Audi is to VW, Infiniti to Nissan etc?

The Ioniq 5 is going to dwarf the ID3 - hatchback proportions, but a huge car. What's the price tag on the Ioniq?

These car Journos are always doing ridiculous comparisons - like pitting an Audi RS3.against an A45 and a Golf GTI, to be able to say the Golf is crap (they're not in the same league as each other).

The lack of buttons is a pointer to the journos of cheapness - they judge based on not having gotten the time to find their way around the menus. Their lack of familiarity marks it down.

Popular opinion here puts the seat on my Family much better than the seats on my Life in perceived quality. In reality, I concede that the family cloth looks better, but my life's seat feel nicer - the cloth has a softer feel, the Family's seem like they are coated in something to give that spray paint transition between shades. Doesn't feel as soft...when I'm wearing shorts.

I've had a few creaky/rattly VWs in my time and the ID3 doesn't make a sound. Not sure whether it is better screwed together by design as a small rattle will sound worse in an EV than anICE car that generates all that engine noise, but it definitely feels better put together than any Golf, Scirocco or Polo I've had before. Maybe a few textured door inserts and Faux leather covering the black gloss would go a long way to being perceptible premium. Sprucing up the door cards is one of the cheapest things a car manufacturer can do to raise the interior, and yet most don't. I doubt giving Audi A6-worthy door cards to the ID3 would add more than £30 to the wholesale cost, translating to adding £100 to RRP. Can't do anything to the idiot view that worth is measured in number of buttons the dash has though!

How many people give a nip or a squeeze to their soft plastics on the tops of doorcards or lower dash if they have them?

The ID3's hard plastics are softer than most, and they've nanaged to give thir harder plastics the soft look as they're not as dark and glossy as the hard plastics in the mid/lower areas of a Golf or A3.
 

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Builds quality is worse than my Zoe for the interior.

Ride quality and noise is very good.

Performance is very good.

Infotainment is pretty good.

It’s a bigger car, but costs more. Almost into Tesla territory.
Is the Zoe interior good? Haven't looked lately but Renault interiors used to ve incredibly cheap and flimsy. I'm no French car fan, but I'd have always put Peugeot head and shoulders above Renault and Citroën.
 

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The glove box on my old Clio used to pop open if you hit a formidable pot hole. But it was a £17k car with a cracking engine, amazing chassis and trick torque steer eliminating knuckles. You have to expect a few corners cut to hit a price point and have high end functionality in key areas.

Likewise on the id3, the interior materials aren’t as nice as a Zoe but it’s quick, ample range, large and handles well and was cheap (relatively speaking). Can’t have everything.
 

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as mentioned by others perception is really important here.
If you’re spending £40k on an EV then there’s quite a difference in interior feel to a bottom of the range Polestar to a top of the range id3.

I spent a bit under £24k on my brand new ID3 - a life pro - so 1 up from bottom. That’s only £1.5k more than list Price for a bottom of the range Golf. The same as a med-highspec focus. It’s in the same quality range as those imho.

if I was spending 40k on an EV I’d expect maybe more - but I wasn’t and I didn’t!

I like the minimalist design - though wish there were more storage in the glove box area etc… door bins and centre console ace. The flat floor in the back and loads of room mean our little one loves it and can easily walk across on the floor (not clamber over seats/transmission tunnel) to get out the other side etc…

6 weeks into ownership I’d certainly make the same decision again.
 

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Is the Zoe interior good? Haven't looked lately but Renault interiors used to ve incredibly cheap and flimsy. I'm no French car fan, but I'd have always put Peugeot head and shoulders above Renault and Citroën.
Go drive one and then let us know, rather than relying on historic prejudices.

No, wait. Don’t do that. You’ll only make the price of Zoe’s go up.
 

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My own view;

Materials quality is perhaps below par in some areas than in some competitor products.

Build quality, ie how it all fits and is screwed together is as good as anything I’ve driven in the last couple of years, and better than some. Time will tell if issues manifest themselves in the long term.

Interior ‘quality’ seems to be more of an issue for reviewers than anything, particularly as they don’t define the term before they start using it.
Same for me, the important part of quality is how it's botled together. The type of materials in some places could be better but if they are going to cut costs in any area I'd rather it was there, all the important touch points (seats, steering wheel, and pedals) are good.
 

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My elbow is getting a bit sore in this ID.3 I’m sitting in right now.

That didn’t happen in other cars. What’s the cost of a bit of padding?
Where is your elbow?

My elbow rests on the padding rear of the door grab handle, not on top of the door card.

I have my seat low though.
 

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When I was looking to buy an e-Golf 3 years ago I checked out the Hyundai Kona. At the time there was a massive difference in materials between the Golf 7 GTE and the Kona. I think the Koreans etc. have upped their game, while VW has moved to more inexpensive/sustainable materials. Reviewers just need to stop living in the past and take the model their are in at face value.

Interestingly, the ID.4 has more plush materials for the doors in the front, but not in the back.
 

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When I was looking to buy an e-Golf 3 years ago I checked out the Hyundai Kona. At the time there was a massive difference in materials between the Golf 7 GTE and the Kona. I think the Koreans etc. have upped their game, while VW has moved to more inexpensive/sustainable materials. Reviewers just need to stop living in the past and take the model their are in at face value.

Interestingly, the ID.4 has more plush materials for the doors in the front, but not in the back.
Neglecting the back doors is pretty common - no lighting around door catch, or a slab of grey plastic where the cloth/leather trim used to be near the door grab, no decorative inserts etc.

For ID3 owners, most of us get no rear speakers. I suppose that at least we still get the piano black plastic on the back door cards.

The Golf's interior as a whole isn't really plush, they just stuck enough soft plastics in the right places to be noticed. I had a MK7 Golf GTD and R -at the time they seemed very plush. Had a courtesy e-Golf a month ago and a critical look saw it nowhere near as plush as I remember it.
 

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Go drive one and then let us know, rather than relying on historic prejudices.

No, wait. Don’t do that. You’ll only make the price of Zoe’s go up.
I freely admit that I'm basing it on old knowledge, and my Cousin's woeful 4 year old Scenic.

What's specifically much better? Seat materials, door cards have more soft plastics, nicer handles, better door inserts, better armrest than those horrible Ryanair armrests (give me the single central armrest a Golf has any day)? Given its relative performance, the ID3 could have been given slightly sportier seat design (coming from a string of hot Golf's, sport seats do uplift an interior a lot), but the seats we have are every bit as comfy as those in my Golf R.
 

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as mentioned by others perception is really important here.
If you’re spending £40k on an EV then there’s quite a difference in interior feel to a bottom of the range Polestar to a top of the range id3.

I spent a bit under £24k on my brand new ID3 - a life pro - so 1 up from bottom. That’s only £1.5k more than list Price for a bottom of the range Golf. The same as a med-highspec focus. It’s in the same quality range as those imho.

if I was spending 40k on an EV I’d expect maybe more - but I wasn’t and I didn’t!

I like the minimalist design - though wish there were more storage in the glove box area etc… door bins and centre console ace. The flat floor in the back and loads of room mean our little one loves it and can easily walk across on the floor (not clamber over seats/transmission tunnel) to get out the other side etc…

6 weeks into ownership I’d certainly make the same decision again.
It's always an issue with a car who's range spans a wide price point e.g. £21k Golf 1.0S vs £39k Golf R, 2variants of the same car kicking the heels of a different class of car. The span of an ID3s pricing is wide, too wide IMO. The extras a Max gets over a Life with the same output is worth half the actual price difference IMO. Maybe I value performance over equipment. I'd be far more likely to buy a Max if it had 260ps vs 204ps Life. There's really nothing above Family trim I'd willingly pay extra for, and certainly not £5k more.
 

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I think it’s the feel of the plastics and maybe also the overall look of the main central display on the ID3 that cause people/reviewers to talk about perceived quality. I think Tesla is regarded similarly.

For me, if things are well screwed together and the overall feel is solid, that’s the main thing. It does seem that lots of people put unnecessary store by shiny or plush things (eg silver shiny metal, leathery feeling stuff). I would far rather the seats in my model 3 were a nice quality textured fabric than squidgy pleather.
 

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I think it's a nature of many Europeans, particularly in wealthier northern areas, not to wish to show off. Often dressing fairly conservatively and usually a dislike of bling. Practicality is more important.
On a recent trip to south east Asia got talking to the Taxi Driver, who said he finds it very difficult to screw Europeans on fares. He said with other countries you can usually tell peoples wealth by the amount of gold jewelry they wear..:)
FWIW I like the interior of the ID.3, good quality in a minimalist way and well screwed together..
 
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