Here at paultan.org, we typically cover vehicles which are officially distributed by their brand custodians in the country, though in the case of electric vehicles, the selection of models sold through their official distributors in Malaysia remains limited for the time being. Open up your choices to include grey market imports, and the selection expands.

One such car is the Volkswagen ID.3. This particular unit is brought in by Weststar Motors, as the fully electric hatchback is not part of Volkswagen Malaysia’s product line-up. Slotting neatly into the C-segment hatchback category, the ID.3 is a Golf-sized pure EV model, and in fact replaces the zero-emissions variant of the perennial best-selling nameplate, the e-Golf.

The ID.3 does however depart significantly from the Golf in terms of design, wearing a silhouette that is notably more MPV than conventional hatchback, with a bonnet that slopes considerably down from the base of its A-pillars.

Sitting on the manufacturer’s EV-specific MEB architecture, the ID.3 is approximately the size of the Golf, albeit with much shorter overhangs to maximise cabin accommodations. Wheelbase benefits significantly as a result, where the ID.3 spans nearly 2.8 m between its axles, nearly 125 mm longer than the 2,636 mm wheelbase of the Golf.

Of course, the key differentiator for the ID.3 relative to the Golf is its powertrain, which is a single electric motor driving the rear wheels with 204 PS and 310 Nm of torque. Thus equipped, the 0-100 km/h run is elapsed in 7.2 seconds and top speed is 160 km/h. Of the three battery pack sizes available globally for the ID.3, it is the mid-range 58 kWh battery pack specified for the car we see here, yielding a range of 425 km on the WLTP test protocol.

For charging, the ID.3 packs an 11 kW onboard AC charger, which means that a wallbox outlet will bring a 10-80% charge in around four hours via as Type 2 plug. Find a DC charging outlet, and the ID.2 can take fast charging at up to 120 kW, which gets the ID.3 across the same 10-80% state of charge in 30 minutes through a CCS charging plug.

If you are considering an EV for its uniqueness compared to traditional ICE-powered offerings on the market, the ID.3 delivers with its cabin, where it is a significant departure from the Golf save for a similar steering wheel, while the large windscreen offers that expansive view forwards. Sitting atop the dashboard is a floating touch control infotainment unit, joined by a smaller instrumentation display for the driver.

The price? Weststar Motors has listed this unit at RM260,000, which is a fair chunk more than Volkswagen Malaysia’s circa-200 PS hatchback offering, the locally assembled Golf GTI at RM227k. To be exact, this makes 245 PS and 370 Nm from its EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged inline-four turbo petrol, driving the front wheels through a seven-speed wet-clutch DSG transmission.

Would you spring for this, or wait a little longer for Volkswagen Malaysia to officially launch the larger ID.4?

GALLERY: Volkswagen ID.3 1st Edition Pro Performance