Volkswagen ID.3 1st Edition vs. Volkswagen Golf — 5 Year Cost of Ownership Estimates

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With Volkswagen ID.3 1st Edition ordering underway and pricing finalized, I figure it’s a good time to compare the ID.3 to some of its top gasoline competitors, not just the Tesla Model 3. In particular, I’m diving into some new 5 year cost of ownership comparisons, this first one being a comparison — or series of comparisons — between the Volkswagen ID.3 and Volkswagen Golf in Germany.

The spreadsheet I use for these analyses is here, and I encourage everyone to copy that sheet and insert your own best guesses for the key variables. Many assumptions need to be tailored to an individual’s circumstances to be useful, and several of them entail your best guess at how different market forces will play out in the coming half-decade.

As you can see, in the above analysis, the Volkswagen ID.3 1st lands in between the low-end Volkswagen Golf and a loaded Volkswagen Golf, the ID.3 Plus is right around the same cost as a high-end Golf, and the ID.3 Max is a few thousand euros more after 5 years of ownership.

(More details on the differences between the ID.3 models can be found here or on Volkswagen’s website.)

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Volkswagen ID.3 1st vs. Volkswagen Golf — Removing Resale Value

As a departure from my previous analyses, for the next comparison scenarios, I’m dropping the matter of depreciation/resale value. It is simply a very hard thing to make a guess about depreciation at this point in time — with such a big transition underway — and it’s often a controversial matter anyway. Also, if you intend to own your car for 10 years or so, it’s not really relevant for this analysis.

In this analysis, with resale value assumptions removed, the conventional Golf does better (because I expect more depreciation on a fossil-fueled Golf than the fully electric ID.3), but the ranking stays the same. The ID.3 1st comes closer to the cost of a high-end Golf than the cost of a low-end Golf, though.

Volkswagen ID.3 1st vs. Volkswagen Golf — More Kilometers, More Expensive Fuel

In the following scenario, I’m using the original comparisons (with the resale value estimates, since I think it makes more sense to include them) but I assume the person drives more — 21,000 km (which is still less than the average American drives) instead of 13,000 km — and I assume they have a higher average price of petrol over the 5 year period.

In this case, instead of slightly losing to the high-end Golf, the ID.3 1st Plus beats it in a cost comparison.

Volkswagen ID.3 1st vs. Volkswagen Golf — Fewer Kilometers

In this scenario, I’m assuming just 10,000 km of driving a year and a moderate price of petrol.

The rankings remained the same as in the initial analysis. The VW ID.3 1st costs just a bit more than a low-end, base VW Golf, and the ID.3 1st plus costs a bit more than a high-end VW Golf. The ID.3 Max and its massaging seats remains a few thousand euros more expensive than those two options.

I encourage you to use your own assumptions and come to your own conclusions. You can copy my sheet here as a framework.

Any other top comparisons you’d like to see me run? I’ve got a few planned, but am always open to suggestions.

Full disclosure: I own shares in Volkswagen Group (VWAGY).

Photos of ID.3 courtesy Volkswagen.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7425 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan