The new Pure Performance models are cheaper but have less range.

Volkswagen has launched new entry-level versions of the ID.3 electric hatchback that bring starting prices down to just over £28,000. With a smaller battery and mid-range electric motor, the new versions go on sale in the UK this week, providing up to 217 miles of range between charges.

Sitting beneath the Pro, Pro Performance and Pro S powertrains, the new versions offer 148 bhp from their electric motors, which is slightly more than the 143 bhp Pro model. That allows the newcomers to match the other variants’ 99 mph top speeds, while the 0-62 mph time stands at 8.9 seconds.

But the key differentiator is the 45 kWh battery, which is somewhat smaller than the 58 kWh units found in the Pro and Pro Performance, as well as the 77 kWh battery in the Pro S. Because it’s lighter than those batteries, though, the difference in range isn’t quite as great as you might fear. Where the ID.3 Pro will manage 263 miles on a single charge, the Pure Performance models manage 217 miles between trips to the plug.

Volkswagen ID.3 Pure Performance

Once you’re plugged in to a domestic 7.2 kWh ‘wallbox’ home charger, the new models will take seven-and-a-half hours to fully charge from five percent. If you can find a 100 kW rapid charger, you can add 137 miles of range in 30 minutes, while a 50 kW CCS charger can take you from five to 80 percent charge in 31 minutes.

Customers will get a choice of two trim levels, with the cheapest being the £28,370 City model. That comes with a 10-inch touchscreen navigation system and the Comfort Package, which incorporates heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and automatic wipers, as well as an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and parking sensors at the front and rear.

Stepping up to the ID.3 Style, which costs £32,470, gets you 18-inch alloy wheels and the Design Package. That gives you clever LED matrix headlights, tinted windows and 30-colour ambient lighting. The Comfort Package Plus is also fitted, providing two-zone climate control, a rear-view camera and keyless entry.

“The City and Style are an important milestone in the ID.3’s life cycle, as they usher in the Pure Performance powertrain,” said Joe Laurence, the Volkswagen UK ID. family product manager. “Offering the best of both worlds with value and performance built-in, these two important new trim levels further significantly broaden the ID.3’s appeal – an attribute regarded as one of the model’s key strengths by experts.

“The fact that the ID.3 City brings the entry price of ID.3 ownership into an even lower band is good news for everybody – and further cements the model’s reputation as the electric people’s car.”

Gallery: Volkswagen ID.3 Pure Performance