Volkswagen ID.4 review
The Volkswagen ID4 is a spacious electric car with a decent range and a modern, minimalist interior. It’s not the sleekest looking SUVs though and you may struggle to get near the claimed range.
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The Volkswagen ID4 electric car is a bigger, more practical version of the ID3 family hatchback, with a chunkier body and more ground clearance to give it that SUV look.
It’s VW’s second purpose-built electric car and is an alternative to upcoming electric SUVs such as the Tesla Model Y, Skoda Enyaq and Nissan Ariya — and it’s now on sale.
The ID3 hatchback is supposed to be a bit like the iPhone in 2007 — the car that makes the masses switch to EVs, like the iPhone did the smartphone. Well, if the ID3 is the iPhone, that would make the Volkswagen ID4 its Max equivalent. Similar at its heart, but larger — and a touch more expensive.
The Volkswagen ID4 is similar in size to the Volkswagen Tiguan but with a much more rounded, futuristic design. However, whereas the smaller ID3 looks smart and cutting-edge, the ID4 is a bit more bulbous, and has a mish-mash of surfaces.
Upfront, slim LED headlights are connected by an LED light bar that stretches the width of the bonnet while a large intake sits low on the bumper to break up an otherwise minimalist front end.
There’s no engine, but there’s no fake grille here either, as you might see on other all-electric cars (we’re looking at you, BMW iX3). At the back, a wide lightbar mimics the similar element of the front of the car.
The minimalist design theme is carried through to the interior. You won’t even find a gear lever here — rather, it’s a large knob to twist forward and back behind the steering wheel, similar to that on a BMW i3. However, the wheel obscures the switch, so you have to crane around the rim to see it.
Speaking of that driver’s display, it’ll be standard on all ID4s in the UK, giving you key information like speed and charge status on a crisp display. There’s a 10-inch infotainment system too.
The looks might not be to all tastes, but there's a good all-round EV underneath the ID 4's skin
There’s little in the way of physical buttons as well, with most of the controls confined to the central screen. You won’t have to rely solely on using the infotainment on the move though, because the ID4 also supports voice control. That said, the system has been annoyingly glitchy on the cars we’ve tested it in so far.
The ‘1st Edition’ trim is the only one available at the moment, and it brings a brown and white interior, which looks much better in real life than it does in pictures.
As for boot space, the Volkswagen ID4 offers 543 litres — ever so slightly more than the 510 litres in the BMW iX3’s boot. To keep with the Volkswagen Tiguan comparison, the ID4 doesn’t quite match its 615-litres, but given the size of the batteries underneath the floor in the ID4 it’s a fair effort.
VW ID4 range and charging
At launch in the UK, the Volkswagen ID4 will be available with a 77kWh battery linked up to a 204hp electric motor, good for 310Nm of torque. This set-up drives the rear wheels and can shift the ID4 from 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds.
It’ll do a claimed 310 miles between charges, and supports 125kW fast charging (if you can find a working charger) that can top up the battery to 80% in 40 minutes – good at this price point.
That said, it would take 30 hours to charge from a three-pin plug, and a 100% charge will take 11 hours from a 7.5kW wallbox. A newer 11kW wallbox can charge it in eight hours.
Other power options for the ID4 will be available in due course. A 52kWh hour battery will be available with either 148hp or 170hp motors, while a 177hp version of the 77kWh car is slated for production too.
Expect a high-performance variant of the Volkswagen ID4 down the line as well. This will use two motors producing 306hp and send the SUV from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds, as well as featuring a four-wheel-drive system. One alternative for this will the mechanically similar Skoda Enyaq vRS.
As with all electric cars, the ID4 picks up briskly and smoothly, and cruises quietly. Indeed, the only noises you hear are wind and road noise, and those aren’t too bad at all. Because there’s no engine between the front wheels the ID 4 has a great turning circle, which will be a huge help in town or when parking. However, the thick windscreen pillars and small rear window do hamper your view out.
On faster roads, the ID4 has very neutral, inoffensive handling, but its sheer weight means it never feels truly nimble. It’s undeniably safe and stable, but fun? Not in the slightest.
Pricing for the Volkswagen ID4 starts at £37,800 after the government’s plug-in car grant. Check out our deals on the VW ID4 here.
Common Volkswagen ID4 questions
How much is the VW ID4?
Recommended retail pricing for the Volkswagen ID4 starts at £37,800 after the £3,00 government plug-in car grant. However, take a look at the latest carwow VW ID4 prices to get a fantastic deal that could save you money.
What is the range of the VW ID4?
In its launch form, the Volkswagen ID4 is capable of covering 310 miles between charges. Other versions of the car with varying mileage figures will be available down the line, though.
Where is the VW ID4 made?
The first examples of the Volkswagen ID4 will be built in Zwickau, Germany. Another German factory, in Emden, is set to start production of the ID4 in 2022 while plants in American and China are on the cards as well.
It may be quite bulbous on the outside, but the benefit is that this translates into decent cabin space.
There’s loads of legroom for the two front-seat occupants, and they won’t be short of headroom either. There’s also plenty of seat adjustment and a well-sorted driving position.
Those in the back don’t get a raw deal, either. There’s masses of legroom for three people, and no one is going to end up with their head brushing the rooflining. Two adults would be able to stretch out, and even three across the rear bench isn’t uncomfortable; the completely flat floor means no one has to straddle a central tunnel.
The Volkswagen ID4’s cabin has plenty of space for your odds and ends. Between the driver and front passenger lies a cubby that’s big enough to hold a couple of decent-sized bottles. Better still, the cupholder section can be removed to leave a large storage bin.
Behind this sits a lidded storage area, which has dividers that you can move to alter the space according to your needs. There are also USB-C sockets here, plus a wireless charging pad for your smartphone.
The bins in all four doors are big enough to take a large bottle, and they’re also lined with felt so that anything in there, like your keys, doesn’t rattle about.
Those in the back get a decent deal, too, because there are large pockets on the backs of the front seats, and also small pockets into which you can slide a smartphone.
The Volkswagen ID4’s boot isn’t bad for space, because it offers a decent 543 litres. One of the car’s main alternatives will be the BMW iX3, which has 510 litres, but having said that, petrol-powered SUVs such as the VW Tiguan offer bigger boots generally. There are also hooks and straps to keep everything where you want it to, plus a power socket.
However, there’s a bit of a load lip to lift things over, and while the rear seats are easy enough to fold, they do leave a real step in the floor, so you can just slide long items to the front of the boot.
Oddly, despite this launch model supposedly being well equipped, it doesn’t have a variable-height boot floor (later models will).
As with all electric cars, the ID4 picks up briskly and smoothly, and cruises quietly. It’s a heavy car though, so achieving the claimed range may be difficult
You get just the one powertrain option in the ID4 at the moment – a 77kWh battery and a 204hp electric motor, which also generates 310Nm of torque. This motor drives the rear wheels.
Volkswagen’s official figures have the ID4 covering the 0-62mph sprint in 8.5 seconds, but we did 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds during our test, so the car is plenty brisk enough for most needs. You won’t be baiting Teslas away from the lights, though – you’ll need to wait for the dual-motor model for that.
The ID 4 is quiet – no surprise given it’s an EV – so the only things you hear are wind and road noise, and those aren’t too bad at all. The ID4 also has an incredibly small turning circle, which will be a huge help in town or when parking. However, the thick windscreen pillars and small rear window do hamper your view out.
On faster roads, the ID4 has very neutral, inoffensive handling, but its sheer weight means it never feels truly nimble. It’s undeniably secure and predictable, but fun? Not really.
Still, the steering is light, and the ID4 responds faithfully to inputs with no dramas, which is just what you need in an emergency swerve. The ride is comfortable enough, too – it’s firmer than a Tiguan, but stays nice and controlled.
It’s roomy, stylish and quite high-tech inside, although some of that tech could be easier to operate
Volkswagen ID.4 colours
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