Volkswagen ID.5 review
The Volkswagen ID.5 is an electric family SUV with sleek and sporty, coupe-style looks. It’s pretty smooth to drive thanks to its electric power, but it feels cheap in places and isn’t quite as practical as an ID.4
What's not so good
Find out more about the Volkswagen ID.5
If you want a practical electric family SUV that’s smooth and easy to drive, but are turned off by the styling of the blobby Volkswagen ID.4, then the sleeker ID.5 might be worth a look.
It shares all of its important mechanical bits with the ID.4, but swaps that car’s traditional boxy SUV styling for a sloping coupe roofline that brings a bit of extra styling panache. Think of it as being a bit like one of those Smeg refrigerators: it’s ultimately still an appliance, it’s just a bit more interesting to look at from the outside. A similar approach is taken by alternatives such as the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback and the Skoda Enyaq Coupe.
On the inside, it’s business as usual really including some comfortable seats up-front that offer plenty of adjustability to let you get settled in behind the wheel. There are very few buttons, and a slightly disappointing amount of hard, scratchy plastics. Still, there’s loads of storage cubbies up front, and the cabin’s minimalist design is easy on the eyes.
Despite that swept-back roofline, there’s still enough space for adult passengers to get comfy in the back seats, and a flat floor means three kids will fit in just fine too. Super-tall passengers will likely find the ID.5 a bit less accommodating for headroom than the squarer ID.4, though. But the ID.5’s 549-litre boot is actually marginally larger than the ID.4’s.
And as for battery range? Well, all ID.5s get a 77kWh battery, which is good for a range of up to 313 miles. We’d recommend the slightly more powerful 204hp motor over the entry-level 174hp version, however, as the added punch it offers is welcome – particularly when you’re overtaking. There’s a 299hp GTX model too, which is even faster, but it’s pricey and range drops to 296 miles.
The ID.5’s coupe roofline does make it easier on the eyes than the blobby, bloated-looking ID.4, but I’m still not sure I’d call it a handsome car.
Plug the ID.5 into a 7kW home wallbox charger, and you’ll top its battery up from 0-100% in just over 12 hours. Find a 130kW public charger, and you’ll be able to take it from 10-80% capacity in half an hour.
Around town, the ID.5 accelerates smoothly and swiftly, and its accurate steering lets you thread it down tight streets with ease. It’s not the smoothest or most comfortable car over bumps, though, and its sporty roofline means the view out of the tiny rear window is poor. Parking cameras and sensors are here to help make up for this, though.
On the motorway it settles down to take the strain out of long-distance driving, although the wind does blow quite noisily around the wing mirrors. You won’t find the ID.5 to be a barrel of laughs on a twisty road, either, though it does corner with more than enough grip to keep you feeling safe and secure. Overtaking slower cars requires a lot of space though – the 204hp model isn’t quick when accelerating from open-road speeds.
But still, the ID.5 is likeable enough. It might not be fun, but it’s sensible, easy to drive and decently practical – even with that sloping roofline. It’s also easier on the eyes than the ID.4, which is no bad thing.
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The ID.5 has plenty of space for odds and ends, and passenger space isn’t too bad even with that sloping roofline. It’s tighter than an ID.4, though
You will have no problems getting comfortable behind the wheel of the ID.5. There’s loads of adjustability in the steering column and the seats themselves, so regardless of whether you’re tall or short, you’ll be able to find a driving position that keeps you happy.
All ID.5s get power-adjustable front seats, so sliding them backwards and forwards can be done at the press of a button. Both chairs get a separate folding armrest too, which almost makes them feel as comfortable as your favourite armchair at home.
In the back, the good news continues. Obviously with a more dramatically sloped roofline there isn’t quite as much headroom as there is in the ID.4, but most adult passengers will find they have little to complain about. It might be a different story for particularly lofty adults however.
Legroom is also generous, even if you’re sat behind a taller driver. And because the floor of the ID.5 is completely flat, the middle seat is impressively usable. You might not want to force three adults to sit back there over longer journeys, but three younger teens should be able to squeeze in comfortably enough.
The ID.5 is awash with storage bins and cubby holes to keep things like keys, phones, chewing gum and any other odds and ends stashed away tidily. The doorbins up front are large and can comfortably fit bigger drink bottles, and there are a couple of bottle holders in the expansive centre console too. The glovebox is very small though – you won’t fit much in there apart from the car’s instruction manual.
Out back, you’ll find some more decently-sized doorbins and pouches in the seatbacks that can be used to stash away maps, books or tablets. The centre seatback folds down to reveal two additional cupholders, though their positioning in the centre of the armrest is right where your elbow would sit. That’s a bit annoying.
The ID.5’s 549-litre boot is slightly larger than that of the ID.4. That said, because the rear window slopes down to give the car its sportier profile, you won’t be able to stack things up quite as easily as you can in the latter.
Still, all models get a power tailgate as standard, and if you waggle your foot below the bumper it’ll spring open automatically – handy when you’ve got your hands full of heavy shopping bags!
There isn’t much of a load lip either, so sliding heavy items in and out is a bit easier than it might otherwise be. You’ll also find a handy number of hooks and tie-down points to help keep things a bit more secure, too.
Compared with alternatives such as the Skoda Enyaq Coupe and Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback, the Volkswagen ID.5 stacks up well enough. The Enyaq’s 570-litre boot is larger, while the Audi’s 535-litre load bay is a wee bit smaller.
Even the range-topping GTX model won’t blow your socks off in terms of fun, but the ID.5 is comfortable enough on most roads and very easy-going
The Volkswagen ID.5 line-up is super simple. You get one 77kWh battery option, and three different motor combinations.
The entry-level Pro model has a single electric motor housed at the back of the car, and which drives the rear wheels. It kicks out a modest 174hp and enables the ID.5 to sprint from 0-60mph in an incredibly leisurely 10.4 seconds. If you’re planning on spending most of your time pootling around town, this is probably the best option to go for. It promises a range of up to 313 miles, too – though that figure will be lower in the real world.
The 204hp Pro Performance model is the one we’d go for. It’s also rear-wheel-drive, but the added power makes for a punchier 0-60mph time of 8.4 seconds. You’ll still have to make sure you’ve got a clear stretch of road ahead of you if you want to overtake a slow moving car, however.
This version should also do 313 miles on a charge, but based on our test economy figure of 3.1mi/kWh you’re probably going to see more like 240 miles.
Lastly, there’s the full-fat GTX version. With 299hp on tap from its two electric motors (one at the front and one at the back for all-wheel drive), it will dash to 60mph in 6.3sec. You’ll pay for that extra motor and performance when it comes to range, though – VW claims 296 miles for this model.
Plugged into a 7kW home wallbox, all versions of the ID.5 will take around 12 hours to go from 0-100% battery charge. On a 130kW public fast charger, you’ll be able to top the battery up from 10% to 80% in a little over half an hour. That’s a perfect amount of time to have a coffee break on a longer drive!
With a tiny rear window, you’re not going to see a huge amount out the back of the ID.5. That might make you feel a bit unsettled when you’re nipping in and out of busy city traffic, but a rear camera and sensors are at least on hand to help you squeeze into tight parking bays.
Light steering and a tight turning circle come in handy in town too, although the ID.5’s firm suspension does make it ripple and flutter a bit over lumps and bumps in the road beneath you.
Still, that settles down nicely when you’re out on the motorway. Sure, you’ll notice a bit of wind whistling around the wing mirrors, and there’s a bit of tyre noise to be heard too – but chances are you’ll be more sensitive to this because there’s absolutely no engine noise to be heard. It’s an electric vehicle, after all…
There’s adaptive cruise control that can match the ID.5’s speed to the car ahead of you, and automatically maintain a safe cruising distance too. Paired with active lane-keep assist which, well, helps to keep you in the centre of your lane, the ID.5 makes for a relaxing long-distance cruiser.
But despite its sportier look, it’s just not that fun on a twisty road. Even the pumped-up ID.5 GTX is a bit dull and one-dimensional. Sure it’s quick and there’s plenty of grip on offer, but if you’re after a fun-to-drive electric vehicle that feels a bit more playful and exciting, you’d be better off with a Tesla Model Y or a Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The ID.5’s interior is easy on the eyes thanks to a minimalist design, but it’s let down by some cheap materials in places
Volkswagen ID.5 colours
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.