Volkswagen ID.4 SUV review
"The Volkswagen ID.4 is a fun and practical zero-emissions SUV"
- Good to drive
- Competitive range
- Great practicality
- Frustrating infotainment
- Expensive top versions
- Some cheap materials
The Volkswagen ID.4 is a vital model for the German brand, marking its first entry into the rapidly growing electric SUV class. Not only that but, unlike the smaller Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback, VW is hoping the ID.4 will conquer America, and take on the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E globally.
The 1st high-riding model for the ID brand is based on the same technology as the ID.3 but we think its SUV styling is more desirable and will appeal to a greater number of buyers.
The electric SUV sector is blossoming and already includes models like the Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge, Kia e-Niro and Jaguar I-Pace. However, most early entrants have been premium models with prices to match. The ID.4 is one of the first mainstream electric SUVs that’s designed to be a viable alternative to a diesel or plug-in hybrid model. Even in the well-equipped 1st Edition trim, the ID.4 is one of the most affordable all-electric SUVs to arrive in showrooms so far.
Sitting between the Volkswagen Tiguan and seven-seat Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace in size, the ID.4 shares its design theme with the ID.3. It gets a much bolder and more modern look when compared to the conservative Tiguan, with smooth lines, large alloy wheels and coast-to-coast front and rear lights. The ID.4 also boasts trendy SUV-style plastic wheelarches and side skirts for a tougher look, while a silver graphic above the side windows helps it stand out from the masses.
The interior has a simple design, dominated by a new infotainment setup with a large central touchscreen above the dashboard with a smaller driver's display behind the steering wheel. It should be as easy to use as a smartphone, so it's a shame the system isn't particularly intuitive, with too many steps required to operate rudimentary functions. Hopefully this can be improved with wireless updates in future. It mostly feels sturdy inside but the presence of some cheaper plastics hints at cost cutting in places.
Early buyers get the larger 77kWh Pro Performance battery and 201bhp electric motor, which sends power to the rear wheels. A charge from a 7.2kW wallbox takes around 12 hours and the ID.4 has an official range of 310 miles. Acceleration from 0-62mph isn't as brisk as in some electric vehicles, taking 8.5 seconds, but the ID.4 has assured handling.
Around ten trim levels are expected, but the earliest ID.4's to arrive will be 1st Edition models with 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated seats and a rear-view camera. A less luxurious version with a 52kWh battery is expected to cost from around £35,000, but 1st Edition models are expected to cost well over £40,000.