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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV - Reliability & safety

Volkswagen's multi-billion pound investment in electric should result in a rugged and safe SUV

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While it's too early to say if the ID.4, or even the ID.3 it's based on, will be reliable, electric cars should in theory be simpler and much easier to maintain. The ID.4 has been crash-tested by Euro NCAP and awarded five stars.

Volkswagen ID.4 reliability

There are far fewer moving parts, and there's no engine oil or filters, cambelts or timing chains or clutches to wear out and have to replace. Volkswagen has even fitted the ID.4 with rear drum brakes instead of conventional brake discs, because regenerative braking means they have far less work to do than in a similar petrol or diesel SUV. All this should mean there's less to go wrong mechanically.

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If there are issues, it's more likely the ID.4 will suffer from electrical gremlins. While these can be a pain, they're unlikely to leave the car stranded, and over-the-air updates will hopefully mean some can be fixed without even having to visit the dealership. While the ID.4 is too new to feature in our latest Driver Power survey, VW as a brand finished in 18th place out of 29 brands, with 18.6% of owners reporting a fault in the first year. That’s a better-than-average score that put the brand slightly behind fellow VW Group rival SEAT, and slightly ahead of Skoda.

Safety

There are some novel safety features too, kicking off with a narrow strip of light beneath the windscreen that can illuminate to warn the driver, or indicate which direction to turn when the sat nav is running. This should help keep attention on the road more of the time, and help the driver react more quickly to hazards. The ID.4 is also available with LED Matrix adaptive headlights that can control the beam of light more accurately for different road and traffic conditions.

When the Volkswagen ID.4 was tested by Euro NCAP it achieved a five-star rating in 2021. It was awarded 93% and 89% for adult and child occupant protection respectively, along with a score of 85% for its safety assist features.

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