Volkswagen ID.5 SUV review
“A coupe version of the ID.4, the Volkswagen ID.5 offers many of the same strengths… and weaknesses”
- 300-mile range
- Still practical
- Comfortable even on big wheels
- Unintuitive touchscreen
- Interior quality isn’t the best
- No entry-level version
It started with the BMW X6, and now it’s almost expected that a new SUV will launch as standard and coupe versions. In this case, the Volkswagen ID.5 is a sleeker variation of the ID.4, trading a little bit of practicality for a sleeker look.
That curvier shape actually makes the electric ID.5 slightly more efficient than the ID.4, increasing its quoted range by a couple of miles. All versions of the ID.5 get Volkswagen’s biggest, 77kWh battery, so standard models manage more than 310 miles and even the range-topping GTX performance model officially achieves 296 miles.
The Volkswagen ID.4 not only gets a smaller battery option and a less powerful electric motor, but cheaper trim levels, too. That explains why the ID.5 looks so much more expensive on paper than the ID.4; spec-for-spec, the price difference isn’t that great - especially on a PCP finance deal.
But that’s a problem, because every ID.5 is a £50,000 car and some of its features don’t really sit well in a car costing this much. Volkswagen’s needlessly complicated touchscreen and controls remain, and the material quality just isn’t as good as that in the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback, Tesla Model Y or even the Kia EV6. It’s probably on a par with the Ford Mustang Mach-E, but we’d even say the Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV - the ID.5’s cheaper cousin - feels plusher.
At least every ID.5 comes with alloy wheels (base ID.4s have steel wheels and plastic covers). Tech and Max trim levels are available in the standard line-up, and standard equipment includes powered front seats, three-zone climate control, parking cameras, a hands-free tailgate and Matrix LED headlights. Max adds bigger wheels, adaptive suspension and a heat pump to make the battery more efficient in cold weather.
Above that is a GTX Max version, which combines all the equipment with a sportier powertrain. GTX is Volkswagen’s new performance badge for electric cars, just as it uses GTI for some of its fast petrol cars. An ID.3 GTX is also set to feature in the fledgling GTX line-up.
The regular ID.5 might not set pulses racing, but it offers a comfortable ride even on the biggest available wheels. It changes direction sharply at lower speeds, but go into a corner fast and it’ll just push towards the outside of the bend. Sport mode offers heavier steering and a more responsive throttle pedal, but a Ford Mustang Mach-E will still provide greater driving thrills if that’s what you’re after.
Of the two electric motor sizes available, Volkswagen expects half of buyers to pick the least powerful option. Called Pro and Pro Performance, they get 172bhp and 201bhp respectively, their on-paper performance figures differ more than you might expect. While we expect the Pro to feel sluggish, as it does in the ID.4, the Pro Performance is a lot sprightlier.
It’s a shame that the GTX doesn’t feel more special. Weighing considerably more than two tonnes, the fastest ID.5 isn’t keen on being driven quickly; it feels far more adept as a relaxed cruiser. So do the other versions of the ID.5, which makes you wonder what exactly is the point of the GTX.
It’d be reasonable to expect a much smaller boot in the ID.5, because of its roof chop. The good news here is that the drop in practicality isn’t very big, partly because of the way the bodywork rises up towards the rear end. With the rear seats in place, Volkswagen actually quotes a slightly higher boot capacity than for the ID.4, although the total capacity with the seats down is bigger in the ID.4. Even tall adults will be happy enough in the back seats of the ID.5, so it’s still a really usable family SUV.