Volkswagen ID.5 SUV - Electric motor, drive & performance
The Volkswagen ID.5 is no sports car but it does well as a comfortable cruiser
It may have a sporty silhouette, but the Volkswagen ID.5 is still a family-focused SUV that favours getting from A to B comfortably rather than impressing driving enthusiasts. Given the similarity between the ID.5 and the Volkswagen ID.4 it’s based on, the driving experience of the two cars is unsurprisingly familiar.
Comfort and refinement are good. Even on massive 21-inch wheels, you don’t feel too many of the lumps and bumps in the road - although it must be said that our test route was a bit smoother than a poorly maintained British road.
Like a lot of electric cars, the ID.5’s heavy weight is somewhat hidden at lower speeds. The battery is mounted low down under the floor, so there’s very little body roll. Through faster corners it starts to push wide because of the weight. It’s not as good to drive as a Ford Mustang Mach-E but most buyers are likely to be satisfied.
We found the steering to be quite heavy and also a little springy; the steering wheel likes to self-centre very quickly. All but the Pro models get a progressive steering rack that requires fewer turns of the wheel at higher speeds.
Volkswagen ID.5 electric motor
There’s a choice of Pro, Pro Performance and GTX powertrains. Pro and Pro Performance look quite similar, because they have 172bhp and 201bhp respectively. But the 0-62mph time drops by a whole two seconds if you pick the Pro Performance (8.4 seconds rather than 10.4), giving it a fairly brisk feel. When we drove the ID.4 Pro, it felt sluggish in comparison, and we’d expect the ID.5 Pro to feel the same. Arguably, the entry-level model isn’t quick enough for the price of the car, even if Volkswagen expects half of buyers to plump for the entry-level powertrain.
While the GTX looks fairly subtle for a performance model, its 295bhp means it lives up to its billing. Accelerating from 0-62mph takes just 6.3 seconds, which is quicker than the Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatch. The top speed is raised to 112mph, up from 99mph for other models.
We’re glad Volkswagen didn’t use the GTI badge here, though. The ID.5 GTX offers similar straight-line performance to a Golf GTI, despite having 54bhp more, but doesn’t feel particularly quick in its normal mode. Acceleration is a little quicker in Sport mode, but then the steering is heavy and springy. It handles lower-speed corners well, but comes unstuck in faster bends because it’s keen to push wide. Ultimately, it’s best driven at a cruise rather than as a B-road blitzer, which limits its appeal as a performance model. We’ll stick with the Pro Performance.