8 reasons the Volkswagen Id.4 is great (2 reasons we still wouldn’t buy one)
Volkswagen has made a name for itself in the automotive landscape with iconic models such as the Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Tiguan and Toureg. With that rich history came the infamous Dieselgate, a massively unforgettable scandal in which Volkswagen admitted to cheating on diesel emissions tests. In the meantime, however, Volkswagen is going on the electric offensive with a completely new generation of fully-fledged electric vehicles and is leading the way with the ID.4 SUV and the upcoming ID. Buzz van.
The ID.4 debuted in 2020, the second model in the VW ID family, positioned as a high-volume, mass-market crossover SUV destined for millions. While it’s currently making waves in the electric SUV space, pushing the envelope with technology, a budget-friendly price point, and a family-friendly demeanor, we have a few reservations about the ID.4. Read on to find out why the ID.4 is great and the few reasons we still wouldn’t buy one.
10 Great: Bold yet understated exterior design
According to the chief designer of the Volkswagen Group, Klaus Zyciora, the exterior design of the ID.4 is clean, powerful and flowing, as if it had been shaped by the wind. The striking, modern look makes the design of the ID.4 as approachable as popular petrol crossovers, which are prominently characterized by the headlights and the characteristic light strip between them.
The design, while bold, is also gentle, with subtle transitions that alternate well with the sharp and precise edges of the ID.4. Volkswagen consistently focused on precisely executed aerodynamics, resulting in an excellent drag coefficient of 0.28.
9 Ingenious: A pleasantly spacious interior
By doing without a combustion engine, the ID.4’s interior space is maximized to make it as pleasantly spacious as possible, not to mention easy entry and exit. The interior design is surprisingly clean, modern and minimalist, adorned with premium soft materials for comfort. Up to five people can be accommodated in the cabin, with spacious seating in both rows.
Ward’s car awarded the ID.4 a trophy for Best User Interface in 2021, voted for capturing Volkswagen’s mission to create a bold, futuristic, spacey and serene interior for driver and passengers. Corresponding ward’s car, The ID.4 is a monumental leap into a world where physical buttons are deemed unnecessary and voice control works as intended.
8th Ingenious: Expansive panoramic fixed glass roof
Numerous models on the market feature panoramic sunroofs, but the ID.4 takes the concept to a whole new level. The sweeping sunroof extends the full length of the cabin, from the windshield pillar to just above the rear seat headrests.
The panoramic sunroof doubles as a fixed glass roof, allowing additional light into the cabin during the day or providing an excellent view of the night sky. The fixed glass roof closes with a fully electric sunshade controlled by a finger-swipe control panel above the rear-view mirror.
7 Brilliant: Free public DC fast charging
Each ID.4 device comes standard with a Level 1 charging cable for charging at home, while a Level 2 home charger is available separately and allows a full overnight charge in around 7.5 to 11.5 hours. The ever-expanding public charging infrastructure network includes over 45,000 charging stations nationwide, but Volkswagen went a step further with its subsidiary Electrify America.
With this charging network, Volkswagen ensures that the ID.4 will receive free 30-minute charges at Electrify America’s nationwide DC fast charging stations for three years. Electrify America plans to have over 9,500 chargers spread across 1,700 charging stations by the end of 2025.
6 Fantastic: Sold in two disguises
Volkswagen offers the ID.4 in two exciting equipment lines; Base Pro and top-spec Pro S. Both trims have rear-wheel drive, an 82-kWh battery with a range of 268-280 miles per charge, and a 201-horsepower motor. Opting for all-wheel drive adds more traction and a second motor, boosting power to 295 hp.
The ID.4 Pro trim features a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, power-adjustable cloth-covered front seats, and wireless device charging. On the other hand, the Pro S has a 12-inch infotainment system with gesture recognition, simulated leather power seats, advanced driver assistance features and optional 20-inch wheels.
5 Awesome: Relatively affordable SUV
The ID.4 has a starting MSRP of $41,995 for the Pro, $45,635 for the Pro AWD, $46,455 for the Pro S, and $50,135 for the Pro S AWD. Thankfully, the ID.4 is eligible for a potential $7,500 tax credit as the price drops to $33,730 for the Pro and $38,995 for the Pro S.
However, these figures are subject to individual tax situations and various restrictions may result in price changes without notice. Interestingly, Volkswagen plans to move production of the US ID.4 to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the 2023 model year, and with it an additional low-cost base model that will start at around $35,000.
4 Brilliant: A five-star safety rating
The Volkswagen ID.4 received an overall 5-star NHTSA safety rating, not to mention it was also named a 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick. NHTSA gave the ID.4 a four-star rollover resistance rating, while side and front crash tests returned a solid five-star rating.
The ID.4 has driver assistance functions such as a light assistant, parking distance control and a dynamic traffic sign display. The driving assistant also includes the IQ from Volkswagen. Drive, a suite that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Travel Assist, Rear Traffic Alert, Active Blind Spot Monitor, Emergency Assist, Front Assist and Lane Assist.
3 Ingenious: the intelligent recuperation concept from Volkswagen
Many electric vehicles use regenerative braking to reclaim energy when the driver releases the accelerator pedal, while others allow coasting. The ID.4 has the “D” and “B” modes, which activate driving with one or two pedals in order to use Volkswagen’s intelligent recuperation concept for regenerative braking.
The standard D mode prioritizes coasting to a stop, with regenerative braking accessible by manually pressing the brake pedal. Volkswagen has indicated that converting one form of energy into another incurs conversion losses, and coasting conserves that energy to maximize range. “B” mode activates single-pedal driving, where regenerative braking occurs when the driver releases the accelerator pedal.
2 Reason not to buy: Awkward infotainment system
The ID.4 is packed with great technology including an intuitive start function, a smart ID. Light, App-Connect for Apple and Android, SiriusXM, active Car-Net, USB-C ports and reserved cell phone charging. However, the standard 10-inch infotainment and optional 12-inch touchscreen display share a similarly finicky interface that gets slow.
The infotainment system has a hand gesture setting, an on-screen animation setting and an extensive navigation system that consumes significant processing power. Additionally, the touch controls on the steering wheel and power windows are also slow, clunky and finicky, which can become annoying over time.
1 Reason Not to Buy: No frunk
For an SUV in its class, the ID.4 offers plenty of cargo space. There is 543 liters of space in the trunk, which increases to 1,575 liters with the rear seats folded down. Though the hands-free power tailgate and adjustable cargo floor are welcome options, the high cargo floor is a notable downside.
However, the biggest design flaw of the ID.4 has to be the lack of a front trunk, a feature most people have come to expect from a modern EV. Instead of adding extra storage space, Volkswagen outfitted the short hood duct with features like air conditioning, a washer-water bottle inlet, and an old-school fuse box. It is difficult to say in retrospect whether the space was used well.
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