TEST DRIVE: Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition 2021 | properties
While the ID.4 has stiff competition from the Tesla Model Y and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, it really is a vehicle that stands on its own in its kind of electric vehicle.
With a range of 250 miles and currently only available as a rear wheel, it changes handling and driving dynamics. In addition, thanks to the single engine and 77 kWh battery, the ID.4 is a bit slower in the 0-60 time (compared to Tesla and Mach-E), but still faster than most gasoline-powered compact SUVs.
Indeed, most of the ID.4 consumers will come from the internal combustion engine (ICE) world and migrate from a vehicle like the Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4. The ID.4 does not have to compete with electric vehicles, it just has to be itself.
And it’s pretty good at that. It has a fairly conservative look with a familiar boxy profile that’s standard in the compact SUV segment. The ID.4 has fewer bells and whistles than other EVs, but the ID.4 still has its own personality and shows off.
This is clearly not a “normal” Volkswagen and that’s okay too. I expect and want EVs to be different from ICE vehicles, and most EV consumers want that too.
A single electric motor mounted in the rear has an output of 201 hp. This feels like a small number to an EV and it is in comparison, but when you put the ID4 against a CRV it will feel a lot peppier. It doesn’t quite have the torque boost of other EVs, but it has cool, controlled performance and still feels surprisingly quick.
It just does it in such a quiet, refined way that the power and performance are a little deceiving. Unlike those where torque and power are obvious, the ID.4 isn’t quite the show.
I was disappointed that there was no one-pedal driving in the ID.4, as there is in a Tesla or Mach-E. That makes driving really exciting and fun and was a disappointment for the ID.4.
Otherwise, the performance is good and the ID.4 has the best turning circle of any SUV I’ve driven. The overall handling is also excellent thanks to the rear-wheel drive motor. It took some getting used to the bizarre placement of the gears, where one turn away from you shifts the drive and one turn towards you shifts the reverse gear. However, it’s really a really intuitive layout and placement.
The rest of the First Edition ID.4 has a clean, sleek interior. The white steering and white accents contribute to the clean look. It has a really modern, almost futuristic feel to it. Some reviewers have raised concerns about the white steering wheel showing dirt easily, but the white steering wheel is only part of the First Edition fairing. Personally, I liked it and thought it adds to the overall personality of the vehicle.
The rear seats are comfortable for two adults, a third increases comfort. The headroom is good thanks to the more boxy styling and the legroom is reasonable, but not outstanding.
Another disappointing aspect is the lack of a frunk or front trunk. This is to be expected of electric vehicles, but Volkswagen inexplicably moved part of the drivetrain and brake fluid and other fluid reservoirs forward, leaving no room for a frunk. The lack of a frunk is the most egregious thing about the ID.4.
The 77 kWh battery allows charging on level 3 chargers and can reach more than 90 percent in less than an hour. And in contrast to the Mach-E, the ID.4 seems to charge particularly quickly once it reaches the 80% plateau, while the Mach-E seems to be significantly slower.
The price is the only area that makes the ID.4 attractive. This will be a great “introduction to EV” vehicles. While very early adapters may have turned to the Nissan Leaf, the same consumers are likely to consider the ID.4 as it has a starting price point of just over $ 41,000, making it one of the most affordable EVs on the market.
Consumers value value and the ID.4 has that in abundance. It doesn’t feel cheap, has a lot of personality, and is more fun to drive than your average compact SUV (not called a Tesla or Mustang Mach-E0. Oh, and you don’t have to spend any money to refuel, which adds to that. ) the value and attractiveness.