Volkswagen ID.4 is the future of electric cars
It could be argued that the dramatic shift towards electric vehicles in recent years has been driven by Volkswagen. The “dirty diesel” scandal brought auto emissions to the fore, and as a massive manufacturer, Volkswagen was well positioned to lead the subsequent electric vehicle offensive.
The new ID sub-brand is the result, and the ID.4 SUV is the second vehicle to be launched on the market after the ID.3 hatchback. It is expected to be a best seller for ID, and the German firm is hoping it will become a mainstream EV supplier.
Since this is only the second model to date on Volkswagen’s special Volkswagen platform known as the MEB, it is brand new from the ground up.
The platform allows the batteries to be positioned deep in the car, maximizing cabin space and optimizing weight balance.
The environmentally friendly tailpipe emissions are not only environmentally friendly.
VW wants to be CO2 neutral by 2050. This also includes the use of renewable energies at the Zwickau plant, where ID.3 and ID.4 are built, while pilot programs end up working on recycling the car’s batteries or reusing them in other applications.
Our test car is a First Edition model that is equipped with the larger 77 kWh battery and a 201 hp electric motor that drives the rear wheels. The result is a range of more than 300 miles. Due to our few days in the car, medium to high 200s seem more realistic with mixed driving.
This is a pretty big, heavy vehicle, so 201hp isn’t a huge amount. Sure, you get the first burst of acceleration that is typical of electric vehicles, but it’s not as punchy as many of its competitors.
That is almost certainly on purpose, however, as the ID.4 is only intended for the everyday family commuter. In this sense, its performance is more than adequate.
So we have to forget about the punchy EV thrill, but that doesn’t mean the ID.4 is disappointing.
The silky smooth application of force that makes romping around town a breeze – the accelerator pedal is excellently rated, so you can drive away without a jolt and simply increase to your cruising speed.
Once you hit highway speed, it’s quiet and refined, with minimal road and wind noise while handling bumps with minimal effort. And while comfort is focused, the ID.4 isn’t nervous in the corners.
It’s hardly fun, but the low center of gravity and excellent balance ensure that it holds its own in the corners.
If the driving experience has not made it clear that this should fit into everyday life, then the styling certainly does.
The ID.4 is smart but not exciting. The rear, in particular, lacks the sheen we’ve gotten used to from brands trying to make their electric vehicles exciting and appealing.
The ID.4 also lacks some of the elegance of the ID.3 hatchback. The front is the best angle, with the chunky lower bumper and thick headlights bucking the newer trend for sleek, sleek design – but it works.
The interior is chic, and its minimalist design ethos works well in modern times.
It all feels a little cheap, however, and is more on the “Basic” side than Modern, while it takes some time to get used to the lack of switches.
Then there are the capacitive buttons on the steering wheel that control functions such as the infotainment volume. They feel bizarre, like sticky, and are irritating to use.
All in all, it’s a nice place in general, with the large windows that make it light and airy and the simple design that makes it feel big and spacious.
For your money (prices from € 36,000) you get the 146 hp engine and a smaller 52 kWh battery with features such as steel wheels, LED headlights and heated front seats.
Our test car was a First Edition model. It has a larger battery and 201 horsepower engine, plus 20-inch alloy wheels, tinted glass, glossy black exterior parts, and some special First Edition badges.
We have been spoiled a bit by electric vehicles. They are usually equipped with powerful engines that offer an exciting driving experience. So it’s easy to get a little disappointed with the ID.4.
But that’s what this car is all about. It shouldn’t inspire and excite and scream about its environmental friendliness, it should just be a good family car.
In that sense, it’s great. The driving experience is calm and reassuring, the cab is spacious and the running costs should be incredibly low.
Sure, the cabin isn’t the best design, but if you just want an electric vehicle that easily fits into everyday life, the ID.4 will do it without a fuss.