VW ID.4 in the test: space for the whole family

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How good is the first electric SUV from Volkswagen?

VW ID.4 in the test: space for the whole family-test

In 2030, VW wants to generate 70 percent of its sales in Europe with electric cars. To achieve this goal, the range of e-cars must grow. The electric SUV called ID.4 was launched in early 2021.

We have already tested the car.

If the ID.3 is something like the Golf's electric alter ego, then the VW ID.4 is the emission-free version of the Tiguan. With a length of 4.58 meters, it lies in the middle between the Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace (4.50 and 4.70 meters, respectively). And it's 32 centimeters longer than the ID.3.

optics

The VW ID.4 already looks impressive at first glance. Even more than a Mustang Mach-E, despite the fact that the Ford is 13 centimeters longer. The lines are quite unusual and take up the look of the ID.3. Elements such as the closed radiator grille, the narrow headlights with their expressive optics, the roof that appears to have been detached from the body or the tail light strip will be found in future electric models from VW.

But there is something about this body that is not convincing. Because the ID.4 looks heavy. Although it can also give the impression of a strong, robust car, which is rather positive. Well, everyone is allowed to form their own opinion.

Our test car is the top version 1st Max Pro Performance, which is equipped as standard with 21-inch wheels in "Narvik" design, tinted windows and a panoramic glass roof. Not to mention the IQ Light, i.e. the Matrix LED headlights. And the taillights also have a matrix look.

inner space

In the interior, the feeling of space dominates as soon as you sit in the light-flooded cabin under the huge glass roof. You take a seat on nice seats with electric adjustment and massage function, which are a bit tight.

VW ID.4 in the test: space for the whole family-space

When you take a seat behind the wheel, the environment looks very simple. Behind the steering wheel there is an instrument display that shows only three types of information, either larger or smaller. The times when you could configure everything and even display the navigation map are over! But this simplicity helps a lot to focus on the traffic. Especially since there is also the very good head-up display, which we will come back to later.

The central 12-inch touchscreen is located on top of the dashboard, above the few remaining buttons in the interior. The user interface isn't very intuitive, it takes a little getting used to, but it's basically simple too. The touchscreen is a bit sluggish at times, but VW assures that the system can still be improved with updates to accommodate customer feedback.

We are not so impressed with the touch buttons under the screen and those on the steering wheel (with haptic feedback): They are sometimes slow to react. Another annoying detail in everyday life are the buttons for the power windows in the rear: Instead of the usual four buttons for the windows, there are only two, and one more button to select the rear window. Of course, you don't often open the rear window from the driver's seat, but was it really necessary to save a control button? Really not a good idea.

There is a lot of space in the rear. The lack of a central tunnel benefits the middle seat, even if there are not three full seats. Getting in is easy, the legroom is very generous, as is the headroom. The ID.4 spoils the family.

The trunk is also quite generous. 543 liters of luggage fit in. The fund bank can be folded down in a ratio of one third to two thirds. There is also a space under the loading floor to store the cables. It's just a shame that there is no trunk under the front hood …

Drive and chassis

To start the ID.4, you have to turn the selector lever, which is located on the right behind the steering wheel. As with an automatic transmission, you shift to "D" for "Drive" and off you go. The ID.4 is very gentle on the first few kilometers.

Our ID.4 is equipped with the large 77 kWh battery and the output is 150 kW (204 PS). However, the car is not a super sports car. The feeling of acceleration is good, but it lacks the kick that a Tesla gives you, for example. You can feel that this ID.4 is heavy, it weighs almost 2.2 tons. But with a sprint time of 8.5 seconds, the car feels good when it comes to performance.

The steering is quite stiff, but the low center of gravity, which is due to the battery under the floor, keeps the car very well balanced for an SUV of this size, even with a bit of hard driving. The electronically controlled dampers also enable the chassis to be adjusted depending on the selected driving mode: Eco, Comfort or Sport.

The ID.4 also proves to be pleasant in the city. Because the wheels can be turned very far because there is no engine at the front – it sits on the rear axle. This gives the wheels more space to turn.

Head-up display with augmented reality function

But back to the head-up display: It not only offers the information known from other systems, but also an augmented reality function (AR). With its AR function, Mercedes shows a navigation arrow and the image from the vehicle camera together on the central screen. To see that, you have to move your head. In contrast, VW displays the information directly in the driver's field of vision.

When you have a vehicle in front of you on the motorway, a green line is displayed, which turns red if you drive too close. There are also two orange or green lines that indicate whether or not the lane departure warning system is activated. They are shown along the lines of the road ahead.

The navigation arrows are also very practical. And the flag that is shown when you have reached the goal. Both become greater the closer you get to the intersection or the destination. And that without ever being intrusive, with subtle pictograms that fade discreetly when they are no longer needed. A really great system.

Range and charging

In terms of range, the VW ID.4 does not work miracles: Officially, the 77 kWh battery is specified as 520 kilometers. It is 490 kilometers with the Max equipment, with 21-inch wheels. On our 455-kilometer route, including the autobahn, federal highway and city, the car consumed 22.3 kWh / 100 km. This results in a range of just 345 kilometers.

VW ID.4 in the test: space for the whole family-family

The maximum charging power with direct current is 125 kW. This means that the maximum charging capacity of the Ionity columns is not exhausted. But 80 percent of the range can be restored in about thirty minutes.

Conclusion

Our first test drive with the VW ID.4 showed that it is a good electric family vehicle. We are not enthusiastic about its appearance. But the electric alternative to the Tiguan offers plenty of space for the occupants and is smooth and comfortable to drive. However, the vehicle weight reduces the dynamics and some of the controls left us with mixed feelings.

The question of the price still remains: the Max version with the 77 kWh battery costs 58,820 euros in Germany. You can mentally deduct the funding of 9,750 euros, so that you end up with 49,250 euros.

For comparison: A Tesla Model Y Long Range with all-wheel drive costs 59,600 euros before funding, so little more. But the Tesla does not receive any funding, it is not on the BAFA list. In the end, the Tesla is around 10,000 euros more expensive.

VW ID.4 in the test: space for the whole family-test

The cheapest ID.4 with a 77 kWh battery is available from 44,555 euros before funding, with the 52 kWh battery (for a range of 345 kilometers) it is available from 36,950 euros. After the funding, only 27,200 euros remain, not bad for a family electric car!

benefits disadvantage
Real family car Heavy-looking design
Good range High weight
Good suitability for everyday use Bad ergonomics

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Translator's note: The information on prices has been adapted to German conditions; in addition, the original French text carefully shortened.

Picture gallery: VW ID.4 in the test

VW ID.4 in the test: space for the whole family-family

VW ID.4 (150 kW, 77 kWh)

engine Rear electric motor (PSM)

power 150 kW (204 PS)

Max. Torque 310 Nm

Acceleration 0-100 km / h 8.5 sec.

Top speed 160 km / h

battery 77 kWh (lithium-ion battery)

Electric range up to 520 km (WLTP)

Charging port CCS2 (AC up to 11 kW, DC up to 125 kW)

Charging time With DC 125 kW, 320 WLTP km are recharged in 30 minutes

length 4.58 meters

broad 1.85 meters

height 1.63 meters

Trunk volume 543-1,575 liters

Empty weight 2,124 kg

Trailer load up to 1,200 kg

Base price 44,555 euros (with 150 kW, 77 kWh)

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