VW ID.4 – Electric SUV With a New Identity

by Gazette Reporter
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The new Volkswagen ID.4 is the German brand’s first all-electric family-sized SUV which falls somewhere between the Volkswagen Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace in size.

It is the second model to be launched in the fully-electric ID range, following on from the Golf-sized ID.3 hatchback. However, being larger and more practical than the ID.3, the ID.4 will hold more appeal for family buyers wanting more space.

Generous Proportions.

The ultra-modern ID.4 benefits from smooth lines, large alloy wheels, and coast-to-coast front and rear lights, while trendy SUV-style plastic wheel arches and side skirts provide terrific visual drama. The ID.4 is underpinned by the same MEB platform as the ID.3 hatchback, but it has been extended to suit its more generous proportions. There is no gear-lever in the ID.4 but, in a similar fashion to a BMW i3, you simply twist a large gear selector attached to the right hand side of the instrument binnacle in order to choose your direction of travel, and engage regenerative braking, while a push-button parking brake function is also present. The instrument binnacle is attached to the multi-function steering wheel so that the information display is constantly in the line of sight of the driver.

Multiple Trim Options.

There are seven trim levels available in the new ID.4 – Life, Business, Family, Tech, Max, GTX Business and GTX Max – all of which provide drivers with an intuitive electric-car experience. With the exception of GTX Business and GTX Max, all ID.4 variants are powered by a 77kWh Lithium-ion battery, which is mated to a 204bhp electric motor that can propel the SUV from 0-100km/h in a respectable 8.5-seconds, and can achieve a range up to 517kms (depending on the model chosen). The 77kWh battery in GTX variants is mated to a dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) system which produces 299bhp, and can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in just 6.2-seconds, with a range of up to 485kms on offer. A terrific energy recuperation system in the ID.4 makes it easy and fuss-free to extend the range of the battery. For instance, when the driver approaches a slower moving vehicle, the ID.4 can automatically use the slowing effect of regenerative braking to align with the vehicle in front. Additionally, there is a selectable ‘B’ mode which increases braking effect in normal driving.

Spacious Cabin & Boot.

The impressively spacious cabin of the ID.4 feels very well built and nicely designed. The lack of a centre tunnel in the rear provides occupants with lots of space for feet, while the comfortable rear bench seat sits higher up to offer passengers a cinematic view, with ample head and leg room on offer. Generous boot space also comes as standard across the ID.4 range, with 543-litres available behind the rear seats, or 1,575-litres with them folded down. Under-floor storage in the boot can be used to accommodate charging cables, so that available boot space is maximised at all times. The ID.4 can be charged in 7 hours and 30 minutes from a wall box charger (0-100% charge), and in just 38 minutes (5-80% charge) at a DC fast charge station.

Excellent Driving Dynamics.

As is the case with all electric cars, the ID.4 picks up speed briskly and smoothly, and cruises with the utmost of serenity, while an impressively tight turning circle is a terrific benefit when parking or negotiating narrow city streets. The ID.4’s driving dynamics are helped by the low centre of gravity of its battery, and the rear-wheel drive car I tested has an ideal weight distribution between the front and rear. With its impressive body control and road  manners, the ID.4 is a joy to drive, while well-weighted and precise steering provides great driver confidence behind the wheel. Supple suspension soaks up most road imperfections with ease, but it also adequately controls body roll through bends when required.

Verdict & Pricing.

The Volkswagen ID.4 is easy to live with, engaging to drive, practical, well-equipped, spacious and it offers a decent range too, with the option of rapid charging on longer journeys. Pricing starts at just €48,089 after grants and VRT relief is applied for private buyers.  

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