2021 Volkswagen ID 4 review: Hitting the EV sweet spot

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The great EVs are at last below, and that’s a little something worthy of finding fired up about. All these electrified products that brands have been teasing us with for several years are hitting dealer a lot. Now, any one wanting to at last ditch interior combustion has a sequence of actual, and genuinely compelling, options.

Volkswagen was amid the major-edge EV suppliers below in the US, releasing the fantastic, if pricey and limited-ranged, E-Golf back again in 2012. The new ID 4 is that car’s successor, riding on the new MEB system and developed from the ground up to be all-electric. Where the E-Golf was essentially compromised by its internally combusted heritage, the ID 4 shows just how great a pure EV can be.


  • Excellent, smooth push
  • Tranquil and peaceful
  • Refreshing inside

Never Like

  • Frumpy styling
  • No a person-pedal regen

That dedicated system signifies Volkswagen engineers can stuff 82 kilowatt-hours’ worthy of of battery into the ID 4, though apparently only 77 kWh of these are actually usable. This extra headroom signifies the motor vehicle can intelligently control cost cycles throughout a broader variety of cells, which need to lead to increased life and extra predictable range. No matter, you might be covered by an 8-12 months, one hundred,000-mile warranty on the pack alone.

Individuals cells energy both a person or two electric motors. Original versions of the motor vehicle, like the Very first Version design pictured below, make do with 201 horsepower by the rear wheels. In the future, an all-wheel-push design will bump that up to 302 hp. Torque on the RWD taste is 228 pound-ft. Which is loads wholesome and, given it really is an EV, conveniently available. On the deceleration facet, when there are two regen modes to pick from below, neither is near to what I might take into consideration a a person-pedal method. Which is a disappointment for confident.

As to the all-crucial range, VW’s EPA figure is 250 miles. In my testing, which involved a combine of metropolis, rural and freeway driving at temperatures frequently in the fifty to 70 levels Fahrenheit range, I netted… 250 miles. Sure, 250 exactly.

I experience compelled to stage out that this was with me treating the ID 4 like a standard motor vehicle. I toggled the heat and the air-con when I preferred, and manufactured liberal use of equally heated seats and steering wheel, even the massage function. When I did frequently go away the motor vehicle in Eco method, I wasn’t light with the throttle, and however I easily met the EPA score. Generate a minor extra frugally and I am confident you can conquer it.

That explained, there is certainly minor reason to push aggressively. When the ID 4 does have that fun EV throttle response, zipping you off the line and by visitors gaps, this is not a swift motor vehicle. That reality is specially evident at freeway speeds, where the ID 4 cruises without having problem but doesn’t exactly leap forward when prodded.

It does search a minor frumpy.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

No anxieties. To get the most out of the ID 4 I advise you get a deep breath, settle back again in your seat, set the adaptive cruise to a sensible speed and just unwind. The motor vehicle is even wise more than enough to change the stick to distance dependent on your preferred driving method, keeping a minor farther back again in Eco method to be certain it won’t will need to speed up and slow down so routinely.

The dealing with is in the same way peaceful, but the ride high quality is great. Impressive, that, contemplating the twenty-inch wheels and tires outfitted on this Very first Version. And, when you would of course anticipate an EV to be peaceful, VW engineers clearly used a ton of time isolating any trace of street and wind noise. The driver’s seat is a serene place.

Which is assisted by the stark white inside highlights on this Very first Version edition. When the products themselves are a minor harsh in spots, the over-all search has a distinctively strategy-motor vehicle vibe, which I enjoy significantly. I also really like the shifter, mounted higher on the gauge cluster like the a person in the BMW i3. Just tilt it in the direction you want to go — or click on the P button when you might be finished with the going.

I really like the vibe of the inside. 

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

That gauge cluster is petite, but is at the very least present, and loads massive more than enough to give you all the appropriate info about speed, range and navigation prompts. The gauge cluster will even display navigation prompts from Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Which is essential due to the fact I have a emotion you won’t want to count significantly on the baked-in nav.

The infotainment expertise in the ID 4 is thoroughly clean and straightforward, displaying some significant iOS affect with a dwelling button on the still left that you are going to will need to hit to soar among a variety of sections. It would make for an uncomplicated way to get from, say, media to navigation, but it does mean achieving for that dwelling button a ton.

And ready a ton, way too. When I got my first push of the ID 4 previous 12 months I was let down at how sluggish the application was. The optimist in me hoped that issues would be optimized in advance of the motor vehicle delivered. The realist in me now sees no such optimizations have been manufactured. Sliding and swiping is frequently met with extended, unpleasant delays. If that weren’t more than enough, the voice recognition method is rudimentary at greatest. Like I explained, adhere to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, equally of which are supported, wirelessly at that.

Really practical, way too.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

It need to appear as no shock that most of the car’s controls count on capacitive contact. Even the slider for the solar shade to cover the massive, bright panoramic roof is contact-sensitive. Facet window controls are still physical, thank goodness, but there is certainly an component of contact below, way too. As a substitute of the driver acquiring four switches, a person for every window, there are only two. To management the rear windows you have to contact a very small minor “rear” indicator. Very good luck doing that without having using your eyes off the street.

That panoramic roof supplies great headroom, front and rear. Individuals in the back again will uncover their seats a bit elevated, supplying a very clear, commanding look at of the earth all around. A pair of USB-C connectors back again there will continue to keep the little ones from complaining about their own batteries, when there is certainly a wi-fi charging cubby with extra USB ports for telephones up front.

Everybody is shielded by a thorough lively safety suite, that includes niceties like automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear-visitors inform and even street indication detection. All that’s involved on even the base ID 4.

That base edition, termed Pro, commences at $forty one,a hundred ninety which includes a $one,195 vacation spot cost. The Very first Version you see below is no extended available, that means your only possibilities are the Pro or the $45,690 Pro S, which provides numerous of the characteristics you see below, which includes the panoramic roof, massaging energy seats and an enhance to a twelve-inch navigation monitor. A further $one,500 delivers you up to the Gradient trim, layering on these twenty-inch wheels and some other visual aptitude. The eventual AWD enhance will be a additional $three,680 and, other than flooring mats and the common spate of accessories, there genuinely are not any extra containers to tick.

How does that assess with other EVs on the market right now? The closest Tesla is the Model Y, which commences at $52,a hundred ninety which includes a $one,two hundred vacation spot payment. For that you get extra range, 326 miles for every the EPA, and faster performance, way too. But the ID 4’s inside is miles much better and, well, I am going to let you figure out no matter if you have extra Tesla or VW assistance facilities close by. You will find also the not-insignificant $seven,500 federal rebate, relevant to the VW but not the Tesla, which signifies the ID 4 could appear in at about $ten,000 less expensive.

Not fairly flawless, but really hard to uncover a flaw just the same.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

The new Chevrolet Bolt EUV is yet another EV that numerous will be cross-browsing, and for great reason. It builds on the well-verified Bolt system, supplying a minor extra room and some fresh styling. No EPA-rated range just however, but GM’s engineers say to anticipate all around 250 miles. An FWD Premier Bolt EUV has an MSRP of $forty three,925 which includes a $995 vacation spot cost. That puts it right within just spitting distance of the ID 4.

So, the ID 4 is competitively priced and wonderful to push, with more than enough range to vanquish anxiousness and a fresh inside that manufactured me smile. What didn’t make me smile? I have to acknowledge I under no circumstances genuinely fell for the thing. Right after the gonzo ID Buggy strategy and the amazing attraction of the ID Excitement, the ID 4 feels extra than a minor plain.

But you know what? Which is Ok. Not just about every EV requires to make a assertion, and this a person exudes peaceful assurance. The Volkswagen ID 4 is much better than a great motor vehicle, it really is a good a person — it just received Planet Car of the 12 months honors— and undoubtedly a indication of even much better EVs to appear from VW.