The e-car premiere at Volkswagen was more than successful: The ID.3 has become a bestseller. But how is the first all-electric SUV doing? We tested the VW ID.4.
With the VW ID.4, Volkswagen is launching its first all-electric SUV on the market. The timing is quite astonishing, because the latest Stromer from Wolfsburg can already look back on in-house models with electric motors. Other manufacturers, however, mostly started electrifying their fleets with this vehicle class. Why? Viewed half realistically, half cynically, an electric motor is the perfect form of drive for SUVs. If these are moved to a large extent in the city, dogs often house dogs in the trunkor golf bags – and as off-road as they may appear from the outside, the elevated seating position and dynamic performance on paved roads are particularly important to their owners. They are heavy anyway, so the battery doesn’t matter much anymore.
A little less mocking and viewed through the eyes of an SUV aficionado, however, it can be said at this point: the new Volkswagen ID.4 is a good offer for everyone who is looking for an electric all-rounder. It is a sensible continuation of VW’s e-offensive: While the small ID.3 was clearly designed as a car for urban use or at least for short-distance use, the ID.4 as a compact SUV with its larger dimensions and 4.58 meters in length, other customers in sight.Namely, those who are often out and about with several friends or the whole family. Those who go on vacation by car and who appreciate an extra portion of space in the footwell of the back seat and in the trunk (up to 1,575 liters load volume). A roof rack can also be fitted and a trailer hitch is also available as an option, which has so far been rather unusual for e-cars. And in the end, it is actually a car for everyone who succumbs to the charm of the low point and the associated driving dynamics, which is due to the battery in the ground.
Correspondingly agile, the car with 150 kW (equivalent to 204 hp) can be chauffeured along the country roads and highways around Wolfsburg – with the ID.4 always remaining maximally controllable, even in sport mode. It should be mentioned at this point that we were sitting in the First Edition – a particularly well-equipped model that will be offered at market launch. Two further drive variants with 109 kW / 148 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS will follow in 2021.
Welcome to the new E world – without a lot of frills!
The top speed of our test car: 160 km / h. It goes from zero to one hundred in 8.5 seconds.The tropic? For such a lush automobile, thanks to the small electric motor on the rear axle and short overhangs, it is surprisingly small. Experiencing the outside world from an ID.4 is an extremely pleasant, relaxing experience. The Wolfsburg-based company has deliberately kept the interior as small as possible: A small display behind the steering wheel tells the pilot the essential data and all other functions and settings can be controlled via a 12-inch screen in the middle. Even according to VW’s vision, the new e-world does not have to and should not irritate with giant displays and pseudo-futuristic gimmicks, but rather present itself in a cool and functional way. For example, in the form of a head-up display with augmented reality effects, which uses arrow displays to draw attention to the fact that you should turn off soon.
Also impressive: Real leather is only used for the steering wheel, but the seats are “animal-free” , which is a big trend in the auto industry. The somewhat cumbersome term is due to the fact that one cannot and does not want to use the term “vegan” because, despite all efforts, it cannot be ruled out one hundred percent that an animal lubricant may still be used here and there during processing. All in all, however, a look at these seats is a glimpse into an animal-friendly future: After all, the cattle, whose flawless skin is used for leather seats, are not caressed into heaven, but live on earth with extremely little (injury) freedom.
The VW ID.4: An electric car for world tastes, with a range of 520 km
From the outside it is clear at first glance: Here comes an e-mobile. Other manufacturers also make this differentiation, with the competition from Polestar, Audi and Tesla , for example , being more dynamic and lively. The ID.4 makes perfect use of the available space – but is not exactly of a rapid, but rather of cuddly sheet metal stature. A car that will surely please many, but which does not necessarily excite or stimulate. Perfect for all those who are not familiar with the grand entrance. And just as ideal for world tastes. Because while the small ID.3 is primarily intended to find its customers in Europe , the ID.4 is intended for larger markets.
With the large 77 kWh battery you can travel 520 kilometers in this SUV according to the WLTP cycle , with the smaller 52 kWh variant it is 350 kilometers. In everyday use, it should be a few kilometers less, but the range is actually quite precise. Only when the speed on the autobahn is increased too much does the remaining kilometers melt away much faster than the distance covered – but that’s no different with petrol cars. On top of that, the optional Assistance Package Plus invites you to slow down.As long as your hands are on the steering wheel, the ID.4 can take over almost everything automatically: keep your lane and speed, brake if the traffic ahead or a speed limit demand it, everything is possible. All of this is extremely confident and safe. The car thinks that people only steer a little.
That costs Volkswagen’s E-SUV premiere
Instead of excessive customization options, VW also relies on the charm of various preconfigured lines for the ID.4 , which are intended to cover different areas of interest and customer needs: The eight packages on offer are Pure, City, Pro, Life, Business, Family, Tech and Max. Starting next year, the starting price will be 36,950 euros , currently only the “1st Edition” and the “1st Edition Max” are available at prices starting at 49,950 euros.
All in all, the VW ID.4. is very well-engineered, comfortable and actually suitable for long journeys . In 30 minutes charging time, a range of 320 kilometers can be refilled on a 125 kW column, which – assuming an appropriate charging network – does not unnecessarily lengthen even longer trips. Especially since you can plan the route and the charging stops in advance using the app. It can therefore be assumed that we will encounter the ID.4 very often in 2021. On the autobahn as well as on the boulevards – in other words, wherever classic compact SUVs cut a good figure. Except that you simply have a lot more space and sophisticated technology in it.