Road Test: Volkswagen ID.4
Martyn Collins wonders if the ID.4 should be the electric family choice.
SECTOR Compact SUV PRICE £34,650 (incl. PiCG) CHARGING 7kW AC / 125kW DC RANGE 213-323 miles
It only feels like five minutes since we drove Volkswagen’s first ID model – the ID.3 – but already the German manufacturer has pressed ahead with growth of its ID electric family.
And with the continued growth in the popularity in SUV models, the new ID.4 could be even more relevant to UK fleet buyers. Because the ID.4 is basically the ID.3 in new SUV clothes.
As with the ID.3, it’s built on VW’s dedicated MEB platform and has launched in a number of models, spearheaded by a limited-run 1st Edition and followed by a range of pre-configured trim levels – now updated to include the option of extra packs.
As you’d expect, there’s a visual link to the ID.3, with the same sealed grille, large headlights and windscreen. Move further towards the rear of the ID.4 and the exterior design gets more interesting, with the curvy roofline and almost flush, solenoid-operated door handles. At the back, the ID.4 looks more hatch than SUV, with its shallower screen and large rear light bar leading to a dynamic look.
If you didn’t see the outside of the ID.4, you could be fooled into thinking you were sitting in an ID.3, as they are almost identical – the only giveaway being the metal dashtop trim rather than fabric. With just two screens and a lack of physical controls, like the ID.3, we found the dashboard a bit stark – although our test car was a 1st Edition, improved by the white highlights such as the steering wheel and 10-inch central touchscreen. We do however worry how white they will remain over time.
There is a 5.3-inch display for the dials, but most features are controlled by the 10-inch touchscreen – or the sliders below it. This infotainment set-up was improved over our last experience with the ID.3, but the different menu screens still seem overcomplicated, and the voice control feature continues to be more miss than hit.
It could be down to the darker trim of our test car, but quality felt higher in the ID.4 than the ID.3. The driving position is comfortable, the seats supportive and there’s the expected crossover practicality. The long wheelbase and lack of transmission tunnel translate to an interior that feels even more spacious than the ID.3. Stowage too is excellent, although we wonder if Volkswagen’s interior designers ran out of ideas – do you really need four cupholders? Boot space is up on the ID.3 to 543 litres and, with the rear seat folded, this increases to a very respectable 1,575 litres.
We drove the former £40,800 1st Edition, but the range now consists of Life, Style, Family and Max versions. 1st Edition models get the ‘Pro Performance’ powertrain set-up, featuring the largest 77kWh battery and a 204hp motor, giving a 323-mile range. However, there’s also a 52kWh battery and 148hp motor ‘Pure’ powertrain version, with 213 miles of range.
When it comes to recharging, the ID.4 supports AC charging and also accepts 125kW DC fast charging – this means the 77kWh battery is able to recover to up to 199 miles in just 30 minutes.
On the road, despite the standard 20-inch wheels, the ride is comfortable. The ID.4 feels agile, and the handling is tidy too, we just wish there was more driver involvement.
Question marks over the infotainment already highlighted with the ID.3 remain, but as a package the ID.4 impresses with its quality and driving range.
Key Fleet Model: Volkswagen ID.4 Life
Strengths: Quality, practicality, spacious interior
Weaknesses: Overcomplicated infotainment
Fleet World Star Rating