2021 Volkswagen ID 4 quick drive review: An easy-driving EV – Roadshow

The ID Four is sharp, and never almost as frumpy as a Tesla.


The ID 4 is not Volkswagen’s first electrical car, nevertheless it’s far and away essentially the most vital — within the US, no less than. With its spacious inside, beneficiant suite of tech, 250-mile vary and roughly $40,000 beginning worth, the ID Four is aimed proper within the coronary heart of the EV market. Volkswagen even thinks it could be simply the factor to persuade would-be typical crossover customers to make the leap to EV life.

There’s a lot to debate in regards to the VW ID 4, and Antuan Goodwin explains quite a lot of the finer factors in his first look article from the EV’s debut in September. In the meantime, my time with the ID Four is proscribed to only an hour of driving round Los Angeles County’s South Bay cities, and Volkswagen would not even let me take images of its EV in the actual world due to… causes? I assume? Anyway.

The ID Four makes use of acquainted structure. It is constructed on the identical scalable MEB electrical car platform that underpins a variety of Volkswagen Group EVs, with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery pack beneath the ground. The primary spherical of ID 4s could have a single motor mounted on the rear axle, delivering 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. Someday subsequent yr, a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive ID Four will be a part of the lineup, with 302 hp.

Regardless of this rear-wheel-drive structure, the ID Four does not really feel particularly tail-happy. It is not all that fast, both. Certain, the moment electrical torque is nice, and all 228 lb.-ft. can be found the second you hit the throttle. However should you’re charmed by the fun of launching a Tesla, you will not be capable to repeat that have in an ID 4.

As a substitute, the VW feels much more… regular. For higher or worse. It pulls away from stoplights with confidence, however the throttle is way simpler to modulate than in one thing tremendous twitchy like a Tesla. The ID 4’s throttle feels extra like that of a turbocharged, gas-powered CUV — a Tiguan, maybe. In case you’ve solely ever pushed SUVs with inside combustion engines, stepping into an ID Four will not be too jarring of an expertise. You by no means get the sense that there is a wealth of torque below your proper foot. (Additionally, I really like the Play and Pause icons on the pedals.)


Giant, 20-inch wheels do not break the experience high quality.


Relaxed as it’s, the ID Four continues to be fairly enjoyable to drive. The EV turns in rapidly and there is a nice weight to the wheel itself. The ID Four additionally boasts a 33.5-foot turning radius and three.5 turns lock to lock, that means it is easy to whip U-turns on the fly or at intersections. What I like most in regards to the ID Four is the experience high quality — it corners flat, due to its low middle of gravity, nevertheless it’s not uneven or stiff on the freeway, even on these large, 20-inch wheels and low-profile tires. It is snug and straightforward to drive, identical to a compact crossover must be.

The ID Four makes use of entrance disc and rear drum brakes. And whereas the latter may appear a bit old school for a car so forward-thinking, Volkswagen notes that drum brakes are literally higher for long-term use in an EV, because the regenerative braking and entrance discs can do the heavy lifting more often than not. That stated, there is not sturdy sufficient regen to permit for the type of one-pedal EV driving that I — and different EV fanatics — have come to get pleasure from. In its customary drive mode, lifting off the throttle will let the ID Four coast like a gas-powered automotive, although should you shift from D to B on the gear selector, extra regen is dialed into the expertise. Choose Sport mode and the ID Four not solely will get a little bit extra pep in its step, however has stronger off-pedal regen. And since Sport does not stiffen the suspension, I really choose this setting to the others. An Eco mode, in the meantime, has the reverse impact, slowing all the pieces down for the sake of most effectivity.

From the driving force’s seat, the ID Four seems like some other Volkswagen crossover. The low beltline curves as much as a comparatively excessive cowl, and I discover myself having to lift the seat to comfortably see down the hood. There is a large middle console between the 2 entrance seats, with loads of room for drinks and a wi-fi telephone charger. Headroom and shoulder room are ample, as effectively, and whereas the ID Four is smaller than a Tiguan on the skin, the 2 have related inside dimensions. With its white surfaces and expansive windshield, the EV merely feels roomier.

A 5.3-inch display screen sits behind the steering wheel and an non-compulsory 12-inch show is discovered on the sprint.


It is easy to get out and in of the ID 4’s again seats and there are a pair of USB Kind-C retailers for rear passengers. Open the hatchback and there is a comparatively low load flooring with a reconfigurable divider. The again seats fold flat, too, making the ID Four fairly practical. There’s an ample 30.Three cubic toes of house behind the second row, and a most of 64.2 cubic toes with the seats folded.

Even on this early, preproduction check automotive, the ID Four has a way of high quality and premium-ness that is been lacking from quite a lot of latest Volkswagen merchandise. It appears to be like and seems like an actual luxurious automotive, with high-quality supplies, gentle surfaces and an enormous roster of in-car tech.

The 5.3-inch digital gauge cluster is simple to learn, nestled behind the steering wheel with a BMW i3-like gear shifter off to the correct. The usual infotainment setup makes use of a 10-inch display screen within the middle of the dashboard, however higher-end fashions get a 12-inch show operating Volkswagen’s new Uncover Professional Max software program. It options voice instructions, gesture controls and incorporates the brand new ID Mild characteristic, which might both affirm a driver’s actions and even present directional assist for navigation. I am super-excited to spend extra time checking this out.

The ID 4’s new infotainment system appears tremendous simple to make use of.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Because it stands, my restricted time with the ID Four means I’ve solely received a number of impressions of the infotainment system. It is easy to navigate via the menu construction and inputs are met with fast responses. I just like the colourful shows and the house display screen widgets, and fortunately, wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are customary.

An entire mess of driver-assistance methods are packed into the ID 4, with forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping help customary, all bundled into what VW calls the IQ Drive suite. Visitors signal recognition, park distance management and automated excessive beams come on each ID 4, too.

The primary ID 4s will probably be hitting the street later this yr, and I am positive we’ll have a extra thorough check (with images) earlier than 2020 involves a detailed. VW’s new EV will value $39,995 earlier than factoring in a still-unknown vacation spot cost in addition to federal and native incentives. My check automotive — a completely loaded First Version — prices $43,995, and all of these models are spoken for. As a bonus, ID Four house owners could have entry to three years of free fast-charging on the rising Electrify America community, and it may well cost from 0% to 80% in slightly below 40 minutes.

The primary ID 4s will hit the street later this yr.


All informed, the ID Four is a compelling electrical crossover. It appears to be like good, the inside is properly appointed, and its tech recreation is robust. Will it pull people out of a Tesla Model Y? In all probability not. However it’s far and away extra luxurious than a Chevrolet Bolt or Kia Niro EV, and affords a less-expensive different to one thing like an Audi E-Tron, albeit with out these 4 prestigious rings on its nostril. It is also practical sufficient to supply actual utility for compact crossover customers, and Volkswagen’s hoping a number of would-be Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 consumers may take discover.

The ID Four is a very large step for VW’s electrification efforts right here within the US. Fortunate for them, it appears to be like to be a particularly well-rounded EV.

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Steven Ewing