“We are building EVs for the millions, not millionaires” – said Mark Gillies, the senior manager for product communications at Volkswagen, with reference to Volkswagen ID.4. After all, last year the VW brand sold worlwide 5.3 million, more than Audi, BMW, and Porsche combined.
After driving the ID.4 for a few days, I’m not so sure millionaires won’t buy it, too. The first electric SUV from VW launched on the market this spring, has futuristic good looks, high-tech driving features, and 400 km of battery range. The ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV and the brand’s first global EV. It is currently produced in Germany and China, but will be assembled in the U.S. as well.
What is it like on the outside and inside?
The ID.4 has a spacious cabin that cleaves to the minimalist aesthetic of many EVs. With minimal aesthetic in the furniture, the interior is enhanced by tasteful cloth, leather and plastics, and ambient light. There’s plenty of room, the console storage is vast, and there are loads of different pockets for phones and other chattels, plus USBs. The most notable is however the 10-inch touch infotainment display in the middle of the dash panel.
There is a lot of great technology packed into the ID.4. Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is standard, and there are plenty of USB-C ports to go around. We especially liked several innovative features that come standard and make this VW feel like a premium SUV: heated steering wheel, heated front seats, massage seat, rear view camera, Front Assist and City Emergency Brake, welcome light, heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, and—on all-wheel-drive models—a heated windshield to keep it from steaming up.
The ID.4 comes also with gesture and audio controls, including “Hello ID,” a voice control that follows instructions spoken by the driver and passengers.
The rear bench seat is large enough and includes two USB ports and an illuminated wireless cellphone charging pad.
Storage space in the rear exceeds 64 cubic feet of cargo volume with the seats down, more than 10 cubic feet than an Audi A5 offers.
Large LED projector headlights and an LED stripe across their top (daytime running lights) gave it an intense but friendly look. The diamond-patterned headlights were framed by illuminated rings flattened at the bottom.
What is it like to drive?
The ID.4 allows you to just get in and drive. There’s no ignition or power button to start the car with. You’ll also appreciate the driver cluster that moves with the steering wheel, so it’s always in your line of sight.
With a rear-mounted motor that gets 204 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, the ID.4 won’t win any drag races—zero to 62 mph takes 8.5 seconds. That doesn’t matter most of the time, as like any EV it picks up the instant you ask, and the delivery is super-controllable.
As you’d expect of a heavy German wagon, it sits beautifully on the motorway, stable in its lane, and low on tyre and wind noise.
All ID.4s benefit from a suite of standard advanced driving aids, from adaptive cruise control with lane keeping to blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The systems proved to be well tuned and useful in our testing, especially in slow-moving traffic.
While it will never be mistaken for a six-figure electric supercar, with its spacious, airy cabin and satisfactory performance, the ID.4 holds a leading place on the EV’market.
The ID.4’s appeal comes from its combination of spaciousness, practicality and a healthy driving range, that makes it very appealing to the masses.
|ID.4 Pro, ID.4 Life, ID.4 Business, ID.4 Family, ID.4 Tech, ID.4 Max
|150 kW (204 PS)
|Battery energy, net
|up to 522 km
|Luggage compartment capacity