Volkswagen ID.4 is the future of electric cars
One could argue that the dramatic shift towards electric vehicles in recent years has been driven by Volkswagen. Its “dirty diesel” scandal made car emissions known to the public, and being the massive manufacturer that it is, Volkswagen was well positioned to lead the subsequent offensive on electric vehicles.
Its new ID sub-brand is the result, and the ID.4 SUV is the second vehicle to come out, after the ID.3 hatchback. It is expected to be a big seller for identification, with the German company hoping it will become the supplier of mainstream electric vehicles.
As this is only the second model to date on Volkswagen’s dedicated EV platform known as MEB, it’s pretty much all new from scratch.
The platform allows the batteries to be positioned low in the car, maximizing cabin space and optimizing weight balance.
It’s not just its zero tailpipe emissions that are environmentally friendly.
VW wants to be CO2 neutral by 2050, and part of achieving that goal is to use renewables at the Zwickau plant where the ID.3 and ID.4 are built, while the company says that pilot programs are working on recycling car batteries upon completion. of its lifespan, or to reuse them in other applications.
Our test car is a First Edition model, which comes with the larger 77 kWh battery and a 201 hp electric motor driving the rear wheels. The result is a range of over 300 miles, although based on our few days with the car, the mid-200s seem more realistic in mixed driving.
It’s a pretty big and heavy vehicle, so 201bhp is not a huge amount. Sure, you get that typical EV-typical initial boost, but it’s not as punchy as many of its rivals.
It’s almost certainly deliberate, with the ID.4 designed to just be your daily commuter. With that in mind, its performance is more than enough.
So we have to forget about the thrills of the EV, but that doesn’t mean the ID.4 is disappointing.
Where it excels is the silky smooth power application, which makes city beguinages a cinch – the accelerator pedal is brilliantly judged, so you smoothly pull away and increase just your cruising speed.
Once you’re up to highway speed, it’s quiet and sleek, with minimal road and wind noise, while bumps are handled with minimal hassle. And despite being all about comfort, when the corners come in, the ID.4 isn’t choppy.
It’s hardly fun, but its low center of gravity and excellent balance help it hold its own in the corners.
While driving experience hasn’t made it clear that this is meant to blend in with the mundane of everyday life, the styling certainly does.
The ID.4 is smart but uninspiring, with the rear in particular lacking the shine we’ve become accustomed to from brands trying to make their EVs exciting and appealing.
The ID.4 also lacks the elegance of the ID.3 hatchback. The front is its best angle, with the thick lower bumper and thick headlights at odds with the more recent trend for sleek, sleek styling – but it works.
The interior is sleek, with its minimalist design ethic that works well in the modern age.
However, it all feels a bit cheap, wandering off towards the “ basic ” rather than the modern, while getting used to the lack of switches takes time.
Then there are the capacitive buttons on the steering wheel that control functions like infotainment volume. They feel weird to use, like they are sticky, and using them is irritating.
That being said, it’s generally a nice place, with the large windows making it light and airy and the simple design making it feel big and spacious.
For your money (prices start from € 36,000) you get the 146 hp engine and a smaller 52 kWh battery, with equipment including steel wheels, LED headlights, and heated front seats.
Our test car was a First Edition model. It has the largest battery and 201bhp engine, along with 20 inch alloy rims, tinted glass, glossy black exterior parts, and special First Edition badges.
We have become a bit spoiled by electric vehicles. They tend to be well-equipped with punchy engines that provide a thrilling driving experience, so it’s easy to be a little disappointed with the ID.4.
But that’s the purpose of this car. It’s not meant to impress, excite, and scream about its green credentials, it’s just meant to be a good family car.
With that in mind, it’s great. The driving experience is smooth and calming, the cabin is spacious, and running costs should be incredibly low.
Of course, the cabin isn’t the best design piece, but if you just want an electric vehicle that fits seamlessly into everyday life, the ID.4 will do that without a problem.