2021 Volkswagen ID 4 review: Hitting the EV sweet spot

The very good EVs are at last right here, and which is one thing truly worth acquiring energized about. All all those electrified models that brands have been teasing us with for yrs are hitting vendor loads. Now, everyone seeking to at last ditch inner combustion has a collection of actual, and seriously compelling, alternatives.

Volkswagen was among the top-edge EV vendors right here in the US, releasing the great, if expensive and brief-ranged, E-Golfing back again in 2012. The new ID four is that car’s successor, driving on the new MEB platform and designed from the ground up to be all-electrical. Wherever the E-Golfing was essentially compromised by its internally combusted heritage, the ID four reveals just how very good a pure EV can be.

Table of Contents


  • Great, easy generate
  • Calm and quiet
  • Refreshing interior

Never Like

  • Frumpy styling
  • No a person-pedal regen

That dedicated platform signifies Volkswagen engineers can stuff eighty two kilowatt-hours’ truly worth of battery into the ID four, while apparently only seventy seven kWh of all those are really usable. This added headroom signifies the motor vehicle can intelligently handle charge cycles throughout a broader variety of cells, which must lead to bigger daily life and much more predictable range. Regardless, you happen to be coated by an 8-yr, 100,000-mile warranty on the pack itself.

All those cells ability both a person or two electrical motors. Preliminary variations of the motor vehicle, like the Very first Version model pictured right here, make do with 201 horsepower as a result of the rear wheels. In the upcoming, an all-wheel-generate model will bump that up to 302 hp. Torque on the RWD flavor is 228 pound-feet. That’s plenty healthy and, specified it truly is an EV, commonly accessible. On the deceleration aspect, whilst there are two regen modes to choose from right here, neither is near to what I would take into consideration a a person-pedal mode. That’s a disappointment for confident.

As to the all-crucial range, VW’s EPA determine is 250 miles. In my testing, which provided a blend of town, rural and freeway driving at temperatures commonly in the 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit range, I netted… 250 miles. Yes, 250 exactly.

I really feel compelled to position out that this was with me managing the ID four like a ordinary motor vehicle. I toggled the heat and the air-con when I wished, and built liberal use of both heated seats and steering wheel, even the therapeutic massage function. Whilst I did commonly go away the motor vehicle in Eco mode, I was not light with the throttle, and nevertheless I easily met the EPA score. Drive a minimal much more frugally and I’m confident you can conquer it.

That mentioned, there is minimal reason to generate aggressively. Whilst the ID four does have that exciting EV throttle response, zipping you off the line and as a result of targeted traffic gaps, this is not a fast motor vehicle. That fact is specially apparent at freeway speeds, the place the ID four cruises with no difficulty but would not exactly leap ahead when prodded.

It does search a minimal frumpy.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

No problems. To get the most out of the ID four I propose you just take a deep breath, settle back again in your seat, set the adaptive cruise to a acceptable speed and just relax. The motor vehicle is even wise ample to differ the adhere to length relying on your picked driving mode, keeping a minimal farther back again in Eco mode to make sure it will not likely want to speed up and sluggish down so usually.

The dealing with is likewise calm, but the trip top quality is very good. Spectacular, that, thinking of the 20-inch wheels and tires outfitted on this Very first Version. And, whilst you’d of course anticipate an EV to be quiet, VW engineers clearly spent a good deal of time isolating any trace of street and wind noise. The driver’s seat is a serene spot.

That’s helped by the stark white interior highlights on this Very first Version version. Whilst the products them selves are a minimal severe in sites, the over-all search has a distinctively notion-motor vehicle vibe, which I respect tremendously. I also enjoy the shifter, mounted significant on the gauge cluster like the a person in the BMW i3. Just tilt it in the path you want to go — or click on the P button when you happen to be carried out with the heading.

2021 VW ID 4

I enjoy the vibe of the interior. 

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

That gauge cluster is petite, but is at least existing, and plenty major ample to give you all the applicable info about speed, range and navigation prompts. The gauge cluster will even display navigation prompts from Android Vehicle or Apple CarPlay. That’s essential due to the fact I have a experience you will not likely want to count a great deal on the baked-in nav.

The infotainment knowledge in the ID four is clean up and very simple, exhibiting some serious iOS influence with a house button on the still left that you are going to want to hit to soar concerning numerous sections. It can make for an effortless way to get from, say, media to navigation, but it does signify reaching for that house button a good deal.

And ready a good deal, also. When I bought my initially generate of the ID four past yr I was unhappy at how sluggish the software was. The optimist in me hoped that factors would be optimized before the motor vehicle shipped. The realist in me now sees no such optimizations have been built. Sliding and swiping is often met with extended, distressing delays. If that were not ample, the voice recognition technique is rudimentary at greatest. Like I mentioned, stick to Android Vehicle or Apple CarPlay, both of which are supported, wirelessly at that.

Really useful, also.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

It must arrive as no surprise that most of the car’s controls count on capacitive contact. Even the slider for the sunlight shade to go over the major, vivid panoramic roof is contact-delicate. Aspect window controls are continue to bodily, thank goodness, but there is an factor of contact right here, also. In its place of the driver obtaining 4 switches, a person for each window, there are only two. To management the rear home windows you have to contact a small minimal “rear” indicator. Fantastic luck undertaking that with no having your eyes off the street.

That panoramic roof gives very good headroom, front and rear. All those in the back again will discover their seats somewhat elevated, offering a distinct, commanding watch of the earth close to. A pair of USB-C connectors back again there will preserve the children from complaining about their personal batteries, whilst there is a wireless charging cubby with much more USB ports for telephones up front.

Everybody is protected by a detailed lively protection suite, that includes niceties like computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-place checking, rear-targeted traffic inform and even street indicator detection. All which is provided on even the base ID four.

That base edition, identified as Pro, begins at $41,a hundred ninety which include a $one,195 destination charge. The Very first Version you see right here is no for a longer period accessible, this means your only solutions are the Pro or the $45,690 Pro S, which adds a lot of of the characteristics you see right here, which include the panoramic roof, massaging ability seats and an upgrade to a twelve-inch navigation monitor. A different $one,five hundred delivers you up to the Gradient trim, layering on all those 20-inch wheels and some other visible aptitude. The eventual AWD upgrade will be a additional $three,680 and, other than ground mats and the normal spate of components, there seriously usually are not any added containers to tick.

How does that review with other EVs on the current market currently? The closest Tesla is the Product Y, which begins at $fifty two,a hundred ninety which include a $one,two hundred destination charge. For that you get much more range, 326 miles for each the EPA, and faster efficiency, also. But the ID 4’s interior is miles greater and, very well, I am going to permit you determine out no matter whether you have much more Tesla or VW assistance centers nearby. There is also the not-insignificant $7,five hundred federal rebate, relevant to the VW but not the Tesla, which signifies the ID four could arrive in at in excess of $10,000 more affordable.

2021 Volkswagen ID4

Not pretty flawless, but tricky to discover a flaw just the exact same.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

The new Chevrolet Bolt EUV is a different EV that a lot of will be cross-buying, and for very good reason. It builds on the very well-verified Bolt platform, offering a minimal much more room and some new styling. No EPA-rated range just nevertheless, but GM’s engineers say to anticipate close to 250 miles. An FWD Premier Bolt EUV has an MSRP of $forty three,925 which include a $995 destination charge. That puts it correct in spitting length of the ID four.

So, the ID four is competitively priced and wonderful to generate, with ample range to vanquish panic and a new interior that built me smile. What failed to make me smile? I have to admit I never seriously fell for the issue. Right after the gonzo ID Buggy notion and the incredible allure of the ID Buzz, the ID four feels much more than a minimal basic.

But you know what? That’s Ok. Not every EV desires to make a statement, and this a person exudes quiet self-confidence. The Volkswagen ID four is greater than a very good motor vehicle, it truly is a terrific a person — it just gained Earth Car of the Yr honors— and definitely a indicator of even greater EVs to arrive from VW.