After years of teasing us with electric-powered concept cars, Volkswagen is finally delivering on its promises with the ID.4 electric SUV, which started life as the ID. Crozz concept vehicle. While it doesn’t look like the famed Microbus-inspired ID. Buzz, the ID.4 is no less important to VW’s goal of rolling out a robust lineup of electric vehicles. The company claims the ID.4 will be able to drive up to 250 miles between charges and its SUV shape and attractive styling should make it a desirable EV. At first, all ID.4 models will offer only rear-wheel drive but all-wheel drive models will join the lineup in 2021—as will a less-expensive base model.
Not only is the ID.4 a brand new nameplate for the Volkswagen brand, it’s also the first in a series of all-electric models that will combine to create the ID sub-brand.
The ID.4 will eschew Volkswagen’s traditional S, SE, and SEL trim hierarchy and instead will be offered in base, Pro, and 1st Edition trims. A base model priced around $35,000 will satisfy value-minded consumers with EV aspirations, but that entry-level ID.4 won’t launch until sometime in 2022. In the meantime, the ID.4 Pro and loaded 1st Edition models serve as the ID.4’s launch trims. The 1st Edition represents a decent value, as it includes the optional Statement and Gradient packages as standard which normally costs $4500 and $1500, respectively. For that extra outlay of cash buyers will find a larger 12.0-inch infotainment display, a panoramic sunroof, a power-operated rear liftgate, and 20-inch wheels among other niceties.
While all-wheel drive models will eventually be a part of the ID.4 lineup, the single-motor rear-wheel drive models will be the first to launch. The rear-mounted motor makes 201 horsepower but the dual-motor all-wheel drive model will make a stout 302. Towing capacity is a stout 2700 pounds. Regenerative braking helps recapture energy when slowing the vehicle, but the familiar one-pedal driving that EV drivers have come to appreciate is largely missing here, even in the ID.4’s most aggressive regenerative mode. Also lacking is the traditional gut-punch acceleration that electric vehicles often provide. The ID.4 isn’t slow by traditional compact-crossover standards, but its 7.6-second run to 60 mph in our testing demonstrates that it’s far more laid back than quicker EV competitors. The ID.4’s handles less sharply than some other EVs as well, but we appreciate its smooth and refined ride quality and quiet cabin.
James LipmanCar and Driver
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
Volkswagen says the ID.4’s 77 kWh battery pack holds enough juice to power the SUV up to 250 miles between charges, which puts it in the mix with other electric SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Niro EV. Unfortunately for VW, that’s far less than the 316 miles of EPA estimated range for the Tesla Model Y. The battery can be charged at home on 110- or 240-volt connections, of course, but is also capable of DC fast charging.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA rates the ID.4’s fuel economy at 104 MPGe city and 89 MPGe highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, the ID.4 delivered 82 MPGe and sailed on for 190 miles. Note: we’ve found from our testing that EPA range numbers can overstate or understate the real-world highway range difference between EVs. Our testing was completed in near-freezing temperatures, which can drastically reduce driving range, so the 190-mile result is more impressive than it sounds.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While the ID.4’s interior looks less flashy than the ID. Crozz Concept’s cabin, which featured a retractable steering wheel and sliding rear doors, it still offers a contemporary design with high-tech features, ambient lighting, and generous cargo space. The interior design is uncluttered and playful, particularly the 1st Edition model, which comes with accelerator and brake pedals with cheeky play and pause symbols. Cloth seats are standard but adding the optional Statement package adds faux-leather upholstery along with 12-way power adjustable front seats with massage and memory functionality.
James LipmanCar and Driver
Infotainment and Connectivity
The ID.4 comes standard with a 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that can be upgraded to a larger 12.0-inch display with the optional Statement package. The software is unique to the ID.4 and we’ve found the interface fussier than the standard setup in other gasoline-powered Volkswagens. Navigation is standard with both displays and we expect popular smartphone connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard as well. All ID.4 models also come with a 5.3-inch reconfigurable digital gauge display and voice recognition capability.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The electrified VW will offer a host of standard and optional driver-assistance technology.
For more information about the ID.4’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Volkswagen currently offers an above-average limited warranty and below-average powertrain coverage compared with rival non-luxury brands, but it offers two years or 20,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance. The ID.4’s electric components should be covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Battery components are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 2 years or 20,000 miles
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
mid-motor, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$45,190 (base price: $41,190)
permanent-magnet synchronous AC
liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 77.0 kWh
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink Brakes (F/R): 13.4-in vented disc/11.0-in drum
Tires: Bridgestone Alenza A/S, F: 235/50R-20 104T M+S + R: 255/45R-20 105T M+S +
Wheelbase: 108.9 in Length: 180.5 in Width: 72.9 in Height: 64.4 in
Passenger volume: 101 ft3
Curb weight: 4698 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.6 sec 100 mph: 26.0 sec 1/4 mile: 16.0 sec @ 86 mph
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.6 sec Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.0 sec Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.8 sec Top speed (governor limited): 100 mph Braking, 70–0 mph: 166 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.85 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 80 MPGe 75-mph highway driving: 82 MPGe
Highway range: 190 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 97/104/89 MPGe
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specs