Of all thecar companies out there, I expected Volkswagen toget into the EV bandwagon in the early days. Sure, they had that e-Golf,but as the name suggests, that was based on an existingGolf hatchback rather than something that was designedto be an EV from the get go. Plus it only had125 miles of range. That all changes with this, theall new 2021 Volkswagen ID.4. In this review, wewill go over everything from drive impressions, comfort,interior, and technology. And if there’s somethingyou think I left out, leave a comment below. Before we get into thefull review, do me a favor. Overview – When the ID.4 goes on salein the spring of 2021, it’ll have a starting priceright around $45,000 for one of these first edition trims. But if you haven’t got yourname in on a reservation yet, don’t bother. They’re already sold out. So what are these earlybird first edition shoppers get that you don’t onthe regular ID.4 Pro? Well, you get 20-inch wheels,unique badging, projector LED headlights, an illuminatedbadge in the grill, some black exterior accents, awhite interior, some funky cool pedals, and a tinylittle hitch receiver in the back with acapacity of 2,200 pounds. So nothing too groundbreaking. A few months later,the ID.4 Pro Model will arrive with a startingprice around $41,000. Both of these models willbe eligible for the $7,500 federal tax creditif you qualify. That’s a little more expensivethan the forthcoming Chevy Bolt EUV, but on the lowend, it’s right in line with the Hyundai Kona Electric,Kia Niro, and Nissan Leaf. On the high end, it’s upthere with the Tesla Model 3, Model Y, as well asthe Ford Mustang Mach-E. As far as theall-important range the ID.4 is estimatedto return 250 miles. That’s pretty strongfor an EV of this price. Of course, we will verify thatin our regimented EV loop, so keep checking the link belowfor all the latest updates. Initially the ID.4 will comewith a single electric motor that drives the rear wheels. Power output from the82 kilowatt hour battery comes to 201 horsepower and228 pound feet of torque. Later in the year, a dualmotor, all wheel drive version will be available, andthat has 302 horsepower. It’ll set you back rightaround $3,600 and change. Those prices include threeyears of free charging on the growing ElectrifyAmerica network, which includes DC fast charging. Styling – The ID.4 is about the size of acompact SUV like the Honda CRV. As far as stylinggoes, I’m a fan. The headlights andgrill have strong roots in VW’s current designlanguage, and the body is beautifully sculpted. It looks like an EVthat’s not trying too hard to look like an EV. Further down the line we havethis beautiful sharp crease that reminds me ofthe VW Atlas, but it’s done with a lot moregrace on the ID.4. I also like these flush mounteddoor handles and improved aerodynamics. Up top we have theseroof rails that are at a convenient heightfor loading stuff up top. Overall, it’s a reallyclean execution. There’s nothing that standsout to me as unnecessary. I particularly like this flaredkickout over the rear wheel. It had some real presence. Finally, at the back, wehave this tapering roof line that has echoes of theRange Rover Evoque. And that is a compliment. And back here we have somereally nice sharp white badging that really stands out. Welcome to Earth. Interior- The clean,understated style continues on the inside,but maybe a little too clean for the real world. All of this whitemight look a little rough after a yearof use unless you’re driving with white gloves. Just like Tesla’s, there’sno key or start button. It’s just triggered by thetransponder key in your pocket and the weight inthe driver’s seat. And after COVID, I got plentyof weight to go around. Like Tesla’s, alot of the controls are in this touch screen. But unlike Tesla’s, the ID.4has some decent shortcut buttons to make it a littleeasier to work with. The gesture controlsystem allows you to swipe throughscreens, almost like cover flow in an iPhone. Is it helpful? No, not really, becauseyour hand’s already there. But at least itkind of cuts down on how many smudges you’re goingto get all over the screen. I haven’t been a fan ofcapacitive touch buttons. And even though the ID.4does better than most, I’m still not sold. I still preferphysical buttons where you can use them withouttaking your eyes off the road. But with thesecapacitive touch, you have to look awayvery briefly just to see exactly where to putyour finger on those pads. It’s not ideal. There is some good simulatedclicks through haptic feedback, though, to confirmall of your commands. The infotainment systemtakes some time to boot up, and the responses, well,they’re not so quick. One thing I really likeis the instrument panel is mounted to thesteering column. That means no matter whereyou position the wheel, you always have a clearview of those gauges. Nissan and Mini have beendoing this for years, and I’ve always wished thatmore manufacturers would follow their example. I’ve also had thislove hate relationship with the new brandof gear selectors, whether it’s a dialor push buttons. Maybe I’m justgetting old and I’m yearning for the daysof a big chunky lever. But I have to say I reallylike this gear selector right here next tothe instrument panel. Flick it forward to go todrive, backwards to reverse, and push the button for park. It’s super intuitive. As far as front seat comfortgoes, it’s pretty good. I have plenty of thigh support,and the side bolsters here aren’t too confining. Unfortunately for peoplein warmer climates, there isn’t any ventilationor cold seat option. But in my time withthis D4, I found that they breathe pretty well,well enough that I don’t really miss them. Massage functions are available,but only for the seat back, not the seat cushion. You’re not going to get thefull luxury experience that you would in a Mercedes,but I’m glad it’s here because it really helpsto cut down on fatigue on really long drives. As far as interior storage goes,the bins and pockets and cup holders, they’remoderately sized. But they get some points becausethey’re smartly designed. Down here you havethis cup holder, but that wholething is removable, and you have a biggerrubberized tray underneath. And you can also movethese cup holders down into the center console bin. And then you alsohave these dividers down here that you canmove and configure. Underneath there’s alsoa wireless charging pad that’s really nicelyrubberized so your phone won’t slide back and forth, andwireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto are standard. Back in these rear seats, youget one more inch of leg room than you would in the Tiguan. And I have this seat set forme, and I’m five foot 10, and I have plenty of room. Compared to somethinglike the Honda CRV, though, you have quitea bit less leg room, three inches less, actually. And that mightcause some problems, especially if you havea rear-facing infancy. Might not havequite as much room, so it might affectfront seat comfort. Another nice touch arethese little tiny pockets here for your phone. Smart. Behind the rear seats we have30.3 cubic feet of cargo space, and also the convenience ofa hands-free power lift gate. And when you foldthose rear seats down, you have 64.2 cubicfeet of space. And those figures,they’re pretty good for an SUV of this size. Unfortunately, thoseseat backs, they don’t fold flat with a floor so. Whatever you’reloading in there means you have to kind of lift it overthat to get it all the way in. Unlike a lot of EVs, there’sno storage underneath the hood. Sorry, no frunk. But you do have this dropdownfloor for larger items, as well as some extra storageunder here for your cords. Another added bonus is if you’regrabbing a bunch of heavy stuff out of the trunk andneed to close the door, you can also swipeyour leg again to have it close automatically. It’s really handy. Driving – When it comes to acceleration, you’re not getting pinned to the seatlike you would in a Tesla. But for most drivers, thatshouldn’t be a problem. At the Edmunds test track,we hit 60 miles an hour in 7.7 seconds, which isperfectly respectable, and the sharp responses made itfeel just a little bit quicker. As far as braking goes,we needed 120 feet to come to a stopfrom 60 miles an hour, which is an averagestopping distance for a vehicle this size. It’s important to note,though, that the brake pedal is really soft. Combined with a 4,700pound curb weight, it takes some gettingused to at first. But with experience,it gets much easier to drive, justlike any other car. You also have thisB driving mode here that increasesbrake regeneration. It doesn’t have quiteenough resistance to consider it a trueone-pedal driving experience because you still haveto get on the pedal to come to a complete stop. The suspensiontuning is definitely biased more towards comfortthan sporty handling, which makes sense fora vehicle of this type. The ride qualityis smooth, enough to ribosome luxury brands. And that’s even moreimpressive when you consider we’re riding on 20-inch wheels. Impact harshness is kept at bay,and there’s no floaty rebounds, either. In the absence of aconventional gasoline engine, some EVs suffer with thisboomy-sounding interior, but that’s not thecase with the ID.4. It remains blissfullyquiet, even on some of theroughest of surfaces. Conclusion – Is the VW ID.4 any good? Yes. Yes, it is. It’s actually really good. It’s noticeably more comfortablethan a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y. And the infotainmentinterface isn’t quite as distracting, either. The interior is much nicerthan the Hyundai Kona Electric or Kia Niro. And on top of that,the 250 mile range should be plenty forthe majority of drivers. And it does drive really well. Personally, I wouldget this in a heartbeat over either of the Teslas. Pitting against theFord Mustang Mach-E, well, that’s a differentstory because it’s pretty even up until youwant to have some fun. And in that case, the Mach-E isway more entertaining to drive. Keep checking backat edmunds.com to see where it landsamong other EVs, and also to see what our resultsare from our real world range test.
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