The number of compact electric SUVs continues to increase with nearly every automaker already have at least one in their lineup or one planned to debut soon. Now that the segment finally has some good competition to Tesla, there are some really good ones and some that still come up a bit short. The Volkswagen ID.4 lands somewhere in the middle, since it’s stylish and comfortable, but its driving range comes in under some of its rivals.
The ID.4 is the first electric ID model to arrive in the U.S., but VW has already unveiled the cool ID. Buzz electric microbus and the ID.7 sedan, which will arrive at some point in 2024. For now, VW offers just one electric model and it’s aimed at rivals, like the Tesla Model Y, Toyota bZ4X and Nissan Ariya.
The ID.4 is smaller than the VW Tiguan, but thanks to its clever packaging, the interior space is almost about the same, with just a little less legroom in the rear. There’s 41.1 inches of legroom at the front and 37.6 inches in the rear seat. Cargo volume is 30.3 cubic feet behind the second row, and 64.2 cubic feet with the seats folded.
[See image gallery at www.thetorquereport.com]
VW offers two powertrain options for the ID.4. The standard version is powered by a single motor at the rear with 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. For buyers that either want all-wheel drive or more power, there’s the ID.4 AWD Pro, which adds an additional electric motor at the front. The ID.4 AWD Pro has 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under six seconds. During regular driving, the ID.4 Pro AWD primarily uses its rear electric motor and only powers up the front motor when extra traction is needed.
The ID.4 standard has a driving range of only 209 miles, while the ID.4 Pro and Pro S have a 275 mile range. The ID.4 AWD Pro and AWD Pro S models have a 255 mile range. Those specs mean that the ID.4 has a shorter driving range than the Tesla Model Y, but it’s close to what you’ll get with the Toyota bZ4X, which has a driving range between 222 and 252 miles depending on if you choose front- or all-wheel drive. The Hyundai Ioniq 5, which is another good competitor has a driving range up to 303 miles.
On the road, the ID.4 has adequate power, but if you really want to get a bit more excitement you’ll want to go with the all-wheel drive version. But at the same time, either version won’t provide that roller coaster feeling from a stop that you get with some more powerful EVs. While some other EVs have a sportier objective, the ID.4 is after the masses that want a comfortable EV that drives pretty much on par with VW’s ICE models.
One thing we do wish that VW would add, would be a better regenerative braking system with multiple settings, including a one pedal setting that would bring it to a stop without having to use the brake. It seems like a big miss, since even some hybrids offer different regenerative braking settings to help put a bit more juice back into the battery. There are only two drive models, D or B, with the B setting increasing the amount of regeneration.
Charging with a Level 2 charger, the 11 kW onboard charger allows the ID.4 to charge to full in approximately six hours and fifteen minutes for the ID.4s equipped with the 62 kWh battery and seven and a half hours for ID.4s equipped with the 82 kWh battery.
The ID.4 Standard and S offer a 140-kW DC fast-charging rate, while Pro models equipped with the larger 82 kWh battery offer a 170-kW DC fast-charging speed. This allows all ID.4 Pro trims to DC fast charge from 10-80% in around 30 minutes. The 2023 ID.4 also comes with three years of unlimited 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America DC fast chargers.
Inside the ID.4’s cabin has a minimalistic design with a small digital screen in front of the driver and then the 12-inch touchscreen at the center of the dashboard. The infotainment system looks clean, but once you start to use it, get ready for lots of frustration. The system is not entirely intuitive and feels clunky compared to the ID.4’s rivals. The touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel and climate control system are a definite let down. You even have to use a touch-sensitive button to change the volume of the audio system. The controls may look cleaner, but actual buttons and knobs would be better.
Another weird decision is that there aren’t any switches for the windows in the second row. Instead the driver has to hit a button to activate the controls for the rear windows, then press the button to either a close or open them. It’s a two step process, which doesn’t make much sense.
On the safety front, there ID.4 comes standard with the expected drive assistance tech features, like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert.
The pricing for the 2023 VW ID.4 starts at $40,290 for the ID.4 Standard version, while the ID.4 AWD Pro starts at $49,090. The good news is that the ID.4 is eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit.
At the end of the day, the 2023 VW ID.4 goes after the meat of the segment by attracting buyers that want a comfortable and spacious EV, without breaking the bank. The ID.4 could use a bit more range if VW wants to really rival Hyundai and Tesla, but for most drivers 275 miles of range is more than adequate.
The post 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Review: An EV for the People appeared first on The Torque Report.