2021 Volkswagen ID 4 Pro S review: A good EV let down by the details

The Volkswagen ID 4 is cheerful on the exterior and upscale on the inside. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The ID 4 is Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV and the model’s first international EV. Right out of the gate, this automobile does numerous issues proper. The ID 4 is spacious and comfy inside, it has a easy powertrain, comes with loads of normal driver aids and affords aggressive vary for a mass-market EV. On the floor, this cheerful-looking VW is solely nice, however the satan is at all times in the details and it is the little issues that take their toll.

Don’t Like

  • Not significantly punchy at larger speeds
  • Laggardly infotainment system
  • Frustrating controls

An upscale, spacious inside

But first, some good information. The ID 4 Pro S inside is unexpectedly premium, wanting — and in some ways feeling — like one thing from Volvo. The dashboard’s easy structure is fashionable and practical, with the infotainment display angled barely towards the driver. I like the wealthy, geometric patterns used on a lot of the surfaces, plus there are many tender plastics and every little thing’s assembled with painstaking care.

Pro S fashions function 12-way energy entrance bucket seats, which even provide therapeutic massage performance. Curiously, these chairs even have minivan-like armrests. Yes, they appear uncommon in an SUV, however they’re soft and adjustable, locking in several positions for enhanced consolation. Also, between these seats is a well-thought-out and versatile middle console. Not solely does it provide loads of space for storing and incorporates a roll-top cowl, it boasts a wi-fi charging pad, some American-sized cup holders and 4 USB-C ports, two up entrance and two serving passengers in the rear.

Speaking of the backseat, it is one other one in all the ID 4’s sturdy fits. There’s loads of house in all three dimensions, the cushions are properly contoured and the ground is almost flat, serving to make this VW a superb people-hauler. And when it is time to transfer cargo, the ID 4 ain’t too shabby, both. There’s greater than 30 cubic toes of house behind the rear backrest and greater than 64 if you fold it down, figures which can be much like the bigger Volkswagen Tiguan. Unlike a few of its rivals, the ID 4 would not have a entrance trunk.

High-tech hits and misses

Moving alongside, a 10-inch infotainment show is normal gear in the ID 4, although a 12-incher is included in Pro S and First Edition fashions. Either means, embedded navigation and wi-fi smartphone mirroring by way of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is included.

There’s so much to love inside this all-electric SUV, simply not essentially the infotainment system.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

That up-level touchscreen makes an awesome first impression. It’s colourful, tremendous crisp and simple to achieve. Unfortunately, the infotainment software program that lives inside leaves a lot to be desired. The studying curve is steep as some components of the person interface do not make numerous sense, equivalent to the way you get to the house display or pull up the radio station you are at the moment listening to. But worse than the menu construction is the system’s responsiveness. It always lags when swiping between screens or pinching and zooming on the map. Frustratingly, it even flat-out ignores inputs typically.

Matching the predominant show is a digital instrument cluster. At simply 5.3 inches, it is small, although it really works properly. It strikes if you modify the wheel, which reinforces visibility. Other normal gear contains keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Plenty of issues are heated, too, together with the steering wheel, entrance seats, mirrors and washer nozzles. When all-wheel-drive fashions turn into accessible later this month, they will additionally profit from a heated windshield to assist preserve Old Man Winter at bay.

When I first heard VW was switching to touch-sensitive controls on its automobiles I used to be aghast as a result of this can be a battle automakers have already fought — and misplaced. Physical buttons and switches are at all times extra intuitive and responsive, one thing latest Mercedes-Benz fashions show. But on this case, I used to be utterly mistaken. The touch-sensitive controls VW applied on the steering wheel work completely, reacting immediately to faucets or swipes and doing an admirable job of avoiding false inputs. If solely the ID 4’s infotainment system had been this responsive.

Touch-sensitive controls are used elsewhere in the ID 4’s inside, with blended outcomes. There are quantity and temperature sliders on the dashboard that principally work properly, even when they are not illuminated at night time, a curious omission. The door locks (together with little one locks) and headlamps function off touch-sensitive controls, although they’re merely OK. More annoyingly, the driver has no bodily switches for the rear energy home windows. There are two for the fronts, however if you wish to decrease the again glass it’s important to press and maintain one other touch-sensitive management which permits these switches to function the rear home windows. A VW spokesman defined to Roadshow that their analysis reveals drivers hardly ever ever decrease the again glass in four-door automobiles, in order that they ditched the bodily buttons. Still, I hope this can be a pattern that doesn’t proceed.

The ID 4 is roomy and comfy. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Sprightly efficiency

The ID 4 Pro S makes use of rear-wheel drive, its aft-mounted electrical motor delivering 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, respectable figures which can be much like what you get in a Chevy Bolt EUV (200 hp, 266 lb-ft) or Hyundai Kona Electric (201 hp, 291 lb-ft). The EPA-estimated vary these SUVs present is in lockstep, too, with this VW in a position to go 250 miles between fees, courtesy of its floor-mounted, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, which has a web capability of 77 kilowatt-hours (82 kWh gross). In comparability, the Chevy is rated at 247 miles of vary and the Hyundai 258. Built for the lengthy haul, the ID 4’s battery is assured to take care of 70% of its unique cost capability for eight years or 100,000 miles.

Like virtually each different EV, this Volkswagen has buckets of torque, which interprets into spectacular low-speed scoot. This automobile is responsive when accelerating from a cease, although its enthusiasm does wane noticeably at larger speeds. The ID 4 is sprightly, nevertheless it’s not a high-performance EV, so do not count on it to maintain tempo with any model of the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Tesla Model Y, to say nothing of some race-ready electrical vehicles equivalent to the upcoming (*4*), which brandishes as much as 1,111 hp.

When it is time to replenish that battery, the ID 4’s 11-kW onboard charger can do the deed in about 7.5 hours when hooked to a Level 2 energy supply. Track down a 125-kW DC quick charger and this VW can go from 5% to 80% in as little as 38 minutes. A welcome bonus, ID 4 house owners get three years of limitless Electrify America DC quick charging at no further price.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any entrance trunk on this SUV.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This uplevel ID 4 is rated at 104 mpge in the metropolis and 89 mpge on freeway drives. Combined, count on 97 mpge. In blended use, this SUV says I’m getting about 3.5 miles per kWh, which is about 118 mpge, much better than what the window sticker says it ought to be returning. (That’s 3.5 miles per kWh instances 33.7 kWh, the electrical equal of a gallon of gasoline. Does that make sense? Nope, I do not perceive it, both.)

Thanks to its practically 4,700-pound as-tested curb weight, the ID 4 at all times feels planted. It additionally rides like a luxurious automobile, its chassis tuning being neither so agency that it clops or bounds over imperfections nor so tender that the physique flops round whereas cornering. There is a wisp of roll in turns, however surprisingly little. This automobile’s steering is as benign as you’d count on for a mainstream SUV. It’s gentle and easy, although the turning circle is shockingly tight at simply shy of 34 toes, one thing that makes maneuvering in tight areas a breeze. Snake the ID 4 by means of some twisties and it is wanting to play, shockingly properly balanced and impartial, prefer it rotates about an axis that is proper the place you are sitting.

This VW’s entrance seats are good and supportive, however ahead visibility may very well be higher. It’s tough to estimate the place the entrance of the ID 4 ends and the corners are laborious to see due to the bulging fenders. Fortunately, entrance and rear parking sensors are normal gear, drastically decreasing the probability of hitting one thing.

Like different EVs and hybrids, regenerative braking helps the ID 4 seize power that might in any other case be wasted. Its pedal feels easy and pure, although if you happen to flick the gear selector over to Brake mode as a substitute of Drive, this VW gives a lot better regenerative braking. This is mainly a one-pedal driving expertise, which takes some getting used to however is nice when you get the really feel for it.

There’s nothing showy about the ID 4, nevertheless it’s nonetheless tastefully designed and extremely versatile. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A serving to hand

All variations of the ID 4 include Volkswagen’s IQ Drive suite of help options. This bundles facilities like forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, lane-keeping help, blind-spot monitoring and extra. You additionally get automated excessive beams and highway signal recognition.

Travel Assist, the German automaker’s model of adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go functionality and lane centering, is normal gear, too. For the most half, this method works properly, easily adjusting the ID 4’s velocity to match surrounding visitors, although the lane centering may very well be improved. When engaged, it is always making small changes, shifting the wheel barely from left to proper. Competing programs from Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and different automakers do not exhibit this unsettling conduct.

The ID 4’s predominant rivals are the Chevy Bolt EUV and Hyundai Kona Electric. Secondary rivals embody the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Checking the bins

The ID 4 begins at round $41,000 together with $1,195 in vacation spot charges, although that determine excludes any potential tax credit, which might whole as much as $7,500 from the feds. This determine is a bit steeper than its predominant battery-powered rivals, with the Chevy Bolt EUV kicking off at about 34 grand and the Hyundai Kona Electric round $1,200 greater than that. Of course, the trendy Mach-E is pricier nonetheless and an entry-level Model Y even richer. Before any reductions, VW needs $47,190 for the Pro S mannequin evaluated right here, which places it solidly in Mach-E and Model Y territory.

The 2022 Volkswagen ID 4 does what it must do however, sadly, not a complete lot extra. Its spacious, upscale inside, ample normal know-how and refined highway manners make it straightforward to stay with, nevertheless, questionable controls and a slothful infotainment system detract from an in any other case nice package deal. The ID 4 has its strengths, and it is actually not a unhealthy choice if you happen to’re purchasing for an all-electric SUV, however there are in all probability higher decisions accessible as we speak, particularly if you happen to’re prepared to spend just a bit extra.

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