Vehicle Type: All-electric, five-passenger compact crossover.
Price Range: $41,190 – $49,370
Powertrain: Permanent Magnet AC electric motor, paired with a 77.0 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, driving the rear wheels.
The standard configuration has 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque.
An upcoming dual-motor setup is optional, making the ID.4 all-wheel drive, and raising horsepower numbers to 295 and torque to 339 lb-ft.
What’s New for 2023?
While the Volkswagen ID.4 was introduced as a brand-new model for 2021, there were some meaningful changes made for 2023.
Production of the ID.4 moved to VW’s Tennessee plant, making the crossover eligible for th full $7,500 federal tax credit under the new rules rolled out by the Inflation Reduction Act for 2023.
Most crucially, a new base Standard trim was introduced, with a smaller battery, rear-wheel-drive, and a 209-mile range. The new top-end Pro S Plus trim was also added.
Inside, all 2023 ID.4 models now come with a standard 12-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, and the center console has been updated.
- Up to 275 miles of range
- Excellent standard safety technology
- Roomy and Comfortable interior
- Looks and feels like a “normal” car
- Unintuitive infotainment and touch controls
- One-pedal driving lags behind the competition
- Not exceptional in any category
- No front trunk
Would we buy one? We would certainly consider one, though Tesla’s Model Y still gives it a pretty tough run for its money.
The VW ID.4 is an all-electric compact crossover, which was all-new for the 2021 model year. It is Volkswagen’s first major electric vehicle and competes with electric models like the Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Kona EV, Ford Mustang Mach E, Kia Niro EV, Nissan Leaf, and the Chevrolet Bolt EUV. The upcoming Toyota bZX4, Subaru Solterra, and Nissan ARIYA are also expected to arrive in late 2022 as 2023 models.
The ID.4 is aimed at buyers who are considering buying their first EV and are looking for a car that looks and drives largely as they would expect from a gas-powered vehicle. Buyers looking at conventionally powered compact crossovers, who are tempted to make the leap to electric, should consider the ID.4 and many of its competitors.
The ID.4 is based on VW and Audi’s MEB platform and is the first of the ID sub-branded electric vehicles to reach US shores. Volkswagen has plans for several more ID models. The platform underpins many models currently available in Germany and the rest of Europe. It is less exciting than some other upcoming models, particularly the ID. Buzz van which feels like decades in the making, but that simplicity may just be the point.
With a good base model range of 260 miles per charge, the ID.4 is a drama-free electric car for small families or those wanting the extra room of a crossover, and to free themselves of visits to the fuel pump. The ID.4 will likely prove up to the task for 95-percent of driving needs, and will only require charging on the longest of trips.
Overall Score: 3.5/5 stars
Safety Features: 4/5 stars
The Volkswagen ID.4 offers a nice slate of safety features. Standard included driver assistance features like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. These features compare favorably, matching or exceeding others in the class.
The VW ID.4 was selected as a Top Safety Pick+ for the 2021 model year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency’s top honor.
The ID.4 also received a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the highest possible rating.
Volkswagen has done well to make the ID.4 one of the safest vehicles in the class, both in crash test results and excellent standard safety technology and driver assistance.
Value: 3/5 stars
As mentioned, the base Standard trim joined the lineup for 2023, bringing the ID.4’s price to under $40,000 (before destination) for the first time.
With a wide price range among competitors the ID.4 slots near the higher end of the segment, but delivers build quality, standard features, and a driving experience to match its price.
Optional packages are reasonably priced for the additional equipment they buy. Even a well-optioned AWD model rings up at just under $50,000. The Mustang Mach E can easily eclipse $60,000 in GT trim.
Volkswagens often suffer from a steep depreciation curve due to their perceived lack of long-term reliability. Maintenance costs will be lower than the gas-powered competition and should be in line with other electric vehicles. Oil changes are a thing of the past.
VW includes a limited and powertrain warranty coverage for 4 years/50,000 miles and battery coverage for 8 years/100,000 miles. This is competitive with Ford, Tesla, and Chevy but shy of what Kia and Hyundai offer.
Tech Features: 3/5 stars
A standard 10-inch touchscreen runs the infotainment system. The wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as built-in navigation, are included on all models. A customizable digital gauge cluster is also standard.
VW outfits the ID.4 with a different user interface than its other models, and reviewers found it less intuitive and less snappy. Touch-button controls are used for many functions, reviewers found them to be difficult to use safely while keeping their eyes on the road.
A wireless charging pad and four USB ports are included to keep personal devices topped up. A strip of LED lights that Volkswagen calls ID. Light communicates navigation directions, charging status, and other voice-activated functions. It’s fun and works well, even if it’s a little gimmicky.
Practicality: 3.5/5 stars
The ID.4 benefits from its crossover body shape, and the flat floor interior inherent to most electric vehicles. Behind the rear seat is 30 cubic feet of cargo space, and 64 with those seats folded down. The ID.4 also has 2,200 pounds of towing capacity in RWD configuration and 2,700 pounds of towing capacity for AWD models.
The interior is designed with plenty of cubbies for personal items and cupholders for bottles and beverages. A 60/40 folding rear seat allows for various configurations of cargo and passenger space.
Even AWD models of the electric SUV are oriented toward on-road driving, good for slippery weather conditions and faster acceleration, but not great for off-road action.
Styling & Design: 4/5 stars
The interior receives excellent reviews for being roomy and comfortable. Headroom and legroom are good for both rows of seats. The ID.4 avoids the cave-like interior feel of many modern crossovers. Though not luxurious reviewers found the inside of the ID.4 a genuinely nice place to be.
Touch buttons rather than traditional buttons and knobs are more difficult to use and less intuitive. Rolling down the rear windows should not require removing your eyes from the road. It is a neat and futuristic seaming touch, but lacks sometimes the old way is better.
The ID.4 lacks a front trunk (frunk), which is not unheard of for the segment but is usually reserved for cars like the Kia Niro and Hyundai Kona which share a platform with gas-powered vehicles. The Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach E both benefit from the extra storage space of a frunk.
The ID.4 uses nice materials throughout the interior, with sturdy cloth seats for base models, and very few obvious cheap plastic pieces. In typical German fashion, Volkswagen’s subdued and simple interior design works well in this tech-forward model.
The exterior styling of the ID.4 breaks from the edgier shapes of VW’s SUV lineup. Swoopier lines surely help the ID.4 achieve an excellent drag coefficient of 0.28.
Volkswagen’s first entry into the US electric vehicle market delivers on the promise of a useable and worry-free electric crossover. Vehicles like the ID.4 can easily handle the daily driving duties of most drivers, with no gasoline needed.
Driving Experience: 3.5/5 stars
The electric powertrain lacks the punch of the Tesla Model Y but is plenty quick for most people. Zero to 60 comes in 7.6 seconds for RWD models and 5.4 when equipped with AWD.
Turning radius is excellent for a small SUV, making parking and maneuvering in tight spaces easy. Though it doesn’t handle like a BMW, steering is precise but lacks feedback, which is common for vehicles with electric-assisted power steering.
The suspension is compliant, delivering a smooth road over road imperfections and a stable feel at any speed. Interior noise is noticeable at highway speeds, with no combustion engine to cover upwind and tire-related road noise.
Even when shifted to B driving mode, the highest level, regenerative braking does not deliver true one-pedal driving. First drive reviewers were also irked by the presence of rear drum brakes, which are rarely used today even on much less expensive vehicles. One of the few areas of noticeable cost-cutting.
Fuel Efficiency: 4/5 stars
Base ID.4 Pro models receive an EPA estimated 260 miles of range, as well as a combined rating of 99 MPGe for rear-wheel drive. The ID.4 AWD drops efficiency to 249 miles of range and 97 MPGe combined.
The extra weight of better-equipped models also lowers range and efficiency. ID.4 Pro S models achieve 250 miles of range with RWD, and 240 for AWD models. Adding larger wheels of the Gradient Package may also lower the range, but EPA data is not available for that arrangement.
The Tesla Model Y leads the category with 326 miles of range, but the ID.4’s specs compete well with the rest of the class.
Charging times vary depending on the method. VW advertises charging from five percent battery to 80 percent in 38 minutes on a Level Three DC fast-charging station. Charging from 0 to 100 percent would take seven and a half hours plugged into a Level Two charger. If you only have access to a 120V outlet, it would take about two days to fully charge the ID.4.
VW does include three years of free fast charging at Electrify America stations if those are available in your area.
What’s it Going to Cost Me?
When comparing EV pricing it is important to note the availability of tax credits and incentives. The ID.4 is currently eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, since it’s now built in VW’s Tennessee plant. That said, the pricing below does not account for any credit.
The new base ID.4 Standard model that was released for 2023 starts at $38,995 before destination.
It comes with rear-wheel-drive, a 201-horsepower electric motor powered by a 62 kWh battery, a 11 kW onboard charger, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated folding mirrors, keyless entry, heated front seats, a digital instrument panel, a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and parking sensors. It’s rated at 209 miles of range.
An ID.4 S starts at $43,995 and adds numerous additional features like 20-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic moonroof, 12-way adjustable front seats with massaging lumbar, a hands-free tailgate, a heated steering wheel, and faux-leather seats.
The ID.4 Pro starts at $43,995; it ups the range to 275 miles (estimated) thanks to a larger 82 kWh battery.
Adding AWD to the ID.4 Pro raises the base price to $44,870, equipment remains the same, but the towing capacity for AWD models is 2,700 pounds compared to 2,200 for RWD versions. Range in the AWD model drops to 255 miles from the 275 miles on the RWD versions.
Upgrading to the ID.4 Pro S will cost at least $45,690. Its range drops to 209 miles (estimated) but it adds similar features as the aforementioned S model.
Finally, there’s the Pro S Plus, available in RWD or AWD configurations. It starts at $51,445 for the rear-wheel-drive version and adds features like a black-painted roof, surround-view camera, heated rear seats, and three-zone climate control.
The least expensive model receives the highest EPA estimated range and packs plenty of features, making it the best option for most buyers.
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