2021 Volkswagen ID4 first test: VW’s everyday electric SUV



Volkswagen ID4 Complete overview

Thanks largely to Tesla, the maker of the fastest car we’ve ever tested, we expect great ridiculousness from electric vehicles. But if EVs go mainstream (and both government and automaker pledges indicate that they may or may not be ready at some point), they can’t all be high-priced early adopters’ rocket ships. Enter the Volkswagen ID4 2021, the electric ambassador for the post “Dieselgate” VW. The ID4 should be true Volkswagen, an everyday SUV for everyday drivers. It’s as big, powerful, and almost affordable as traditional compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

2021 Volkswagen ID4 by the numbers

We have a lot to tell you about the new 2021 VW ID4, most of it is good, but let’s start with our metrics. We tested the rear-wheel drive model, which uses a rear axle-mounted electric motor that is 201 horsepower, 229 lb-ft. Our ID4 reached 60 mph in 7.4 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 15.9 at 86.3 mph, comparable to a Honda CR-V and 1.5 seconds faster than the last Volkswagen Tiguan we tested to have. The ID4 doesn’t hit you back on your seat with a torque like the record-breaking Tesla, but accelerates gently and steadily up to highway speeds.

However, we are questioning the rear-wheel drive choice for a mainstream crossover SUV. Despite the inherent coolness of a rear-engined VW, we believe Mr. and Ms. America would prefer something more sure-footed in the snow, but we hoped it could pay off in the real world. The separation of power and steering via the front and rear axles has advantages. For example, the ID4’s turning circle is ridiculously tight and the steering feels eager and accurate. On both the eight-person test track and our favorite winding roads, we could feel the tail trying to come out, but the stability control kept stopping it. (We never figured out how to turn off the nanny, however This video produced by VW shows Tanner Faust beating the ID4 implies it can be done.)

The weight of the battery under the floor certainly adds to the stability of the Volkswagen ID4 2021, although it sometimes affects the quality of the ride. The ID4 is slick and comfortable in most circumstances, but it wobbles and jerks on poorly paved roads, a result of the damping stiffness required to keep the 4,659 pounds of ID4 from spiraling out of control.

The shock absorbers are generally successful in this endeavor, but on winding roads we found that a good, hard shock taken at speed could vibrate the ID4. The landing gear was struggling to contain it. If such a bump was in the middle of a fast turn it made for a wild ride. Still, everyone on our team who enthusiastically drove the ID4 said they had a better time than expected.

2021 Volkswagen ID4: rain and range

One thing that we really liked during our test drives was the brake powered brake setup. The VW ID4 only has one selectable regeneration level (access from switching from D to B), which we thought would not be sufficient. In our experience, the setup of the Hyundai Kona Electric with several regeneration levels that can be selected by the driver is the best solution. To our great surprise, the VW ID4’s individual setting turned out to be spot on, slowing the car down precisely, but not aggressively or to the extent that forced a significant adjustment in our driving styles.

And what about the range? Like its acceleration, the ID4’s 250 miles EPA-rated isn’t headline news, but it’s an honest number. In normal driving, including some time on the freeway (generally an electric vehicle distance sponge), we found that the ID4 eagerly hit or slightly exceeded this number. Driving more aggressively reduced our range by about 10 percent, but we don’t test cars or scream around corners every day, and a night charge was enough for four or five days of normal driving. A number of more than 300 miles would give the ID4 boastful rights, but for electric car owners who charge at home, the ID4 needn’t cause range anxiety.

2021 Volkswagen ID4: get ready for the future

If the ID4’s performance has been comfortably ordinary, the way it presents itself is far from being. Let’s start with the exterior design, a familiar two-box SUV that she shaved and sanded to slide through the air. The 2021 Volkswagen ID4 is roughly the same length and width as a Honda CR-V or a Toyota RAV4, but sits a little lower to better cheat the wind. From the outside, the VW ID4 appears to us as something we would see in a film set in the not-too-distant future.

The interior made us feel like we were part of the cast. Volkswagen cabs have been remarkably consistent over the past few decades, to the point that when VW eventually switched to digital dashboards, it mimicked its signature analog displays in video form. With the ID4, tradition goes straight out of the window together with the combustion engine. Warning to the Veedubisti: Before getting into an ID4, be prepared for a major culture shock.

The instrument cluster of the 2021 VW ID4 is now a small video screen that sits on the steering column (and moves with it). Like VW’s traditional analog dials, a lot of useful information is summarized in one simple format: speed, range, driver assistance status and (optional) instructions for the next turn. It’s all presented in a way that reminds us of a really good head-up display. The simplified gear stick protrudes from the right side of the pod: turn for a drive, reverse or neutral and press for park. In the 1st edition limited edition model we tested, the steering column, wheel and all associated attachments were done in dirt magnet white, but other models have a more conventional dark gray scheme.

2021 Volkswagen ID4: learning curve or learning restriction?

Almost all other controls – stereo, climate, phone and settings – are on the tablet-like middle screen (10.0-inch display standard, 12.0-inch optional), under which there is a capacitive touch panel, With which temperature and volume can be changed quickly Access the parking camera, the settings for the climate control, the driver assistance and the driving mode screens. Steering wheel knobs play an important role, as they should, but the positioning of the defroster switches with the headlight controls on the same panel to the left of the wheel is a scratch.

We have no doubt that the new control system will be a lightning rod for complaints, especially from auto reviewers like us. To be honest, we were all ready to beat the system up after our first day, but we soon found that the learning curve, while steep, was not very high. The touch-sensitive “buttons” can be a little confusing; Some are swiped on and some need to be pressed, some give quick feedback and some don’t. We found that the ID4’s new user interface is a bit like visiting a country where citizens speak English with a strong, different accent: once you’ve got an ear for it, it mostly makes sense.

Kudos to VW for including a little Tesla-like magic in the starting sequence. There is a start button on the steering column, but you don’t have to use it. As soon as you are in the car – with the key on your person, of course – the drive train is switched on when you step on the brakes. Turn the dial for D and off you go. Turning it off is even cooler: park the car and open the door. Everything is shut down when you get out.

2021 Volkswagen ID4: Pricing and more – is it worth it?

In terms of interior and cargo space, the ID4 delivers about as much of the former and almost as much of the latter as you’d expect from its gasoline-powered competitors. All the seats are comfortable and quite roomy, but the cargo space suffers a bit from the ID4’s painted roofline.

The key to accessibility is affordability. According to Volkswagen, the average price for a compact SUV (luxury or blue collar) is $ 33,000. This was the price target after the incentive for this electric vehicle. The 2021 VW ID4 starts at $ 41,190, for which you get fabric seats, two-zone climate control, and automatic headlights and windshield wipers. When the $ 7,500 tax credit is subtracted, the price drops to $ 33,690, and government incentives can further reduce the number. Also, let’s not forget that the cost of charging at home is negligible compared to fueling a thirsty SUV.

The prices rise sharply from then on. When all-wheel drive arrives later this year with two motors and more power (but presumably less range since the same battery is used) it will cost an additional $ 3,680. Get nearly $ 51,000 back with an AWD ID4 Pro S with all the ingredients in it. This is the Tesla Model Y territory, although Tesla’s federal tax incentives have expired and VW’s have not. The limited ID4 1st Edition is a good one-time bargain, however, and has all of the features of the rear-wheel drive Pro S for just over $ 45,000 before incentives.

We were impressed with the Volkswagen ID4 2021, an electric SUV with one set of tires in the present and one in the future. It’s fun to drive, it’s novel but not confusing, and most importantly, it’s a reasonably practical SUV. If this is what mainstream EVs look like in the not-too-distant future, the future may not be as dark as you think.

Looks good! More details?

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st edition
BASIC PRICE $ 45,190
PRICE AS TESTED $ 45,190
VEHICLE LAYOUT Rear engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 201 hp / 229 lb-ft permanent magnet electric
TRANSMISSION 1-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F / R DIST) 47/53% (4,659 lb)
WHEELBASE 108.9 in
Length x width x height 180.5 x 72.9 x 64.4 in
0-60 MPH 7.4 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.9 seconds at 86.3 mph
BRAKES, 60-0 MPH 119 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.83 g (average)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.4 s at 0.61 g (average)
EPA CITY / HWY / COMB FUEL ECON 104/89/97 mpg
ENERGIEKONS, CITY / HWY 32/38 kWh / 100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.00 lb / mile (on vehicle)

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