Volkswagen has arrived on the electric vehicle scene and its first entry into this growing segment of the market is a good one – if you can get your hands on one.
The Volkswagen ID.4 is a compact SUV from the German automaker which has arrived with much fanfare, but also amid a wave of other models in the same category, creating some stiff competition.
In Canada, there are only two trims of ID.4 – Pro and AWD Pro, which is the version I tested. It has a base price of $49,995, but as tested will cost you $60,450. Of course, you will benefit from varying levels of government rebates depending on where you live in Canada.
The as-tested price tag is thanks in large part to the $8,000 Statement Package, which includes things like an Illuminated light line and logo, silver roof and C-pillar trim, power auto-folding heated exterior mirrors, a panoramic fixed glass roof panel, automatic LED projector headlights, 30-colour interior ambient lighting, 20-inch Drammen alloy wheels, power tailgate with easy open/close, a 12-inch centre display, 8-way power leatherette front seats with memory and more.
If you are hoping to order an ID.4, you better be patient. At the time of writing this review, the order book for the vehicle was closed. And even when VW was taking orders, the wait time for delivery was months long, if not more.
Powertrain: As the all-wheel drive variant of the ID.4, this is a dual electric motor setup, mated with a one-speed automatic transmission.
The numbers for the AWD Pro are quite something, especially the 339 pound-feet of torque, which translates into wicked-fast acceleration should you decide to do that. It is also rated at 295 horsepower and, perhaps surprisingly, has a towing capacity of up to 2,700 pounds.
The AWD Pro version of the ID.4 has an estimated range of 394 kilometres, down from the 422 for the RWD version notably because of the extra weight with the AWD system. Either way, still pretty good numbers all things considered.
The ID.4s energy consumption is rated at 21.0 kWh/100km in the city and 23.2 kWh/100km on the highway. My average for the week was 21.0 kWh/100km.
Exterior: The ID.4’s styling is sleek and modern, with clean lines and hidden door handles. There are short front and rear overhangs, which help explain the good interior capacity despite the compact size of the ID.4.
While you will have to pay an extra $495 for the King’s Red Metallic featuring a Ninja Black Roof like our tester, I would say fork out the cash without question. It just looks sharp.
The exterior styling is taken up a notch at night thanks to the Illuminated light line and logo and 20-inch wheels that are part of the aptly named Statement Package, as well as the silver trims.
That front light line is mirrored at the rear, with a bar that runs between the taillights.
Interior: The cabin of the ID.4 is equally as clean and modern as the exterior, with almost no buttons to speak off, with everything controlled through the 12-inch centre screen (optional) on our tester. While that gives it a clean look, it does take some time to get used to all of the various controls through the screen or with some other touch-sensitive panels. And doing it while driving is even tougher.
Behind the steering wheel is a small secondary screen that displays your speed and features like cruise control. It is affixed to the steering column so will move with it, which is good. Protruding ever so slightly at the right edge of the screen is the shifter dial.
I appreciated the two-tone cabin which features black seating with brown dashboard and door inserts.
Seating is comfortable and the backseat legroom is pretty generous. One thing you might not expect in a crossover like this is a set of armrests for the front seats, but there they are.
Infotainment: The infotainment system itself is good but does have some lag to it at times, and that can be frustrating. The 12-inch optional screen is a nice upgrade to the 10-inch standard fare.
With nice features like wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless device charging, you will never have to worry about tangled cables in the ID.4.
Perhaps the most fun part of the infotainment system is the 30-colour interior ambient lighting system, which allows you to customize your colour should you not like the pre-sets. That led to some interesting experiments with my son.
Drive: With that quick acceleration, the ID.4 gets moving in a hurry, but once at speed, speeding up to pass traffic is a little slower.
Nonetheless, the ID.4 is a very enjoyable drive. The lack of any gears to change means that it’s a smooth operator. The regenerative braking can be quite intense when you set the shifter in B mode but is otherwise pretty unnoticeable.
The ride comfort is quite good as well, and with no engine noise to speak of, the cabin is also very quiet – which also takes some getting used to.
Conclusion: There’s a lot to like about the ID.4. Volkswagen has done a lot of good with its first EV, and while some small issues were to be expected, this is on the whole an excellent vehicle.
The long wait times to have one delivered will likely have an impact on its popularity, but that is not an issue that is exclusive to Volkswagen, the ID.4 or EVs as the entire industry struggles with supply chain issues.
However, for those who have ordered it, the wait will be worth it in the end.
2021 ID.4 Pro AWD
Price as tested: $60,450.00
Configuration: All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: Dual Motor/ 1-speed automatic
Power/torque: 295 horsepower/ 339 lb-ft of torque
Range (estimated): 394 kilometres
Energy consumption rating (kWh/100km): 21.0 (City), 23.2 (Highway)
Observed economy (kWh/100km): 21.0
Warranties: 4-years/80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Hyundai Ioniq5, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Ford Mustang Mach-E
Links: Volkswagen Canada