Volkswagen ID.4 review

Carzone tests the best-selling new electric car in Ireland

This is the Volkswagen ID.4, Ireland’s best-selling electric car so far this year alongside the Volkswagen ID.3, Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF and Kia Niro. The ID.4 is a five-door, five seat electric SUV and it offers an electric range between 340 and 500 kilometres depending on which version you go for, while prices in Ireland start from around €39,000 including grants.

This year a flood of new electric SUVs will arrive on the market, including the Skoda ENYAQ iV, Ford Mustang Mach E and Tesla Model Y, but does the ID.4 have what it takes to stay on top? We took it for a drive on Irish roads to find out. 

The ID.4 is a large car measuring in at almost 4.6 metres long, and it is considerably more spacious than the Volkswagen ID.3 and Tiguan Allspace inside, which means it is a good option for family buyers

Volkswagen has kept the styling relatively understated inside and out, so it should appeal to existing Volkswagen owners or those who are thinking of switching to electric motoring for the first time.  

You can choose from two different battery sizes, a 52kwh battery that offers around 340 kilometres of range, or a larger 77 kWh battery with around 506 kilometres of range when fully charged. There are several different models to choose from, and base models are well equipped with things like 18-inch alloy wheels and folding mirrors.

This model is the ID.4 first max, which is a limited edition model. It has large 21-inch alloy wheels, unique first edition badging, metallic paint with a black roof, black mirror housings and roof rails too.

Stepping inside the ID.4 feels spacious and bright, especially with this panoramic roof which is a standard feature on the first edition max model. The driving position is good with comfortable armrests and plenty of seat adjustment, these being high spec electric options. The overall finish feels like a big step up from the smaller ID.3 also.

The cabin feels high tech with a digital drivers display and this large touchscreen on the dashboard. This controls pretty much everything from your music, to air con and android auto and apple car play are standard. The screen graphics are crisp although the whole system can take getting used to with the slider controls and it can lag a little at times, but Volkswagen promises this will be improved with future software updates.  

There’s plenty of storage in the centre console too with a standard wireless smartphone charger and two usb-c points, cup holders and 30 colour ambient interior lighting. Rear passengers get an elevated seating position and it is very comfortable, with wide seats and good head and legroom, even in the middle seat thanks to the flat floor.

You also get two USB-c charge points, handy storage areas to hold a smartphone, two sets of ISOFIX mounts and a comfy armrest with cup holders. It’s fair to say the boot is big and this will be a key selling point for family buyers with 543 litres of space, and additional storage areas for your charge cables beneath the floor. The rear seats drop down flat also when extra space is needed for carrying large items. You can also get the ID.4 fitted with a tow bar should you need.

Out on the road the ID.4 is very relaxing to drive, it’s quiet through town, smooth at motorway speeds and it has enough power for an exciting drive and overtaking too. The smaller battery 54kwh versions make 148 horsepower, while the larger battery 77kwh battery models make 204 horsepower, and the difference is considerable as it is a heavy car.

The electric motor in this high spec version produces up to 204 horsepower and it feels very quick off the line, with power going to the rear wheels and good traction all of the time. Through turns it copes well too, even with this heavier battery pack, with direct steering and good body control if tight turns.

In terms of charging, the entry 52kwh ID.4s can charge at 100 kilowatts from a DC rapid charger. The higher spec first editions can be rapid charged at 125 kilowatts which will get you around 80 percent capacity in 45 minutes with a rapid charger, or 11 kilowatt AC charging at home.  

For this high specification ID.4 Max the claimed range is up to 506 kilometres, but you can expect to comfortably get around 400 kilometres  in real world driving with the air conditioning switched on and some motorway driving thrown in.

When these launch first edition cars are sold, the ID.4 will consist of the smaller 52kWh battery City and Style models, along with the larger 77kWh battery in Life, Business, Family and Tech trims. The entry 54kwh City model starts at around €39,000 including grants, and it has 18-inch alloy wheels, the 10-inch Navigation system, wireless smartphone charging, folding mirrors and an art velours interior amongst other. For this model, Volkswagen claims a range of up to 343 kilometres.

The entry long range ID.4 life with the 77kWh battery starts at   around €49,000 including grants and it gets larger 19-inch wheels, Matrix LED headlights, a reversing camera, keyless access, 3 zone climate control and tinted windows, not to mention the faster performance and higher 125 kilowatt DC fast charging and higher 11 kilowatt AC charging. Volkwagen claims a range of up to 519 kilometres for this model.

The car we are driving here is a highly specced ID.4 1st Max with lots of optional extras, and it quickly gets expensive with this one priced at €56,565 including grants. It has every extra you could want with huge 21-inch wheels, the large 12-inch nav system, an electric tailgate, heated ergo seats and lots more.

It’s easy to see why the ID.4 is proving so popular this year, as it is a practical, desirable and well-priced electric SUV. The ID.4 is in a league of its own currently, but that will change with the arrival of the new Skoda ENYAQ iv which looks to be a very competitive offering. At this price point in high specification trim, you would also consider the new Audi Q4 e-tron. For now, we expect the ID.4 to continue how it has started, as one of the most popular electric cars on sale in Ireland for years to come.

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