My first contact with Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S propulsion, yesterday summer, was left to me on my desire. I hated it so much that it ended up in my top 3 songs of 2021 on RPM. I blamed the car for being a victim of serious ergonomic problems, obvious power inefficiency and anemic performance.
Still, Volkswagen says it’s its most important car since the Beetle. Also, all my colleagues did not agree with my decision. Wanting to give the ID.4 a second chance, I put it to the test but, this time, in its AWD Pro S version.
As wise as it is impossible
The ID.4 remains a very smart purchase as the user gets a lot for the price paid. With an entry price of $46,945 that tops out at $60,440 for the as-tested model (with the $8,000 Information package), before applying the $12,000 EV rebate, the ID.4 is very attractive. It is bigger and wider than all other models in this price range.
As for the design, however, I find it very poor; it looks like a giant road gelding, painted red like my test model. However, I admit to enjoying the effects of LED lights at night, such as the illuminated Volkswagen headlights.
It is well built, but the ergonomics are lacking
The large size of the ID.4 makes it an easy-to-find SUV. The door opening is wide, and the roof is high. Once you sit behind the wheel, you can see how comfortable it is. My copy even had the option of a vibrator, an extra usually associated with more expensive cars. It was good.
The build quality of this Volkswagen is impeccable, and the finish is very impressive. At the rear, the ID.4 is equally spacious. Legroom and sleeping quarters are high, and the seats are as comfortable as those in the front. Finally, as it offers up to 1,817 liters of total cargo space (with the rear seats folded down), the ID.4 is the second most versatile electric compact SUV after the Tesla Model Y (2,158 liters), the more expensive.
Alas, this cabin suffers greatly in terms of ergonomics. Let’s start with four electronically controlled windows with three buttons. Yes, three. The first, which Volkswagen calls Rear, is used first to activate the rear function. Then you can use the two buttons to open and close the rear windows. To minimize all four windows at once, hold the Back button until it lights up…
I remind you that this is a trick to minimize windows that, until today, have not needed to be restored. Furthermore, what Volkswagen offers is neither efficient nor reliable. Several times I had to press the Back button twice to get it to activate. It’s sad and, above all, pointless.
Then there is the whole multimedia interface which is slow and complex. This system is very slow at startup. It becomes even more annoying when trying to access the weather functions that are, of course, hidden within this system. At one point, the system told me that the air conditioner was not available.
I’m still scratching my head about the lack of light for some basic features at night, like the volume and room temperature controls. Nonsense.
I would add that the small digital display in front of the steering wheel – reminiscent of a Motorola phone from the early 2010s – looks ordinary compared to what other competitors offer in this segment, especially the large Hyundai IONIQ 5/ twin tablet. Kia EV6.
The integrity of ID.4 does not stop at its internals. Its operation takes a similarly conservative approach. In the middle of its floor, there is a battery whose capacity is 82 kilowatt hours (77 usable). In our case, it fires two electric motors, one for each drive train, for a total combined output of 295 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque.
Despite a lot of power, the ID.4 runs from 0 to 100 km / h in just 6 seconds. So it is one second behind the IONIQ 5 or EV6 (5 seconds) powered by two motors.
Regarding autonomy, Natural Resources Canada estimates it to be 394 kilometers in the world where most competitors do more than 410 kilometers. In addition, the top charge of the Volkswagen ID.4 is made at 135 kilowatts. That is low considering that some competing models reach 350 kilowatts.
Smooth, refined, but a little beefy
On the road, the ID.4 impressed me with its smooth ride, overall build quality and cabin noise isolation. Suspension tuning is perfect for our roads. I would like to add that the comfort of the seats really emphasizes this relaxing experience.
However, don’t expect very addictive performance from ID.4. We feel that this car is meant for family and everyday use. So it is not very sporty, nor is it particularly fast in turns.
By the way, I was disappointed to find that the ID.4 has nothing in its belly, even with the addition of a second engine. Yes, there is this instant effect of torque when you press the accelerator, but it is very scary compared to the South Korean competition or, even, to the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Let’s just say we’re not feeling the 295 horsepower.
The same story for energy consumption: average, nothing more. During my week with the car, in hot summer weather, I averaged 21 kilowatt hours/100 km, which translates to about 367 km of range. This figure is average considering the conditions I was riding.
New factory and price drop
It is obvious that Volkswagen will soon finish correcting some of the mistakes of the ID.4 thanks to a good update. A drop in prices is also possible soon. In addition, Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has begun production of the ID.4, which will help reduce wait times faced by consumers.
For recommendations, the Volkswagen ID.4 is still being evaluated by our team. Be aware, however, that, at comparable prices, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 are more technologically advanced and better in terms of ergonomics, at the expense of less cargo space.