The Volkswagen ID.4 is a crossover five-door electric SUV based on VW's MEB platform. The 1st edition of the electric car was unveiled in September 2020. However, the Volkswagen ID.4 2021 edition only began to be exported to the North American market some six months after its European launch.
A Volkswagen ID.4 2021 edition has two body shapes. The coupe version of the car is being marketed by VW as the ID.5 in Europe but this version is confusingly still called the ID.4 in America. For clarity, this Volkswagen ID.4 review will solely focus on the five-door SUV version of the VW ID.4, the one that is expected to be Volkswagen's biggest all-electric seller in the UK.
To begin with, the Volkswagen ID.4 2021 edition has been equipped with a choice of two different battery packs. The Pure and Pure Performance ID.4 models come with a 52kWh battery while the Pro Performance ID.4 comes with a 77kWh battery.
The former versions of the Volkswagen ID.4 will offer owners a range of up to 213 miles in perfect driving conditions. The Pro Performance VW ID.4, on the other hand, will provide a theoretical 310-mile range before it needs to recharge. If you want to charge your Volkswagen ID.4 from empty to full for 310 miles of range from a wallbox, then you can expect it to take eight and a half hours, similar to the ID.3.
If you have the 77kWh battery to charge, then expect this to take over 12 hours from a 7.5 kW outlet. However, a more practical 10 per cent to 80 per cent charge of the car from a 100 kW rapid charger would take only around half an hour, something that not every Volkswagen ID.4 review makes clear.
As such, ID.4s are very practical electric vehicles, certainly at least as practical as the ID.3 from the perspective of charging.
The Volkswagen ID.4 2021 edition has been designed to be a practical family car, so its running costs should reflect that market niche. Equipped with a type 2 and a CCS connector, it certainly hits the target in this regard. Charging it fully from home or at the office would cost just over £13 on most tariffs. This means the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 will set you back less than five pence per mile to run. If you charge it from a public charger then the running costs will rise to about seven pence per mile.
That's still a strong performance from the ID.4, of course.
Importantly, no road tax will be due in the UK for owners of the model over the first five years it is on the road, at least. The benefit in kind rate for the car in 2021-22 is one per cent and this will rise to two per cent in the next financial year.
The government's OZEV EVHS grant scheme does apply for the Volkswagen ID.4. Furthermore, in 2021 Volkswagen owners can expect their ID.4 1st edition to sit in insurance group 30, so it is not prohibitively expensive to insure.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the ID.4 has a 1000,000 mile or six-year warranty. The battery is under guarantee for eight years and the recommended service interval is every two years.
Weighing over two tonnes, the Volkswagen ID.4 is a substantial car. This reflects in its 0-62mph performance. The entry-level, rear-wheel-drive Pure ID.4 model gets to 62mph in 10.9 seconds. As you might expect, the Pure Performance is quicker. It takes exactly nine seconds flat to get from 0-62mph.
The Pro Performance achieves the same feat in 8.5 seconds. To compare, the Ford Mustang Mach E takes just 3.7 seconds while the ID.3 takes 7.3 seconds.It is hard to say that the ID.4 is a quick car. However, as a family SUV, most would-be buyers will not be put off by its relative sluggishness out of the blocks.
Again, the Volkswagen ID.4 2021 edition is not likely to get any pulses racing for its top speed performance. In fact, the top speed of the car is just 99 mph. The only way around this is to opt for the pricier ID.4 GTX which has a second motor that boosts the power to about 300bhp.
The all-wheel-drive GTX version tops out at 112 mph and will get to 62mph from stationary in just 6.2 seconds, a fact that many reviews fail to point out. As an all-electric model, the ID.4 produces no emissions. It performs well on the open road and in the city and rarely feels underpowered.
No review of the ID.4 would be complete without an assessment of the car's exterior. All models of the ID.4 look great when viewed from the side, front and rear. According to VW, the ID.4 has 'perfectly shaped' 18-inch front and rear wheels fitted as standard.
You can also expect the Volkswagen ID.4 2021 version to have a roof railing fitted for extra luggage storage. All versions of the car from the entry-level Pure up come with recessed door handles for improved aerodynamics. The ID.4 also has LED headlights at the front and funky LED clusters at the rear.
If you want a tow bar, then please note that this is an optional extra with all of the rear-wheel-drive models in the range.
Very few elements suggest this model is an electric car. Just the front grille styling suggests that the motor this model has doesn't use fossil fuels to power it.
The Volkswagen ID.4 2021 is packed with tech inside. Most reviews agree that VW has done a great job with the interior styling throughout the range. Firstly, both the 52kWh and the 77kWh versions of the model have the same style inside.
You can adjust this with your choice of background lighting style to make the car feel warmer or colder depending on your mood.
Behind the steering wheel, there is a clearly laid out 5.3-inch digital display that shows everything you need to know, such as the life that is left in the power source or how many miles per hour you are currently driving, for example. The steering wheel itself has a neatness about it with plenty of easy-to-reach controls.
The driver and passenger seats are easy to adjust and comfortable, so the ride always seems smooth.
More good news is that the high tech infotainment system is easy to control. It has a responsive 10-inch touchscreen, an in-built sat-nav and compatibility with Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay. The Volkswagen ID.4 2021 also comes with a subscription to the 'We Connect Plus' service that highlights charging locations you can use nearby at reduced rates.
The interior also features a dual-zone climate control system so you can keep the rear and the front at different temperatures if you want.
Furthermore, the ID.4's heat pump means you can prolong the life of your battery by warming the interior up without using its power. As many reviews have pointed out, one negative is that the boot suffers from an awkward lip.
That said, the model is better than many of its main rivals in terms of storage because you get 543 litres of space in the back. If you fold the rear seats down, then you can almost treble the amount of room that is available.
Even if you are over six feet tall, the rear seats provide more than enough space to feel comfortable even on journeys of many miles.
The ID.4 also provides handy USB-C sockets plus a wireless charging pad for smartphones and four good-sized door storage bins, too.
When first launched, the ID.4's initial price tag of £40,800 on the road made it a serious contender in the crossover SUV market, especially when you consider the 310-mile range of the 77kWh Pro Performance model.
As the winner of the 2021 World Car of the Year Award, many will agree that the price VW is asking for this car reflects its ride quality, its spaciousness and, above all, its styling. Designed for family life, the entry-level Life trim reflects this.
It now comes in with an asking price starting at just £34,995, albeit with a reduced range of 213 miles. The Max trim level - which offers a panoramic roof, some sports styling and keyless entry - comes in at £50,710.
However, if you opt for a top of the range GTX Max, then the price you can expect to pay starts from £55,555. Consequently, there is something to suit most budgets when would-be buyers come to review the range as a whole.