Volkswagen ID.4 review: performance, motor & drive
The Volkswagen ID.4 drives well for a heavy SUV, but don’t go expecting to jump to lightspeed whenever you floor the accelerator
|Pro Performance 4MOTION
Despite weighing over two tonnes, the Volkswagen ID.4 is generally comfortable to travel in, with only the biggest bumps upsetting its composure on a country road. The First Edition car (which is no longer offered) with its 20-inch wheels did feel a little firm, however, Pure models with their 18-inch alloys offer a much more supple ride.
Tick the box for the ‘Sports Package’ and this adds a firmer suspension setup – while this should, in theory, help keep the ID.4 feeling more composed on a twisty road, we think buyers who mostly drive around town will prefer the softer, standard setup. The ‘Sports Package Plus’ adds adaptive suspension which incorporates different settings for the best of both worlds – but at over £1,000 extra, this is rather expensive. If you’re after out-and-out performance, Volkswagen also offers the sporty ID.4 GTX, which we’ve reviewed separately.
There are two regenerative braking settings to choose from. The normal mode has very little braking action when you lift off the throttle, which is like driving a petrol or diesel car. The more aggressive mode adds extra range quicker, but it’s not able to fully stop the car like in, for example, a Nissan Leaf.
Volkswagen ID.4 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
Kicking off the ID.4’s powertrain lineup are the Pure and Pure Performance models, which have power outputs of 146 and 168bhp respectively. If you think that doesn’t sound like all that much for a two-tonne SUV, you’d be right – the base Pure takes an agonising 10.9 seconds to reach 62mph. While this is fine for pootling around town, drivers may struggle to perform overtakes on the motorway – especially if the car is fully-laden with passengers and luggage.
Likely to be the biggest seller is the mid-spec Volkswagen ID.4 Pro, which gets a more powerful 172bhp electric motor. However, its 0-62mph time is not as quick as the Pure Performance version, given the weight of the larger 77kWh battery – it offers longer range rather than greater performance.
With 201bhp and 310Nm of torque instantly available from the electric motor in the Pro Performance version of the ID.4, it’s as punchy as you would expect from a standstill, just like all electric cars. Yet we felt it doesn’t quite feel as fast as it might seem given those impressive figures.
Topping the lineup – excluding the sporty GTX model – is the Pro Performance 4MOTION model which, thanks to an extra electric motor on the front axle, has four-wheel-drive and 261bhp. With the sprint from 0-62mph taking a not insignificant 6.9 seconds, the 4MOTION model offers a good blend between performance and range – VW quotes this version will do 317 miles on a charge.
Overall, the ID.4 is surprisingly good to drive. Thanks to a favourable centre of gravity courtesy of low-slung batteries, alongside a sporty rear-drive layout, the ID.4 offers much sharper handling than you might expect from a two-tonne family SUV. Body control is particularly impressive at high speed, while a tight 10.2-metre turning circle makes low speed manoeuvres a breeze.
In This Review
- 1VerdictVolkswagen’s first electric SUV is modern, spacious and good to drive, but it’s let down by a lacklustre interior
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe ID.4 offers competitive electric range on paper, but real-world performance is disappointing from our experience
- 3Running costs & insuranceElectric power means fuel costs are low, and company-car tax rules mean the Volkswagen ID.4 is a very tempting business choice
- 4Performance, motor & drive - currently readingThe Volkswagen ID.4 drives well for a heavy SUV, but don’t go expecting to jump to lightspeed whenever you floor the accelerator
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe ID.4’s interior is perhaps its biggest letdown, with all too many cheap-feeling plastics and ergonomic oversights sitting alongside a frustrating infotainment system
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Volkswagen ID.4 should offer more than enough space for families, with a big boot and an airy cabin
- 7Reliability & safety ratingVolkswagen is plagued with lacklustre results in our Driver Power surveys, but the ID.4 should be very safe