In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID.5 review

The VW electric range continues to expand with a coupe version of the ID.4; can it justify its higher price and see off wide-ranging competition?

Volkswagen ID.5
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Smart looks
  • Decent range
  • No big practicality sacrifice

Cons

  • Average charging speed
  • Not brilliant to drive
  • Quite pricey
Car typeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric321 miles12hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)33mins (10-80%, 135kW)

Coupe-SUVs are everywhere these days, having been pioneered by premium brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes, but now adopted by more mainstream names as well. So while Volkswagen is already catering to practicality-minded family motorists with its conventionally shaped ID.4 electric SUV, it’s now aiming at those looking for a bit more style with this sleeker ID.5 variant.

It looks very close to its stablemate; so much so that from some angles you may not notice the ID.5’s redesigned rear window pillars, more sloping roofline and new bootlid, incorporating a small wing. Up front inside, there’s no difference from the ID.4 at all, save for slightly higher material quality befitting the ID.5’s loftier price tag. But it arguably still doesn’t feel upmarket enough, especially compared to the closely related Skoda Enyaq iV and Enyaq Coupe iV.

Volkswagen also sets the ID.5 apart from the ID.4 by offering it only with the largest 77kWh battery-pack size, resulting in an official range of just over 320 miles from the ‘Pro’ and ‘Pro Performance’ rear-wheel-drive models. The first of those makes 171bhp for a leisurely 10.4-second 0-62mph time, while the second manages the same in 8.4 seconds courtesy of a 201bhp power output. Maximum speed for both is capped at 99mph. If you want more performance, there’s the hot GTX version, which we’ve reviewed separately.

Our test car was specified equivalent to the range-topping 'Max' trim level, with optional 21-inch alloys (20-inch wheels are standard), adaptive dampers and sports seats; entry-level 'Style' and mid-range 'Tech' specifications are also available. Even on the large wheels, the ride is as smooth and comfortable as it is in an ID.4, which is unsurprising, as the pair are mechanically identical.

But that means the ID.4’s less positive points are carried over as well. It has the same two-plus-tonne kerbweight, which makes itself felt when you try to take a corner at speed. But a low centre of gravity courtesy of the floor-mounted batteries, along with well controlled body lean and strong traction from the rear axle, mean it doesn’t feel too lumpen in everyday driving.

There’s a Sport mode to weight up the steering, sharpen the throttle response and stiffen the suspension, although we suspect the latter could make the ride too harsh on typical UK road surfaces, even if it was still acceptable on our German test route.

Our test car was fitted with the 201bhp Pro Performance drivetrain, and we suspect the 171bhp Pro version would feel quite sluggish, especially for an electric car. It’s nonetheless expected to account for around 50% of sales in the UK. It was also running version three of VW’s latest infotainment system, which the company says is intended to iron out the bugs that have plagued earlier releases.

It seemed stable and didn’t crash during our time with the car, although it’s still too easy to inadvertently activate the voice-command system while talking with your passengers. And the inherent issue with the touch-sensitive sliders on the steering wheel being too easy to brush against accidentally remains.

One of the criticisms levelled at coupe-SUVs is that they tend to offer less interior space for more money than their more practical cousins. But the trade-off isn’t too severe in the ID.5. There’s only 12mm less headroom in the rear than in an ID.4 – still more than you get in a Ford Mustang Mach-E – and legroom is decent, too. Boot capacity with all seats in place is actually greater than the ID.4’s, at 549 litres, although the figure with the rear seats lowered is a good deal less: 1,561 litres versus 1,734.

The more aerodynamic shape also benefits range, adding three miles to the officially claimed figure for the ID.4 with the same battery and motor combination for a total of 313 miles. Realistically, you’re looking at between 230 and 250 miles on a charge in real-world driving, with a top-up from near-empty to 80% taking about 30 minutes from a typical roadside rapid charger.

So while the ID.5 inherits some less-than-desirable characteristics from the ID.4, in most respects it’s the same car, and VW doesn’t actually ask too much of a price premium for the coupe, with the Max Pro Performance version we tried costing just over £3,000 more than its ID.4 equivalent. Spread across finance payments, the difference will be minimal, so the choice may simply come down to which one you like the look of more. Like the ID.4, though, the ID.5 isn’t a class leader, for either driving experience or value.

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