Volkswagen ID.5 GTX prototype review

Volkswagen’s rival to the Mustang Mach-E won’t be arriving until 2022, but the 295bhp, all-wheel drive and sporty coupe looks of the GTX prototype we drove are promising

VW ID.5

Pros

  • Handles well
  • Coupe styling
  • No loss in practicality

Cons

  • Same flaws as ID.3 and ID.4
  • Likely to be quite expensive
  • Rivals can charge faster
Car typeRangeWallbox charging timeRapid charge time
Electric308 miles12hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)34mins (10-80%, 125kW)

The next addition to Volkswagen's family of 'ID' electric cars will be the ID.5 – the coupe version of the practical, spacious and conventionally styled ID.4 SUV we’re now familiar with. When it arrives sometime in 2022, it’ll be a new option for those who don’t need the boot space on offer in the regular ID.4, but still want that high driving position and enough room for five.

As with the ID.4, there’ll be an entry-level, single-motor, rear-wheel-drive ID.5, however this is the fastest version of the forthcoming coupe-SUV: the ID.5 GTX, which features a dual-motor setup for all-wheel-drive and a healthy power output of 295bhp – the same as the ID.4 GTX. The 0-62mph time has yet to be confirmed, but it’s likely to be around the six-second mark, too.

Both confirmed ID.5 variants use the same 77kWh battery as the top-spec versions of the ID.4, for a range of 308 miles in the GTX and 335 in the single-motor. The maximum range for both models is slightly longer than their ID.4 equivalents, which can be put down to the ID.5’s better aerodynamics.

Speaking of differences, while the ID.5 prototype we drove was still wrapped in camouflage, you can tell there have been a few changes from the ID.4. At the front, the ID.5 GTX gets the same face as the ID.4 GTX, while the rear not only gets a sweeping roofline, it also features a large spoiler. You still get a predominantly plastic rear bumper, as well as the full-width light bar and 3D brakelights from the ID.4 GTX.

Inside, the ID.5 does have a lot in common with the ID.4. That means you get a small steering-column-mounted digital driver’s display, as well as a central infotainment screen and the same touch-sensitive interface and controls that we’ve found tricky to use in both the ID.4 and ID.3 that we’ve already tested.

One major positive of the ID.5’s interior is that, despite the coupe roofline, it's as spacious as the ID.4's, with an enormous amount of legroom thanks to the cars' long wheelbase. Plus, the seats in the prototype model we drove were very comfortable and there’s plenty of headroom all round – just three centimetres less than in the ID.4, in fact. The boot also isn’t any smaller than the ID.4's, with up to 543 litres of space on offer when measured to the windowline. However, if you're looking to load to the roof with the rear seats folded down, you'll find that the ID.5’s maximum load volume is 100 litres less than its sibling's.

The ID.5 GTX drives pretty much the same as the ID.4 GTX. Despite the car weighing a hefty 2.2 tonnes, it handles surprisingly well, even in tighter corners. The systems do a good job of managing how much power is going to each axle, so grip is excellent. You never really notice the electronic interventions, and at times the ID.5 can feel one class of car smaller than it actually is.

Although, the ID.5 isn’t without flaws, aside from the frustrating user interface and climate controls inherited from the ID.3 and ID.4. First, the GTX variant of the new coupe-SUV is expected to cost around £2,000 more than the ID.4 GTX, and we wouldn’t be surprised if there was a similar premium for the other trim levels.

The second gripe is the maximum charging speed of 125kW; it’s not horrifically slow, but even before the ID.5 has launched, it’s lagging behind similarly priced rivals like the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 which can recharge at Porsche Taycan-like speeds of up to 220kW thanks to their 800v charging systems. Volkswagen is believed to be working on increased charging speeds by means of a software update, but if that's the case, we don't currently know what the new maximum would be.

Ultimately, we’re not going to pass definitive judgement on the ID.5 just yet, but things seem promising for the new, rakish addition to the ID family. The GTX powertrain we experienced in what will be the top-of-the-range version was just as satisfying as it was in the ID.4 GTX, however, if it does feature the same frustrating user interface and limited charging capabilities as that car – which we very much expect it will – the ID.5 may not be as easy to recommend as it could be.

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