In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID.5 GTX review

VW’s latest high-performance electric car fails to deliver the thrills of more polished rivals, despite costing as much as or more than them in most cases

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Handles well
  • Coupe styling
  • No loss in practicality

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Rivals can charge faster
  • Same flaws as ID.3 and ID.4
Car typeRangeWallbox charging timeRapid charge time
Electric296-300 miles12hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)33mins (10-80%, 135kW)

Volkswagen’s iconic GTI badge has been around for nearly 50 years at this point, worn by eight generations of the Golf GTI hot hatch. But, with the arrival of the electric age, Volkswagen has created the new GTX moniker for its high-performance electric cars, and this is the latest one: the ID.5 GTX.

It uses the same dual-motor powertrain as the ID.4 GTX, which means you get all-wheel drive, plus 295bhp and 460Nm of torque on tap, which is more than even the hardcore, petrol-engined Golf R produces. However, as the electric coupe-SUV weighs over 2.2 tonnes, 0-62mph takes a modest 6.3 seconds. To put that into perspective, the £50,000 cheaper range-topping Kia EV6 AWD takes 5.2 seconds to do the same, while the EV6 GT can do it in 3.5.

The ID.5 GTX’s 77kWh battery is responsible for a lot of the car’s heft, as well as its 296-mile range. That’s on par with the ID.4 GTX SUV, as well as the dual-motor versions of Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60. However, the latter two can charge at nearly twice the speed of the VW, which can only reach 135kW. Use a suitably fast rapid charger and a 10-80% top up takes 33 minutes, while fully replenishing the 77kWh battery using a 7.4kW home wallbox requires over 12 hours.

While electric cars are capable of instant torque, the ID.5’s motor eases the power in more gently than other performance EVs. Initially, the two-tonne coupe-SUV feels quite brisk, before a very linear feeling of acceleration takes over. The throttle response is sharpened in Sport mode, which also firms up the adaptive dampers you get as standard on the GTX, but this compromises the ride slightly in an attempt to reduce body lean.

Sport mode increases steering resistance, too, but this merely highlights the overly springy nature of the setup, which has a strong proclivity for self-centring. However, the variable-ratio steering rack is a plus point, as it helps make the ID.5 more manoeuvrable through tighter corners.

When you do encounter some twistier roads, the floor-mounted battery pack means the centre of gravity is low and the ID.5 is relatively good at hiding its weight, but the car does have a tendency to understeer. This can be rectified by applying more throttle, which adds some degree of movement at the rear axle thanks to the motor back there being more powerful than the unit up front.

Ultimately, much like the ID.4 GTX and the closely related Skoda Enyaq vRS, the ID.5 GTX doesn’t feel hugely comfortable when you’re pushing it. It’s actually better suited to a more relaxed style of driving, at which point it’s probably better for most people to get the regular 201bhp ID.5 Pro Performance and save a good chunk of change in the process.

The ID.5 even looks a lot like the ID.4 family SUV when viewed from the front or just off to the side, with the visual differences only apparent from the B-pillar backwards. The biggest difference, and the reason why some will choose the ID.5 over its more conventional-looking sister car, is the sloping, coupe-esque roofline that leads to a new tailgate with an integrated rear spoiler.

Surprisingly though, the rakish roofline doesn’t impede practicality; in fact, the ID.5’s 549-litre capacity is slightly more than you get in the ID.4. The space on offer with the rear seats down does take a hit, though, reducing by a significant 173 litres to 1,561 in total. Rear headroom is reduced by 12mm from the ID.4 as well, but there’s still more than in a Ford Mustang Mach-E, meaning even taller adults can sit in the back comfortably.

It’s very hard to ignore the ID.5 GTX’s eye-watering £55,000 price tag – exactly what you’ll pay for the entry-level version of the faster and more engaging BMW i4. That’s a lot of money for a Volkswagen, especially considering the ID.5 has some surprisingly cheap-feeling materials inside and uses the same lacklustre infotainment system and touch-sensitive controls as the ID.3 and ID.4.

The ID.5 GTX comes in both entry-level Style and fully loaded Max trim levels, with the latter including everything from 20-inch alloy wheels and an augmented-reality head-up display to a panoramic sunroof and an energy-saving heat pump for warming the cabin.

Therefore, the ID.5 GTX in Max trim should be avoided in favour of the standard Pro Performance model, as it offers plenty of pace for everyday driving and gets the same distinctive roofline. For anyone wanting to go faster or looking for a more engaging EV with plenty of room, a Mustang Mach-E will be more enjoyable to drive, while the Kia EV6 in all-wheel-drive form is a faster and more polished package.

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