Targeted as an electric vehicle affordable to millions, not just millionaires, Volkswagen has finally brought its ID4 electric SUV to the USA. Offering a sub-$40,000 MSRP for its entry-level Pro trim, extensive Federal incentives, a generous 250 mile range to compete with cars like the Chevrolet Bolt, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai Kona EV, impressive spaciousness, a clean, minimalist interior and exterior, excellent ride quality and a snappy performance, Der Volts-Wagen ID.4 has been designed to capture a lion’s share of American EV drivers.
After a potential Federal tax credit, the Pro trim can be leased or purchased for as low as $32,495.
The ID.4 EV was voted 2021 World Car of the Year by a jury of 93 distinguished international journalists from 28 countries. One of the reasons it won is Volkswagen’s MEB dedicated-electric platform which provides more space for passengers, better handling, better integration of the Lithium batteries in the base of the car and a decrease in the EV’s productions costs, lowering its MSRP. Volkswagen wants to sell 20 million electric vehicles installed atop its MEB by 2029.
Says caranddriver.com reviewer Joey Capparella: “VW’s approach for the new ID.4 looks extremely logical and straightforward. The 2021 ID.4 is designed and engineered to be an electric crossover that matches the specifications, performance, and character of the best-selling gas vehicles in the United States: compact SUVs such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.”
The EV’s rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor produces 201 horsepower and 228 lb-ft of torque. The EPA says the rear-wheel drive ID.4 Pro manages 107 MPGe in the city, with 91 MPGe estimated for highway driving. When combined, the EPA says that you will achieve figures of 99 MPGe. The Pro S achieves impressive figures of 104/89/97 MPGe. An additional perk: Volkswagen offers the ID.4 with three years of unlimited Electrify America charging.
The EPA estimates you’ll save $5,500 in fuel costs by driving an ID.4 compared to an average new gas vehicle.
The ID.4 comes in two trims: Pro (MSRP: $39,995) and ID.4 Pro S (MSRP: $44,495). The Pro trim comes as a Rear Wheel Drive, with an electric motor on the rear axle to power the car. A second electric motor can be added to the front axle to provide an AWD Dual Motor Powertrain. The e-motor installation comes with a tow hitch and a heated windshield for an additional $3,680. The Pro S trim, around $4,500 more than the Pro, comes equipped with two electric motors to provide All Wheel Drive.
Pro offers 4 exterior color options: Glacier White Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Moonstone Gray and Scale Metallic Silver. Pro S adds one additional color choice: Dusk Blue Metallic.
Driver-Assistance features include: Electronic Stability Control, Anti-Slip Regulation, Electronic Differential Lock, a Brake Assist System and Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution, a Electromechanical Brake Booster, and an Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS).
Safety systems include: a Driver and front passenger front and side thorax airbag supplemental restraint system, Front and Rear Side Curtain Protection head airbags, high-adjustable Front safety belts with pretensioners and load limiters, LATCH child seat anchor points (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), and a Rear View Camera System.
The EV seats 5 passengers comfortably. Says Edmunds.com reviewer Travis Langness: “Marketed as an SUV, the ID.4 is smaller than VW's Tiguan small SUV. It's 4.6 inches shorter and 1.9 inches lower than the Tiguan. But its wheelbase, which is the measurement between the front and rear wheels, is only about an inch shorter than the Tiguan's. With the wheels pushed farther apart, the ID.4 has more space for passengers. In fact, it has nearly identical passenger accommodations as the Tiguan.”
The 2021 ID.4’s art tech and sleek interior design have earned it a place on the list of Autotrader’s Best Car Interiors Under $50,000. As is the case with many new EVs, the ID.4 has evolved past using buttons and knobs and uses touch-sensitive, smartphone-like controls. The EV’s expansive panoramic fixed glass roof lets light in and offers sweeping views of the sky. An electric shade blocks out sunlight with the push of a button. With the absence of a combustion engine, interior cabin space is maximized.
As of this review, the NHTSA and the IIHS have not yet evaluated the ID.4 for crashworthiness. However, the ID.3 hatchback, sold in Europe, is built on the same MEB platform as the ID.4. It attained an excellent 5-star safety rating in the Euro NCAP test.
Infotainment and connectivity-wise, the ID.4 comes standard with a 10.0-inch touchscreen. Statement Package upgrades it to a larger 12.0-inch display. Navigation comes standard with both displays, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All ID.4 models are offered with a 5.3-inch reconfigurable digital gauge display and voice recognition capability. The EV provides wireless smartphone integration for compatible devices and wireless cellphone charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, HD Radio, voice recognition, four USB ports, a seven-speaker stereo system, and Bluetooth.
Says car buzz.com reviewer Jared Rosenholtz: “Volkswagen boldly calls the ID.4 its most important vehicle since the original Beetle, and this point is difficult to dispute. Some might argue that Volkswagen's success in the US hinges on the ID.4, so it's crucial that the launch goes without any hiccups. The driving experience feels surprisingly normal, which should appeal to nervous buyers who may be hesitant to purchase their first EV. We can't see many Tesla owners rushing to sell their cars, but then again, the ID.4 competes in a lower price point and is not directly fighting the Model Y. As an alternative to the less expensive Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV, we think the ID.4 feels less economy-minded and more premium overall. Options like the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV offer comparable range and performance at a similar price, but feel less unique since they are both based on conventional crossovers. Volkswagen's stiffest competition should come with the arrival of the Hyundai Ioniq 5.”
Says auto trader.com reviewer Eric Brandt: “The Volkswagen ID.4 is an all-new, all-electric compact crossover that we’ve been patiently waiting for. Now that it’s finally arrived, we’re impressed not only with the smooth and peppy electric drivetrain, but with the high-tech interior. It speaks a new design language for the brand that we haven’t seen yet in a production vehicle in the U.S.”
With 30.3 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which can fold down to increase capacity to 64.2 cubic feet, cargo space is considered good. Headroom and legroom in both rows are generous.
Using a Level 2 public or home charger (220V), it takes about 7.5 hours to fully charge the ID.4. Using a Fast Charger, you'll replenish around 62 miles every 10 minutes. Volkswagen covers the EV’s Lithium battery with an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty.
WRITTEN JULY 2021
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.