4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

It's an ID.3 on stilts, and all the more appealing for it

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV (21 on) - rated 4 out of 5
Enlarge 11 photos

PROS

  • Volkswagen first electric SUV on sale in 2021
  • Good to drive, both nippy and comfortable
  • 323-mile range is well ahead of all rivals

CONS

  • Pricey 1st Edition might put off buyers
  • Interior and controls not to everyone's taste
  • You're going to have to wait until 2021

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV rivals

Written by Keith Adams on

The Volkswagen ID.4 is a new electric SUV that was first revealed earlier in 2020, and is a logical extension of the brilliant new Golf-sized ID.3 hatchback. We don't know yet when you'll be able to order one, but Volkswagen has confirmed it's set to go on sale during the first three months of 2021.

The ID.4 is the second model in Volkswagen’s ID range of electric cars, placing an SUV type body on the same dedicated electric vehicle technology as the ID.3. The platform contains all the electric drivetrain components and is purpose-built to be as efficient as possible as an electric vehicle, as it offers no petrol or diesel versions at all. The new ID.4 is designed to be a roomier and more practical model to the ID.3, with the same electric motor and battery pack options underneath.

Rivals are few and far between, but the Peugeot e-2008 is already on sale, and might be worth considering if you can't wait for an ID.4. At the other end of the price scale, the Volvo XC40 Recharge will go up against more expensive ID.4s. A little way down the line, the Skoda Enyaq will also be making a bow in 2021, and will share much of the ID.4's hardware but at a lower price.

What's under the skin?

The ID.4 uses the same basic hardware and underpinnings as the ID.3, but to ensure as much power and range as possible, the SUV has the 204hp version of the ID.3’s electric motor driving the rear wheels, kept spinning by a 77kWh battery pack.

It’s capable of a 0-62mph sprint in 8.5 seconds, and Volkswagen claims a maximum range of 323 miles, and expect that to be quite close to the official mpg figures calculated using the latest WLTP standards. Choices will expand to include all-wheel drive and a larger-capacity battery pack in 2021. It has 21cm of ground clearance, so it won't be too shabby at light off-roading, which will be helped when the four-wheel drive version is added.

Buyers will be able to choose from three different sizes of battery pack, depending on their budget and driving range requirements. A rapid charger should be able to deliver an 80% charge in around 30 minutes.

What's it like inside?

Inside, the electric drive system and dedicated platform mean there's lots of space for passengers, while you get full digital displays alongside what VW describes as intuitive voice control and touch surfaces to operate it all. 

The interior concept is essentially the same design as the ID.3, even if there's more space inside than the hatchback. It's a clean-looking cockpit with a twist-action gear selector attached to the drivers’ instruments and storage cubbies in the centre console.

An augmented-reality head-up display is on the options list, a featured shared with the new flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class – and a first for a family car. The connected infotainment system has real-time traffic data, live updates on the state of nearby chargers and the ability to pre-condition your car via a phone app.

What's it like to drive?

Our man in Germany, Georg Kacher, managed to grab a drive in a pre-production prototype and came back with some very positive first impressions. Like many electric cars with all the weight of the battery pack being mounted low down beneath the seats, it hugs the road like a sports car.

Comfort isn't compromised, though – even when fitted with the optional 21-inch wheels and low-profile tyres fitted, the ride remains compliant on most surfaces, and it doesn’t fall apart when you switch modes from Comfort to Sport.

The 204hp version takes off like greased lightning. Again, like most electric cars, it's super-quick off the line, but performance starts easing off around 50mph. Throttle response is quick, the braking is strong and mechanical noise is minimal. Above 60mph, all you hear is the wind and the tyres. There's a toggle switch on the steering column that lets you select the level of regenerative braking, too. This is a similar system to cars such as the Hyundai Konda Electric and Nissan Leaf which allow one-pedal driving (slowing to a halt by lifting off the accelerator), when in the highest regenerative setting.

What versions are available?

The ID.4 will first go on sale in two limited editions: 1st and 1st Max. The 1st version has 20-inch wheels, heated seats, parking camera, two-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, navigation and more. In Germany, Volkswagen says this version will cost €49,950 – meaning a price tag of around £45,000 in the UK before the Government's £3,000 Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG).

Go for the 1st Max and that spec list is topped up by LED matrix headlights and 3D rear lights, 21-inch wheels, adaptive dampers, a panoramic glass roof and a powered, hands-free tailgate, augmented reality head-up display and more safety tech. This one is yours for €59,950 in Germany, or around £55k when it goes on sale in the UK. We'll update this review when we know what official UK pricing is.

Read on to see if we think it's worth waiting for...

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV rivals