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

Electric SUV that majors on usability

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV (21 on) - rated 4 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £34,940 - £56,325
Lease from new From £359 p/m View lease deals
Used price £31,575 - £55,225
Fuel Economy 3.3 - 3.9 miles/kWh
Insurance group 18 - 36 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Up-to 323-mile range is well ahead of rivals
  • Relaxed and quiet cruising on the motorway
  • Spacious interior and boot makes it family friendly

CONS

  • Interior and controls not to everyone's taste
  • Not as fast and agile as some rivals
  • Dumpy looks won't appeal to everyone

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV rivals

Written by Keith Adams on

Is the Volkswagen ID.4 any good?

The Volkswagen ID.4 is a fully-electric SUV that is a logical extension of the excellent Golf-sized ID.3 hatchback family. There's a whole range of ID.4s to choose from, and the good news is that it's a highly-capable electric SUV available for less than the £35,000 cut-off for the government's Plug-in Car Grant.

Under the ID.4's SUV bodywork is VW's dedicated electric vehicle technology that will be shared with a number of other Audi, Cupra, SEAT and Skoda EVs, such as the Enyaq. The understructure contains all the electric drive components, such as the motor and batteries, and is purpose-built to be as efficient as possible as there are no petrol or diesel derivatives to engineer.

Electric rivals range from the smaller Peugeot e-2008, Skoda Enyaq iV, and cheaper Kia e-Niro at one end of the range. At the other, the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8, Ford Mustang Mach-e and Tesla Model 3 go up against more expensive ID.4s.

Read the Volkswagen ID.4 verdict

What's it like inside?

Thanks to the dedicated EV hardware and lack of transmission tunnel, 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 most minor functions. 

Inside, the interior design theme is essentially the same as that found in the ID.3, even if there's more space inside. It's a clean-looking cockpit with a twist-action gear selector attached to the drivers’ instrument pod and storage cubbies in the centre console.

An augmented-reality head-up display is on the options list, while 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, meaning no need to get into a chilly or frosted-up car on a frozen morning.

Read more on the Volkswagen ID.4 interior

What's it like to drive?

It's better than its podgy looks might lead you to believe. Thanks to excellent weight distribution and that low-down battery pack, the ID.4 grips and steers very well indeed. Even when fitted with the optional 21-inch wheels and super low-profile tyres, the ride remains compliant on most surfaces, and it doesn’t get too jarring when you switch modes from Comfort to Sport.

This 204hp version isn't as fast as you'd expect, as performance is hampered by a hefty kerbweight of more than two tonnes. It's quick enough for a car of this type and performance is well judged, but we'd warn that lower-output versions may not have enough performance if you regularly undertake long journeys or travel with multiple passengers onboard.

There's a toggle switch on the steering column that lets you select the level of regenerative braking on offer. This is a similar system to other electric cars, which allow 'one-pedal' driving, slowing down significantly by lifting off the accelerator, rather than braking conventionally.

Read more on how the Volkswagen ID.4 drives

What models and trims are available?

The ID.4 comes in a wide array of trims, starting with the City and working through the Style, Life, Max and Family to the limited run 1st Edition. There are also three battery/motor configurations – Pure (148hp/52kWh battery), Pure Performance (170hp/52kWh battery) and Pro Performance (204hp/77kWh battery). The City and Style are only available in Pure and Pure Performance guise, while the Life, Family, Max and 1st Edition come in Pro Performance guise.

All models are well equipped, with even the entry-level City coming with 18-inch wheels, LED head- and tail-lights, leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, SOS call service for emergency services, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with a choice of 30 colour options. 

As you would expect, the ID.4 1st Edition is packed with standard equipment, including soft-touch grey and brown fabric upholstery, 20-inch alloy wheels, full LED exterior lights, darkened rear privacy windows, adaptive cruise control, a 10-inch multimedia touchscreen and 30 (yes, thirty!) different colours for the interior ambient lighting.

What else should I know?

Nestled under the ID.4's boot floor is an electric motor that drives the rear wheels. Buyers who need four-wheel drive will have to wait until later in 2021 for models fitted with a second motor to power the front axle. Don't expect the VW to be dazzling off-road, even though its ground clearance is usefully high at 21cm.

Charging up an ID.4 is straightforward as it has the ability to rapid charge at up to 100kW (125kW for the top model) on all of the latest public chargepoints. That's fast enough to top-up the entry-level 52kWh battery from a 10-80% charge in 30mins. If you're charging from a 7kW domestic wallbox, it will go from empty to fully charged in less than nine hours.

The 77kWh battery pack gives a claimed range of 323 miles. Although that figure has been achieved using the latest WLTP standards designed to reflect real-world driving, we found the range meter read around 250 miles on a spring morning. Hooked-up to a rapid 125kW public charger, the car's battery can be replenished to 199 miles of range in just 30 minutes.

Volkswagen ID.4 SUV rivals