Space, lots of range for the price, refinement. Accelerator, steering and brakes are all precise
Even so, unengaging to drive. Infuriating electronic controls
What is it?
The crossover sibling of the ID.3 hatch, to absolutely no one's surprise. Among all the VW Group electric family, projected to shift millions of units, the ID.4 will be the worldwide pinnacle seller. It’d better be good then.
It’s based on VW’s designed-for-electric platform known as MEB. It’s available in rear- or all-wheel drive along with 52 or 77kWh battery variants, while there’s also a performance version called the ID.4 GTX (the one in white you see pictured above). A GTI or R for the electric age? We'll see about that.
Rivals include the ID.5 (essentially an ID.4 with a coupe roofline), Skoda Enyaq, Audi Q4 e-tron and its Sportback sibling), as well as the likes of the BMW iX3, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Tesla Model Y or even the Polestar 2. No pressure.
What's the range like?
Entry-level ID.4s offer up to 223 miles of range via a 52kWh battery (badged Pure and Pure Performance), mid-range models offer up to 328 miles via a 77kWh battery (badged Pro and Pro Performance), while the range-topping GTX claims up to 308 miles.
We've tested a number of ID.4s now, including an early 1st Edition, entry-level Pure, mainstream Pro Performance, and GTX, and while we found it to be a comfortable, capable, efficient cruiser, it's also rather bland to drive in equal measure. Head over to the driving tab for the full lowdown.
How big is it?
To give you an idea of size, think Tiguan outside but bigger inside. The wheelbase is actually the same as an ID.3, but sitting more upright means a sense of more legroom. Overall it's about 30cm longer than the ID.3, so the boot's a lot bigger. The cabin cleaves to the minimalist aesthetic of many EVs, although that’s not necessarily a good thing.
The ID.4 adopts the all-touch interface of the ID.3. That feels a bit under-baked to us, but VW promises over-the-air software updates every two months. That said, the ID.4 has now been out long enough that the software really ought to be perfect by now, but it's not even close. Meanwhile the touchy-slidey steering wheel buttons and main dash controls aren't getting any less infuriating. More on the interior tab.
How much does it cost?
Prices for the smaller-batteried variant start from £38,710, the bigger battery from £44,470, the AWD variant from £47,910, and the range-topping GTX Max a rather jaw-dropping £58,280. Full details over on the buying tab.
Want to know what the best electric cars are? Click here for the top 20
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
It's a matter of context. We found ourselves a bit disappointed by the ID.3. It was hyped as a reinvention of the Golf for the new age. But it doesn't quite satisfy its driver like a well-honed hatch should.
Whereas the ID.4 plays against crossovers, and no one buys a crossover for the driving. Do they? Crossovers are family transit pods. And judged through that lens, the ID.4 is right on target. Not in the same league of cool as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, though.
It does at least have a roomy cabin, loads of clever storage spaces, good electric range for the price, and a smooth, silent driving experience that demands nothing of you.
But the interior is fiendishly unintuitive to operate, and that alone would be enough to have us considering the likes of the Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6 and VW's enemies within, in the shape of the Audi Q4 e-tron and Skoda Enyaq, which run exactly the same platform underneath...