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BBC TopGear
Car Review

Volkswagen ID.4

£ 34,595 - £ 55,485
710
Published: 06 Oct 2021
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What should I be paying?

One day the world will stop judging electric cars on a simple ratio of list price per mile of range. But that day hasn't come yet.

By that metric the ID.4 does well. The launch version goes further than the smaller, cheaper Korean crossovers, and costs less than the similar-distance editions of the Mustang Mach E and Tesla Model X. That said, VW's own ID.3 will go further for less.

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But value has other dimensions too: price for the performance and of space and habitability and equipment. Again no complaints.

We found the ID.4 averaged 3.0-3.3 miles per kWh, so some simple maths explains that, if you were to use the entire 77kWh capacity (unlikely), you're going 231-254 miles on a charge. Call it 240 once you've factored in not getting to each charge with 0 miles range remaining. Our ID.4 Pro Performance was a £45,000 car as tested. For £49,000, you can get into a Ford Mustang Mach-E Extended Range, good for a claimed 379 miles and a real-world 300. And the Ford's interior, if anything, feels more sophisticated than the VW's. 

Less happy was our rapid-charge test. It drew only an average of 50kW off a 350kW-capable charger going from 50-80 per cent charge. The spec says it'll pick up 199 miles of WLTP range in half an hour, but our test saw it gain only about 100 miles WLTP (80 miles real) in that time.

VW also has a charge roaming app so you can use chargers of many networks, with a single monthly bill. That reduces the need to sign up to dozens separately. Still, as with all other EVs, owners will almost always charge on AC at home overnight.

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VW will lease you an ID.4 for £557 a month (£5,150 down on a three-year contract and mileage limited to 10,000 annually), but like any other manufacturer you can tailor pretty much every element to get the right set-up for you. Company car BIK tax, like any EV, is just one per cent in ’21-22 and two per cent the following year.

With the 1st Edition sales now complete, the ID.4 range is a fairly simple menu: two battery sizes, 77kWh and 52kWh. The bigger battery with 204bhp, the smaller one with 148 or 170bhp. We don't much fancy 148bhp. You're funnelled into one of six pre-configured spec packs. One of the few extras is a heat pump to warm the cabin with less battery drain. Useful for long winter trips.

Warranty is three years and 60,000 miles, but the battery is eight years and 100,000 miles.

If you're worried about lifetime CO2 and pollution, note VW has invested big in sustainability. The UK cars come from a German factory powered entirely by renewables. Same for nearly all suppliers including the battery cell makers. There's also offsetting for the 'unavoidable emissions' including logistics, leaving the ID.4 independently audited as net carbon neutral when delivered to you.

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