Volkswagen ID.5 220KW GTX Style 77KWH AWD 5DR Auto
There’s no real sense of satisfaction to be had from driving the ID.5, other than the pleasure in eking out the range and getting good efficiency, if that sort of thing amuses you.
Volkswagen is now quite good at putting together a decently thrifty electric powertrain and recent updates to the onboard electronics have released faster charging, which will be appreciated by those who regularly pound in the mega miles.
The steering is weighty, but dependable and the standard Pro/Pro Performance models avoid the sort of torquey point-and-squirt behaviour that many electric cars these days mistake for character. It makes the car easy to live with in traffic or around town, and the chunky accelerator and brake pedals are a plus.
It is rather stiffly-sprung though, meaning it’s not the most comfortable of family SUVs despite there being plenty of tyre sidewall on top of the smallest 19-inch wheels. We found similar with the ID.4, though, so it’s not just a coupe problem.
Volkswagen seems to have glued this badge on for want of anything else in the company storage cupboard – it’s a brisk machine, but there’s no enjoyment in driving an ID.5 GTX quickly. The four-wheel-drive set-up just about avoids any scrabbling indignity and it’ll get cross-country efficiently enough. It’s certainly not the sort of performance car that you’d want to take out for an extra journey, or you’d willingly take the long way round in.
Across all the ID.5 models there’s a nannying quality to the car where it’s constantly deciding that it knows how to do things better than the driver. This manifests in features as insignificant as the car turning itself off when you get off the driver’s seat, or as niggling on the move as not being able to adjust the regeneration save for a simple on-or-off brake mode.
To be fair, the predictive regen in the ID.5 is quite good in practice – the car monitors the road and will slow you down if you’re off the accelerator and cars ahead are slowing down. Ultimately the ID.5 feels like driving in a computer game with all of the computer aids turned on (and you even get green lines to follow from the augmented reality head-up display that’s standard on Max trim).
Well, in our real world test of an ID.5 Pro Performance we managed 4.1 miles per kilowatt-hour over 292 miles of mostly motorway driving (not usually the friend of the EV) in a UK-spec heatwave. That meant intermittent air conditioning use (also not EV friendly) and, if extrapolated, would mean an achievable range of over 315 miles. Not bad at all.
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