- 323-mile range will make Tesla buyers think twice
- Spacious enough to be your main family car
- Excellent ride quality for a heavy electric vehicle
- Skoda Enyaq iV does more for less
- Alternatives are a bit more exciting to drive
- Only the entry-level model qualifies for the plug-in car grant
The Volkswagen ID.4 is the second electric car in the brand's ID range, following in the wake of the ID.3 hatchback. It's an SUV, similar to the Volkswagen Tiguan in size and set to rival the Skoda Enyaq iV, Kia e-Niro and non-SUV competitors like the Tesla Model 3. Let's see how it fairs in our Volkswagen ID.4 review.
The price of the most affordable Volkswagen ID.4 starts from around £32,000 and is powered by a 52kWh battery pack which allows it to cover 213 miles between charges. Upgrade to the 77kWh battery pack and you could be travelling more than 300 miles without having to stop for a charge – that's almost on a par with petrol alternatives.
The ID.4's got a spacious cabin, with a futuristic look and the latest Volkswagen Group infotainment. There's a range of trim levels available and more to come – including a hot GTX model intended to tempt current GTI buyers.
The standard ID.4 isn't particularly exciting to drive, but it's relaxed and soothing like a good electric car should be. Its ride quality is excellent and refinement levels are high, too – helped by the silent nature of the electric drivetrain.
While competitors might offer more in the way of excitement or quirkiness, the Volkswagen ID.4 is a wonderful introduction to electric vehicles. If you're a bit nervous about making the jump, the ID.4 isn't remotely intimidating and it should fit easily into your life. But then, the same could be said for the Skoda Enyaq iV, and that's more affordable....
What's the best Volkswagen ID.4 model/engine to choose?
The Volkswagen ID.4 is available with the choice of two battery packs. The lower-powered 52kWh battery pack pack is available in either Pure (148PS) or Pure Performance (170PS) configurations and both deliver an electric range of 213 miles (in the entry-level ID.4 Life).
The more powerful 77kWh battery pack is labelled as Pro Performance. Delivering 204PS, the distance you can travel between charges increases to 322 miles.
The entry-level Volkswagen ID.4 Life is the only model available with all three motors, while the Volkswagen ID.4 Style can only be specified with either of the two lower powered 52kWh battery packs. Spend a bit more and the premium Volkswagen ID.4 Family and ID.4 Max are available with the 77kWh Pro Performance battery pack.
The trim you pick will come down a little bit to your needs - if you're not going to be looking at a lot of long journeys, then the Volkswagen ID.4 Style is a pretty well-rounded package, though the Volkswagen ID.4 Family with it's longer range and additional standard features is pretty tempting.
What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen ID.4?
The Volkswagen ID.4 is pitched against a rapidly expanding line-up of large, family-sized electric cars, ranging from the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 to more practical SUVs like the Kia e-Niro and the upcoming Nissan Ariya.
You may also have your head turned by the Skoda Enyaq iV which, in true Skoda form, is essentially a Volkswagen ID.4 in a slightly less attractive (but more affordable) package. If you've got deeper pockets, then there's also the Audi Q4 e-tron. Like the Enyaq, it's based on the same platform as the ID.4, but offers that little bit more in the way of luxury and badge appeal.
You don't sit very high up in the Volkswagen ID.4 – in fact, for an SUV, your derrière is surprisingly close to the floor. With the driver’s seat in its lowest position, you could easily be in a Tesla Model 3 or a Volkswagen ID.3. Even with it cranked as high as it will go, you’re hardly going to be towering over other motorists.
Manual seat adjustment feels a bit old school in the fancy electric car like this, but you do at least get armrests which add to the relaxed vibe. We quite like the Art Velours microfleece seat trim (it's kind of a faux-Alcantara), although the dog-poo-like colour of the side bolsters of our test car won't appeal to everyone...
There's no electrical adjustment for the steering wheel, either, although there's plenty of movement so finding a comfortable seating position should be a piece of cake. There's a cute little instrument cluster that moves in and out (and up and down) with the steering wheel. This doesn’t do a great deal but we like its minimalist approach – just providing key information like how fast you're going and how many miles you'll cover before you run out of electricity. Which is handy to know.
Quality and finish
With such a high reputation for quality, there's a certain level of expectation when it comes to the interior finish of the Volkswagen ID.4.
While we were left a little disappointed with the interior quality of the ID.3, there's a noticeable improvement when you step inside a ID.4. There's more pleasing tactile and soft-touch surfaces, but there are still too many hard plastics dotted round the cabin.
It certainly doesn't feel any nicer than the more affordable Skoda Enyaq's interior. If you want something a little more sophisticated, then you'll have to dig a little bit deeper and splash the cash on something like an Audi Q4 e-tron.
Infotainment: Touchscreen, USB, nav and stereo in the Volkswagen ID.4
All models come with a 10-inch media system with the exception of the ID.4 Max that gets a bigger 12-inch display.
Strangely, it's a smaller touchscreen than the 13-inch display offered with all Skoda Enyaq models, but it looks pretty smart and it's something we're getting used to seeing across a range of VW models, including the latest Volkswagen Golf.
However, as we've found when we've used it in other VW cars, it does take a bit of getting used to - especially as the ID.4's button-free approach means the infotainment screen is required to control everything. If we're honest, everything seems a bit of a faff, while the touch-pad climate control buttons are a prime example of technology for technology’s sake. Would a button be too much to ask for – especially when it’s dark and you just want to turn the heating up?
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the ID.4, which is really handy as you can quickly access your apps from your smartphone. It's no surprise to see there's also a DAB radio, Bluetooth and VW's on navigation if you don't want to pair it with your phone.
Space and practicality: Volkswagen ID.4 boot space
There’s loads of space in the ID.4. You get chunky door bins with enough space for a water bottle or two, while there’s a huge storage area in the centre console (along with a couple of cup holders in front of it). The sloped windscreen and fairly long dashboard add to the feeling of space, while there’s no chance you’re going to be bashing your head on the roof or clashing arms with your passenger. You don't get a panoramic sunroof in the ID.4 as standard, but it feels airy enough in the cabin.
Things are good for those in the back, too. Tall rear-seat passengers will find their knees sitting ever so slightly higher than is ideal, but that’s pretty standard and there’s certainly no shortage of space in the back of the ID.4. You’ll squeeze three adults side by side, but whoever sits in the middle seat will have drawn the short straw – it’s significantly narrower than the outer seats. The Volkswagen ID.4 isn't offered as a seven-seater - look at the (non electric) Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace if that's what you're after.
The ID.4's boot space is a pretty decent size at 543 litres (the Enyaq is 585 litres and the Q4 e-tron 520 litres) but there is a bit of a lip for lifting items over - there’s no adjustable boot floor to reduce this, though there's a powered tailgate available on Style and Max models respectively. The cables for charging the car have to go in a bag in t