Volkswagen rolls out its electric vehicle launch plan and is now marketing its ID. 4. Its first battery-powered SUV that, Covid-19 requires, we were able to test on a day between Roissy and Dieppe.
And two. Six months after ID.3, the second member of family ID 100% electric is finally available in the form of an SUV. And his name quite logically ID.4. A model still based on the same MEB platform of the manufacturer, which will also equip the future ID.5 (a coupe version of the ID.4) which will arrive at the end of the year, but also the ID Buzz combi planned for 2022. One product plan fully loaded, and which will be completed in 2025 with an electric city car positioned below the ID.3.
Volkswagen’s announced objective as part of its “Way to zero” plan, the outright shutdown of combustion engine production in 2040. By then, the manufacturer aims to achieve 70% of its sales in Europe with 100% electric vehicles. While waiting for all this to materialize, we were able to take control of the ID.4 and give you here all our impressions, all our conclusions.
Common elements with the Volkswagen ID.3
As has been said, like all IDs, the Volkswagen ID.4 is based on the dedicated MEB platform. No wonder that we also find elements of the ID.3 with large wheels up to 21 inches who contribute a lot to his style, a characteristic light signature, or a drag coefficient (cx) of 0.28. The latter is supposed to limit air resistance and optimize the car’s consumption. With varying degrees of success, as we will see below. Regardless, the vehicle looks great, especially in our 1st Edition Max version which has all the options.
Despite its dimensions of 4,584 x 1,852 x 1,631 mm, the Volkswagen ID.4 offers the same turning radius as the ID.3 when fitted with rims of the same size. A good performance for a compact SUV, especially when you know that it does better than the Polo and the Up! in the field. In addition, thanks to short overhangs, the Volkswagen ID.4 has a wheelbase of 2,771 millimeters, almost the same as a Tiguan Allspace. What offer a particularly generous interior, with a feeling of space reinforced by the panoramic glass roof. Adopting the shape of a flat block, the battery takes place under the passenger compartment, thus lowering the center of gravity of the car. In addition, the electric motor, power electronics and electric transmission control, as well as the gearbox are all housed in a small space on the rear axle. Finally, the front of the vehicle, which is rather short, houses the cooler and air conditioning components. There is therefore no trunk under the hood.
Speaking of the trunk, that of the Volkswagen ID.4 offers a loading capacity of 543 liters, and even 1,575 liters with the rear seats folded down. A double bottom is provided under which there is still a space to store the charging cables. The trunk can be opened with a movement of the foot with the “Open & Close” function, while the Volkswagen ID.4 can be fitted with a towing hook. In that case, the electric SUV will be able to tow a load of up to 1,200 kg. Unlike the ID.3 which can only accommodate a bicycle rack.
The range of the Volkswagen ID.4
Like the ID.3 we tested last year, the Volkswagen ID.4 is first launched in two versions 1st Edition and 1st Edition Max (our test model). These are practically all sold, and there will therefore remain the choice between several variations depending on the battery, engine and finish.
Side drums, the Volkswagen ID.4 is optionally available with a 52 kWh model in its Pure version, and 77 kWh for the Pro. Autonomy announced? Up to 345 km for the first, and up to 520 km of autonomy for the second. The Volkswagen ID.4 Pure comes itself in two engines: Pure of 109 kW, and Pure Performance of 125 kW. For its part, the Pro is only available with a 150 kW motor. Finally, you will have the choice between the City and Style finishes for the Volkswagen ID.4 Pure, while the Pro adds the Life, Business, Family, Tech and Max versions. Note that a four-wheel drive version will be offered with the GTX version of more than 300 hp, still with the 77 kWh battery. This should be available before the summer.
What price and what range for the Volkswagen ID.4?
The Volkswagen ID.4 is released from 39,370 euros before ecological bonus. For this price, you will have the right to the 52 kWh battery and the 109 kW motor. Autonomy announced 345 km. At the other end of the spectrum, it will cost 59,680 euros for the ID.4 Max with the 77 kWh battery which announces a range of 506 km.
What charging options for the Volkswagen ID.4?
With the 77 kWh battery, the Volkswagen ID.4 benefits from a maximum charging power of 11 kW on an AC terminal. The City and Style versions have to be content with 7.2 kW. Of course, all ID.4s are equipped with a CCS charging socket with a hatch located at the rear right of the vehicle. Here again, there are differences with a maximum charging power of 100 kW maximum for the ID.4 City and ID.4 Style, against 125 kW for all other versions. The builder announces 320 km recovered in about 30 minutes of charging.
Note that the We Charge service provides access to more than 150,000 public charging points in Europe, including 15,000 terminals pre-registered in the navigation system for France on the 41,850 referenced terminals. The charging process is managed via the We Connect ID application, but the activation of the charging station is always done with an RFID card or via the smartphone. So there is still no identification and direct billing as at Tesla.
During our test, which alternated sections of the motorway and secondary roads between Roissy en France and Dieppe, we had the opportunity to stop at an Ionity station. It took us about 35 minutes to go from 20 to 73% capacity.
What equipment for the Volkswagen ID.4?
It is clear thatThe Volkswagen ID.4 is rather well equipped as standard from the entry-level version : Keyless Go access, 10-inch infotainment screen, 5.3-inch digital instrumentation, multifunction steering wheel with touch controls, heated front seats and steering wheel, Air Care Climatronic air conditioning and even 10 color mood lighting.
Optionally, you can opt for a 12-inch central screen, 360 ° camera, 2 or 3 zone air conditioning, induction charging system, Keyless Access Advanced to unlock and start the car without taking the key out of the car. pocket, or even the head-up display with augmented reality.
A comfortable electric SUV
The interior of the Volkswagen ID.4 is very similar to that of the ID.3. We therefore find the same style, but also the same hard plastics everywhere. The cabin is bathed in light thanks to the large large panoramic glass roof which can nevertheless be obscured by an electric curtain.
The cockpit does not change either with always the same digital instrumentation which has the advantage of being very readable. It displays information such as speed, speed limit, gear engaged or the remaining range and a navigation reminder. Our ID.4 1st Edition Max model is equipped with the head-up display which uses this same information, not without adding the function of augmented reality. This visually highlights the vehicle in front of you, or displays the path to follow directly on the windshield. Even more practical, it displays arrows to indicate the direction to take. Coupled with GPS, this system is particularly effective, and visually stunning with a 3D zoom effect when turning.
Another similarity with the ID.3, but also all the other vehicles of the brands of the Volkswagen Group, the ID.4 is hunting for buttons. Only remain those which are dedicated to opening windows, adjusting mirrors, and lighting. Most of the functions are therefore controlled via the central touch screen which also has touch buttons at its base. They allow you to directly adjust the temperature, or activate the heated seats using two fingers with the multipoint.
In the same way, tactile buttons are used to adjust the volume or zoom in the map when touched with two fingers. If necessary, the Volkswagen ID.3 also has its own voice assistant that can be called up with the Bonjour ID command. This is nevertheless reserved for basic functions, and far from competing with a solution such as Google Assistant for example.
The infotainment screen takes advantage ofa diagonal of 12 inches on our 1st Edition Max version (10 inches standard). This one displays a rather well-designed interface, but with extensive menus that can complicate the task at first. It provides access to all of the car’s features, from music to air conditioning and navigation. On this last point, the Volkswagen ID.4 does like the ID.3 by simply displaying summary information on the charging stations. We would have liked to have more details such as the number of terminals available, the power delivered, the occupancy or the prices. We will therefore have to wait for a possible update.
A word also on mobile application which unfortunately we weren’t able to try. This displays various information such as the battery level, remote control and programming of the air conditioning, or information on charging stations. However, for the moment, it is still not possible to plan your route before transferring it to the car.
Volkswagen ID.4: comfortable, but not so comfortable on the motorway
It’s time to get behind the wheel of our Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition Max in Roissy, France. Direction Pourville-sur-mer for a route of approximately 180 km with a small portion of the highway. We did not adopt eco-driving and we drove strictly within the speed limits. The Keyless Access Advanced option allows you to completely forget the key in your pocket : the vehicle unlocks automatically, and all you have to do is switch to D (Drive) mode to set off. Likewise, the Volkswagen ID.4 switches off and locks automatically when you move away. Besides, there is not even a contact button. It’s hard to make it simpler.
As on ID.3, a dynamic light strip takes place under the windshield. Its LEDs light up to indicate that the car is ready, or to assist the navigation system by scrolling the light to indicate the direction to follow.
Volkswagen ID.4 offers appreciable comfort whether with its ErgoActive seats or the silence that reigns in the cabin. Rolling and wind noise are correctly filtered up to 130 km / h, a speed that will be difficult to maintain anyway, as we will see. Unlike the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which we were also able to test recently, the ID.4 visually displays the different driving modes. It is very light, but always welcome, with for example a red color when the Sport mode is activated.
Four driving modes are also available: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual. Eco restricts the power and comfort functions such as air conditioning. However, it turns out to be suitable for most situations. The difference is less marked between the Comfort and Sport modes although the latter offers a more lively reaction to the pedal. In all cases, the Volkswagen ID.4 has enough responder for efficient overtaking and relaunching. Failing to stick to the seat like in a certain electric American.
Driving aids have proven their worth within the brands of the Volkswagen group. For example, we have activated Travel Assist on all sections of the motorway in order to be able tohelp the car manage its position in the line, the safety distance from the vehicle in front, and speed. There’s also no need to hold the capacitive steering wheel in full hand, just touch it to let the system know the driver is still in control.
It is possible to drive with mode B rather than D by turning the selector which is integral with the instrumentation screen. This activates the braking energy recovery mode, but there is no single-pedal driving per se. The ID.4 will most often adopt a freewheel mode, but it is possible to recover a few precious kilometers downhill.
There remains the question of long journeys. If the figures announced by Volkswagen are reassuring, reality quickly caught up with us. After recharging at the Ionity station in Sailly-Flibeaucourt, we hit the road again with a range displayed on our screen of 330 km. Enough to cover the remaining 177 km to return to our starting point in Roissy, France. At least in theory. Indeed, at 130 km / h, our Volkswagen ID.4 1 St Edition Max equipped with the largest battery of 77 kWh, saw its range melt before our eyes. Between two kilometer markers (i.e. one kilometer traveled), the system showed us the loss of no less than 4 kilometers.
Impossible under these conditions to reach destination. The same is true at 120 km / h and we were forced and forced to drive at 110 km / h for about 2/3 of the way. It should be noted that there were two of us on board, without luggage, with a temperature of 8 degrees, but also a lot of altitude and a headwind. It will therefore be necessary to plan your route well before considering going on vacation, especially if the network of terminals is not yet dense enough, as on the Atlantic coast for example.