Volkswagen weighs into the compact SUV market – now the most popular type of new car with people all around the world – with its second all-electric car in the ID family, the ID.4.
The ID.4 is a higher riding, more sportily styled version of the ID.3 electric hatchback that has just started arriving in UK showrooms. It’s slightly smaller than a VW Tiguan, the firm’s traditional compact SUV contender, and arrives next year when VW expects the ID.4 to become its biggest selling electric model.
There will be different versions coming later, such is the modular nature of the MEB dedicated electric car platform it sits on, but to begin with it has a single electric motor on the rear axle – yes, it’s rear-wheel-drive. The motor’s 204PS (150kW) provides 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, a top speed of 100mph and range with the largest 77kWh battery of up to 323 miles.
It’s not an off-roader – few SUVs are – but VW says rear-drive and 21cm of ground clearance mean thew ID.4 can cope with “gentle off-road terrain”. The ID.4 is far more likely to be at home in the city and on the school run when what VW claims is a cabin as roomy as SUVs from a class up will come into its own. The room is thanks to a long wheelbase and all the batteries stowed away under the floor.
The 4.58m long five-door, five-seater’s practicality is boosted by a 543 litre boot – with standard electric tailgate – which can be boosted in normal SUV style by folding down the back seats, taking capacity to 1,575 litres. It comes with roof rails and a towing bracket: the ID.4 can tow up to a tonne.
With its plain surfacing, sculpted look and slender full-width light bars fore and aft the ID.4 comes across as pleasingly unfussy to look at. It is also a wind-cheating shape with a CD of 0.28, a key factor in maximising the range. Charging up your ID.4 for 30 minutes at a DC fast-charge public point gives enough juice for around 200 miles. A full recharge takes longer, and overnight if you plug it in to a domestic socket at home.
Like the latest Golf, the dashboard and operating system is all digital. There are twin displays, no physical buttons and a “Hello ID” natural voice recognition control system. An augmented reality head-up display that projects arrows into the driver’s line of sight is an option.
The First Edition model arriving first will come with top-end pricing around the £45,000 mark – actual UK prices are yet to be confirmed – but versions with lesser batteries and smaller motors are sure to follow at lower prices.