Volkswagen is a bit of an interesting case in the move towards electrification. Where many brands are eager to get their hands dirty, Volkswagen was more tentative, teasing EV-adjacent plug-in hybrids to the market and testing the waters before making an authoritative move in the market. Yet, with the introduction of their ID line of electric cars in 2019, Volkswagen’s EV initiative began, pledging 50% of its vehicle sales to be battery-EVs by 2030 and a new electric platform that all of the brand’s new vehicles would model. While the ID initiative targeted mostly European and Chinese markets in its early stages, it wasn’t until late 2021 that the German automakers brought the project to the US by introducing their ID.4 electric crossover.
However, the car itself is not new. The car extends as far back as 2017 when it debuted as a highly ambitious concept, the Volkswagen ID.Crozz.
The concept featured futuristic design elements and technological specs, which found their way into the production design. Although not as aggressive as the concept, the roofline still maintains an aerodynamic design.
The door panels are more rounded, with sleek door handles accentuating its continuous, flowing shape. The front and back of the car adhere to the concept’s original design, with the front headlights poised in a focused yet friendly gaze and an additional contour added to make the design more approachable. The taillights are designed to be one continuous unit, connected by a light bar that converges on Volkswagen’s trademark insignia. As a whole, the car’s exterior is a beautiful, slightly softened interpretation of the ID.Crozz concept.
In the same vein, the interior is an almost perfect mock-up of the original concept. The infotainment center is hyper-minimal yet playful, utilizing just two screens for the dashboard and the command center. The dashboard is easily navigable via the buttons on the steering wheel. The shifter was moved from its usual place near the center console to the right of the dashboard screen, allowing for a cleaner, less cluttered central space. The command center is a 10-inch touchscreen almost entirely devoid of buttons. One would expect the knobs to have been utilized for cupholders and a spacious garage-style cubby/console.
As a whole, the five-seat crossover’s minimal interior is designed for comfort. The seats are fashioned out of synthetic cloth leather, with the front seats both given heating and cooling capabilities, a nifty trick that can be used instead of climate control to reduce battery strain. In addition to generous passenger seating, the car enjoys plenty of trunk space, boasting 30.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up, which grows to 64.2 cubic when the seats are down, making the car ideal for travel.
Adventure Lifestyle | ID.4 Electric SUV
The car doesn’t shy away from playful performance specs. The ID.4 enjoys five different drive settings, eco, comfort, and the fan-favorite, sport mode, where the car offers quick, lively acceleration that has become a hallmark of EVs. The all-wheel-drive version achieves a perky 5.4 seconds 0-60mph time, while the rear-wheel-drive version clocks in at 7.5 seconds. However, the RWD version makes up in range what it lacks in acceleration. With a range of 280 miles, the car stands up to fellow EV crossovers like the Kia Niro and the Hyundai Kona EV but finds itself well short of the 330-mile range of the Tesla Model Y. The ID.4 enjoys quick recharging, replenishing 80% of its battery life in just 40 minutes at a DC fast charging station. In addition, the car features a robust regenerative braking system to recapture energy and conserve battery but is not nearly aggressive enough to equate to an entire one-pedal driving system.
The high-tech safety features on the ID.4 come standard-equipped on the car thanks to Volkswagen’s IQ. The drive system includes driver assistance features like collision alerts, emergency braking, lane-centering, blind-spot monitoring, and road sign recognition. The car starts at around $33,000, not including the $7,500 federal tax credit.
The ID.4 is a well-designed crossover stuffed with technology that offers smart engineering at an affordable price, an enticing entry into the quickly growing electric vehicle marketplace.