Volkswagen ID.4 First drive

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We’ve been driving the new ID.4 on Irish roads today prior to its arrival in VW showrooms. The Volkswagen ID.4 is an electric SUV that is set to ease the journey towards EV adoption with its combination of great range, great cabin space and great looks.

The ID.4 was developed at the same time as the physically smaller VW ID.3. The German firm decided the more compact ID.3 hatchback would be the best vehicle to showcase its new electric ID range. Both cars use VW’s ‘MEB’ electric car platform but the ID.4 is longer, wider and taller (4584mm/1852mm/1612mm) that the ID.3 (4261mm/1809mm/1568mm). The ID.3 following a lot of hype and pre-selling was a big hit with Irish buyers when it arrived in Ireland in the second half of 2020 and the ID.4 will be huge too. Under the skin the two cars share a vast amount of similar bits and pieces. Our test car came from VW HQ in Germany – a limited ‘1st Edition’ Max model with all the kit and luxuries you’d expect and one or two more.

The ID.4 1st Edition is rear wheel drive and its electric motor pushes out a healthy 204hp and 310nm of torque. Its large battery has a 77 kWh capacity and is capable of circa 500kms from a full charge. This model is priced at €43,426 for private buyers – business/commercial buyers get less purchase incentives – €48,426. The ‘Max’ variant of the ID.4 1st Edition gets more toys like its ‘augmented reality’ head-up display, panoramic roof, 12 inch centre display and one inch bigger 21 inch alloys to name a few. The Max costs €56,565 (€61,565 for business buyers). In May Irish buyers will be able to buy a more affordable entry point ID.4 expected to cost circa €36,000 (private buyer net of grants). Compared to the 1st Edition it will feature lower power (148hp/220nm), lower capacity (52kWh battery) and lower range (348km) ID.4. 0-10kmh in this guise will take 10.9 seconds and top speed is 160km/h. A more performance orientated all wheel drive version is in development and will come at a later date. This powerful version will really throw the cat among the (Tesla) pigeons.

The ID.4 (and its subsequent VW Group siblings) really hits the nail on the head in terms of its desirable SUV/crossover design, its big interior and of course zero emission driving ability. In terms of size the ID.4 has a larger footprint than the very popular VW Tiguan SUV and is shorter but wider than the Tiguan Allspace (1701mm/1839mm). Ireland’s recent tax changes have pushed Tiguan pricing up and nowadays only the manual version makes sense and this will help focus attention on the ID.4. The ID.4 has seating for five and because it is built on an electric car platform there is no awkward transmission tunnel in the rear – so foot room and through access is great. The boot holds 543 litres and if you fold the rear seats there is up to 1,575 litres of cargo space.

Volkswagen Ireland expects to sell around 1,700 ID.4s in 2021. – that’s getting close to VW Golf numbers. 700 ID.4s will be 1st Edition models and the remainder 148hp versions. VW is a partner in the IONITY fast charging network (6 stations in Ireland at present) and incentives are given to its electric car customers through its ‘We Charge’ campaign. The ID.4 1st has a charging capacity of 100 kW (125kW max) and an 11kW AC onboard charger. The ID.4 can charge from 5% to 80% in only 35 minutes at an IONITY charge point using its CCS (combo) socket. VW also offers its own brand home charge points although any brand will also work.

On the road the ID.4 is effortless to use with a great driving position. Our 1st Edition can go from 0-100km in a brisk 8.5 seconds and top speed is limited to 160km/h. The rear wheel drive ‘shove’ in your back when accelerating feels great and the car is a composed cruiser and also easy to use in town. Its turning circle is brilliant and tiny and you can manoeuvre and place the five-door with precision (and we were on winter tyres!). Ground clearance is not massive for an SUV at 210mm but that’s more than either Tiguan. T ID.4 has a nice stance and is quite aerodynamic too, which helps reduce electricity consumption on the ‘open road’ – the arch enemy of all electric vehicles. During our test we averaged about 20kWh/100km with 18kWh quoted as the official average. The ID.4 as with all EVS is not light and its battery pack weighs almost half a tonne at 493kgs. The ID.4 can tow up to 1,200kgs with a tow hitch from the options list.

In a nutshell the new VW ID.4 is a game changer and marks a significant shift in the right direction for electric cars.

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About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael is Motorhub's Editor. Well known from TV and radio, Michael has been writing, presenting and judging cars since the mid 90's. He is a renowned Producer/Director and documentary film maker. Dozens of credits include: The Whole Way Round (Gay Byrne), The Shamrock Run (Alan Shortt), The Viking Run (Clodagh McKenna) and The Irish 66ers (David Mitchell) and The Climb for Kids (Colin Farrell). Print credits include: the RTE Guide (motoring editor 1999-2003), many national daily papers and Sundays including The Irish Times (freelance) plus other magazines. National radio credits include multiple at RTE Gerry Ryan show, the Mooney Show, The Dave Fanning Show, Drivetime etc. TV credits as a motoring expert include RTE's flagship current affairs show Primetime and TV3's Ireland AM. Michael also presented RTE's car show Drive! in the late 90s and directed some items in MPH2 on TG4. Michael contributes weekly on motoring issues to The Last Word show with Matt Cooper on Today FM. Michael has represented Ireland's motoring journalists in Motorsport at the International Mazda MX-5 endurance race series in Italy and the Arctic Ice Race. He has been a Car of the Year Judge for 20 years, more recently a judge for Van of the Year. Michael is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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