VW ID.5 review


We went to Austria to test the new and highly anticipated ID.5 electric Volkswagen. So what is it? The ID.5 is basically an ID.4 coupe with crossover styling. The car comes in rear wheel drive as standard with a GTX all wheel drive version available as the top of the range. The ID.5 is based on the same MEB electric platform that underpins the ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 SUV and comes with one battery size – the 77kWh battery we know from the ID stable.

The ID.5 is tall and narrow with its most obvious design feature being its roofline that resolves into a sloping tailgate. The boot features a spoiler for aerodynamic reasons but the eagle-eyed will not see a window wiper – we’ll see how well that works in an Irish winter. The ID.5 is slightly longer than the 4 with the added length coming from its front bumper. The five seat cabin is spacious thanks to the extra 15mm in its wheelbase. This makes the rear of the car fine for three or at best two adults. The boot isn’t compromised either with a respectable 549 litres capacity rising to 1,561 litres with the rear seats down. The car’s drag coefficient next to the ID.4 is slightly lower at 2.6 (2.7 GTX) and this will deliver modest gains on the open road. To help you scale the car, at 4.6m long is slightly longer than an ID.4, and 90mm longer than a VW Tiguan. Large 19-inch alloys will be standard as will the contrasting black painted roof (huge sunroof is optional).

Tesla-like auto lane changing (90km/h upwards) and Park Assist Plus with memory function are a couple of the technological highlights that will come thick and fast for all IDs (with the next generation VW ID 3.1 software update). The auto park assist system allows you store up to five parking manoeuvres, of up to 50 metres in distance, that can be recalled on demand. We have tested similar systems before in the BMW X5 and Mustang and they have their uses. Another innovation is Volkswagen’s ‘Plug and Charge’ function that is set to make charging easier as it lets the car communicate directly with a charger point through its cable. Once registered, the charge supplier directly bills the car’s owner for any electricity bought without the need to physically tap a charge card or have one at all. Another significant innovation that will become available in time to all IDs is ‘Travel Assist with swarm data gathering’. This can access (with permission) nearby VWs to collect (cloud-stored) data about the road, surroundings etc. to enhance safety.

Inside the cabin, the ID.5 is essentially an ID.4. The dash is well appointed with a premium feel. A large 12-inch touch screen sits proud of the dashboard, while it looks smart it can also be a source of anxiety, more on that later. The steering column mounted automatic gear shifter with its B setting is the same as in the other IDs. We used the B mode regenerative braking to great effect on some alpine descents. EV owners know how good it feels when you’re travelling forward yet getting electricity back. There is also the bonus of not wearing down your front brake pads. The ID.5 on test featured an impressive and optional head up display that is worth considering. It delivers a wide display of information on your windscreen with some nice new graphics featuring augmented reality. One notable indication comes via a curved amber line that appears if your steering angle needs to tighten to keep you in the lane. The latest navigation system gets an EV-Route planner too.

VW has enhanced its voice control system so you can do the usual premium car stuff like saying “I’m cold!” and the car will automatically change the climate control to a warmer setting. As with so many of these voice systems it often broke in to our conversations unprompted whereupon I would politely (not) tell it where to go! The centre touch screen in ID models has been proven to be less than optimal and bluntly a source of frustration for users. Interacting with secondary controls can often be a will it/won’t it work experience. I’m old enough remember when cars were unreliable and often people would have a rabbit’s foot keyring for good luck… they just might come back into fashion! On day two of testing, our GTX’s screen had a moment as it went technical before we had even moved off! A quick reset took a moment, and we were on our way. In all other respects our cars behaved impeccably. As a family car there is plenty of load carrying ability.

The ID.5’s electric motor comes with two power outputs of 174hp/235nm in the ‘Pro’ version and 204hp/330nm in the ‘Pro Performance’. A dual motor, all-wheel drive ‘GTX’ model (as with ID.4) is the range topper with 299hp/460nm. The GTX delivers more power but the trade-off is a reduced battery range. The lowest powered ID.5 will do 0-100km/h in 10.4 seconds and its top speed is limited to 160km/h.The GTX can do the sprint to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds and its top speed is 180km/h. The ID.5 drives well and its performances encourages considerate driving yet when a burst of proms acceleration is needed the car effortlessly delivers it. The ID.5 can tow 1,200kgs and 1,400kgs in the AWD version. During our testing we managed to improve on the official average consumption figure of 17.1kWh/100km in the GTX with a miserly 13.6kWh/100km average over a 78km, 1:27hr journey. The battery range from a full charge can be as high as 520km (WLTP) and 490km with the GTX. VW’s battery guarantees that after eight years or 160,000km the battery pack will have at least 70 per cent of its original net capacity. The ID.5 comes with an 11kW on board charger and can charge at speeds up to 135kW through its CCS combo plug socket. VW says at its maximum DC charging capacity the ID.5 can gain up to 390km of range in 30 minutes.

The German built ID.5 arrives in Ireland in July and will be carbon-neutral at delivery. The entry grade will be the ‘business’ model that costs €54,995 on the road net of all charges and incentives. Pro and Pro Performance models come in Business, Family, Tech and Max grades, with GTX available in Business or Max guise. The GTX Max tops out at €71,545 net on the road (inc. €1,300 delivery & service charge). The ID.5 is not a particularly good looking car and while any coupe-SUV should never be more than a niche model the ID.5 will be a sales hit due in no small part to the massive demand for EVs.


About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan is a senior and highly respected motoring journalist based in Ireland. He is a frequently heard voice on motoring, transport and mobility matters and has multiple credits on national television, national print media, national and local radio and other outlets. Michael Sheridan has been a Car of the Year Judge for more 20 years (& more recently a Van of the Year judge). Michael has produced and directed many international and national motoring TV programmes and documentaries both on cars and motorcycles - including four films on the iconic Route 66. Michael Sheridan is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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