The Volkswagen ID.4 is an all-electric compact crossover that can go an impressive 260 miles or more on one charge. It offers a quiet ride, pleasing styling, a roomy and relaxing cabin, and a thorough set of safety equipment.
For 2022 it gets a small boost to the fast-charging rate, to 135 kilowatts, as well as a small upgrade to the charging system, called Plug and Charge, that can speed up the payment process at some charging stations.
It comes as either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a second motor, and there’s a big difference in acceleration. The RWD version makes 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, enough to scoot it from 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds; but the AWD model jumps way up to 295 hp and 339 lb-ft, cutting more than two seconds off that 0-60 mph time, to 5.4 seconds. That’s quite quick.
Both versions have excellent handling, far more poised and balanced than non-electric rival compact crossovers.
For safety, the ID.4 runs the board, with five stars from the NHTSA and Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. Every ID.4 comes standard with all of these safety features: automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, automatic high beams, parking sensors, and rear-traffic alerts.
The 2022 ID.4 comes in models called Pro and Pro S, each with rear- or all-wheel drive.
Starting at $41,955 for Pro, or $45,635 for the Pro AWD, the ID.4 comes well equipped, with heated front seats, cloth upholstery, wireless phone charging, and heated mirrors. The Pro AWD adds a heated windshield. The 10.0-inch touchscreen has navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and HD radio without AM.
The Pro S for $46,455, or $50,135 with all-wheel drive, comes with a 12.0-inch touchscreen, better upholstery, ambient interior lighting in 30 colors, a big glass roof, adaptive headlights, power tailgate, power mirrors, and lighting for the ground outside the doors. An option package includes two-tone paint and 20-inch wheels.
There’s an attractive warranty of 4 years/50,000 miles, including 8 years/100,000 miles for the batteries, and three years of Electrify America road-trip fast-charging.
The ID.4 is a hatchback that is both conventional and futuristic, with styling having pleasant proportions that are attained by a design approach that prioritizes the cabin space. It succeeds by not being plain and boring like so many crossovers, while compromising with black cladding.
It’s more curvy than VWs we’re accustomed to seeing, such as the GTI/Golf (which succeeds by being iconic). But it makes sure you know it’s a VW with a lot of emblems.
The instrument panel is minimalistic and cohesive, with either a 10- or 12-inch touchscreen and 5.3-inch display for gauges that’s easy to read, located in front of the driver’s eyes. The user interface and infotainment functions poorly, though. Its capacitive controls lag, and the voice commands seem to understand only their own unnatural language. VW promises updates delivered over-the-air (OTA)—via a data stream, that is.
The dedicated EV chassis results in more cabin space than a gas-powered vehicle. There’s ample head and leg room in the front and rear, while ingress and egress is a breeze. The ID.4 seats five adults, four of them in quiet comfort. The rear seat is exceptional, for two–and the driver can see between them in the rearview mirror.
Above the low cargo floor there’s 30.3 cubic feet of storage space, and 64.2 cubic feet with the rear seatback lowered to make a space that’s nearly flat. There’s an opening in the seatback for things like skis or even two-by-fours to slide through. And there’s a door in the cargo floor that reveals a compartment for valuables such as laptops and cameras.
Other good storage space can be found in a deep center console and door pockets. But what’s lacking is a front trunk, as that space is filled with the onboard charger, climate control system, and other components.
The rear-wheel-drive ID.4 can scoot to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, a bit slow for an electric car but still a decent pace, and about the same as gas-powered crossovers. The 82-kwh battery can be charged to full in 7.5 hours on a 240-volt connection or, on CCS-format DC fast-charging, it can reach 80% charge in just 38 minutes.
The all-wheel-drive version uses a second motor at the front wheels for a combined total of 295 hp and 339 lb-ft. The AWD ID.4 is substantially quicker, going from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds. It can weigh more than 4,800 pounds, but the AWD ID.4’s ride is a bit smoother because of the weight.
Even more surprising, with that weight, is the graceful handling of the AWD. There are driving modes to change the car’s performance, Sport delivers balance in cornering while Comfort focuses on calmer acceleration. In most of its drive modes, you can whip this electric VW through the country on twisty roads and love it. The ID.4 brings this handling with a conventional suspension, with front struts and multi links in rear.
The 2022 VW ID.4 clearly shows the promise of mainstream electric cars. It’s a joy to drive, quick to charge, and efficient in the way it uses space. Even the base Pro model has all the safety technology we expect—but the two-motor AWD model tosses in strong performance, too.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection