Is the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 a Good Car? 5 Pros and 4 Cons

volkswagen id4 1st edition 2021 66 angle  blue  charging  exterior  front jpg 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 | photo by Christian Lantry

With interest gaining among car shoppers in the once-marginal all-electric vehicle, price and range have emerged as two top concerns among those considering one. The all-new 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 SUV’s 250- to 260-mile driving range trails the best mileage totals of top rivals like the Ford Mustang Mach-E (211-305 miles) and Tesla Model Y (244-326 miles) — but what it lacks in total driving distance, it makes up, at least in part, in what you pay per mile of range.

Related: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Review: Comfortable, Tidy and Almost There

Shop the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 near you

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro
7,747 mi.
$33,500 $500 price drop
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition
12,667 mi.
$26,310 $190 price drop

As reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder notes in his comprehensive critique of the ID.4 in rear-wheel-drive form, the EV provides less overall range, but it also costs less than its main competitor, the Mustang Mach-E.

“The ID.4 is priced about $2,800 less than the base Mach-E despite having 30 miles more of range, but a Mach-E with 300 miles of range (the Premium with an extended-range battery and RWD) lists for $53,100, which is $11,910 more than the base 260-mile ID.4 and $7,410 more than the more fully featured, 250-mile ID.4 Pro S,” Wiesenfelder writes in his review. “Is an additional 50 miles’ worth at least seven grand?”

The answer to that question may come down to the ID.4’s other positive and negative attributes. For our full take, be sure to check out Wiesenfelder’s comprehensive review via the related link above, but for a rapid-fire rundown of hits and misses, keep reading.

Here are five things we like, and four not so much, about the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4:

Things We Like

1. EV Easy Rider

volkswagen id4 1st edition 2021 02 angle  blue  exterior  front jpg 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 | photo by Christian Lantry

Quibbles aside, the ID.4’s ride is refreshingly cushy for an EV, particularly in comparison with the likes of, say, the Mustang Mach-E. Moreover, Wiesenfelder’s ride-comfort observations were made in a model equipped with the largest-available 20-inch wheels — likely making the 19-inchers all the easier on occupants.

2. Spacious for Its Size

The ID.4 edges out the competition in headroom, front and rear, though just barely in the latter case. Despite what would seem a minor advantage, however, the ID.4 feels spacious. Likewise, the ID.4’s cargo space is ample relative to its overall length, with a user-friendly bilevel cargo floor and standard 60/40-split, folding backseat further accommodating storage.

3. One Good Turn

If getting in and out of tight spaces ranks up there with low emissions, then the ID.4 may maneuver itself right to the top of your shopping list. The rear-drive version boasts a 33.6-foot turning circle, some 13% tighter than the Mach-E’s.

4. Watts Good

volkswagen id4 1st edition 2021 68 blue  charging  charging port  exterior jpg 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 | photo by Christian Lantry

The ID.4 is competitively equipped with a standard maximum charging rate of 11 kilowatts on a compatible 240-volt Level 2 charger (a capability advises all EV owners to possess if they hope to have a practical EV ownership experience). What this 11-kW capability gets you, on average, is 34 miles of driving range per hour of at-home juicing with a 48-amp charger, or 22 miles on a less spendy 30-amp system.

5. Braking Not Humdrum

The ID.4 is fitted with rear drum brakes as opposed to more corrosion-prone disc units — and to surprisingly good effect. The VW’s braking feels refined compared with the numb sloppiness of the Mach-E.

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Things We Don’t

1. Not a Touching Tribute

volkswagen id4 1st edition 2021 16 cockpit shot  dashboard  front row  interior jpg 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 | photo by Joe Bruzek

How many times and how many ways can it be said? reviewers — and, demonstrably, car buyers — are a touch sensitive about touch-sensitive controls, of which the ID.4 has a near-comical abundance. In place of good ol’ dependable buttons and knobs are dreaded capacitive-touch controls, as unreliable in function and unsatisfying in feedback as ever, yet disconcertingly abundant in the ID.4. Even the windows go up and down via a confusing armrest-mounted arrangement employing just two buttons for all four of the vehicle’s windows.

2. Touchscreen Takes Too Long

volkswagen id4 1st edition 2021 29 apple carplay  center stack display  front row  interior  touchscreen jpg 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 | photo by Christian Lantry

If a vehicle’s touchscreen is slow when it’s new, that doesn’t bode well for how it’ll age. The ID.4’s upgraded 12-inch touchscreen (a 10-inch unit is standard) was slow to boot up and lagged when making selections. Meanwhile, some functions are more complicated than they need to be — like having to use two separate buttons to select a drive mode when one would be easier and more intuitive.

3. DC Not-So-Fast Charging

The ID.4’s DC fast-charging capability is standard and its charging rate uncommonly high after the battery reaches an 80% charge — but never observed anything close to the level for which it’s rated. Despite a stated charging limit of 125 kW, the highest recorded by Wiesenfelder was just 50 kW. Not a deal breaker, but not ideal.

4. Camera Shy

volkswagen id4 1st edition 2021 38 backup camera  center stack display  front row  interior  touchscreen jpg 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 | photo by Christian Lantry

The unconventionally tall front fenders can make it difficult to gauge the position of the front end. It won’t take many cockeyed parking jobs before you’re looking all around in vain for a 360-degree camera system that isn’t available on the ID.4.

Related Video:’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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