Competes with: Chevrolet Bolt EV, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Nissan Ariya and Leaf, Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, Toyota Venza
Looks like: A more traditionally styled all-electric SUV with distinctly VW flavor
Powertrain: 82-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and rear-axle-mounted motor; 201 horsepower, 228 pounds-feet of torque; 250 miles of range (1st Edition); rear-wheel drive, with 302-hp all-wheel-drive version to follow
Hits dealerships: 1st Edition models go on sale later in 2020; RWD ID.4 Pro arrives in early 2021, with AWD versions to follow; reservations open now
The newest Volkswagen is all-electric, part of the German automaker’s commitment to electrifying its lineup in the coming years. But unlike the out-there ID. Buzz or ID. Buggy concepts, VW’s first long-range all-electric vehicle in the U.S. (the e-Golf was certainly not “long-range”) is … a sensible SUV: the ID.4.
The plan began overseas with the ID.3 hatchback, but shoppers’ SUV-heavy appetites led to Volkswagen starting with the ID.4 here in the States.
The ID.4’s exterior is remarkably straightforward. It doesn’t have wacky styling flourishes to try to ram home the point that it’s all-electric; pretty much the only giveaway is the lack of a traditional grille.
As for those straightforward looks, the front looks to share features with the recently announced and also-not-coming-here Golf Sportwagen and Alltrack, with a short hood leading to a rounded face and narrow LED headlights. An optional Statement Package adds an illuminated LED badge and light line that leads from the headlights to the badge.
The sides of the ID.4 wear a fair amount of plastic cladding around the 19-inch wheels — 20-inchers are optional as part of another package, the Gradient — and feature a sculpted indent on the lower third of the doors. A flowing roof leads to a wide C-pillar and roof spoiler. In back, there’s more cladding along the bumper and running up to the bottom of the liftgate, which has a rather short-looking rear window. The liftgate is divided by LED lighting elements that connect the taillights.
In addition to the optional 20-inch wheels, the Gradient Package adds a black roof as well as silver roof rails and exterior trim.
In terms of dimensions, the ID.4 is 4.6 inches shorter in length than the Tiguan but sacrifices less than an inch in wheelbase compared with VW’s popular gas-powered SUV. The ID.4 is also nearly 2 inches lower than the Tiguan but a half-inch wider.
This VW of the Future of the present gets a standard 5.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with a 12-inch display optional. Touch-sensitive steering-wheel-mounted controls operate the instrument panel display, while touch and gestures as well as voice commands can control the infotainment system.
A unique feature is what VW is calling ID. Light, a light strip mounted below the base of the windshield that illuminates in response to various scenarios: locking and unlocking, incoming phone calls and emergency braking prompts among them. Despite the name, ID. Light will also provide acoustic notifications in some cases.
Black cloth upholstery is standard, while ID.4s with the Statement Package include gray or black leatherette. Despite the ID.4’s smaller size compared to the Tiguan, occupant volume is similar, according to VW.
Powertrain, Range and Charging
Launch models will be equipped with an 82-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and a rear axle-mounted motor, producing 201 horsepower and 228 pounds-feet of torque. Powering only the rear wheels, VW estimates this version of the ID.4 will receive an EPA rating of 250 miles of range.
A later version will have all-wheel drive and 302 hp, but VW hasn’t provided specifics on differences in this version’s battery pack, motor setup or potential range.
The ID.4 will come with an 11-kW onboard charger that can add 33 miles in an hour of charging and can fully charge the ID.4 in approximately 7.5 hours at a Level 2 charger. DC fast charging is also an option and can bring the ID.4 from a 5% charge to 80% in a VW-estimated 38 minutes.
ID.4 customers will get three years of complimentary charging at VW-owned Electrify America charging stations.
Calling its suite of standard safety tech IQ.Drive, Volkswagen is equipping every ID.4 with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and the semi-autonomous Travel Assist that can keep the ID.4 at a specified following distance and in its lane, though the driver must keep their hands on the wheel.
Pricing and Release Date
The base ID.4 will have a starting price of $41,190 (including a $1,195 destination fee) before any potential EV tax credits are applied. Another $3,700 will upgrade buyers to the AWD version, and both are available with the $4,500 Statement and $1,500 Gradient packages. It’s worth noting that the Gradient Package requires the Statement Package but not vice versa, so an ID.4 can be equipped with $4,500 or $6,000 in options packages, but not $1,500.
The 1st Edition models include both packages — minus the illuminated VW badge — and also add special features like “play” and “pause” icons on the accelerator and brake pedals, plus unique interior and exterior accents.
Interested consumers can place a refundable $100 reservation on the ID.4 starting today. Should they wish to continue with their reservation, the start of production will trigger a request for an additional (also fully refundable) $400 deposit.
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