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VW ID.4 Family Pro Performance 77kWh 204PS

The ID.4 is VW’s second bespoke EV. It follows in the footsteps of the ID.3, which you can read about here.

The ID stands for Intelligent Design. Well, it’s got four wheels, five doors and room for a family and their luggage so, so far so good. Intelligent Design not just about practicality and efficiency, it’s about building a car fit for the 21st century, and that means turning to battery power.


VW boldly claims that the ID.4 is carbon neutral at the point of sale. They achieve this, they say, by using renewable energy in the manufacturing process and planting trees to offset any CO2 produced, among other things

So will the ID.4 charge to the front of the pack? Let’s find out.

Climbing into the cabin and the first thing that struck me was how sparse it looks. My first impression was of a cabin devoid of any switches or buttons but, as it turned out, that’s something of an illusion. There’s a cluster of capacitive buttons beneath the standard-fit 10in infotainment screen which is mounted on top of the dashboard.


The ID.4’s Infotainment pack plus, which is standard on Max versions, increases the screen size to 12 inches.

I’m always grateful for physical buttons to access oft-used controls – such as the air-con – because trying to navigate your way through a series of menus on a touchscreen to adjust the cabin temperature while you’re driving can be a fiddly affair but, in reality, the use of capacitive controls isn’t significantly easier, particularly when they’re not even illuminated.

While I’m touching, quite literally, on the infotainment system it looks lovely - the graphics are crisp, clear and designed to enhance the impression that you’re driving the future - but it’s rather let down by its confusing menu system and sluggish responses.


All models are equipped with natural-speech voice control that does, a large part of the time, help make some tasks easier to accomplish but really, in order to be of real benefit, it needs to work flawlessly every time otherwise it just becomes a frustrating distraction.

There’s an instrument binnacle, but not as we know it. It’s a 5.3in LCD display that shows the speed, range and sat-nav instructions. Despite its diminutive dimensions it’s easy to read in all conditions. On the side is a rotary gear selector.

The driving position is excellent. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake but adjustable lumbar support is only available on the range-topping Max or Tour trim. The seats are comfortable, regardless, and I suffered no long-term ill-effects even after a couple of hours behind the wheel.


The high-set dashboard scuttle and the broad, steeply-angled A-pillars hide the front of the bonnet and nearby objects and obstructions. At the back the pillars are also quite thick and the rear screen quite shallow but the standard-fit front and rear parking sensors and rear-view camera go some way to mitigating that small problem.

There’s very little wrong with the quality of the build – everything is clearly impeccably put together – but there’s more reliance on harder plastics than you’d perhaps expect.

Even thought the ID.4 isn’t the largest in its class, front-seat passengers will not be found wanting for space: There’s plenty of room for heads, arms and elbows even if you’re taller than six feet. There’s a generous amount of room in the back and, though the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 both best the VW for legroom the ID.4 offers a more upright, comfortable seating position and greater headroom.


Storage options are pretty decent with a good-sized glovebox and door bins, a pair of cup holders and a number of small cubbies built into the centre console in the front. In the back there are useable door bins and map and mobile phone pockets sewn into the backs of the front seats

The rear seats fold flat in a 60/40 configuration, which isn’t an especially flexible combination, but there is a ski hatch should you need to carry longer loads without being forced to dump passengers at the out-of-town DIY store. Again, you’ll miss out on this handy feature if you choose Life trim.

The boot, like the passenger space, is comparable with what you’d see in a Golf. You get an adjustable boot floor as standard on Family, Max, Style and Tour trims, which is just another way of saying that you don’t get one with the Life trim, that reduces the load lip and gives you a flat floor when the seats are folded and it’s in its highest position.


The space beneath is also handy for stowing the charging cables.

There’s a choice of four power outputs – 146, 168, 201 or 295bhp – so there should be something to suit everyone. The entry-level model, called the Pure, and the next in line, the Pure Performance, with 148 and 168bhp respectively, promise modest performance while the Pro Performance reviewed here, will hit 62mph in under eight seconds, which should be quick enough for most drivers. It’s worth noting, though, that time is slower than any EV6 or, perhaps unsurprisingly, Tesla Model S.

At the top of the range sits the GTX which has two electric motors that send power to all four wheels and cuts the 0-62mph time to 6.2 seconds.


Entry-level Pure models are fitted ith a 52kWh battery with an official range of 213 miles (though you can knock 30-40 miles off that in the real world), while the Pro and GTX have a larger 77kWh battery that bumps the range up significantly (324 miles officially) but, again, you should more realistically expect closer to the 260-mile mark.

The suspension is stiff because batteries are heavy. The ride doesn’t offer as much comfort as a Golf but it’s far from troubling. Around town and at lower speeds the ride can feel a little sharp but once the pace picks up it starts to smooth out less frequent peaks and troughs but it can get a little fidgety.

The steering is light and its turning circle tiny – just 10.2m – and that makes tackling tight spaces, narrow roads and car parks a doddle. Take it for a dash across country and, while there’s very little feedback. The steering is accurate and nicely judged so it’s relatively easy to pick your way along tricky routes with some confidence. If you want to add a little more weight to the steering you can pop the car into Sport mode.


There’s a decent amount of grip and the ID.3 uses what’s available well, serving up a reasonably engaging drive. The rear end will give a nervous little shimmy if you take your foot off the fast pedal mid corner or apply too much power too quickly s you exit a tight, damp corner but, don’t be fooled, this is no driver’s car.

It’s electric, the ID.4, and so you’d expect it to be quiet and it doesn’t disappoint. Quiet enough to hear a pin drop? Maybe a knitting needle. And at urban speeds at least. Once the pace picks up the ID.4 starts to generate a degree of tyre and suspension noise.

Braking is smooth and pleasantly progressive. No mean feat in an electric car that, as well as slowing the car down, is also using its brakes to harvest energy that would have otherwise been lost as heat in order to top up the battery and eke out a few more miles.


You can turn up the regenerative braking enough to slow down simply by lifting your foot from the accelerator but the system isn’t as effective as the one-pedal driving found in, say, the Volvo XC40 Recharge which will bring you to a full stop.

Surprisingly, perhaps, given VW’s largely deserved reputation for interior quality the ID.4 doesn’t quite match up to the high standard set by some of its rivals. Some of those rivals are also faster with faster charging times and better infotainment systems. The ID.4 is, though, practical with lots of space in the back and a big boot. Equipment levels are generous too, and while it’s hardly exhilarating to drive, it is consistent and unflustered.

VW ID.4 Pro Performance 77kWh 204PS 1spd auto

Price: £47,585

As tested: £56,620

Powertrain: 77kWh Lithium-ion battery/electric motor

Max power: 204PS

Max torque: 310Nm @ 16,000rpm

Max speed: 99mph

0-62mph: 8.5sec

WLTP range: 314 miles

WLTP consumption: 3.9miles/kWh

Charging time (DC): 125kw rapid charge 38 min to 80%

Charging time (AC): 7.2kw 1-phase, 12hr 40min to 100%

11kw 3-phase, 7hr 30min to 100%

Luggage capacity (rear seats upright/folded: 543 / 1,575 litres

For more information click here.

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