Volkswagen is a manufacturer that you might often find topping the table when it comes to new car sales in Ireland, but in April of this year it appeared for the first time alongside a new model name. Out selling the likes of the Hyundai Tucson and the Toyota Corolla, the Volkswagen ID.4 was Ireland’s best selling new car in April 2021 and has had impressive sale record ever since, restricted more by supply than lack of demand. The all electric SUV appears to have hit the mark with Irish car buyers, especially in the all important family sector, as it delivers a package that combines quality and performance with good value for an electric vehicles.
The ID.4 has a starting price of €45,110 including grants for the base Life model, with four higher spec versions available, Business, Family, Tech and Max with a GTX version on the way. The other key consideration is the battery capacity with a 52kwh option offering around 340 kilometres range and a 77 kWh battery version with over 500 km range and faster charging.
- Spacious and comfortable
- Plenty of technological innovation
- Good on range and value
- Excellent safety features
- Slightly harsh ride
Having made the decision to go down the all electric road, VWs first purpose designed electric model, the ID.3, had futurist styling that was not to everyone’s taste. The ID.4 has more of a classical SUV look, with an understated design likely to appeal more to traditional Volkswagen buyers. It has smooth lines which flow to a quite dynamic rear end. All versions come with alloys and there is an impressive array of colour options including two tone effects and pearl finishes.
The ID.4 has a spacious well thought out interior with plenty of useful holders, storage areas and charging points dotted around the cabin. Depending on the trim level selected, there is the option of a panoramic sunroof, 12” Infotainment system and head-up display, but even on the base version you won’t be disappointed by the spec. One of the criticisms of the early ID.3 was on build quality, but with the ID.4, VW has very much solved this issue making the interior a quiet, comfortable and relaxing place to be. The rear seating area is well proportioned and the 543 litres of boot capacity, with several flexible configurations, should be more than enough for any family.
While the ID.4 does not have the breathtaking acceleration of some electric models, it has plenty of power and punch and compares favourably to petrol and diesel models in the performance stakes. Despite its size and weight the ID.4 feels fast and smooth making it an assured motorway cruiser.
The 54kwh version produces some 148 hp, with the 77kwh battery model having 204 hp. VW claims ranges of 340 and 506 kms respectively, although in real world situations this might be significantly less. Even so this makes ID.4 a practical electric option for most trips. The car has rapid charging capability and can also be charged over night at home.
The dedicated electric platform is a relatively new concept for Volkswagen, so there are bound to be some teething issues. However, it seems that VW has very much learnt from the experience of the ID.3 and has managed to eradicate the minor glitches that it encountered. Of course it is early days for the ID.4, but the initial indications are that this is a very well built vehicle that won’t let you down.
VW has a stake in the IONITY fast charging network, so ID.4 drivers can use these points at specially discounted rates. A useful app can also direct drivers to charging locations. Cost wise, the electric drive will offer significant savings over petrol and diesel in the longer run and satisfy the buyers desire to choose the greener option. With VW you also have access to an extensive dealer network for convenient servicing.
As a family targeted SUV, the ID.4 offers well balanced and satisfying handling for a vehicle of its weight and dimensions. It has a low centre of gravity meaning it grips and corners well and although the ride may be a little on the harsh side at times, over-all the handling and feel of the road it offers are impressive.
The ID.4 received a maximum five-star assessment in recent Euro NCAP crash-testing. This included a score of 93% for adult occupant safety, making it one of the most impressive performers in its class. Active emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, speed assistance, tiredness detection, front and rear parking sensors and a host of other features also come as standard.
- Running Costs
Spacious, comfortable and solid are the type of attributes that have been applied to many Volkswagen models over the years and the ID.4 is no exception. However, with its first all electric SUV, VW has built on this firm base and produced a vehicle that also integrates technological innovation, excellent practicality and good value in EV terms.
In the ID.4, Volkswagen has created a quality SUV that will have appeal to both devotees of this type of vehicle and electric vehicle converts. This is likely to make it a popular family car for many years to come.