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Though technically VW’s second ID electric vehicle, the ID 4 will be the first of its ilk to reach US streets.


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Volkswagen’s new ID 4 is the second model in VW’s ID series of dedicated EVs. Officially making its debut Wednesday, the ID 4 will be the first long-range, fully electric VW to go on sale here in the US, with the first examples arriving later this year.

For scale, the ID 4 is a bit smaller than VW’s Tiguan SUV — 4.6 inches shorter at 180.5 inches, with a 0.9-inch shorter wheelbase at 108.9 inches. The ID 4 also sits lower and about half an inch wider than the Tiguan. Interior volume is said to be comparable to the larger, gas-powered sibling, with the ID 4 boasting 99.9 cubic feet of total interior volume, 30.3 cubic feet behind the second row and 64.2 cubes for cargo with the seats folded flat.


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Despite the Tiguan references, the ID 4’s design shares more in common with the new Mk8 Golf than it does with the automaker’s current SUV lineup. The ID 4’s LED headlamps are joined with an illuminated light bar stretching the width of its grille-less front end. You’ll find a similar full-width bar for the lamps around back. 

Based on VW’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) dedicated EV platform, the ID 4 is built around an 82-kilowatt-hour battery pack that lives beneath the SUV’s floor. At launch, that pack will power a single, 201-horsepower motor on the rear axle, sending 228 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Later in 2021, a 302-hp all-wheel-drive variant will join the ID 4 lineup with a second electric motor powering its front wheels.

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Because EVs need less cooling, the ID 4’s front end has a very different design than the automaker’s gas-powered SUVs.


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In the single-motor configuration, VW and the EPA estimate that the ID 4 will boast around 250 miles of range per charge. At a Level 2 home or public charger, expect a full charge to take about 7.5 hours. Plug into a 125-kW DC fast charger and juicing from near flat to 80% speeds up to just 38 minutes. To encourage potential buyers to take the EV plunge, Volkswagen is also including three years of free fast charging at any of Electrify America’s DC fast charging stations with every ID 4 sold.

Inside, you’ll find a modern cabin with interesting tech details that are sure to wow on first impression. On the dashboard, there’s a standard 10-inch infotainment display or an optional 12-inch Discover Pro Max system. Having sat behind the wheel of the ID 4 in a studio, I personally think the 12-incher is either too big, too high on the dash or both, but I haven’t tested it on the road yet, so I could change my mind. Either way, there’s plenty of screen real estate for navigation, monitoring charge state and a host of other infotainment functions powered by VW’s CarNet 4G LTE data connection.

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At a 125-kW DC fast charging station, the ID 4 takes under 40 minutes to juice up to 80% of its 250-mile range.


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Gesture controls are a bit of a gimmick, in my opinion, but should help keep that big screen free of fingerprints, should you desire. Meanwhile, wireless AppConnect for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is a much more compelling bit of standard tech that should work well with the also-standard wireless phone charging pad. The cabin is also littered with USB-C ports for charging all of the ID 4’s passengers’ gadgets.

Peer through the spokes of the steering wheel and you’ll find a standard 5.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an electronic rocker switch shifter, not unlike what you’ll find changing drive directions in BMW’s i3.

Further up the dashboard is my favorite interior feature: the ID Light. This thin LED strip along the base of the windshield illuminates during certain events to give visual feedback to the driver. For example, when parked and charging, it’s your battery meter, filling from left to right with green light. It may light up while driving to indicate that the natural language voice recognition has heard you speak, “Hello, ID,” and is listening for your command. During navigation, it can sequentially illuminate its right half to indicate that it’s time to make an upcoming right-hand turn. I’m extremely curious (and a little cautious) to see what other uses VW has for this light bar and whether putting visual indicators in the driver’s peripheral vision reduces distraction and decreases the reliance on screens.

Every ID 4 will also come standard with the IQ Drive suite — which is what VW’s calling its driver-assistance package these days — rolling in features you’d expect to see on premium vehicles such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control, as well as lane-keeping steering assist, blind-spot monitoring and more. 

The 2021 Volkswagen ID 4 Pro — the well-equipped RWD entry point — will start at $39,995 before a yet-unknown destination charge and a potential $7,500 Federal EV tax credit. With the credit, VW estimates that “the entry price of the ID 4 is on par with the 2021 Tiguan SEL.” Optional Statement and Gradient packages add creature comfort and visual upgrades, respectively.

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The ID Light (shown here indicating a green, near full battery charge) is difficult to photograph, but could be a very helpful tech feature.


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

During the initial launch, VW is producing a limited run of ID 4 First Edition models, which are essentially fully loaded ID 4 Pros with Statement and Gradient upgrades as well as some unique visual touches — play-pause style pedals, white accents, special badging and more. The First Edition will be offered for $43,995 which, if I’m not mistaken, appears to be a $2,000 discount over the normal, spec’d out price.

As mentioned earlier, the two-motor ID 4 AWD Pro joins the lineup in late 2021 starting at $43,695 with the same Statement and Gradient upgrades available to buyers. In 2022, VW plans to move ID 4 production to its Chattanooga Assembly Plant in Tennessee, a localization that the automaker says will help bring the E-SUV’s starting price down to an even more affordable $35,000 ballpark, preincentives.

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VW hopes the ID 4’s pricing, lower operating cost and generous range will tempt combustion SUV shoppers to convert to electric. 


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

VW hopes that ID 4 competes not only with other upcoming, affordable electric crossovers — such as Ford’s Mustang Mach E, Nissan’s Ariya, Audi’s Q4 E-Tron and, of course, Tesla’s Model Y — but will also be a compelling alternative for traditional combustion SUV buyers on the fence about making transition to electric.

The electric SUV will be sold in all 50 states, at all 600-plus VW dealerships, with reservations open today on VW’s online portal. A $100 deposit saves your place in line with an additional $400 to confirm your ID 4 when vehicle production starts — all of which gets applied to the final cost and is fully refundable should you change your mind at any point. The first deliveries for the first ID 4 models should begin later this year.

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