Road Test: Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition

My wife recently purchased a Volkswagen ID.4, it was the floor model and had six-miles on the odometer. It’s all electric, futuristic looking and sounds like a spaceship when it rolls by.

After some apprehension (I didn’t want to be at the wheel when the car got its first ding) I took it for an extended day of driving around Phoenix and it was a pretty dope experience. Here are my initial thoughts and perspective:

I am a newbie to EV’s and I’ve had just one experience with one. A couple of months ago my Lyft ride was a Tesla and I found the experience eye opening. The ride was smoother than almost any car I’ve rode in and it had a very “Jetsons” vibe. All-in-all I was very impressed.

I hadn’t driven my wife’s ID.4 before this past weekend, but I have rode shotgun  a lot and I find it very enjoyable. It has comfortable massaging seats, the air conditioning is strong for the high temperatures of June in Phoenix, and it features a panoramic sunroof when the mood suits you. VW has done a good job of providing solid features on the MEB platform.

I like the size  and layout of the 10″ touch screen display, it’s not too big or prominent like a Tesla and blends perfectly to maintain the smooth shape of the dash. My only complaint about the infotainment and whatnot is that I’m not overly tech savvy and I had some issues with the A/C or using Spotify. This is likely on me, as opposed to blaming VW, Apple Car Play or Android Auto.

THOUSAND OAKS, CA – JANUARY 19: A view of the interior inside the new all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 that is on display inside a dealership on January 19, 2021 in Thousand Oaks, California. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

By The Numbers

  • Driving Range: 250-miles on a full charge
  • 82 kWh battery
  • 201 hp and 228 ft/lbs of torque
  • Rear motor, rear-wheel drive
  • Cargo Space: 64.2 cubic feet

My first drive

It’s a bit disconcerting to drive a car when you never turn a key or press a start button. For the ID.4 when you have the key fob in the car and sit in the driver’s seat the car turns on. The column-mounted gear shift is similar to it’s gas powered brethren in appearance but you roll the knob backwards and forward to put it in gear. To put it in park you press a button on the end of the knob.

I didn’t know what to expect when I hit the road but in simple terms it drives like a very smooth mid-size SUV, which is ultimately what the ID.4 is. Throttle response was good but the lack of building revs upon hitting the gas took a while to get used to. You don’t realize you’re accelerating until gravity lets you know by pushing you into the seat.

The ID.4 is not a performance car but it can scoot a little bit and merging on the highway is not an adventure. VW has not released an official 0-60 mph time, but I would put it in the 7.0-second range.

The ride is smooth on the less than well-maintained roads and the lane assist provides just the right nudge when I veered a bit.

I found the car spacious enough for our family of three. My son had plenty of leg room in the back, he’s 12-years old and 5’2″, and up front leg room and head room are not an issue. I need to provide a caveat that I am not particularly big, my medical records indicate that I am 5′ 8.5″ tall without shows on. Which makes me half an inch shorter than NBA hall of famer, Calvin Murphy.

Overall, I like driving the ID.4. and it felt like a normal car. I had some preconceived notions that it cruise differently but it didn’t. It exceeded my expectations.

Closing Statement

Electric vehicles are the future. This will not happen overnight but in my lifetime they will be the predominate vehicle on the road. At this point the ID.4 is ideal for driving around town and with a regular electric outlet it can take some time to completely recharge, roughly 12-hours by my casual observation.

The 250-mile range is legit for most of our driving needs and the charging time is good. For a longer trip you’re going to need a gas powered vehicle because of the lack of charging station infrastructure and the overall time it can take to recharge.

Progress takes time. Phoenix is the fifth biggest city in the U.S. and there aren’t any issues finding a charging station, for example our local Ikea has a bunch, but I rarely seem them in smaller towns or rural areas. As the sales of EV’s continues to grow the charging stations will follow and the technology will improve for more range and quicker charging.

You have to evolve or you will end up like the dinosaurs. EV’s like the ID.4 are the next evolutionary step in the automotive industry.