Volkswagen ID 5 long-term test: report 1

The Volkswagen ID 5 is intended to be a more stylish alternative to traditional electric SUVs – does it succeed? Our used cars editor is living with one to find out...

Volkswagen ID 5 outside mark's house

The car Volkswagen ID 5 77kWh Pro Performance Style Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor

Why it’s here To see how the pricey Volkswagen ID 5 stands up against its many polished rivals in this highly competitive class

Needs to Show it’s more than just a pretty face. It’ll need to dispatch commuting, work and family life without any range anxiety issues and cope with a wide variety of everyday duties

Miles covered 3511 Price £52,185 Target Price £51,413 Price as tested £54,960 Options fitted Energy-efficient heat pump (£1050); swivelling towbar including 13-pin electrics (£890) Test range 280 miles Official range 315 miles

28 March 2023 – Everything, everywhere, all at once

Early adopters think they’re clever, don’t they? You know the sort. They’re the first to get a flatscreen TV. The first to get the latest iPhone. The first to buy an electric car

Volkswagen ID 5 charging outside house

I have always persuaded myself that being a late developer is a much better thing, because that way, one can stand back and learn from someone else’s experiences. Does that bridge look a little rickety? Please, after you. That sort of thing.

Hence it is that I only now have on my driveway my first electric car. Oh, I’ve driven plenty such cars, of course, as you’d expect in my line of work, but this is the first one I’ll be using on an everyday basis. Indeed, most of my colleagues here at What Car?, and nearly 700,000 Britons, have already taken the plunge, so I thought it was about time I did.

And it’s not even a new, new model I’ve chosen either, but the Volkswagen ID 5, which has already been out for more than a year. And beneath its swoopy, coupé-style SUV bodywork, it shares almost all of its underpinnings with the Volkswagen ID 4, which has actually already been on sale for two years. 

Volkswagen ID 5 panning shot to the left

Why the ID 5? Well, size-wise, it’s pretty perfect for me. I seem to spend most of my time ferrying groups of teenagers around at various hours of the day or night, and there’s plenty of sprawling room in the interior, plus the boot’s a good size for everyday usage. I prefer the look of the ID 5 to the ID 4, too, although such things are of course subjective.

Powering all ID 5s is a 77kWh battery. You can have it with a 172bhp motor in the entry-level Pro version or with 295bhp in sporting GTX trim, but I’ve gone for the baby bear’s porridge mid-spec Pro Performance version with 201bhp. My model has an official range of up to 320 miles on a full charge and can be charged at a rate of up to 135kW, so a 5 to 80% top-up could in theory take as little as half an hour. 

Being a novice at electric car long-term ownership, that range will obviously be of importance to me. I am lucky enough to have a home charger (a very easy-to-use Ohme Home Pro T2), and most of my journeys are short, including my 10-mile commute to work. However, there are occasions when I’ll be using this car for longer journeys without access to such convenient chargers, so I shall be throwing myself at the mercy of the UK’s charging network and, more worryingly, at the mercy of my own mental arithmetic.

Volkswagen ID 5 Mark prodding infotainment screen

And, should I come to a grinding halt, there is still plenty to admire in the ID 5. Although mine is in entry-level Style trim, it comes handsomely equipped. You get 19in alloy wheels, a panoramic roof, three-zone air conditioning, keyless entry and start and heated front seats. You also get a wireless phone charger, matrix LED headlights and a 12.0in infotainment touchscreen. 

I have allowed myself some options, though. I've ticked the box for the Kings Red premium metallic paint finish, the optional heat pump (a piece of tech that helps to keep you warm in cold weather without sacrificing range) and a swivelling tow bar.

All this adds up, alas, and I have to admit my car wasn’t what you’d call cheap. An ID 5 like this would set you back £52,185 without the options I added, and £54,960 with them. You could buy either a Kia EV6, a BMW i4 or a Tesla Model 3, three electric cars we rate very highly, for that and have change left over. 

Volkswagen ID 5 on real-range test

So, it’s going to have to be impressive to justify that price, and early impressions seem to confirm it is – it’s easy to drive, quiet and spacious. But £50k-plus impressive? I'll let you know.

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