Volkswagen ID 5 long-term test: report 4

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 on country road

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

Miles covered 4716 Price £52,185 Target Price £51,413 Price as tested £54,960 Test range 280 miles Official range 315 miles

26 May 2023 – Modern life is rubbish

Do we blame the operator or the apparatus? A couple of times recently I’ve been foxed by my Volkswagen ID 5's infotainment system, but I’m not sure if the blame lies with me being hopeless with technology or the system not being as user-friendly as it could be. 

The infotainment system is not the car’s best feature anyway, to be honest, because while it looks impressive and its 12.0in touchscreen is a good size, it’s not as quick to respond as it could be. And, to add fuel to the fire, most of the car’s ancillary functions are controlled via the screen, making its efficacy a matter of some importance.

Volkswagen ID 5 and infotainment screen

My first issue with the infotainment concerned the head-up display, a useful feature which puts information directly into my eye-line without me having to take my view from the road. I must admit for the first few weeks with the car I didn’t know it had one, because the combination of having the driver’s seat set as low as it would go and the display having been set as low as it would go meant I couldn’t actually see it projected onto the windscreen.

In many cars, you’d adjust the height of the head-up display via a scroller found around or behind or on the steering wheel, but this wasn’t the case in my car. Luckily, a young colleague came to the rescue and showed me how, through the various (too many) sub-menus, to move the display up so that it’s now in my eye-line. 

Volkswagen ID 5 changing head-up display

The same applied to the useful auto-hold procedure, which holds the car when you come to a halt without you having to apply the brakes. When I first had the car, this was activated, and very useful I found it. However, after another colleague had been driving the car, it had disappeared.

In a lot of cars, this sort of system is turned on or off via a button, usually neatly labelled and easy to find near the parking brake. Not in the ID 5, though. I searched through the various sub-menus on the main screen but to no avail. I even resorted to the internet, but couldn’t find a solution there. 

Volkswagen ID 5 reversing into parking space

Luckily, the same colleague who had saved me before came to the rescue again. To turn it on, you have to swipe down on the screen, which I didn’t even know you could do (I had thought you could only swipe left or right), to bring up a page I didn’t even know existed and then hit the ‘auto-hold’ icon. There are times, such as when reversing into a tight parking space, when it’s useful to be able to turn the auto-hold facility off, but that’s not viable if you have to hunt through screens to find it. 

Would I have found, or even been bothered to find, either of these features left to my own devices? I doubt it. Mind you, they do say an ignorant person blames others for his own misfortunes, so maybe I should take heed…

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