Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
At the moment, there’s just one battery and motor available for the Volkswagen ID.4 (more will be arriving soon). It’s the Pro Performance 77kWh and, put simply, it’s a single 201bhp electric motor fed by a 77kWh battery driving the rear wheels.
The 0-60mph time (when we tested it) was 8.1sec, which is about the same as the Kia e-Niro 2 39kWh and absolutely fine for everyday driving. Even with a car full of people and luggage, there’s plenty of zip to get you up to motorway speeds. You can buy quicker cars for the money, though. The Mustang Mach-E Standard Range RWD gets from 0-60mph in 6.6sec and the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is faster still.
The 77kWh battery officially has a range of 310 miles, which is better than any of the rivals above. But we've never seen an EV match the official distance in the real world. Based on the ID.4’s energy consumption around our controlled test route (on a chilly day), its theoretical maximum range is 231 miles.
Suspension and ride comfort
There are better-riding cars in the EV class, including the Audi E-tron, but they cost a lot more money. The Volkswagen ID.4 is still pretty comfortable across most ground, but you will notice it thud over really heinous potholes and fidget a bit on motorways, despite its standard-fit adaptive suspension.
The Volkswagen ID.4 is not a particularly entertaining car to drive, but it is easy to manage. That makes it entirely fit for purpose as a large family electric SUV.
The steering is progressive and benign as you begin to turn so it’s easy to judge where the nose is heading. Even though it weights up a bit too much past a quarter of a turn, it’s far from an arm wrestle in a multi-storey car park.
There’s also plenty of grip and the body movements are far better controlled than are in the Mustang Mach-E, which is why driving the ID.4 is an altogether calmer, more harmonious experience. If you want something more sprightly, try out the lower-riding ID.3 or the Tesla Model 3.
Noise and vibration
As the Volkswagen ID.4 is an electric car, there’s next to no noise from the motor around town. Once you pick up speed, the usual issues of wind and road noise prevail, but both are still reasonably well contained compared with, for example, a Kia e-Niro or Tesla Model 3.
You can hear the suspension clanking away at times but it’s subdued and not as noticeable as in the Mustang Mach-E.
The other elements that aid calm progress are the ID.4's progressive accelerator and brake pedal – steady starts and stops around town are no problem. The braking effort can be harder to judge from higher speeds, though, and there’s no option for ‘one pedal’ braking, which you do get with the Mach-E and Tesla Model 3.
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