Volkswagen Australia says it wants to be a leader in the growing electric vehicle (EV) market, but its rollout has been slow.
The company’s first EV won’t even hit dealers. At the end of 2023In the form of ID.4 The mid-size SUV is run here in UK market specification.
The sleeker Volkswagen ID.5 crossover spin-off should arrive around the same time, giving the company a two-pronged range overnight.
It will still be more than three years since the ID.4’s world premiere – which took place in September 2020 – once it arrives here and is battling the likes of the Tesla Model Y, Kia EV6, Volvo XC40 Recharge. And by that time it should be an even bigger competitor.
Knowing that a large number of its buyers are already considering an EV for their next purchase or lease, Volkswagen’s local division stepped up and launched a UK-market campaign for promotional activities and staff training. Imported a pair of ID.4s.
They are not necessarily representative of what we will find in Australia, but close.
Longer range and more powerful. ID.4 Pro performance Adding appeal to private buyers with a long feature list. And less range, less powerful ID.4 Net efficiency With which VW focuses on potential fleet and government agency.
Our quick drive took place at a test facility in Sydney’s outer suburbs, as the pair are not registered on the road. Also the fact that we don’t know local prices and details at this stage means that the following won’t be a full review.
We don’t know for sure, but between $60,000 and $70,000 is what we’re expecting. This is before on-road costs, but also before various state tax rebates and discounts.
Volkswagen Australia brand director Michal Szaniecki promises that “the ID.4 will not charge customers a premium for being a style statement or for being electric in any way to reduce practicalities.”
“The ID.4 will bring electric performance to a broad customer base with a target price similar to our most sought-after SUV, the Tiguan 162TSI R-Line. Arriving at the same time will be the coupe-style ID.5 priced at the Tiguan R will be the same.
The Tiguan 162TSI R-Line starts at $57,690 before on-road costs, and the Tiguan R costs $68,990 before on-road costs. For more context the Tesla Model Y has a sticker price of $72,300 before on-road costs and the Kia EV6 Air is $72,590.
Volkswagen says it is already seeing a high level of enquiry, and expects people to start putting their names down on lease plans at the end of next year. It will open a register listing your interest to customers before Christmas this year.
It’s a fairly sleek and minimalist affair, which Tesla has demonstrated is what consumers want, with some bright ambient lighting that glows a particularly bright blue.
The seats have weight sensors meaning you don’t need to go through any process to activate the ID. 4: You just jump in and it’s ready. They are well-bolstered and each front seat has a pull-down arm rest, as the center console sits very low.
From the driver’s seat you’re treated to a familiar VW wheel with slightly lighter black haptic touchpads instead of buttons, behind which sits a small speed readout on a column reminiscent of the BYD Atto 3.
Instead of a gear shifter, there’s a little thing around the cluster that you half-turn, while the high-spec ID.4 Pro variant gets an augmented reality (AR) head-up display with speed, range and Apple Maps directions. Is. .
The center touchscreen runs the blue and black themed software skin shared with the Mk8 Golf, offering map and wireless phone mirroring, and offering what feels like snappy processing. Yes – but being an overseas model, not all features worked.
That flat floor enables some deep storage compartments between the front seats, capable of holding not only your phone and drinks, but a bag or two and other accessories.
Disappointments on first impression include the still-difficult touch controls for the air conditioning mounted in piano black below the center screen, and some fairly cheap-feeling and stiff interior trim on the dash – not something we’ve come to expect from a VW.
On 4584 mm long on a 2771 mm wheelbasethe five-seat ID.4 is 75mm longer than the Tiguan overall and 90mm longer between the wheels.
The back seats are roomy, certainly for kids but also for tall adults: I’m 194cm and had room, although the Pro Performance’s sunroof affected headroom a bit. There are LED reading lights, USB-C ports and air vents for the rear occupants.
The bot is a family friendly 543 litersspreading to 1575L With the rear backrest folded. The boot floor is 965mm long with the rear seats in use.
No front boot, or ‘frank’.
The ID.4 and 5 are based on the company’s ‘MEB’ dedicated battery electric platform with rear-wheel drive and a rear motor – meaning it’s related to other vehicles not sold here, such as the Skoda Enyaq and Audi Q4. e-tron, as well as the Cupra Born which will be here from early 2023.
The ID.4 Pure Performance base model uses a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery 55kWh Capacity offers a WLTP-rated driving range of up to (52kWh usable). 345 kmEquivalent to the performance of about 16.7kWh per 100 km.
The ID.4 Pro Performance upgrades it to a 82kWh (77kWh usable) li-ion battery offering 522 km of the real-world range and performance of 17.2kWh per 100 km.
ID.4 makes the rear motor of the net. 125 kW Power and 310Nm of torque, while the ID.4 makes the Pro. 150 kW And 310Nm. Corresponding zero to 100 km/h times are 8.5 seconds And 9.0 seconds – Not very fast, but these are sensible family cars…
If you want something with a bit more gusto, there’s an even better chance Volkswagen will start selling the twin-motor ID.4 and ID.5 GTX from 2024, producing 220kW and 460Nm.
In terms of charging, the ID.4 Pure only handles 7.2kW AC and 110kW DC, while the ID.4 Pro tops out at 11kW and 125kW. Just last week I saw a charge speed of 202kW in the Kia EV6, so these figures are already well off the class leaders.
More important will be the type of home charging solution VW can support – it’s all about convenience. Expect the ID.4 to come with an emergency three-prong cable (charge time 24 hours +) for occasional use when there’s no wallbox or DC unit around.
|ID.4 Net efficiency||ID.4 Pro performance|
|Price approx||About 60 thousand dollars||About $70k|
|length||4584 mm||4584 mm|
|Battery||55kWh (52kWh)||82kWh (77kWh)|
|Motor and running wheels||behind||behind|
|power||125 kW||150 kW|
|WLTP range||345 km||522 km|
|performance||~ 16.7kWh per 100 km||~ 17.2kWh per 100 km|
|AC charge speed||7.2kW (8 hours full charge)||11kW (8 hours full charge)|
|DC charge speed||110kW (32 minutes full charge)||125kW (42 minutes full charge)|
|0-100 kmph||9.0 seconds||8.5 seconds|
I won’t pretend a few laps on the bike track will give us the ultimate insight, so this part will be short.
Performance is progressive rather than sharp, but it seems perfectly adequate, with typical instant EV torque off the line, and total smoothness.
It’s also rear-wheel drive so there’s no chance of wheelspin at the front on wet take-offs.
The battery’s weight distribution in the car feels fairly low, so while it’s neither light nor particularly nimble, it does offer what feels like decent cornering stability.
The ID.4 Pure is some 158kg lighter thanks to its smaller battery, which doesn’t hurt handling.
The suspension is independent all round, with the flagship version offering adjustable dampers in drive modes and progressive steering that changes its response based on your speed.
Brake energy recovery is activated by rotating the gearshifter to B mode, although it’s not what you’d call super-aggressive.
Because of this feature VW has been able to go back to old-school rear drum brakes, although they were quite functional.
A real plus-side is the tight 10.2m turning circle, enabled in large part by the RWD mechanicals. By contrast a SWB Tiguan is 11.9m. It’s great for car parks, we’re sure.
We don’t have full local specs, but the UK feature list for the two variants here will be broadly representative of what we’re told to expect here.
ID.4 Net Performance Highlights:
- 55 kW battery, 345 km range
- 125kW and 310Nm rear motor
- 18 inch alloy wheels
- Charging cable mode 2
- Charging Cable Mode 3
- Matrix LED headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- LED taillights, scrolling indicators
- Bright grill strip.
- The key to intimacy
- Roof rails
- Privacy glass
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Microfleece and leather seat trim
- Heated front seats.
- 3-zone climate control
- 5.3 inch digital instrument readout
- Ambient lighting with 30 colors
- Auto dimming rear view mirror
- Reverse the camera view
- 10 inch touch screen
- Gesture control and voice control
- Digital radio and FM receiver
- Wireless Apple CarPlay
- Wireless Android Auto
- 4 x USB-C ports
- 12V in luggage net, hooks and boot
ID.4 Pro Performance Enhancements:
- 82 kW battery, 522 km range
- 150kW and 310Nm rear motor
- 19 inch alloy wheels
- Air Stop Tires (Run Flat Style)
- Progressive steering
- Adaptive dampers, chassis control
- Heat pump
- Powered tailgate
- Powered side mirrors with curbside dipping
- Panoramic glass sunroof
- 360 degree cameras
- Augmented Reality Heads Up Display
- 12 inch touch screen
- 450W sound system upgrade
- ErgoActive powered front seats
Should be – Euro NCAP awarded it five stars in 2021.
It scored 93 percent for adults, 89 percent for children, 76 percent for pedestrians/cyclists, and 85 percent for safety assistance.
Safety and driver assistance features
- 7 Airbags
- The front one
- On the front side
- Full curtains.
- Front center
- 3 x top tethers, 2 x ISOFIX
- Adaptive cruise control with stop and go
- Driver fatigue detection
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Pedestrian, cyclist detection
- Keep lane support
- Blind spot monitoring
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Parking sensors
Not sure yet, but at the moment Volkswagen Australia’s warranty covers five years with unlimited kilometres. Overseas VW’s battery warranty covers eight years, which is the industry standard.
Service costs remain to be seen, but Volkswagen’s large dealer network should prove a significant advantage for buyers. We’d imagine it will come with five-year maintenance plans like its combustion cars do.
From a charging perspective, expect some form of subscription to the Chargefox DC charge network run by Australia’s motoring clubs, and home charging options provided by local company JET Charge – VW Group in late September. Signed an agreement with them.
Volkswagen presents the ID.4 as a good-looking and practical European mid-size electric SUV, and as such it fits well into such in-demand market segments.
In terms of performance and charging speed, it is acceptable without setting a benchmark. While the base model’s range isn’t anything special, the flagship is more than adequate for road trips.
Inside it has some of the fussy interfaces we’ve come to expect from Volkswagen, and material quality isn’t what it used to be. But, it looks good and has plenty of space.
The questions for me are mostly about local supply, and whether Volkswagen can meet the growing market demand.
Whether or not the ID.4 proves to be a segment leader remains to be seen, but it represents welcome competition from a brand that everyone knows.
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More: Everything Volkswagen ID.4