There’s good news and bad news about the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 electric vehicle (EV).
The good news is that it’s a great machine that’s easy to live with – but we’ll get into all that shortly. The bad news is that you’re too late if you want a 2022 model, because they’re already sold out. Like so many consumer products these days, supply was limited and demand was strong enough in Quebec and British Columbia – the two provinces the ID.4 was first made available – that orders filled quickly. So back to the good news: the 2023 ID.4 will be coming soon, and it’ll only be receiving minor tweaks, according to Volkswagen. So let’s get into what makes the ID.4 worth the wait, shall we?
Fuel Economy: 9.5/10
Adding an extra motor to power the front wheels of the ID.4 brings with it 100 kg (220 lb) of additional mass. And since the all-wheel-drive version uses the same 82-kWh (77-kWh usable) battery pack from the rear-wheel-drive version, that energy is expended a bit sooner – but not much sooner.
Range is estimated at 394 km for this heavier all-wheel-drive ID.4 (the rear-wheel-drive one is rated at 422 km), and despite a significant amount highway driving, which consumes electricity faster than city driving, the ID.4 managed commuting duties and a short road trip without cause for range anxiety.
Those fixated on range will note that competitors like the retro-futuristic Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the electrically identical Kia EV6 are rated to travel farther on a charge in their so-called long-range formats, but Toyota’s new bZ4X falls slightly short of the Volkswagen when equipped with all-wheel drive.
The ID.4 can be charged at home on a Level 2 charger, where, at 11 kW, a fully depleted battery can be revived to 100 per cent in 7.5 hours – though running the battery to zero and regularly charging past 88 per cent can negatively affect battery longevity.
A DC fast-charger is claimed to juice the Volkswagen from 5 per cent to 80 per cent in only 38 minutes at a maximum rate of 125 kW. When plugged into a 350 kW DC fast-charger, the highest rate witnessed was 43 kW, which still gave the VW enough of a boost from roughly 40 per cent to over 90 per cent in the time it took to enjoy a coffee and catch up on some emails. Even at 125 kW, it’s still notably slower than the Ioniq 5’s charge rate, however.
At 295 hp, this dual-motor ID.4 has nearly a third more peak power than its single motor sibling. Plus, the front motor generates 120 lb-ft of torque, while the rear dispenses 229 lb-ft. It’s enough to shave two seconds from its zero-to-100 km/h sprint time, with the more powerful version doing so in about six seconds. The ID.4 isn’t as electrifying in its acceleration as a Tesla Model Y or BMW i4 M50, but it’s enough to keep it ahead of most other traffic around town, and to offer abundant gusto for passing at highway speeds.
As impressive as the ID.4’s acceleration is, its ability to tow a trailer up to 1,224 kg (2,700 lb) is better than many gasoline-powered compact SUVs, including Volkswagen’s own Tiguan.
Driving Feel: 7.5/10
A large part of what makes EVs so exciting to drive is the way they deliver their torque so smoothly and instantly, and the ID.4 is no exception. Its steering is heavier than expected, giving it more weight and feel than that of the bZ4X, though neither is quite on the same level as a gas-powered crossover like the Tiguan.
At 2,188 kg (4,284 lb), this all-wheel-drive Volkswagen is portlier than the bZ4X and Ioniq 5 by more than 150 kg (331 lb), but like other EVs, the low centre of mass and four-wheel traction mean the ID.4 still handles corners decently, even if it never really masks its considerable weight.
A drive mode with stronger regenerative braking is available that enables a mostly one-pedal driving experience, though to bring the VW to a complete stop often requires some actual mechanical braking, too. Brake feel isn’t what one would call sporty, but it’s smooth and linear in its stopping.
The ID.4 comes with Volkswagen’s latest suite of safety features including lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear collision avoidance and alerts, plus a set of great LED headlights. Volkswagen has earned a Top Pick+ rating from the not-for-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for the ID.4, as well as an overall 5-star rating from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Canadian ID.4s are well equipped, even in entry-level format that includes a heated windshield, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a heat pump to ensure winter weather has a minimal impact on battery consumption by warming the cabin with waste heat from the powertrain. The full advanced safety package, including adaptive cruise control, is standard, too, as are dual-zone climate controls, onboard navigation, satellite radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections.
This tester also featured the Statement package that adds power-adjustable massaging front seats, a power tailgate, enormous fixed glass roof, and a bunch of snazzy bits to dress up the look of the ID.4 inside and out.
User Friendliness: 8/10
The ID.4’s interior is extremely simplified, but sensibly so. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 5.3-inch digital instrument display that uses a relatively small screen to communicate pertinent information like battery status and speed, as well as driver aid functionality, all of which is presented clearly and unobstructed in front of the driver.
Similarly, the central dash features a 12-inch touchscreen with bright, crisp graphics to control almost everything else. And, like the redesigned Golf R hot hatch, there’s a strip of haptic touch buttons below the screen for volume and temperature adjustment. While traditional volume and tuning knobs would still be preferable, no issues were encountered with Volkswagen’s system – especially with increased familiarity.
The infotainment system offers wireless connectivity for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though the former was occasionally glitchy. Connecting physically via USB-C port was problem-free.
Volkswagen gives the ID.4 a twist controller situated just behind the steering wheel for drive, reverse, neutral, park, and its battery regeneration mode. It seems unnecessarily complex at first, but the setup frees space on the centre console for phone charging and cupholders, and really only takes a couple drives to become second-nature.
Like most of its EV competitors, the ID.4 makes good use of its flat floor and expansive wheelbase to maximize passenger space and comfort. It sits higher than a car but lower than many SUVs, giving it a just-right entry and exit height for most occupants. Legroom front and rear is very good, and while the roofline is compressed to provide a shallower greenhouse depth, headroom remains excellent.
The front seats are finished in perforated faux leather to appease the animal lovers, and they’re supportive, well-shaped, and high enough off the floor for good comfort, with the gentle massage function adding more relaxation to proceedings.
Beyond seating for five, the ID.4 also has a flexible cargo hold, allowing 858 L of luggage behind the back seat (notably larger than the Ioniq 5, EV6, and bZ4X). With the rear seat folded, it expands to a generous 1,818 L, making up for the VW’s lack of so-called frunk found in some EVs.
Add in the ID.4’s impressive towing (and standard hitch), plus its all-wheel drive traction, and it should be easy to transition from a gas-powered compact SUV without giving up any practicality.
Finished in King’s Red Metallic, accented by a broad silver strip and black roof, the ID.4 was stylish enough to catch the eye of the Tesla driver parked next to me at the public chargers. Volkswagen’s designers should be commended for keeping the ID.4’s look restrained and handsome, not just within the EV segment, but compared to most other compact SUVs today. The optional lit-up VW nose badge is a bit over-the-top, but still sort of cool.
Inside, the Statement package offers up mocha-coloured dashboard finishes and a generally all-round high-quality look and feel.
Volkswagen was aggressive with pricing the ID.4 for the Canadian market. While the rear-wheel-drive version starts at $44,995, plus $1,950 for its non-negotiable freight charge, the significantly more powerful all-wheel-drive example is only $5,000 more, maximizing available government credits. While key competitors like the Ioniq 5, EV6, and bZ4X are also aggressively priced in their rear-wheel drive configurations, they’re all several thousand dollars more than the ID.4 with all-wheel drive. What’s more, even skipping the $8,000 Statement package still provides a very well-equipped EV for the price.
To sweeten the pot even further, Volkswagen is offering three years of unlimited charging at its own Electrify Canada network.
Without boasting class-leading range figures, nor over-the-top styling like some of its peers, the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 is flying a bit under the radar. After spending a week behind the wheel, this all-wheel-drive version impressed with its handsome styling, high content count, and excellent value. Pro tip: if you think the ID.4 is the right EV for you, you’d better get your order in soon for the 2023 version.
|Engine Displacement||220 kW motor, 77 kWh battery|
|Engine Cylinders||Dual electric motors|
|Peak Horsepower||295 hp|
|Peak Torque||339 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy||2.4 / 2.6 / 2.5 L/100 km, 21.0 / 23.2 / 22.0 kWh/100 km cty/hwy/cmb, 394 km range|
|Cargo Space||858 / 1,818 L seats down|
|Model Tested||2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro AWD S|
|Price as Tested||$60,540|
$8,495 – Metallic paint, $495; Statement Package, $8,000