2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Review

Remarkably normal.

By Kunal Dsouza Wheels.ca

Aug 15, 2022 6 min. read

Article was updated 10 months ago

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We've tested a 2021 ID.4 for this review because at the time of writing, Volkswagen didn’t have a 2022 ID.4 to let us borrow. Pricing, equipment, and options are all identical to the 2022 ID.4. Due to high demand, 2022 ID.4s are sold out and VW is currently taking orders for the 2023 model.

There’s nothing weird, quirky, or obviously futuristic about the Volkswagen ID.4, a new compact SUV with a fully electric drivetrain. VW hasn’t taken the outer space approach to design like many of its competitors and even though it’s not the first to arrive by any means, a mass market EV with a VW badge on the nose is reason enough to take notice.

After all, this is the company that gave us the Golf, and Jetta, two of the best-selling cars in the world. When I was in high school everyone with enough cash to buy a car either got a Honda or a Volkswagen. Our school parking lot was full of them. But cars are seeing some of the most rapid change in decades and buzzy little gas-powered hatchbacks are no longer what the kids want.

While the ID.4 is technically not the first electric VW on our shores (the limited-run e-Golf was) it’s the one that’s going to put the company on the map as a serious contender in the rapidly growing EV space.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro AWD

The look starts with a staple of current EV design: a grille-less front end. It flows into a pleasing jellybean-like profile that’s clean and uncluttered. You might think it’s all a bit boring but then that’s exactly the point. Toyota doesn’t sell a bazillion RAV4s because of its exciting styling and knife-edge driving dynamics. They sell because it’s a dependable vehicle that’s easy to use and easy to live with.

The ID.4 takes this same easy to use approach. You get in, pop it in drive and go. When you’ve arrived at your destination, put it into park and step out, the ID.4 powers down automatically. No keys, no buttons. Easy.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro AWD

It’s a usefully sized crossover with comfortable seating, an abundance of rear leg room, and a decent cargo area that’s similar in size to what you find in VW’s own Tiguan and the Toyota RAV 4 despite being smaller than both of them. Thank the packaging gains made possible by the lack of mechanical driveline components and exhaust plumbing. It’s also loaded with all the latest safety tech, like adaptive cruise control, road sign display, pedestrian detection, and autonomous emergency braking.

The digital dash takes on new meaning inside the ID.4 where VW’s war on buttons continues in the form of capacitive touch everything. It was annoying in the much more analogue Golf R, but less so here mainly because it’s almost expected in the ID.4. A few physical buttons would have been welcome, especially for the stereo and climate controls, but thanks to my time in the Golf I knew my way around. I actually don’t mind the infotainment system with its crisp, bright graphics and easy to use home button setup similar to an older Iphone but did they have to coat everything with piano black? This brand new vehicle’s interior was already covered in dust, micro scratches, and fingerprints and it had just been detailed. What would it look like in a year? But perhaps most annoying was the elimination of the window switches for the driver to control the rear windows. Instead, a capacitive button labelled rear must first be activated in order to unlock control of the rear glass. An unnecessary and distracting extra step that seems less like cost cutting and more like VW just trying to be innovative where innovation wasn’t necessary.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro AWD

Prices start at $44,995 for the ID.4 Pro RWD sans rebates. That gets you a single 201 hp motor on the rear axle and an 82 kWh (77 kWh usable) battery providing around 400 km of range. For $49,995, the ID.4 AWD Pro adds an additional motor on the front axle for a total power output of 295 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. Using the same battery pack a full charge nets a range of 386 km. That puts it right in the running with EV offerings from Hyundai, Kia, and Ford.

DC Fast charging can take as little as 38 minutes to go from 5 per cent battery to 80 at a charging rate of 125 kW. Charging at home or with a public level 2 charger takes seven and a half hours.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro AWD

Driving the ID.4 is a remarkably normal experience. So normal in fact that you’d have a difficult time telling it was electric in the first place. It’s got a fair amount of power, certainly more than you might be used to in a CRV or a RAV4, but not enough to rearrange your organs. Transitioning out of your gas-powered crossover and into this would be a piece of cake. And with a large portion of its weight low down in the belly and near perfect weight distribution the ID.4 is more agile than it lets on with quick steering and a nice tight turning radius. It’s great in crowded urban areas and a relaxed cruiser on the highway, the best of both worlds.

When you take your foot off the accelerator pedal the ID.4 will coast, just like a gas car. Some EVs will start to slow down, sometimes quite rapidly by using the electric motors to drag itself to a stop. This is good for recuperating energy in certain situations but it might not always be the most efficient way to drive an EV. There is a brake regen mode but since it doesn’t bring you all the way to a stop, it’s not true one-pedal driving. I find that it’s not actually necessary for peak efficiency and VW feels the same way. Ask any hypermiler and they’ll tell you the key to ultimate efficiency is maintaining momentum and braking as little as possible.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro AWD

EV driving philosophy aside, the ID.4 proved to be one the most efficient EVs I’d ever tested. Over a mix of both highway and urban driving, I recorded 17.2 kWh/100 km and that was during a sweltering summer week with the AC blasting almost constantly. Better yet, all ID.4s sold in Canada come equipped with a heat pump, which works sort of like an A/C in reverse. It’s a crucial bit of tech that greatly increases efficiency and range during the cold winter months something I could have really used last winter when I was testing the Ford Mach-E GT. I was also able to exceed VW’s 386 km range estimate quite easily putting me closer to 440 based on the distance I had driven and the distance the computer showed I had remaining.

The ID.4 was the least EV-like EV I’ve driven, and that’s one of the things I liked about it most. There weren’t any fake propulsion noises or hyperspeed modes, and it didn’t have neck-snapping acceleration (why does anyone need that in a family crossover anyway?). It was remarkably easy to live with and went about its business ferrying my family around in comfort and efficiency with minimal fuss. If you’re thinking about letting go of that aging gas-powered crossover the ID.4 deserves your attention.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro AWD

BODY STYLE: 5-door, 5-passenger electric crossover

CONFIGURATION: Dual motor, all-wheel drive battery electric vehicle (BEV)

Motor: Dual electric motors, Combined Power: 295 hp; Torque: 339 lb-ft

EV RANGE: estimated 386 km from a 77 kWh (usable) battery

EFFICIENCY (Le/100km): 2.4 city; 2.6 highway; 2.5 combined


CARGO CAPACITY: 858-1818 litres

PRICE: $49,995 (base); $58,490 (as-tested) price doesn’t include Freight+PDI





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