Volkswagen’s electric car for the masses is the 2023 ID.4 SUV, and it nicely pairs practicality with comfort and adequate driving range to allow drivers to make the switch from internal combustion. We just wish its driving demeanor was more playful. Rear-wheel-drive models come with one motor and 201 horsepower; opting for all-wheel drive adds a second motor and ups power output to 295. Maximum range is about 260 miles per charge, but the upcoming base model will pair its more attractive price tag with a smaller battery and less range. Good thing DC fast-charging is standard, which makes juicing up at public charging stations relatively quick and easy.
What’s New for 2023?
Volkswagen plans to move production of the U.S.-spec ID.4 to its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the 2023 model year, and with it that will bring some minor changes to the car’s center console and a new battery supplier, although range should be largely unaffected. The low-cost base model is expected to join the lineup for 2023 as well and should start around $35,000.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
With the single rear-mounted motor, the ID.4 makes 201 horsepower, but the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive model pumps out 295. Towing capacity is a stout 2700 pounds. Regenerative braking helps recapture energy when slowing the vehicle, but the familiar one-pedal driving that EV drivers have come to appreciate is largely missing here, even in the ID.4’s most aggressive regenerative mode. Also lacking is the traditional gut-punch acceleration that electric vehicles often provide. The rear-wheel-drive ID.4 isn’t slow by traditional compact-crossover standards, but its 7.6-second run to 60 mph in our testing demonstrates that it’s far more laid back than quicker EV competitors. Going for the more powerful all-wheel-drive model sharpens the ID.4’s accelerative performance, as evidenced by its 5.4-second jump to 60 mph at our test track. The ID.4 handles less sharply than some other EVs, but we appreciate its smooth and refined ride quality and quiet cabin.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
For now, the EPA estimates that the ID.4’s 77.0-kWh battery pack is capable of holding enough juice to power the SUV up to 260 miles between charges, which puts it in the mix with other electric SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Niro EV. Unfortunately for VW, that’s far less than the 330 miles of EPA estimated range for the Tesla Model Y. The battery can be charged at home on 110- or 240-volt connections, of course, but is also capable of DC fast-charging. The new base model is expected to sport a smaller battery and less range, but DC fast-charging is likely to remain a standard feature.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA rates the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro S’s fuel economy at 104 MPGe city and 89 MPGe highway, with a driving-range estimate of 250 miles per charge; the rear-wheel-drive Pro model is slightly more efficient at 107 MPGe city, 91 MPGe highway, and up to 260 miles of driving per charge. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 delivered 82 MPGe and sailed on for 190 miles. Note: we’ve found from our testing that EPA range numbers can overstate or understate the real-world highway range difference between EVs. Our testing was completed in near-freezing temperatures, which can drastically reduce driving range, so the 190-mile result is more impressive than it sounds. For more information about the ID.4’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While the ID.4’s interior looks less flashy than the ID. Crozz Concept’s cabin, which featured a retractable steering wheel and sliding rear doors, it still offers a contemporary design with high-tech features, ambient lighting, and generous cargo space. The interior design is uncluttered and playful; cloth seats with heat for the front occupants are standard but going with the Pro S model brings faux-leather upholstery along with 12-way power adjustable front seats with memory functionality. The ID.4’s cargo area is quite spacious. We managed to fit eight carry-on suitcases behind the ID.4’s rear seat and 26 total with the rear seats folded.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The ID.4 comes standard with a 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that can be upgraded to a larger 12.0-inch display. The software is unique to the ID.4, and we’ve found the interface fussier than the standard setup in other gasoline-powered Volkswagens. Navigation is standard with both displays and so are wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All ID.4 models also come with a 5.3-inch reconfigurable digital gauge display and voice-recognition capability.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The electrified VW offers a host of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about the ID.4’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control