Volkswagen doesn’t tend to play fast and loose with family car design. The Golf, the Passat… hardly radical, are they? VW relies on common sense and sure-fire quality to sell its cars, but is that enough when it comes to the brave new world of EVs? The ID4 is VW’s electric crossover, sharing its base with the Audi Q4 e-tron and Skoda Enyaq but priced to rival the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai Ioniq 5. Cars with risky, polarising ideas. So, is VW’s ID4 (and its annoying dashboard) a safe bet, or the dullest EV you can shake a charging lead at? Over to Magazine’s Serious Car Tester Ollie Kew for the Tested verdict. Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?
volkswagen’s in a bit of a hurry to go electric all of a sudden isn’t it this id family already features a hatchback an suv next year there’s going to be a camper van and the saloon so if this id4 turns out to be any good you can expect to see them everywhere time it was top gear tested what is it it’s the bigger brother to volkswagen’s all-electric id3 meet the tiguan sized id4 priced from 35 000 pounds this one 45 000 pounds top of the range 55 000 quid it’s a spacious all-electric crossover suv that uses the same platform as audi’s q4 e-tron and the skoda enyak it will give the likes of the ford mustang mackie and the tesla model y a cozy familiar badged german mainstream rival it might be the most norm core ev yet what does it look like normally there would be a joke here but i’m struggling it’s just so plain i mean i’ll give it slippery the face is all smoothed off the door handles are tucked into the side and the designer did wake up in time to sketch us some funky tail lights but for a car that’s supposed to be the the bedrock of volkswagen’s all-electric future it’s hardly a head-turner how big is the battery well there’s a few to choose from base spec is a 52 kilowatt hour battery good for just over 210 miles on the higher end models the pro battery takes you up to 77 kilowatt hours and depending on if you go for the rear drive or dual motor all-wheel drive flamed range will climb to just over 300 miles where’s the charging port well the charging cable goes in here under what your parents used to call a fuel filler flap but the problem is it’s had to live back here in the boot because there’s no front trunk so if you cover this little cubby hole with shopping then you can’t get to your charging cable once you have got it out a full charge takes about eight hours from your home wall box or about 34 minutes to 80 if you can find a rapid charger in the world is it practical look at this long boy wheelbase that’s what the id4 does well converts a battery-powered chassis into space for adults to sit behind adults and still have all the storage for their devices and their snacks as evs go this would be a strong road trip car will i get along with the tech right i’m not going to get angry here but the id4 does suffer from all the same problems and mistakes that all of the recent volkswagens suffer from because they’ve tried to be tesla they’ve tried to do minimalism and they’ve crashed and burned look we’ve got touch sensitive buttons here we’ve got a heater controlled by touch sensitive sliders and a touch sensitive volume control none of which lights up at night useful on the steering wheel banks have touch sensitive buttons so as you turn left and right you accidentally turn up and down the volume and you cancel the cruise control and then everything else well that lives in a touchscreen that looks like it was designed in a friday afternoon coffee break and appears to have the processing power of a supermarket self-checkout it’s not good enough from volkswagen this car feels laggy and dated inside it’s not good enough for what’s supposed to be an electric trendsetter what’s the gimmick volkswagen doesn’t really do memes the best it’s got is the voice assistant but she’s not really the wittiest hello id tell me a joke oh my developers didn’t teach me that but i’ll give it to go anyway i couldn’t work out how to fasten my seat belt then it clicked what does it weigh now volkswagen says this should be 2045 kilos turns out this one is 100 kilos heavier than that right so i can got its numbers wrong i don’t know about you but i am shocked what’s it like on a motorway this is definitely the id4’s comfort zone literally really i mean i’ve got big balloon tires a nicely damped ride and it’s exceptionally comfortable cruising along cutting a very peaceful hole in the air got a good view out seats reasonably comfortable yeah there’s nothing to really play with here i haven’t got any paddles on the steering wheel to adjust my regen i can’t swipe through multiple displays it’s very little to fiddle with it’s just a car being a car doing its normal car job but there’s not a whole lot to really criticize either and there’s no need to do our autobahn test because the id4 is limited to 99 miles per hour flat out which it just exceeded we’re doing 101 and that’s all it’s got 101 there you are the top speed of an id4 still quite quiet here as well i think we’ll save some range for the next test is it comfy well those plus size tyres and aero wheels aren’t particularly fashionable but they do mean that the id4 is really really respectably comfortable look i can even risk going for a background lighting change let’s go from eternity to euphoria first time not bad what about a driving mode switch can we manage that got it room comfort i’m gonna try for sport there we are two out of two that must mean that the id4 is a pretty comfortable car in fact the only thing that’s not very refined in here right now the charging cables are rattling around in the boot how fast is it well there is a fast id4 the gtx but this isn’t that car this is the standard model they call it the id4 pro performance which sounds promising but that’s just the brand name for the big battery size and having the 204 horsepower rear motor so we’re not expecting fireworks volkswagen claims naught to 60 miles an hour for this car is 8.5 seconds which i believe is actually about the same time as it took a mark 1 golf gti there’s progress for you not to 100 miles an hour shouldn’t happen at all because volkswagen says this car is limited to 99 so let’s just go and find out what can i do to help well sport mode i guess i mean why would they put it in here unless it made the car massively faster into drive and off we go deeply undramatic um that is 50 miles an hour i mean good for town acceleration but it’s you know it’s hardly one of those evs it’s going to be winning drag races left right and center 75 80 85 now here’s the crucial bit can we get to 100 miles an hour faster than volkswagen says the car will actually go well according to the speedo yes we are sat at 101 102. let’s hope that is a real world hundred miles an hour we’re gonna break quite hard because we’ve used most of the runway getting up there the volkswagen id4 managed to take over half a second from its claim naught to 60 time taking just 7.9 seconds and not to 100 well we’ve got a time so it must have got there but it took 24 seconds and we know it was really at its width end when it got there because it maxed at 101.4 that is the real top speed of an id4 and if you ever find yourself on a drag strip you can expect to complete the quarter mile time in 16.3 seconds at exactly 86.8 miles per hour if you want a very fast ev the id4 is not that car what’s it like in a corner well here’s a corner and look it goes around the corner there is nothing encouraging me to try any harder to grab the id4 by the scruff of the neck but in the name of serious car testing i shall press on nope i’m really not sure why volkswagen has felt the need to build a hot gtx version of this car that’s supposed to be all quick and sporty nothing about this car suggests that i want to drive it really quickly i mean yeah the battery weight’s low down the steering is kind of well weighted rear wheel drive balance is okay but come on volkswagen doesn’t really tend to do entertaining normal cars whether they’re powered by electricity or not think of a normal polo a standard golf your regular passat none of those cars are very memorable if you want to go quickly in them and neither is the id4 apart from one thing the lane keep assistance which will not let go of the steering and guess where you have to go turn that off yep in the touchscreen what about the range well this 72 kilowatt hour battery with the 204 horsepower rear motor it’s good for a claim 317 miles on the wltp test but real world i think more like 260 265 maybe i mean today we’re averaging 2.2 miles per kilowatt hour which is rubbish but that’s because we’re maxing it and we’ve done some drag races and we’ve done plenty of high-speed bowl laps in the real world you’re gonna be getting three miles per kilowatt hour pretty easily what’s the verdict hmm well the rd4 is a good family car it’s spacious it’s very refined it’s comfortable and i really like what volkswagen’s doing with its building them in a carbon neutral factory and offsetting those emissions from birth that’s good that’s thinking about evs as more than just the end product but the end product itself i’m not sure i thought that volkswagen would arrive late at the electric cars party kind of like a a responsible father of the bride interrupting an off the rails best man speech stepping up and going all right all right elon thanks mate maybe you’ve had one too many we’ve got it now we’ll take it from here but no they’ve kind of gone ambitious in some ways with their uber minimalist interior which feels like a bit of a mistake and then played it typically volkswagen safe in all the rest of the areas like with the exterior design like with the handling and as a result you end up with a car that’s not as slick to use as a volkswagen really should be so the id4 then is a good car but it definitely is not a great one you