My Car Quest

August 3, 2021

New Drive: 2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Who better to write it than a guy who’s cool to electrics?

by Wallace Wyss –

Volkswagen is the brand that once scored big in America with the Beetle when American cars were huge, clunky and inefficient. You always wonder when are they gonna have another home run? Show us the way, so to speak?

Well this new all electric VW has some potential but I found it not the world beater that will sideline the internal combustion crossovers. The first question with an electric is: what’s the range? The EPA claims a 250-mile range but in our driving we got 178 miles. I think of a good range as 300 miles. Blame it on the weight, which is 4,559 to 4,665 lbs.

Volkswagen  ID.4

I had range anxiety the first time I sat in the car and saw in the indicator how many miles worth of electricity were left. I live in an apartment with no charging stations. If you do have to charge it, VW’s battery requires about 7.5 hours
to recharge on a typical 220V charger and hours longer with 110 volt. Like all night.

A fast charger can get you from a 5 to 80 percent charge in a claimed 38 minutes. Ironically guess who is paying for thousands of electric charging stations to be built across America? VW–as a way of working out punishment for the diesel emission cheating problem they had a few years ago. The brand name of the chain is Electrify America.

The instrumentation was modern looking but trying to have everything from heating and cooling and radio station selection on a touch screen made you yearn for the days of switches and radio knobs. Early adopters seem determined to grin and bear this electrification of even the most mundane of tasks though I find it quirky to new drivers of the car.

Volkswagen  ID.4

Even shifting gears is daunting– a tiny lever to the right of the steering wheel that has only D, R, P and an N for Neutral but no L for Low. To start the car, you sit in the driver’s seat. To shut it off, you exit the driver’s seat. But of course you have to have the key fob with you.

“B” MODE

In addition to the “D” on the gear selector there is a “B.” When you select that, it uses regenerative braking more aggressively, so much so that some drivers boast about “one-pedal driving” where just the slowing up of re-generating while coasting makes use of the actual brake pedal a lot less necessary. On a site called VW ID Talk one owner wrote, “I personally only plan on using “B” mode for mountain driving or on winding roads where you can use the motor to decelerate quickly. It can definitely be a benefit on the downhills. When I ultimately go back to the office I’ll test which mode I like better for my commute, but I think even in stop and go “D” mode is ultimately better. If it was true one-pedal driving, though, it might be a different story, but until they add that as a feature I’m ok with “D”.”

DESIGN COMMENTARY

FRONT Like the Tesla they go for the no-grille but I find the lower grille in black plastic very cheap looking.

Volkswagen  ID.4

SIDE Very slick, not too many competing surfaces. Almost as good as a Mazda CX-30. Wheels were strange looking, kind of sci-fi in character not as smooth as the rest of the vehicle.

Volkswagen  ID.4

REAR High, wide and handsome. Clean, contemporary look, though white badging is bit off-putting when we’re used to chrome.

Volkswagen  ID.4

IN SUM Looks modern but the design could date fast. Nothing really memorable about it. VW will eventually make at least 30 different electrics but this is not a phenomenon in styling that will kick off The Big Push.

Room in the car is excellent. Visibility is very good. Though it has a huge sunroof stretching from front to rear it does not slide open to admit fresh air or even tilt. It is fixed in place, but does have an electrically powered shade. The rear bench folded down in halves so you can pass through long items like skis.

The price tag knocked me over–the base model is $41,190, and our “1st Edition” test car adds more features and goes for $45,190, equal to the price of some rival internal combustion crossovers (but the pain is somewhat mitigated as some government bodies pay a $7500 rebate for buying an electric.)

In sum, though it is comfortable and smooth riding this first generation ID.4
seems not to be outstanding in any way. Yet I am telling you not to judge too soon if VW is going to score big in electrics. This is just the first shot–soon an all wheel drive version will come and be more fun, and when battery weights reduce the car will be faster.

REGENERATION: PAID BACK FOR POWER USE

One really memorable feature is the regenerative ability to retrieve “spent” miles. We drove up a mountain grade and saw the range plummet as we gained altitude. But on the way down the same mountain, we saw the braking effect of re-generation working to restore the lost miles used up on the way up, making our trip up the
mountain “free” compared to the gallons of gasoline we would have lost forever in an internal combustion car.

Try that in an internal combustion only car…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the co-host of Autotalk, a program broadcast on KUCR-FM Riverside, California each week.

 
 
 

 

 

Volkswagen logo

Photos by Curtis Bien.
Summary
New Drive: 2022 Volkswagen  ID.4
Article Name
New Drive: 2022 Volkswagen ID.4
Description
Volkswagen is the brand that once scored big in America with the Beetle when American cars were huge, clunky and inefficient. You always wonder when are they gonna have another home run?
Author

Speak Your Mind

*