June 30, 2022

The 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 RWD.Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Earlier than we dive deeper into Volkswagen’s new electrical crossover, let’s get two issues out of the way in which. First, the punctuation: it’s ID-period-4, or ID.4. Second, Volkswagen Canada expects the overwhelming majority of ID.4 gross sales to be the uplevel, two-motor, all-wheel drive model, which is exactly what our first-look take a look at pattern was not.

Volkswagen base-prices the ID.4 simply low sufficient – $44,995 – to qualify for the $5,000 federal electric-vehicle incentive. That will get you a single 201-horsepower motor mounted simply forward of the rear wheels. However the AWD mannequin is simply $5,000 extra, fairly modest for nearly 50 per cent extra energy (295 hp) and two additional pushed wheels.

As a compact crossover, the ID.4 is aimed on the coronary heart of Canada’s largest car class. Its total size of about 4.6 metres positions it on the small finish of the phase, however near high sellers such because the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

The ID.4 is launching in Quebec and B.C. – the provinces with their very own beneficiant buy-an-EV sweeteners – with Ontario following by yr’s finish. The remainder of Canada will get it within the second half of 2022, by which era manufacturing can have shifted from Germany to Chattanooga, Tenn.

To maintain issues easy, there is only one choice bundle, labelled Assertion, out there on each fashions. For an additional $8,000 it provides some beauty frills and frivolous stuff, plus leatherette 12-way energy entrance seats, 20-inch wheels, energy tailgate, panoramic mounted glass roof and a 12-inch contact display screen.

Once we picked up our take a look at automobile it was displaying 486 km of vary. With a long-haul freeway drive forward of us, we didn’t count on to even get shut. Nor did we. Once we stopped for a DC fast-charge (max 125 kW) after 294 kilometres, the show confirmed 63 km of remaining vary – a projected 357 km in complete. Common vitality consumption: 20.3 kWh/100 km. One other 200-km drive to our vacation spot yielded a lot the identical outcomes.

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After an in a single day Stage 2 cost again to 100 per cent (the on-board charger is 11 kW), we drove house totally on two-lane roads. The decrease speeds helped eke out 413 km earlier than a recharge cease, nonetheless with 54 km of vary remaining. Vitality consumption: 16.2 kWh/100 km.

As a compact crossover, the ID.4 is aimed on the coronary heart of Canada’s largest car class.Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

The ID.4′s official vary in Canada is 400 km for the RWD and 386 km for the AWD. That’s beneath the U.S. claims of 418 and 402 km respectively, as a result of Canada’s numbers embody the Assertion bundle, which provides weight. Count on extra vary should you forgo the bells and whistles. And as a result of a quirk within the take a look at protocols, the official lab outcomes don’t present the real-world good thing about a warmth pump, which is customary in Canada.

So the ID.4 is at the very least aggressive on vary. In base type, it additionally presents extra automobile for the cash than different EVs priced about the identical, and the AWD delivers an enormous soar in efficiency for a modest improve in value. Whether or not the worth proposition nonetheless holds up should you spring for the Assertion bundle, that’s your name. No person actually wants a glass roof or Florence Brown door inserts and a dashboard with ceramique double-stitching, do they?

I had hoped for a extra partaking driving expertise within the RWD base mannequin, however for most individuals, this car has the fitting stuff to carry EVs additional into the mainstream.

Tech specs

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 RWD

Value: $44,995 base/$52,995 as examined

Motor/battery: Rear-mounted 201-hp permanent-magnet/77-kWh usable (82 nominal)

Transmission/drive: single-speed/RWD

Vitality consumption (Le/100 km): 2.3 metropolis/2.6 hwy

Alternate options: Chevrolet Bolt, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Kona Electrical, Kia Niro Electrical, Nissan Leaf, Polestar 2, Volvo XC40 Recharge

Seems to be

Its total size of about 4.6 metres positions it on the small finish of the phase, however near high sellers such because the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

A decrease construct than most crossovers offers the ID.4 a considerably sleeker look, however nonetheless inside the bounds of regular: there’s no overt weirdness to inform the world it’s an EV.

Inside

The 5.3-inch display screen that passes for a gauge cluster is a higher problem to automotive norms.Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

There’s nothing distinctive lately a few free-standing touch-screen at centre, however the 5.3-inch display screen that passes for a gauge cluster is a higher problem to automotive norms. Likewise the drive selector, an enormous toggle swap that you simply twist clockwise for D and the opposite approach for R (and really works relatively nicely).

There’s no want to make use of the beginning/cease button: the automobile mechanically goes dwell when it senses a physique within the driver’s seat. This proves to not be a terrific thought if, like me, you elevate your self out of the seat when wanting over your shoulder to reverse.

Switchgear additionally challenges any tolerance for change. There’s not a single spherical knob or conventional push-button, simply the touch-screen plus small touch-sensitive icons, or haptic-feedback contact switches on the steering wheel. There’s just one pair of window switches on the motive force’s door, with a separate touch-switch to pick out entrance or rear.

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There’s not a single spherical knob or conventional push-button, simply the touch-screen plus small touch-sensitive icons, or haptic-feedback contact switches on the steering wheel.Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

On the plus facet the dearth of a shift lever frees up area on the floating, configurable centre console. Whereas the inside dimensions point out below-average rear-seat area amongst its friends, it’s nonetheless amply roomy and comfy. Credit score to VW Canada, too, for together with an energy-efficient heat-pump-based HVAC system, whereas the steering wheel, entrance seats, windshield and washer nozzles can all be heated – all customary.

Efficiency

If Volkswagen Canada is correct about AWD gross sales, most ID.4 consumers will get pleasure from spirited, albeit not blistering, efficiency, based mostly on that mannequin’s claimed 6.2-second 0-100-km/h time. That’s a significant enchancment over the RWD mannequin’s tepid 8.5 seconds. Past efficiency, the AWD additionally guarantees extra entertaining dealing with because it makes use of brake vectoring to reinforce turn-in response. The RWD mannequin handles competently however lacks the driver-enthusing élan we anticipated in an EV, particularly a Volkswagen EV. And whereas the ID.4 is mechanically quiet, the (non-obligatory) 20-inch tires are noisy over sharp-edged bumps.

Expertise

Assisted-drive belongings embody automated frontal emergency braking, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring, adaptive cruise with cease and go and lane-keeping help.Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Navigation is customary, in addition to FM/HD and SiriusXM radio, wi-fi charging and wi-fi Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and distant connectivity. Assisted-drive belongings embody automated frontal emergency braking, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring, adaptive cruise with cease and go and lane-keeping help. The latter two options collectively allow Stage 2 semi-autonomous driving – supplied your fingers stay on the wheel.

Cargo

The official cargo volumes for the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 RWD of 858 L seats-up, 1818 seats-down – with its cargo deck mounted excessive – are just a little beneath common.Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

With the Assertion bundle the 60/40-split folding rear seat incorporates a pass-through for lengthy gadgets, and a variable cargo flooring that may be set low for max area, or set excessive for a stepless transition to the folded backrests. There’s additionally a below-decks nicely to retailer the instrument equipment, cost cable and emergency-tire-inflator equipment. The official cargo volumes of 858 L seats-up, 1818 seats-down – with its cargo deck mounted excessive – are just a little beneath common.

The author was a visitor of the automaker. Content material was not topic to approval.

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