Test: VW ID.4 1st Edition Max – the carrier of hope – Test drives

Premium With the new ID.4, VW is entering the extremely lucrative market for electric SUVs / crossovers. There is also no waste of time, as the newcomer is already being produced together with the platform brother ID.3 in Zwickau in eastern Germany.

Is it recognizable? A charming little town with a medieval town center and – more importantly – an August Horch museum. Zwickau is the place where August Horch Motorenwagenwerke AG was founded in 1904 and also the production site for East Germany’s most famous car: the Trabant. During the GDR era, almost 3.1 million copies of the ultra-light and hopelessly underpowered car were produced.

30 years ago, Volkswagen also chose to found the subsidiary VW Sachsen AG and start producing cars in the picturesque city. To date, there have been more than six million copies of the Polo, Golf and Passat models.

For some time now, the factory has been developing into Europe’s largest production site for electric cars and a model for the factories in the USA and China. As many as 330,000 electric cars want to catch up with 2021 and they have therefore invested no less than SEK 12 billion and further trained more than 8,000 employees.

Meanwhile, the production of ID.3 is in full swing, but since a couple of weeks ago, they are also building ID.4, a compact SUV on the same platform as ID.3.

Large glass surfaces create an airy feeling in the cabin. The black roof contrasts nicely with the yellow body.

Under the 4.58 meter long body thus hides the MEB platform with the electric motor, gearbox and electronics placed above the rear axle and the battery pack deep embedded in the floor between the axles. Initially, the ID.4 is only offered as a 1st Edition model with the strongest driveline.

The synchronous permanent magnet motor delivers 204 hp and the almost 500 kg heavy battery has a net capacity of 77 kWh.

The cheaper variants with either 150 or 170 hp, which are connected to a smaller and lighter battery with a capacity of 52 kWh, will come later in the year. Volkswagen promises a realistic range of between 360 and 520 km depending on the driveline configuration. Even a little later comes the real top model with slightly sportier attributes and two electric motors with a total of 300 hp.

But really, it is pointless with even more power than in the 204 hp variant. Compared to ID.3, the electric SUV mainly invests in space and a higher seating position as in a Tiguan. The 1st Edition driveline’s torque of 310 Nm is in any case good enough for the car, which weighs just over 2.1 tonnes. After all, the SUV segment is not characterized by too many over-motorized cars.

Of course, everything is digital in ID.4. We also thank you for a center console with many storage options.

Thanks to the rear-wheel drive and the neutral weight distribution offers ID.4 lots of grip and also sprints 0-100 km / h in 8.5 seconds. The top speed is set at 160 km / h.

No, those are not super impressive numbers, especially not for an electric car, but it actually feels more nimble than it sounds. In addition, our test car, a fully equipped 1st Edition Max (from SEK 614,900), is carefully soundproofed and it manages to keep the sound level comfortably low regardless of speed and situation. You rarely hear much from either the asphalt, the wind or the chassis / tires, and even the suspension comfort is convincing.

Maybe not so strange considering that DCC chassis with adaptive dampers and progressive steering is included in the standard equipment. So do the cozy Ergo chairs with massage and extendable thigh support. So equipped, the heavy SUV also masters really bad surfaces with bravura and without blinking.

The driver can choose between several driving programs.

In addition, ID.4 goes through the curves as if one had laid rails on the ideal line. The car behaves extremely neutrally in all contexts and can be directed with the highest precision through the dense city traffic without the steering for that part feeling too sharp.

Thanks to the rear-wheel drive, you also avoid wrestling with power reactions while the electronics take care of all signs of rebellion from the rear axle. The steering systems do not completely release the grip on the car, even in Sport mode.

However, it should suit most customers who choose the car for its utility value and space, and settle for it. And no wonder: the new ID.4 has short overhangs, a long wheelbase and spacious interior height.

The car feels airy and also offers the rear seat passengers legroom in the same class as in a Skoda Superb and it is certainly not bad. Unlike in ID.3, there is plenty of space above the rear seat passengers’ heads.

It is easy to feel comfortable in the back seat. Driving and sitting comfort is at the level you expect, just like the spaces.

It’s just the location of the air exhaust at the rear which disturbs the otherwise smart design. It is in fact far too low to be able to cool efficiently in the summer. In winter, the warm air rises up as luck would have it.

The rear seat cushion is typically VW tightly padded, but neither uncomfortable nor too short, and the rear seat is comfortable even on long distances. 1st Editions panoramic glass roof (included in the basic equipment) contributes to the airiness of the cabin.

As you know, long journeys require some luggage and ID.4 does not disappoint. 543–1,575 liters are offered, which is normal in the class. In addition, the car has a wide loading hatch, a partition and a luggage net as well as space for cabling and the like under the variable load floor. Unlike ID.3, the SUV can also tow trailers – which, however, may not weigh more than a ton.

The large and easy-to-load luggage compartment makes ID.4 easy to live with.

We also do not find any weaknesses when charging. With up to 125 kW charging power (optional), ID.4 is easy to live with. To make it even easier, there are the nearest charging points in the navigation map. Planning your route has never been easier.

But what does the electronics in ID.4 really look like? After all, ID.3 ended up in bad weather again and again for its unfinished software. Our test car works flawlessly throughout the test day: digital instruments, touch screen and server-based language control. All systems do their job.

The Horch Museum also houses a Golf III from 1994 with the additional name Citystromer, ie an electric city car. Scope? About 90 km. The model was built in just over 120 copies.

If everything goes as the VW people have thought, the factory in Zwickau will spit out about 1,500 electric cars. Daily. No, not only ID.3 and ID.4 but also the brand siblings Audi Q4 e-tron and Cupra el-Born. The future is electric!

EDITING: Tobias Mersinger /// PHOTO: Ingo Barenschee


Source: Senaste nytt från auto motor & sport by www.mestmotor.se.

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