The Volkswagen ID.4 Pro Performance at a glance
ID products with initial weaknesses
Slowly but surely, the giant group is awakening to electric life. Volkswagen, recently a long way behind Tesla’s sales figures in terms of e-cars, and even surprised by many Chinese newcomers, wants to take on the pioneering role when it comes to battery mobility. With the debut ID.3, it got off to a rather bumpy start, with minor and major breakdowns. Among other things, crashing operating systems, missing updates and, last but not least, a trailer and roof load of zero kilograms caused a lot of ridicule.
With the ID.4, those inadequacies should now be a thing of the past and at least I can report at the beginning of this text that black screens and striking assistance systems did not materialize during our two weeks of testing. The 4.58 meter long crossover can also take 1.2 tons on the hook and can transport up to 75 kilograms on the roof. Those additional transport options are also necessary, because the trunk is rather poor.
No “frunk”, trunk too small for many families
Officially, 543 liters should fit in the ID.4, the crux of this number is the fact that the 75 liters under the double loading floor are included in the calculation. That leaves about 468 liters for normal luggage, which is not so suitable for families with children (pushchairs). Since the ID.4 does not have a “cable frunk” in the front of the car, the bulky AC charging cable has to be transported in the trunk. And where is it when you need it? Right, where you can’t get there.
The stately external dimensions of the ID.4 really only come into play when one turns to the two rows of passengers. There is plenty of space here, at least in the Pro Performance equipment line (combined power consumption: 16.9-16.2 kWh / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g / km²) very comfortable ergoComfort chairs in the first and a wide bench seat in the second row. USB-C charging options are just as abundant in the extremely quiet cabin as is storage space for smartphones, drinks or other small items. There is only one thing that they have obviously forgotten at Volkswagen: the ambience.
Overcooled interior, cumbersome operation
The interior of the ID.4 seems about as cold to me as the waiting room of a dental practice. The plastic is simple, the high-gloss elements in particular are susceptible to scratching and the operating surfaces have been reduced beyond the essentials. The climax of the waiver is undoubtedly marked by the window regulator unit for the driver, who only has two physical buttons with a change function for four windows. You can certainly do this, but if in doubt it is just as cumbersome to use as the infotainment system. The fact that the front passenger can feel the cables in the footwell when wearing light shoes may also fit in with Volkswagen’s new understanding of quality.
But grumbled enough. What the Volkswagen ID.4 can do pretty well as Pro Performance is driving. In the equipment line that was not configurable as of July 4th, 2021, the Stromer not only has a very comfortable adaptive chassis, it also has pleasantly weighted steering and, of course, superior rear-wheel drive. 150 kW / 204 PS and 310 Newton meters of torque accelerate the (with driver) 2.3 ton ID.4 in a credible 8.5 seconds to 100, the top speed is reached at a rather meager 160 kilometers per hour.
Superior driving performance, fast charging processes
In the meantime, recuperation is carried out using the gear selector behind the steering wheel, whereby the energy recovery can only be activated or deactivated. The deceleration levels themselves cannot be changed, one-pedal driving to a standstill is not possible. On the DC fast charger, the ID.4 Pro Performance should be able to charge up to 125 kW as standard, at the top I managed around 100 kW for a short time with a remaining capacity of 25 percent of the net 77 kWh battery.
On the Ionity charger, 30.5 kWh were recharged in 20 minutes, which should be enough for a further 145 kilometers with a motorway consumption of 21 kWh. If you take it easy, or if you drive the ID.4 ostensibly in an area close to the city, the on-board computer showed between 17 and 18 kWh per 100 kilometers. The Wolfsburg, which is installed in Zwickau, can also be charged with a maximum of 11 kW on AC columns, which means around eight hours for a full charge – provided a suitable wallbox or charging station is available. An option for double the power (22 kW) is not available.
The Volkswagen ID.4 Pro Performance has turned out to be an overall good but extremely cool electric car that gets its passengers from A to B safely, comfortably and comparatively inexpensively. The spacious cabin is pleasing, the (especially for families) small trunk rather less. In addition, a practical “cable frunk” is missing. Unfortunately, a no-go for at least 58,820 euros is the meager service and the strongly declining quality awareness. If you take a closer look, you will find, among other things, badly painted body parts and luggage compartment eyelets. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)