Volkswagen arrive us bottomward to Chattanooga, Tennessee, for a abrupt drive of an ID.4 electric crossover ancestor alongside a Mazda CX-5 AWD. Since we fabricated the cruise from our Kentucky abject to VW’s United States address in a VW Tiguan SE-L Exceptional R-Line 4Motion, we had a adumbrative leash for our abrupt allegory test.
In April this year, the CX-5 and Tiguan accomplished aboriginal and second, respectively, in our six-way bunched crossover comparo. Since the ID.4’s admission a anniversary ago, VW has fatigued its admiration for the ID.4 to be apparent as a adversary for combustion-engine offerings as able-bodied as electric challengers such as the Tesla Archetypal Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Hyundai Kona Electric. That gives the electric German absolutely the task—convincing shoppers to footfall abroad from the aegis of the accustomed while advantageous the allurement of Japanese juggernauts like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
The ID.4’s looks arguably alternate a average ground, added alien than the ICE antagonism but beneath animated than the Mach-E and Archetypal Y, which accept steeply raked auto rooflines. The ID.4’s roof sits 1.9 inches lower than a Tiguan, but its 8.2 inches of arena approval (for the European model) is 0.3 inches added than the Tiguan offers, ensuring it skews added crossover than wagon. The VW’s rear bonanza blends some abrupt curve and textures, but all-embracing it presents a fulsome, handsome form. If addition replaced the VW badges with those from Citroen’s DS affluence line, we wouldn’t accept accepted better.
The appearance moves through the air abundantly enough, VW citation a accessory of annoyance of 0.28, analogous the Audi e-tron. The Tesla Archetypal Y comes in at a claimed 0.23, while Ford has alone committed to a amount “below 0.30” for the Mach-E.
Since we were active a prototype, we can’t bear final acumen on issues such as noise, vibration, and harshness, which are still ability affability and area there’s acutely assignment to be done. Every ID.4 comes with keyless access, the crossover powered up and abreast to go as anon as the disciplinarian takes his bench and presses the anchor pedal. At that point, the EV is silent. Get moving, and the ear detects the Jetsons-like amphitheater accepted to every EV, but the motor additionally emits a subtle, astute beef as it spools up to its 16,000-rpm peak. We could apprehend the beef central the berth and, rolling bottomward the windows at low speeds, affirm that it could be additionally heard alfresco the car.
The ancestor rode on European-spec all-season Pirelli P Zeros that created a balmy beating bombinate on all but the best able alley surfaces. U.S. models will get a alternative of Hankook, Pirelli, or Bridgestone all-season rubber, depending on annoy size. Aerodynamic conjuration of duke keeps wind babble on par for the segment, the turbulence no worse at 65 mph than it was at 35.
When we had a adventitious for active runs on a 30-mile burghal loop, we apparent a doughy anchor pedal with continued travel. Volkswagen fits drums on the ID.4’s rear axle, aforementioned as on the ID.3. VW says an EV’s archetypal assignment aeon includes so abundant adorning braking that “disc brakes on the rear can be beneath able than drums afterwards continued periods of not actuality put to abundant use.” That sounds to us like a cost-saving admeasurement captivated in a achievement justification. Alike the Chevrolet Bolt uses four-wheel disc brakes, and that car can be chock-full appliance Fred Flintstone’s best-foot-forward technique. We adopted the ID.4’s B mode, which increases anchor activity recuperation to accomplish active mostly a one-pedal operation.
All of those issues, except the boom brakes, can be acquainted to achievement with some added absorption from the engineers.
In the solid win column, the ID.4 was acutely the best administration apparatus in our trio. A advantageous allocation of the ID.4’s advantage came from actuality the alone rear-wheel disciplinarian of the bunch. VW brand to pepper GTI references into conversations about the ID.4’s handling. That’s a bit optimistic, but alone a bit. In our April crossover test, we said, “The Tiguan feels like a GTI for amenable adults,” bare some activity and alley hugging. The ID.4 feels like a GTI for electric crossover buyers, alms the aforementioned archness that distinguishes the Tiguan.
The e-motor’s best achievement of 228 pound-feet of torque isn’t acceptable for a agent belief a claimed 4559 pounds in abject Pro trim, but the burning appliance of every pound-foot delivered a little breeze of the arch with anniversary ache on the throttle. Volkswagen hasn’t yet called a zero-to-60-mph time, alone adage it’s beneath than 7.8 seconds, which sounds constant with the rated 201 horsepower. Steering is sharp, the crossover’s chubby adenoids accessible to abode on a called line. And the ID.4’s 33.6-foot axis amphitheater is 1.8 anxiety abate than the Chevrolet Bolt’s.
Damping and anatomy ascendancy are excellent, with anatomy cycle arrested by a 24-mm anti-roll bar in advanced and a 22.5-mm bar out back. It took added assignment in the ID.4 than the CX-5 or Tiguan to get the tires to beg for mercy, and there’s a baby window for appliance the burke to abode the rear wheels. Once you’ve overcooked 4,600 pounds of RWD bunched crossover into an astute corner, though, there are no avowal to attempt. It’s time to get adamantine on the brakes.
We’ll charge to delay for a absolute drive time in a retail archetypal to cede a final verdict. But the ID.4 ancestor wasn’t far from carrying the affable EV ambient we’d expect, and it already stands out acknowledgment to its style. Unlike the coupe-roofed competition, it hasn’t sacrificed roominess or account for looks. Dynamically, the little crossover already delivers, a beefy pup bold to get friskier than about any of its buyers will anytime demand. The AWD archetypal promises to be alike better, abnormally if VW programs some active torque ambiguity amid the advanced and rear motors.
Already priced beneath the Mach-E and Archetypal Y afore federal and accompaniment discounts, buyers who administer the abounding $7,500 federal tax acclaim can abridged advantageous accumulation by allotment the VW over the Ford or Tesla. Alike afterwards the federal credit, though, the ID.4 accuse a notable exceptional over status-quo models like the CR-V and CX-5. We’re agnostic that VW’s EV will carry off a abundant cardinal of acceptable bunched crossover buyers, but the ID.4 is a big move in the appropriate direction.