Family Compact SUV Increases Power and Boosts Handling
Clean Fleet Report has written extensively about the 2021 Volkswagen ID4, the all-electric crossover that was launched early in 2021. The first ID4 was rear-wheel drive (RWD) only, but will be joined this year by an all-wheel drive (AWD) version. Rather than write another full review, go to any of the links at the end to read, in detail, about the ID4 RWD. We will concentrate here on the all-new 2021 ID4 AWD, and the differences between the two cars.
Volkswagen brings its EV manufacturing to America
ID4 Differences: Rear-Wheel Drive vs. All-Wheel Drive
VW adds AWD to the ID4
ID4 RWD has one motor producing 201 horsepower (hp) and 229 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque
ID4 AWD has two motors.
– Front: 107 hp and 119 lb.-ft. of torque
– Rear: 201 hp and 229 lb.-ft. of torque
– Total system of 295 hp and 339 lb.-ft. of torque
Battery and Charging
Both the ID4 RWD and AWD have a 77 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery, which is charged through a plug-in port offering three charging speeds. Using an onboard 11 kW charger with a maximum charge rate of 125 kW. Going from discharged to a full charge, the times are estimated to be:
120V (Level 1) Two miles of charge per hour, or about 80 hours
240V (Level 2) 21-34 miles per hour, 7.5 hours for full charge
480V DC Fast Charging 56-62 miles in 10 minutes, 80 percent in 38 minutes or less
VW recommends not charging the ID4 to 100 percent every night as it can prematurely wear down the battery.
Inside the ID4 it’s sparse, but functional
A big benefit are the three years of free fast charging with Electrify America, which is included in the purchase of either ID4 model.
Additional battery energy is through regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into electricity when braking or coasting. Driving around town, stuck in stop-and-go rush hour freeway traffic or coasting down hills will recharge the battery. The battery charge and mileage range are metered in real time by a dash gauge.
– Pro: 260 miles
– Pro S: 250 miles
– Pro: 249 miles
– Pro S: 240 miles
ID4 RWD: 4,665 pounds
ID4 AWD: 4,888 pounds
ID4 RWD: up-to 2,200 pounds with trailer brakes, 1,650 pounds without trailer brakes
ID4 AWD: up-to 2,700 pounds with trailer brakes, 1,650 pounds without trailer brakes
Underneath the ID4 is VW’s basic EV platform
The Driving Experience
The dual electric motor ID4 AWD put its additional power and grip to good use. Acceleration was peppy, in the mid-five-second range to 60 mph, which is about two seconds faster than the single motor rear-wheel drive ID4. The pleasing feeling of being pushed back into your seat always feels great.
The ID4 AWD cruised at or above highway speeds with confidence. Passing big rigs is not an issue thanks to the instant torque at any speed. When approaching a high- or slow-speed corner, the turn-in was predictable as the AWD system offered assurance of good grip. On the most aggressive corners, you can feel the 4,888-pound mass shifting ever-so-slightly. But the ID4 AWD suspension has been designed to easily catch the shift and continue tracking through the corner. The low center of gravity, from the 1,087-pound battery pack located under the floor, made for a sure-footed driving experience, with neutral road feel from the electric rack-and-pinion power steering. The impressive 36-foot turning radius made for easy U-turns. Overall, the ID4 AWD is easy-to-drive, but should not be considered a sports crossover.
The ID4 AWD has standard ABS and power-assisted front vented and rear solid discs. Handling and driving confidence was also aided by the standard electronic stability control, electronic brake-pressure distribution and brake assist.
Classic German Design: In and Out
There are no exterior and interior differences between the ID4 RWD and AWD models, save for a very subtle AWD badge on the front fenders and the 0.6-inch higher ground clearance for the ID4 AWD that won’t be noticeable. Both have a classic German design with sleek LED projector headlights located on the outer fender edges, which are connected by a LED light bar intersected by the lighted VW logo. The faux grille making up the lower fascia has a diamond pattern, which Volkswagen says helps with air flow and aerodynamics.
AWD bumps up the ID4’s towing capability
The ID4 has a short hood compared to its competitors, resulting in not much of a front trunk (frunk). The rear power hatch has LED tail lights, connected by another light bar.
The interior of the ID4 is airy, modern, futuristic and could even be considered sparse. Large windows and the panoramic glass roof make for a bright cabin. Space for four is plenty, and cargo space is generous. The 30.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity when the 60/40 folding rear seat is up expands to 64.2 cubic feet with the rear seat folded flat. For additional storage space, below the rear floor in the cargo area is a deep well for storing, among other things, the charging cord.
For a more detailed overview of the exterior and interior, you can go here.
All 2021 Volkswagen ID4s come with IQ.Drive, which includes advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with front pedestrian detection, active side assist blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, lane assist, adaptive cruise control w/ Stop & Go, Travel Assist, and Emergency Assist.
The Intelligent Crash Response System, in the case of an accident, applies the brakes automatically post-collision so the car does not continue moving and cause a secondary incident. It also turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors and switches on the hazard lights. This technology shows its value so an incapacitated driver is not injured further by their car striking another object.
Additional safety systems include a tire pressure monitoring system, automatic high-beam control, rear parking distance control sensors with park assist, power folding and heated outside mirrors and rain sensing windshield wipers with heated washer nozzles.
Pricing, Warranties and Safety
The ID4 will be followed in the U.S. by the IDBuzz minivan
There are two 2021 ID4 AWD models, with these prices including the $1,195 destination fee, but no optional equipment. The ID4 qualifies for federal and state credits, and in some states, is eligible for a HOV access sticker.
Pro S $49,370
The 2021 Volkswagen ID4 AWD comes with these warranties:
New Vehicle – Four years/50,000 miles
High Voltage System – Five years/50,000 miles
High Voltage Battery – Eight years/100,000 miles
Scheduled Maintenance – Two years/20,000 miles
Roadside Assistance – Three years/36,000 miles
Corrosion Perforation – Seven years/100,000 miles
Observations: 2021 Volkswagen ID4 AWD
John & a firmly planted ID4 AWD
There are faster EVs on the market, claiming 0-60 times under three seconds. Of course, it is based on your needs, but since Volkswagen doesn’t market the ID4 AWD as a sport SUV and you may not have the desire to get to 60 mph faster than you can spell M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, why pay many thousands more for what you don’t need? What you will get with the ID4 AWD is better performance than any gasoline-powered compact crossover, such as a Nissan Rogue or Honda CR-V. That performance will be noticeable and is a definite fun factor that comes with owning the ID4 AWD.
The all-new 2021 Volkswagen ID4 AWD is a comfortable and well-designed compact SUV family vehicle. With tight handling and a smooth, quiet ride, the spirited all-electric driving experience lives up to Volkswagen’s German heritage. The four-door ID4 is solidly built, efficient and can charge at a quick pace.
All ID4s to this point have been imported from Germany, but that has ended. Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee factory has begun production, and soon will be sending ID4 RWD and ID4 AWD models to dealers in Mexico, America and Canada starting next summer. The significance of this is that Volkswagen has made a serious commitment to being an employer in America, and producing quality vehicles for the North American market.
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Story by John Faulkner. Photos by John Faulkner and Volkswagen.
[See image gallery at cleanfleetreport.com] Our other VW ID4 Adventures
Road Trip: 2021 Volkswagen ID4
Flash Drive: 2021 Volkswagen ID4
Flash Drive: Volkswagen ID4
Exclusive: Volkswagen Introduces the ID4
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