2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Preview

FAST FACTS
  • New electric compact SUV
  • Rear-drive or all-wheel drive
  • Priced from about $40,000
  • Driving range of 250 miles
  • Free charging for three years
  • High-tech infotainment and ADAS
  • Reservations open now
  • Available in all 50 states in early 2021

Introduction

After dipping its toes into the electric vehicle pool and finding shockingly little success with the e-Golf, Volkswagen is diving into the deep end with what appears to be a credible and compelling long-range electric vehicle (EV). 

Yes, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is an EV, but it is also a usefully sized crossover SUV. And check this out: the electric motor is in the back, driving the rear wheels.

Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, said this about the new VW ID.4 electric SUV in a prepared statement: “It drives like a GTI, it has the packaging of a Tiguan and the purpose of the Beetle. All the best things about VW in one package.”

Volkswagen says the 2021 ID.4 will arrive in the U.S. in early 2021 and will source the first examples of the EV from its Zwickau, Germany assembly plant, which the automaker claims will give it “a net carbon-neutral balance.” In 2022, the plan is to move production for the North American market to VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory.

Volkswagen ID.4 prices start at $39,995 for the standard Pro trim level and rear-wheel drive. The ID.4 qualifies for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500, and your state or region might offer additional rebates and incentives. 

If you prefer to lease, VW has already established the deal. With $3,579 down, you can lease the base ID.4 Pro for $379 per month, plus tax. The annual mileage limit is 10,000.

When all-wheel drive becomes available in mid-2021, it will add $3,700 to the SUV’s price. Volkswagen also says it will offer a $35,000 version of the ID.4 when production moves to Tennessee.

2021 Volkswagen ID4 Blue Front View

To help launch the ID.4, a limited-production 1st Edition will be first to arrive. It costs $43,995 and includes nearly every option. Plus, it gets unique Play and Pause logos on the accelerator and brake pedals, Electric White interior details, black mirror caps, special badges, and a tow hitch.

Exterior Features

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is a compact crossover SUV that is a few inches shorter and slightly lower than the automaker’s Tiguan model. But the ID.4 is wider than its gas-fueled sibling.

2021 Volkswagen ID4 Blue Rear View and Roof View

The ID.4 has no traditional grille. Instead, simulated lower and side intakes add character to the ID.4’s face, which has a prominent VW logo and standard LED headlights. Flush illuminated door handles, black roof rails, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, and heated washer nozzles are standard. With AWD, a heated windshield is standard.

Six colors are available for the new ID.4: white, black, gray, silver, blue, and red. Standard equipment includes 19-inch aluminum wheels.

Interior Features

VW characterizes the ID.4’s interior as futuristic, with heavy reliance on voice and touch control to operate the features and functions.

2021 Volkswagen ID4 Dashboard

Standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless access, wireless smartphone charging, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Car-Net connected services including Wi-Fi (data plan extra) for up to four devices, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

A 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit digital instrumentation screen is standard, equipped with three primary display tiles plus battery status and range showing beneath them. It is easily visible through the leather-wrapped, multi-function heated steering wheel. Switchgear for the transmission and lighting resides on either side of ID.Cockpit, according to VW.

ID.Light is also standard, a lighting strip below the windshield that provides different colors and effects combined with sound prompts to notify the driver of various vehicle statuses.

Volkswagen says interior space is about the same as the Tiguan, with room for up to five passengers. Black cloth is the standard seating material, and the front seats offer 6-way adjustment and power recline.

As far as cargo space goes, the ID.4 supplies 30.3 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 64.2 cubic feet with the back seat folded down.

Optional Features

Volkswagen will offer two option packages for the ID.4. The first is the Statement Package ($4,500), and once you’ve added that, you can also choose the Gradient Package ($1,500).

The Statement Package adds an illuminated front Volkswagen logo and light lines that stretch out from it to premium LED headlights with an Adaptive Front Lighting System that helps the driver see around dark corners. A panoramic fixed glass roof is also part of the Statement Package, along with power-folding side mirrors with puddle lights, a power tailgate, and an adjustable trunk floor. 

Inside, the Statement Package equips the ID.4 with an upgraded infotainment system and SiriusXM satellite radio, along with 30-color ambient cabin lighting and 12-way power-adjustable front seats with massage and memory settings. Buyers choose between Galaxy Black and Lunar Gray leatherette upholstery.

From there, the Gradient Package bolts on a set of 20-inch aluminum wheels, paints the roof black, and adds silver roof rails and silver exterior accents.

Under the Hood

Volkswagen builds the ID.4 on a new modular electric drive architecture that will serve as the basis for a range of Volkswagen EVs. Equipped with an 82-kWh battery, the ID.4 with rear-drive supplies 201 horsepower and 228 lb.-ft. of torque. Install the optional AWD system, and the ID.4 generates 302 horsepower.

The driving range estimate for the ID.4 1st Edition is 250 miles. The EV is compatible with AC and DC fast charging. When using a home charging station or a Level 2 charger, it recoups 33 miles of range per hour. Using a DC fast charger with 125 kW of charging capability, the battery goes from 5% to 80% charge in 38 minutes.

To help people switch to electric, Volkswagen has partnered with Electrify America to provide three free years of charging at public charging stations. In combination with the 3-year lease deal, this makes trying life with an EV easier. 

Safety

Every 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has standard IQ.Drive, the EV’s collection of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS).

The contents of IQ.Drive include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high-beam headlights, and road sign recognition technology.

Additionally, Travel Assist combines adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assistance to provide Level 2 driving assistance as long as the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel. If the technology detects an inattentive or unresponsive driver, Emergency Assist activates to bring the ID.4 to a safe stop. 

Volkswagen says a robust aluminum frame and an aluminum underbody panel protect the battery from damage, and severe accidents automatically disable the battery.

Technology

Most of the Volkswagen ID.4’s controls respond to voice, touch, or gestures, allowing the automaker to create a simple and minimalistic interior for the SUV.

A Discover Pro infotainment system is standard, equipping the ID.4 with a 10-inch touchscreen display that controls all entertainment, ADAS, vehicle settings, telematics, and navigation functions. With the Statement Package, the ID.4 has a Discover Pro Max system with a 12-inch screen.

Navigation is standard equipment, along with Volkswagen’s new “Hello ID” natural voice recognition technology. It works similarly to a smartphone or digital home assistant. For example, if you’re chilly, you can say: “Hello ID, I’m cold.” The assistant will then increase the cabin temperature.

To change infotainment menus, you can use gesture control. Touch-sensing sliders adjust volume and temperature.

Volkswagen is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of September 22, 2020, but may have changed since that date.