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2021 Volkswagen ID.4: The EV Wars Heat Up

Tesla takes a shot across the bow with the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4. They’ll likely be paying attention too, thanks to solid range, on point styling, and tech-a-plenty. 

What’s New for the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4

Both an all-new platform and Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is swimming in newness. As the world decarbonizes, VW is on board with a stated goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, and the ID.4 is their tip-of-the-spear. It’s little, about 5 inches shorter than a Tiguan, but thanks to the new modular electric platform (MEB), the ID.4 has ample packaging wrapped in design that doesn’t scream, “I’m a weird looking EV!” Currently in reservation mode, VW plans for customer deliveries starting shortly as part of the targeted production of 20 million EV’s built on MEB architecture by the end of this decade.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 - media.vw.com

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 – media.vw.com |  Shop 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $39,995

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

RWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

104 City / 89 Hwy (MPGe)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Normal looking by EV standards

ID.4 light communication system is futuristic

RWD should offer decent handling

Three years of public charging included

Panoramic roof is fixed-glass

Excited to see if ID.4 can take on Tesla

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Specs

Trims & Pricing

Pro - $39,995
AWD Pro - $43,675
1st Edition - $43,995
Pro S - $44,495
AWD Pro S - $48,175

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Powertrain

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 powertrain
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 powertrain

Starting life in RWD form, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 will feature an AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor mounted atop the rear axles. An 82-kWh battery pack will provide enough juice to produce 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of instantaneous torque. Power is put to the wheels via a two-stage, single speed gearbox and contributes to the minimal, 200-pound weight of the drive components – not including the 1100-pound battery pack.

Bolted to the ID.4 frame, that battery pack provides extra chassis rigidity and helps hit a near 50:50 weight distribution. Struts and control arms up front work with a multi-link rear setup in concert with the Driving Mode Selector to offer a range of powertrain and handling combinations. Expected to launch later this year, AWD ID.4 models will tack on a second electric motor up front for additional power to all four wheels.

Towing & Payload

A tow hitch can be equipped on the new ID.4 and will allow for up to 2700 pounds of trailering on models with all-wheel drive. That figure drops to 2200 pounds when only the rear-wheels are powered. Of course, pulling anything behind an all-electric vehicle like the ID.4 will curtail available range, so hyper-milers – be aware.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Fuel Economy & MPG

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 - media.vw.com
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 - media.vw.com

EPA estimates put the RWD equipped 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 at 104 MPGe in the city and 89 on the highway, which translates to the all-important range estimate of 250 miles on a full charge. Optimized tire and wheel design, regenerative braking, and an active front radiator blind all contribute to this efficiency.

The ID.4 will come with an 11-kW onboard charger and Combined Charging System allowing for home and public charging. Using a Level 2 charger at home will fill the battery in about 7.5 hours. Tapping a public fast-charging station should take the battery level from 5% to 80% in under 40 minutes or 60 miles of range in 10 minutes.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 - media.vw.com
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 - media.vw.com

Electrify America currently offers nearly 600 public charging stations and 2400 fast chargers around the country, along with a pair of cross-country ready routes. A 2021 Volkwagen ID.4 purchase includes three years of access to this network, which continues to expand.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

Plenty of creature comforts come standard in the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 like dual-zone climate control and heating elements on everything – the steering wheel, seats, the side mirrors, and windshield washer nozzles. Plus, on AWD models, the windshield itself is heated. All of which can be turned on remotely to warm everything up on cold winter days. The rear seat splits 60/40 and folds flat to open up 64 cubic feet of storage along with an under-floor cubby. Other niceties like ambient lighting and acoustic glass ensure a pleasant cabin experience.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Entertainment & Technology

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 - vw.com
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 - vw.com

A touchscreen display handles virtually all vehicle functions and ranges in size from 10 to 12 inches. It’s accompanied by a digital instrument panel that moves with the steering column to keep the details in line of sight at all times. KITT, of Knight Rider fame, will be returning in the form of ID.LIGHT, which is a space age-y line of multi-color LEDs at the base of windshield that “communicate” messages via colors and patterns. Connectivity is covered via multiple USB ports, Qi wireless charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot as well as wireless Apple and Android smartphone software.

Safety Features

VW piles 9 active safety systems into the lineup standard IQ.DRIVE. Lane centering and keeping, rear traffic alert, and forward collision warning are joined by Level 2 partially-automated, hands-on driving tech. Automatic high beam control and adaptive front lighting simplifies nighttime driving while an array of six airbags keep occupants safe in the event of an accident.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Trims & Pricing

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro - carsforsale.com
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro - carsforsale.com

Pro – $39,995

Featuring a single, rear mounted motor, ID.4 Pro models are due to dealerships in the summer of this year and are the only trim currently available to reserve on Volkswagen’s website. A $100 refundable deposit gets you on the list until an additional $400 confirmation payment is due upon production startup.

Though other trims promise variety, the Pro is only available in black, white, or gray. However, standard features like 19-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting front and back, plus the IQ.DRIVE suite of driver aids make up for the dowdy color scheme. Cloth seating is the upholstery of choice here, but heat on the steering wheel and in the seats is included. A 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display comes with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi capability is baked in.

AWD Pro – $43,675

Slated for later this year, Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro models add a second motor to the front wheels for more overall power and the benefit of juice to all four corners. Though not currently available for reservations, its 2700-pound towing capacity could be worth waiting for. Safety systems like adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking are included with IQ.DRIVE. On the convenience front, wireless charging and rain sensing wipers are also part of the deal.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition - carsforsale.com
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition - carsforsale.com

1st Edition – $43,995

While reservations for 1st Edition Volkwagen ID.4s are currently sold out, their blending of all the best features makes them worth looking for. 20-inch wheels from the Gradient package dress up the exterior as do upgraded LED projector headlamps with adaptive functionality. Leatherette spruces up the interior along with 12-way power adjustable seats.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S with Gradient Package - media.vw.com
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S with Gradient Package - media.vw.com

Pro S – $44,495

Laying on the fancy, ID.4 Pro S trim mirrors the 1st Edition exterior features along with a panoramic, fixed-glass roof. Power-folding exterior mirrors are heated and the front seats feature a massaging lumbar function with memory settings. A motion-activated, power tailgate and larger, 12-inch touchscreen display round out the higher level of amenities on Pro S models.

AWD Pro S – $48,175

Adding AWD to the Pro S is likely to keep the same basic feature layout from the RWD version, but with dual-motor capability. The Gradient package – which is the only package currently offered – can be had here for $1500. It nets twenty-inch rims, a black roof with silver roof rails, and additional silver exterior accents. Like the rest of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 lineup, a backup camera and auto-dim rearview mirror is included. The AWD Pro S is due to dealerships later this year.

Warranties

Those concerned with battery durability will be pacified by the 8-year/100,000-mile, High Voltage warranty that promises 70% of original battery capacity will remain within this window. Bumper-to-bumper coverage is in place for 4 years or 50,000 miles and the roadside assistance term – which includes charging – runs 3 years/36,000 miles. Complimentary, scheduled maintenance is part of the deal for 2 years or 20,000 miles and all warranties are transferable.

What we think

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 - media.vw.com

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 – media.vw.com |  Shop 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 on Carsforsale.com

VW’s new ID.4 looks ready to tackle the big, hairy EV question posed by environmentally conscious consumers and segment darling, Tesla. Clean, modern looks marry a powertrain with legit range capacity and a healthy dollop of lux. The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 seems to be poised well for the EV market, and we can’t wait to see more of Volkswagen’s electric models revealed in the not so distant future.

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Niel Stender

Niel got his start in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer with SVT at Ford. He still has dreams of running figure eights on the wet pad in an S197 GT500. These days, when not fending off karate kicks from the 3 tiny humans that run his household, he can be found on St. Louis backroads pretending to be Ken Block in his 6-speed Mazda 6.

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