Volkswagen ID.4 Life

Pro-Performance

Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, front, action
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, front
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, side
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, rear
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, interior
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, armrests
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, rear seats
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, badge
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, centre console storage
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, charging
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, display screen
Volkswagen ID.4, 2022, boot

FOR those who remain uninitiated into the qualities and shortcomings of pure EVs, allow me to throw some light on subject.

One of the great pleasures - aside from knowing you are doing your bit to help the planet - is the smooth flow of abundant power alongside meagre running costs.

Translated into everyday terms it means that swift, undramatic overtaking takes on an effortlessness that's rarely available in a combustion engine unless you've got a big six under the bonnet.

Of course, on the debit side is the questionable range between recharging. Drive quickly in the rain with heater and headlights on and your available mileage shrinks like a woollen jumper on a hot wash.

Not one to be left behind in the tech race, Volkswagen recently introduced the ID.4 which is a crossover version of the smaller, lower ID.3 electric hatch. The burning question in most buyers' minds is ...'What's its range?'

Well, there's some good new there. With an official range of up to 322 miles, you are unlikely to be too restricted on travel, or to suffer that newly discovered psychosis of range anxiety.

Already lauded with a Car of the Year accolade, the ID.4 is a handsome beast all round, and about the same size internally as a Touereg, with a family-sized boot and ample space for five adults. It stands quite tall, so getting in and out is a synch.

With its single gear and 201 bhp from the 77kWh power plant it goes well. In fact the bare figures of 0 to 62mph in 8.5secs tells only a small part of the story. The flow of mid-range power is smooth and almost never-ending which makes short work of nipping past slow moving traffic or joining motorways.

It feels firmly planted on the road with well gauged suspension that absorbs the bumps yet provokes only minimal body roll. Despite a lack of gear changing and an absence of commotion from an ICE unit, the ID.4 is fun and enjoyable to drive especially when you press on.

Less praiseworthy is the large touchscreen which operates most of the controls. Hardly intuitive and tricky to operate on the move when travelling over poor the surfaces that now typify our roads, adjusting the radio or switching off the heated seats have to be a delicate procedure.

So, too, is lowering or raising the electric windows which has a joint switch to operate front and rear glass, requiring you to alternate between the two. Full marks, however, for the ‘gear' control which is a small knob to the right of the steering wheel and easily operated without taking your hands off the wheel. Novel but effective.

Another slick feature is automatic engine activation when you plonk your bum on the driver's seat. Conversely it switches off when you get out,

Although the range is officially more than 300 miles, I found the actual real-life mileage somewhat less. Cold weather, the need to use wipers and heater fan or air con can starkly eat away at the travelling distance. A heavy right foot also takes its toll.

The cabin is appropriately minimalist and quite family friendly with huge, deep door pockets and central stowage areas. In usual VW style, it's a sombre, rather dark environment but well made and there's a general feeling of longevity about it.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen ID.4 Life Pro-Performance

Price: £41,830

Mechanical: 77kWh battery, 201bhp, front drive, automatic single gear transmission

Max Speed: 99mph

0-62mph: 8.5sec

Combined MPG: 322 miles

Insurance Group: 29

C02 emissions: 0

Bik rating: 1%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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