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2021 Volkswagen ID.4 front 3/4

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 10K-Mile Update: Comfortable but Not Always User-Friendly

The ID.4 is so close to being right

  • Edmunds-observed maximum range of 288 miles beats EPA estimates.

  • Electric consumption is one of the most efficient in our EV test fleet.

  • Easy to drive but not so easy to navigate the cabin.

We've learned a lot about the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 since it entered our long-term test fleet back in March 2022. Now we're looking at 10,000 miles on the odometer of our single-motor Pro model. Here are the highs and lows of our test so far.

This drive suits us nicely

Perhaps the biggest compliment we can extend to the Volkswagen ID.4 is that it drives much like any other car. One editor echoed the sentiment of most when he shared, "The acceleration curve is smooth, the suspension does a good job absorbing bumps, it's put together well ... it felt like I was in a German luxury car." The brakes also feel, well, normal. The ID.4 doesn't have a significant diving sensation once your foot lifts off the throttle like some EVs with aggressive regenerative braking. Simply put, the VW does what we expect of it.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 dashboard

Usability and unusability

Some things aren't executed as well as the driving experience. We've been less impressed inside the cabin where there is a theme of overcomplicating simple controls. Look no further than the window switches, of which there are two, for four windows. There is a separate toggle button that changes the function of the switches to control the front or rear windows. We also find common-use functions tucked behind a menu screen and others, like climate control, powered by unreliable capacitive-touch sliders that aren't backlit.

An unpredictable multimedia system adds to user disappointment. Several drivers on staff had trouble connecting to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The most common report was wireless connectivity dropping, though it once froze the system completely and required a restart of the car to remedy. Over-the-air (OTA) updates have helped incrementally but so far it's not at a place that we would consider fixed.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 window switch detail

Carefree and cost-free maintenance

One great thing about EVs compared to traditional internal combustion powered cars is fewer moving parts under the proverbial hood. That means less involved maintenance, at least in these early stages of ownership. Volkswagen pays for the ID.4's first two service visits, so at 10,000 miles we've yet to open our wallet. Mostly. We did have to pay $20 when a drive-through car wash swallowed our rear wiper blade, but that's on us. And OTA software updates happen remotely, saving us time visiting a dealership.

One of our most efficient EVs

We stepped into this test reliant upon EPA estimates for consumption and range. The man said we'd see 34.0 kWh/100 miles on average with a range of 260 miles. At this point we have enough real-world data to speak for ourselves. Our average consumption is 35.1 kWh/100 miles, which puts us about 3% worse than EPA. However, in Edmunds' EV range testing the ID.4 surpassed the EPA calculations, returning 29.3 kWh/100 miles (plus 14%) and a range of 288 miles (plus 11%).

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 profile

Edmunds says

We like a lot about the ID.4 so far. It's easy to drive, has just enough space for small families, and can be very electron-efficient. But we've yet to be impressed by its in-cabin user interfaces. That said, VW just sent a major OTA software update for the touchscreen, and initial reactions are promising. We'll update you here as we learn more.