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TESTED: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Beats EPA Range by 15%

VW's new EV overdelivers in the real world

  • The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition outperformed its EPA-estimated range of 250 miles by 14.8%, covering 287 miles on Edmunds' real-world EV range loop.
  • That total puts the ID.4 in 7th place out of 17 vehicles on our EV range leaderboard.
  • The all-new ID.4 is a compact SUV that is much larger than VW's last EV, the e-Golf, but can travel twice as far on a single charge.

With an EPA range estimate of 250 miles, the all-new, all-electric 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 looks competitive on paper, but the EPA's test is laboratory-based. What kind of range can actual ID.4 owners expect in real-world driving?

We tested a 2021 ID.4 First Edition on our real-world EV range loop to find out.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition.

Am I Ready for an EV?

EV ownership works best if you can charge (240V) at home or at work This typically means a 240V home installation, but you could also have a similar setup at your office or other places your car is already parked for several hours each day. Don't expect a regular household outlet (120V) to suffice unless you've got a plug-in hybrid, in which case overnight charging at home is feasible.
If you can’t charge at home, charging at a charging station could take at least 10x longer than at a gas station With public charging infrastructure still in its infancy, the user experience can be maddeningly inconsistent. Tesla owners tend to rave about the reliability and speed of the company's proprietary Supercharger stations, but rival DC fast options have thus far been plagued by technical issues and overcrowding. It's an evolving landscape and our best advice is to do your research on the available options for the EV you want to buy.
Adding a 240V home charging system could cost up to $1,000 or more If your existing electrical service can handle the additional demands of EV charging, you may be able to add Level 2 charging at home for less than a grand, including installation. But your costs will multiply if you need to upgrade your electrical panel or add a dedicated circuit.

Testing the ID.4 in the real world

Edmunds tests every new electric vehicle on our real-world driving loop to see what kind of range you can expect starting with a full battery charge. The average ambient temperature while driving the ID.4 on our loop was 63 degrees F and we traveled a total of 287 miles, which is about 15% more range than the ID.4's EPA estimate of 250 miles.

It's worth noting that Volkswagen states the optimal battery charge for the ID.4 is 80%. For the purpose of consistent range testing, Edmunds charges all vehicles to the maximum allowable level.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 First Edition.

When charging the ID.4 back to full and calculating its energy consumption, we measured a rate of 28.8 kWh/100 miles, which is significantly lower than the EPA's estimate of 35 kWh/100 miles. In other words, our ID.4 used about 18% less energy than the EPA projected.

This also means our ID.4 was slightly more efficient than the Tesla Model Y Performance, which recorded 29.6 kWh/100 miles in our testing versus its EPA estimate of 30 kWh/100 miles. That makes more sense considering the level of performance we've experienced in the Model Y, which most often comes with a trade-off in efficiency. 

Edmunds says

The ID.4 returned a strong range result in Edmunds' testing, indicating that you should be able to meet or exceed its EPA range estimate when driving efficiently in temperate conditions. For our latest comprehensive ratings of all electric vehicles, head over to the EV rankings page.