2021 Volkswagen ID.4
- Late 2020
What to expect
- One of the only fully electric compact SUVs
- Up to 310 miles of range on the optimistic European cycle
- The debut of the first-generation ID.4
What is it?
There has been a lot of buzz over the last few years regarding Volkswagen's future electric vehicles (one of which was aptly named the ID.Buzz). Sadly, the U.S. market has been left out so far since the first of these — the ID.3 hatchback — is not slated for release here. Thankfully, we'll be getting the next-best thing: the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 crossover.
The ID.4 is the first fully electric SUV from VW and will initially be offered in rear-wheel-drive form. An all-wheel-drive variant will arrive later. According to the European WLTP standard, which tends to be slightly more optimistic than the U.S. standard, the ID.4 will have up to 310 miles of range, depending on which model you get.
It's a fair bet that the ID.4 will lean heavily on the ID.3's interior design ethos, so we're expecting it to have a cockpit light on physical buttons or knobs. Instead, users will rely on numerous touch and voice-activated controls. With any luck, we'll also get the augmented reality head-up display that appears to float in front of the car. Otherwise, we're confident the ID.4 will have all of the typical advanced safety and driver assistance features found in other VW vehicles.
Why does it matter?
At the moment, if you want a non-luxury electric SUV, you're relegated to the subcompact crossover class. Volkswagen classifies the ID.4 as a compact SUV, which should make it closer in size to the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5. The larger interior volume has a good chance of attracting a lot of buyers looking to switch over to an EV.
What does it compete with?
In the absence of larger, non-luxury electric SUVs, your options are limited to smaller alternatives including the Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric. Buyers willing to pay a little extra can upgrade to the luxe Tesla Model Y, which features three rows of seating and an estimated range of 315 miles.
It's still early in the game, but the VW ID.4 has a very good chance at success. As the only fully electric entrant in the non-luxury compact crossover class, demand should be high. We suggest trying to get your name on the pre-order list as soon as possible.