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2021 Volkswagen ID.4: What's It Like to Live With?

We're spending the next 12 months and 20,000 miles with Volkswagen's new all-electric vehicle

Volkswagen ID.4 2021
Miles DrivenAverage Lifetime Electricity Consumption (kWh)

Latest Highlights (updated 05/10/22)

  • We ordered our VW in Pro trim.
  • We expect better range from this RWD ID.4 than AWD versions.
  • How will VW's most competitive new EV hold up?
  • Comparisons to our long-term ford Mach-E have already started.

What do you want to know about?

What We Bought And Why

by Carrie Kim, creative services project manager

Our test vehicle: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro RWD
Base MSRP: $39,995
MSRP as tested: $41,190

The future is now, and electric vehicles are here for the masses. Mainstream automakers are introducing EVs at a rapid pace, and startup EV brands are getting serious. Volkswagen is no exception — the VW ID.4 went on sale last year, and the brand has also announced that the ID. Buzz, Volkswagen's retro-inspired electrified microbus, will arrive in the U.S. in 2024.

Different from the e-Golf, the ID.4 is Volkswagen's first dedicated electric vehicle for the U.S. market. This spacious electric SUV offers a roomy, modern interior and EPA-estimated range of 240-260 miles per charge depending on the trim level. Additionally, Volkswagen offers three years of free unlimited charging to 2021 VW ID.4 owners at Electrify America DC fast chargers. For now, this offer is only for 2021 model year vehicles. And with its starting price of just under $40K (before federal and state tax incentives), we think the ID.4 offers quite a compelling value.

The ID.4 may look like a lifted hatchback compared to the Tiguan, Volkswagen's compact SUV. But despite its smaller footprint, the ID.4 offers almost equal interior space. The two-row five-seater also scored a rating of 8.2/10 during Edmunds' vehicle testing process.

What Did We Get?

As we mentioned in our 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 review, we back the base Pro trim level, so we put our money where our mouth is. Our 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro's long list of standard equipment and high-tech features doesn’t leave much for us to miss. We did, however, take a pass on the all-wheel drive and selected the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive powertrain.

The ID.4 Pro's 82-kWh lithium-ion battery pack produces output of 201 horsepower and has an EPA-estimated range of 260 miles per charge. In our experience so far, we've seen the ID.4 stretch that to as far as 288 miles in Edmunds' real-world electric vehicle range testing. So we are expecting good things from this ID.4 also. When it comes to charging, VW says the ID.4 can charge from 5% to 80% in about 38 minutes at a public DC fast-charging station (125 kW charging). And with the ID.4's 11-kW onboard charger on Level 2 current, the ID.4 can charge to full in as little as seven and a half hours. We'll test all of these claims during our year with the e-Volkswagen.

The base ID.4 Pro comes equipped with Volkswagen's standard suite of driver-assist safety features, including adaptive cruise control with stop & go, lane keeping assist, and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring. Also standard, the interior features a digital cockpit housing all gauges and driver information, plus an additional 10-inch touchscreen display with wireless smartphone integration and charging. Standard multi-color ambient lighting, dual-zone climate controls, and advanced keyless access to the front doors and liftgate are additional creature comforts that elevate the overall experience in this EV. We can't wait to try them all.

Why Did We Get It?

Edmunds maintains a goal to be the leading source of EV news and real-world testing. We've owned several — Tesla's Model 3, Model X, Model S, a Chevy Bolt, a BMW i3 and a Hyundai Kona EV among them — and now it's time for a Volkswagen. We are also about to add a Mustang Mach-E to the fleet and have other EVs on order. Because the ID.4 is coming from a well-known brand with an attainable price tag, we anticipate it to be a very popular EV. With a shocking number of new competitors being introduced, expect us to compare our ID.4 heavily to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 and upcoming Nissan Ariya and Toyota bZ4X.

The manufacturer provided this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Real-World Fuel Economy

We expect this single-motor, RWD drive car to perform better than the AWDs we've tested

Average lifetime consumption (kWh/100 miles): 29.8
EPA rating (kWh/100 miles): 34 combined ( 31 City / 37 Highway )
Best consumption (kWh/100 miles): 20.8
Best range (miles): 164.0
Current odometer: 1,806

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