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New Volkswagen ID.4 Pro Style Edition 2023 review

Tech and software tweaks have kept the Volkswagen ID.4 EV fresh, but there are still drawbacks

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Verdict

Two years on from its launch, the ID.4 is maturing nicely. Improved charging tech and software tweaks have helped, highlighting how electric vehicles can get better with age. But there’s still a long way to go with the car’s infotainment, even if the ID.4 drives well enough and delivers sufficient range. We’re hoping that improvements to the ID.3 in these areas will trickle down soon.

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Nearly two years on from its launch, the Volkswagen ID.4 line-up has changed quite significantly. The 1st Edition launch model has given way to regular trim levels, but unfortunately not more affordable ones – given the abolition of the plug-in car grant and the way new-car prices have risen.

The ID.4 range now consists of two trim levels – Life Edition and Style Edition – with two battery options – a 52kWh unit and a 77kWh model – and four motor outputs. They include 146bhp, 167bhp and 201bhp single-motor variants plus a 261bhp 4MOTION dual-motor option. There’s also the hotter twin-motor GTX.

It’s the heartland of the range we’re reviewing here, a 167bhp 77kWh model in Style Edition trim. At £48,010, it’s still a pricey vehicle, but many EVs are. This outlay delivers a claimed 322-mile range and 0-62mph performance of 10.4 seconds. It’s far from fast, but it feels swifter than a combustion-engined SUV offering a similar level of power, thanks to the 310Nm of torque that is delivered in a smooth way when you squeeze the throttle.

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It comes in gently and there’s lots of it, so the ID.4 whisks you forward on a moderate but sustained wave of acceleration. The real benefit is the smoothness and refinement with which it does this, something its sibling SUV, the Tiguan, couldn’t hope to match.

With this version’s single motor mounted on the rear axle, far from the driver, there’s not much audible whine, while wind noise is well suppressed, too.

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The ride is also mostly fine. With a lack of engine noise, you hear a few more dull thuds from underneath as the chassis works to contain the road inputs, but the ID.4 damps out rolling undulations and softer bumps fairly well. But after winter weather, the UK’s roads throw up sharp ridges, deep potholes and aggressive imperfections, where the suspension comes unstuck a little. Particularly at low speed, it feels quite firm (presumably to control the 2,198kg kerbweight that comes with that big battery). Sometimes at higher speeds the dampers respond more aggressively than you’d expect, but on a motorway the ID.4 cruises nicely.

That mass means it isn’t the most agile machine, either, but the steering has a good weight and the car changes direction with enough precision, even if there is a bit of lean.

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But it’s the manoeuvrability that’s the biggest benefit. With the motor mounted on the rear axle, it’s possible for the ID.4 to have more steering lock than a front-wheel-drive car. Combined with a short front overhang, it means the ID.4 delivers a 10.2-metre turning circle, 40cm less than a VW Polo supermini’s.

The B mode is a drawback. This dials up extra regenerative braking when slowing down. But it’s not quite strong enough for full one-pedal driving, so you have to use the brakes, which can be a little grabby.

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Practicality is just as good as before, with a 543-litre boot despite the rear-mounted motor underneath the floor, and lots of space in the back seats. Legroom is good, but headroom feels a little tight in the rear. In the front there’s plenty of storage, with a big lidded bin between the front seats that contains the wireless smartphone charging pad, plus two cup-holders ahead of it.

Style Edition trim gets 19-inch wheels (which probably don’t help the ride), matrix  LED headlights, sat-nav and the latest smartphone connectivity as part of the central infotainment screen. The latter still has the same flaws as it did before, with the touch-sensitive controls difficult to use and some software bugs apparent.

There’s also a small and simple digital dashboard, a reversing camera, full keyless go, three-zone climate control, a panoramic roof and plenty of USB ports inside. However, given the model’s price, some of the materials inside don’t feel quite up to scratch. There are some hard plastics in a few areas, even if the main touch points do feel good. Build quality is decent, too.

Model:Volkswagen ID.4 Pro 77kWh Style Edition
Price:£48,010
Powertrain:77kWh/1x e-motor
Power/torque:167bhp/310Nm
Transmission:Single-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive 
0-62mph:10.4 seconds
Top speed:99mph
Range:322 miles
Efficiency:135kW (5-80% 29mins)
On sale:Now
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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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