Volkswagen ID.4 review - Interior, design and technology
The ID.4 has generous levels of standard kit, but cabin quality isn’t up to standard and touch-sensitive tech can prove frustrating
Volkswagen’s MEB architecture has been developed solely for production of its all-electric vehicles, underpinning the ID.4 and a host of other VW Group cars, such as the smaller ID.3 and Audi Q4 e-tron. From the outside, the ID.4 looks smart enough, with its sleek, stylish lines helping to create a premium air.
It’s a shame that this quality feel isn’t carried over into the ID.4’s cabin. The typically minimalist style that has become prevalent in so many EVs is all present and correct in the ID.4, but it doesn’t feel particularly refined. Look even closer, and you’ll notice that the material quality is average at best, while the interior lacks the fizz and flair needed to set it apart from rivals - one irritation is the piano-black steering wheel-mounted controls, which are awkward to use and feel like they belong in a much cheaper car.
Buyers won’t be left wanting for standard kit, however. Leaving aside its steel wheels, the entry Life version features LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and sat-nav, while luxury additions include heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a wireless smartphone charging function, dual-zone climate control and a heated front screen to help combat those frosty morning starts.
Upgrading through the range brings bigger alloy wheels, privacy glass and a panoramic glass roof, although the Max versions and above bring a larger 12-inch infotainment screen, a head-up display and increased comfort for the driver and front passenger courtesy of 14-way electrically-adjustable seats with massage and memory functions.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The large touchscreen display in the ID.4 controls virtually everything in the cabin, including the climate settings, which is a frustrating design decision. Combined with its fiddly layout, you often find yourself making erroneous adjustments on the move. It’s made worse because the buttons on the steering wheel are also touch-sensitive and are awkward to use, so there’s not even a respite with the real switches. Everything from adjusting the volume of the radio to resetting the trip is more of a faff than it needs to be.
Loading times are quick, though – particularly with route mapping. We also like the small 5.3-inch digital dial display which adjusts with the steering wheel so it’s always visible. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also really convenient and useful features that work better than the built-in software.
In this review
- 1Volkswagen ID.4 reviewThe Volkswagen ID.4 will appeal to EV buyers with a focus on family practicality and a decent range
- 2Engines, performance and driveMajoring on comfort rather than outright performance, the ID.4 offers a smooth ride and is easy to drive
- 3Range, charging and running costsEntry-level cars are competitively priced, while the ID.4 delivers decent range and should be relatively cheap to insure
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe ID.4 has generous levels of standard kit, but cabin quality isn’t up to standard and touch-sensitive tech can prove frustrating
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceSet up perfectly for family life, the ID.4 offers plenty of space for passengers and a large, practical boot
- 6Reliability and safetyBuyers will be reassured by the ID.4’s outstanding safety credentials