Car columnist for The Wall Street Journal Dan Neil tested the Volkswagen ID.4, vaunted by the manufacturer itself. In his opinion, Tesla should not worry about this car as a real rival, because the technology of the Californian company is five years ahead. The author described the VW's ID.4 with a few words "hot-from-the-oven, slightly underbaked strudel,” which seem to hit the mark.
Neil points out that global carmakers are starting to take EV production seriously. The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 crossover is "the blunt-nosed tip of the VW Group's $43-billion spear." The car's appearance is attractive and the handling mechanism is superior to that of a comparable Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.
However, Neil notes that the ID.4 is five years behind its comparable Tesla, and his conclusion is based on a "weeklong test drive of VW's hot-from-the-oven, slightly underbaked strudel."
The author of the article points out that "the ID.4's touch-screen UX is a bit shambolic. The (optional) 12-inch center touch screen takes ages to boot up and can lag behind user inputs. It's not very pretty, either. The “Car-Net” phone app — a Tesla-like remote interface with the car, accessing charging and climate functions — failed to talk to the car when I tried it several times." At the same time, Neil stresses that Tesla's displays respond "at the speed of thought and their mobile IT is coded by the fiery finger of God."
The author points out that with the rear seatbacks folded down, the cargo space in ID.4 is comparable to Tesla Model Y. But what came as a surprise to him is that unlike Model Y or Mustang Mach-E, the ID.4 does not have a front trunk. If you look under the hood, you'll see "a dog's breakfast of taped wires and components, a 12-volt battery (lame), and the world's biggest spacer: a crazy, cast-alloy brace connecting the front bulkhead to the strut-tower supports. That's a bit of temporizing. And no spare tire, either." Neil writes that the engineering design of ID.4 betrays either immaturity or the urge to present the car to market too quickly.
In addition, the car has a less optimized curb weight of 4,600 pounds, which is about 200 pounds heavier than the two motor Model Y. Neil notes that "judging from the ID.4’s anvil-like density that the team ran out of time."
According to the EPA standard, the ID.4 has a range of 250 miles per charge, but in fact, given the colder temperatures, the range has dropped below 200 miles.
The price of ID.4 left Neil confused. The most basic level costs $41,190. Despite the federal tax credit for car buyers and three years of free charging, the author is still stunned, "OMG. The price. Is VW kidding with this thing?...I know, but, but...Jeez!"
H/T Sawyer Merritt/Twitter
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.