The crossover craze gets its name for good reason: buyers are crazy for them. So it makes good sense to create an electric crossover as opposed to a small sedan or hatchback. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

The crossover craze gets its name for good reason: buyers are crazy for them. So it makes good sense to create an electric crossover as opposed to a small sedan or hatchback. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

FIRST LOOK: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4

This global electric vehicle is the tip of the sword for VW’s EV charge

The diesel-emissions-cheating scandal could have been the end for Volkswagen as billions of dollars were spent on fines and to make amends with customers.

To right its reputation, the company vowed to put diesel in the past and charge forward with a massive US $13.5-billion investment in an electric future.

And here we are — more than four years after the scandal broke in the fall of 2015 — with the rollout of the company’s first electric vehicle.

The five-passenger ID.4 hatchback, arriving by mid-2021, breaks new design ground and looks nothing like any existing VW model.

Compared with the Tiguan crossover, the ID.4 is about 11.5 centimetres shorter, four centimetres lower and has about 2.5 centimetres less distance between the front and rear wheels.

The ID.4 has slightly less cargo capacity and comes with available space beneath the load floor for stowing small objects.

Towing capacity is 1,225 kilograms compared with 680 for the Tiguan.

The dash layout is incredibly simple and tidy. There’s a standard 10-inch centre display and a smaller one for the gauge package. The direction changer — it’s not really a gear selector — is located next to it. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

The dash layout is incredibly simple and tidy. There’s a standard 10-inch centre display and a smaller one for the gauge package. The direction changer — it’s not really a gear selector — is located next to it. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

The ID.4’s interior comes with a 10- or optional 12-inch display screen that’s slightly angled toward the driver. Separate (redundant) volume and temperature controls are located below each screen. A 5.3-inch screen is in place of a traditional gauge cluster and has separate battery-charge status and range displays.

Interior lighting includes a thin strip extending the length of the dashboard, positioned along the base of the windshield.

All ID.4s come with “Hello ID” voice control for drivers to adjust the cabin temperature, request specific directions and summon music selections.

An 82-kilowatt-hour battery located below the floor supplies a motor that’s between the rear wheels. That’s right: just like the VW Beetle of old, the ID.4 is rear-wheel-drive. The system is rated at 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

According to Volkswagen, the ID.4 can go 400 kilometres on a full charge, which takes about 7.5 hours using a 240-volt Level-2 home outlet. When plugged into a 480-volt Level-3 commercial fast charger, topping up to 80 per cent battery capacity from five per cent takes less than 40 minutes.

Engaging the single-speed controller involves twisting an oddly shaped switch located beside the driver’s display.

The fuel-economy equivalent — based on average charging cost versus distance traveled — has yet to be determined. Launching later in 2021, the all-wheel-drive ID.4 will add an electric motor up front to produce an estimated 302 horsepower. With the same battery pack, it will likely have less range than the rear-wheel-drive model.

The base ID.4 comes with dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel and side mirrors, six-way power-adjustable seats and wireless phone charging. Base pricing hasn’t been set for Canada but expect the low-$50,000 range.

The midgrade trim has a panoramic roof, faux leather upholstery (instead of cloth), 12-way power seats with massage function, ambient lighting, power tailgate and adaptive LED headlights that pivot in the direction of a turn. There’s also an illuminated VW logo on the nose.

The premium package includes 20-inch wheels (18-inchers are standard), silver roof rails on a blacked-out roof and unique bumper add-ons.

All ID.4 trims are outfitted with considerable dynamic safety technologies such as adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian detection and rear-backup alert. Road-sign display, high-beam-sensing control and parking assist are also standard.

Note that a heated windshield will come with the later-arriving all-wheel-drive ID.4, while a new base model with less content will be added for 2022 (when production moves to Chattanooga, Tenn., from Germany).

Factor in government incentives in British Columbia and Quebec — the federal iZEV program requires the ID.4 to have a base price of less than $45,000 — and this electric makes a tempting alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles, including those made by Volkswagen. Why? Mostly because it’s the right (popular) body style: a good-looking and functional crossover.

The ID.4 has only slightly less cargo capacity than the Tiguan utility vehicle. Even with the motor located between the rear wheels, there’s still a storage space below the load floor. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

The ID.4 has only slightly less cargo capacity than the Tiguan utility vehicle. Even with the motor located between the rear wheels, there’s still a storage space below the load floor. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

What you should know: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4

Type: Rear-wheel-drive midsize utility vehicle

Propulsion: AC electric motor (201 h.p.)

Transmission: Single-speed automatic

Market position: The ID.4 ushers in a new era for Volkswagen in North America, being the automaker’s first dedicated electric model. It’s part of a major push by VW to introduce a number of electric cars by the mid-2020s.

Points: Attractive body is as much a departure for VW as the ID.4’s engineering. • Positioning the motor at the rear is unique for any new model, electric or not. • Standard array of safety tech (part of a notable level of convenience features) covers nearly all contingencies. • Upcoming AWD option along with added performance should prove popular.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); autonomous emergency braking (std.); lane-departure warning (std.); pedestrian detection (std.)

L/100 km equivalent (city/hwy): n.a.

Base price (incl. destination): $50,000 (est.)

BY COMPARISON

Ford Mustang Mach-E

  • Base price: $52,500
  • New-for-2021 EV hatchback comes in a variety of strengths and ranges.

Kia Niro EV

  • Base price: $46,900
  • Well-equipped hatchback uses a 201-h.p. motor and has a range of 239 miles.

Nissan Ariya

  • Base price: $52,000 (est.)
  • Coming electric model can be had with 215 h.p. (FWD) or 389 h.p. (AWD).

– written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

AutosSUVsTrucks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Last year’s flood season stretched from April through early July, as this picture of flooding at Cache Creek park on July 4, 2020 shows. With area snowpacks at slightly above normal, temperatures and rainfall will play a role in determining what this year’s flood season looks like. (Photo credit: Tom Moe)
Snowpacks in area slightly higher than normal as freshet starts

Temperatures and rainfall are critical flood risk factors in coming weeks

The Clinton Annual Ball went ahead in 2020, albeit in a different format and with far fewer guests than usual. (Photo credit: Clinton Annual Ball committee)
Clinton Annual Ball postponed again in 2021, but still carries on

Thanks to some creativity, ball is still the longest continually-held event of its kind in Canada

The 2020 financial statements for Cache Creek show that the village needs to look at either increasing revenues or cutting services in order to maintain a balanced budget. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Cache Creek council advised to increase revenues or cut services

Presentation also shows that continued use of Landfill Legacy Fund for operations is unsustainable

A group of outdoor enthusiasts and heritage buffs learning more about the history of the iconic 1926 Alexandra Bridge during a pre-COVID-19 tour. (Photo credit: Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning)
A group of outdoor enthusiasts and heritage buffs learning more about the history of the iconic 1926 Alexandra Bridge during a pre-COVID-19 tour. (Photo credit: Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning)
Major grant will help refurbish historic Alexandra Bridge near Spuzzum

The 1926 bridge, which last saw vehicle traffic in 1964, is major attraction on Fraser Canyon drive

Vancouver police say eight people were arrested Wednesday after anti-pipeline protesters blocked off both the entrances and exits to two buildings in the downtown core. (Instagram/Qtcatspictureclub)
8 people arrested after anti-pipeline protestors chain themselves to Vancouver buildings

Cst. Tania Visintin said demonstrators caused ‘a serious safety hazard’ downtown for hours Wednesday

Jamie Coutts recorded a man following her around downtown Vancouver for a half-hour on Wednesday, March 18. (Instagram screenshot/Iammjammbamm)
Man charged in alleged high-profile Vancouver stalking case that went viral online

Man faces five other charges including criminal harassment and assault with a weapon

A sea lion swims past the window of an empty viewing area Vancouver Aquarium is pictured Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
U.S.-based theme park company buys Vancouver Aquarium

Aquarium had to shut its doors in September due to COVID pandemic

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

A deep cut on a humpback whale is shown in this recent handout photo in the Vancouver area. A conservation organization is warning boaters to be extra careful to prevent further harm to an injured humpback whale swimming in the Vancouver area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ocean Wise, Vanessa Prigollini *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Boaters urged to use caution around hurt humpback off Vancouver

Ocean Wise says watchers first noticed the wound 3 days ago and believe it was caused by a vessel strike

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

Most Read