2021 Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover SUV has 250-mile range, starts at $41,190

Volkswagen flashed its electric vehicle credentials by launching the ID.4 electric crossover SUV on Wednesday. It’s the first member of the ID electric family to come to the U.S. 

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 compact crossover seats five, is sized similarly to the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, and has an estimated 250-mile range. Unlike other electric crossovers limited to a handful of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) states on the coasts, the ID.4 will be available nationwide and will start at $39,995, excluding $1,195 destination fee.

Volkswagen electric vehicles still qualify owners for a $7,500 federal EV tax credit and potential savings that vary by state. The ID.4 could cost most shoppers about $35,000. The Audi E-Tron electric SUV costs about double that, and the Tesla Model Y compact crossover costs about $52,000.  

The ID.4 will initially be offered in rear-wheel drive only with a rear-mounted motor powered by an 82-kwh battery pack. It makes 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. A dual-motor all-wheel-drive variant making 302 hp will follow later in 2021.

The 11-kw onboard charger enables charging at a rate of about 33 miles per hour on a 240-volt Level 2 charger, so it could be fully charged in about 7.5 hours. Home owners are advised to install a Level 2 charger in their garages. On the road, Volkswagen ID.4 owners will get three years of complementary fast charging at the growing network of Electrify America fast chargers that can juice the battery pack to 80% in 38 minutes. 

Based on VW’s modular electric vehicle platform known as MEB, the ID.4 shares its underpinnings with the ID.3 hatchback sold in Europe, which were preceded by the Volkswagen e-Golf. Front struts complement an independent rear suspension, but interestingly, the rear wheels are stopped by drum brakes instead of disc brakes. The fronts will use disc brakes. VW says drum brakes are more effective than disc brakes since they won’t be put to heavy use on account of regenerative braking.

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

Even though its about three inches shorter in height, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 shares similar dimensions of compact crossovers such as the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and even the larger Volkswagen Tiguan. It has a much longer wheelbase for more passenger and cargo space despite the lower height. The ID.4 boasts 99.9 cubic feet of passenger volume and 30.3 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats, or 64,4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. 

With the battery pack housed in the floor for a low center of gravity for sportier handling and the motor mounted in the rear for more even weight distribution, coupled with the shorter ride height, the ID.4 should be more fun to drive than the sea of other compact crossovers on the market. 

“It drives like a GTI, it has the packaging of a Tiguan and the purpose of the Beetle,” Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement. “All the best things about VW in one package.”  

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

2021 Volkswagen ID 4

Inside, technology and touchscreens team up for a cutting-edge cockpit. A small 5.3-inch digital display replaces the traditional instrument cluster, and a 10.0-inch touchscreen headlines the centerstack. It can be upgraded to 12 inches with a Statement package, and gesture controls can be used instead of actually touching the screen. Natural voice recognition like Apple’s Siri comes standard, as do cloth seats, six-way adjustable front seats, wireless smartphone charging, and keyless start.  

All ID.4 models come with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and automatic high beams. 

The ID.4 Pro will be available in the first quarter of 2021. The $43,695 ID.4 Pro AWD model will follow. A limited-run ID.4 1st Edition for $43,995 kicks things off, and comes with Statement and Gradient packages. Reservations can be made now with a $100 refundable deposit. 

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