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

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees in Oyster Bay

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Ladysmith’s Taylor Walters received the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award and is hard at work pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction at Quest University. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith teen receives Terry Fox Humanitarian Award for advocating equal access to STEM opportunities

‘Different people think differently and that’s so important for innovation,’ Taylor Walters says

A vehicle is totalled after a driver crashed into the side of a tow truck outside Central Island Towing. (Cole Schisler photo)
Car totalled after colliding with the back of a tow truck in Ladysmith

Nobody was injured, but repairs on the tow truck are expected to cost thousands of dollars

Chemainus Art Group creates mural mosaic to celebrate a joyful spring. (Photo submitted)
Art group members celebrate a joyful spring in Chemainus

Each of 33 squares pushed together into one mural

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read