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

Emergency crews in Chilliwack were called to a report of a vehicle down an embankment at Chipmunk Creek on April 18, 2021, at about 4 p.m. (Google Maps)
Chilliwack emergency crews respond to vehicle down embankment at Chipmunk Creek

Search and Rescue join other responders to report of person trapped in vehicle for hours

Alisa Gusakova was one of two Grade 12 Chilliwack students who received a $5,000 Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarship earlier this year. Now, a fundraiser has been created for the teen after her mother was killed. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fundraiser launched for daughter of Chilliwack woman killed

Money raised will help Chilliwack teen attend UFV to earn business degree

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

Agassiz Fire Department has been called to an ATV rollover on Harrison East Forest Service Road on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Google Maps)
Agassiz Fire called out to ATV rollover incident on Harrison FSR

Morning call follows exceptionally busy Saturday as temperatures soar in Fraser Valley

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read