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

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

The District of Peachland seen from the skies over Highway 97. (Contributed)
Peachland council supports RDCO emergency operations grant application

The district’s emergency operations are managed regionally

Elijah Beauregard, 16, was stabbed in downtown Kelowna on June 27, 2019. He died of his wounds three days later in hospital. His family is raising money to put a memorial bench at his favourite skatepark in Penticton.
Young woman charged in stabbing death of Penticton teen pleads guilty

The teen, who can’t be named, will appear in Kelowna Supreme Court Tuesday

A crane stands in the middle of a fire-ravaged Glenmore Road construction site on Thursday, April 8. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Evacuation order remains in effect around burned Glenmore Road construction site

Assessment of potentially risky crane to take place this afternoon

Kelowna-based company GTEC Cannabis Co. has paid off $6 million in debts. (GTEC Cannabis Co. - Facebook)
Kelowna cannabis company pays off $6M debt

GTEC Cannabis Co. is now one of the few debt-free companies in the sector

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

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 sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read