Friday, December 9, 2022
First Reviews 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 First Drive: A quiet transition

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 First Drive: A quiet transition

The 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 is an interesting, spacious, and well-built model.

Strengths

  • Reasonable base price
  • Good passenger and cargo space
  • Comfortable

Weaknesses

  • The infotainment system is still a bit complicated
  • Some cheap plastics
  • The 2WD version lacks pep

Chattanooga, Tennessee. This year’s big news for the ID.4 model doesn’t come in the form of a new body design. Instead, it’s the transfer of North American production to Volkswagen‘s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. The plant will eventually be able to produce 45 ID.4s per hour, with all production going to the American, Canadian, and Mexican markets.

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

A few new features to sink your teeth into

Since the ID.4 arrived in 2021, the model is still brand new. For 2023, the ID.4 gets a new base version called Standard. This is the most affordable version starting at $43,995. It comes with a smaller 62 kWh battery, which translates to a range of 336 km, according to VW’s estimates. Then you have the two Pro versions of the ID.4 with an 82 kWh battery. The Pro version with rear-wheel drive offers a range of 443 km, and the AWD version 410 km.

Volkswagen Canada confirms that 96% of Canadian buyers opt for the AWD version.  The ID.4 can be quickly recharged with both AC and DC power. The ID.4 Standard offers a fast DC charging speed of 140 kW, while the Pro models offer a fast DC charging speed of 170 kW. This allows all ID.4 Pro models to achieve 10-80% SOC DC fast charging in approximately 30 minutes.

A 12-inch screen for everyone

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

Volkswagen has added some new standard equipment, such as a 12-inch center touchscreen for all models, an automatic parking system, and new seat covers with new colours to brighten up the interior. New wheels are also part of the changes for 2023.

Same power

The 2WD version offers a single rear-mounted engine in rear-wheel drive and 201 horsepower. The two-engine, all-wheel-drive model offers 295 horsepower. Maximum towing capacity is 2700 pounds. Regenerative braking recovers energy when the vehicle slows down. However, Volkswagen still does not offer single-pedal driving. There is a B drive mode that allows for more aggressive deceleration but not a complete stop like single-pedal driving.

Some more contemporary touches inside

There are a few touches to rejuvenate and brighten up the interior this year. The optional fixed glass panoramic roof extends over nearly the entire roof surface. A power sunshade keeps the cabin from heating up on sunny days. A soft foam lining covers the dashboard’s upper part and the door interiors.

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

New colour palettes enhance the upscale interior experience like an optional white steering wheel, as well as upgraded stitching on the door panels. The leatherette seating surfaces are perforated for comfort and feature a hexagonal pattern. You get a heated multi-function steering wheel on all versions. The driver’s and front passenger’s side air-conditioning vents on all models feature a discreet chrome and gloss black trim. The upscale interior is also highlighted by ten-colour ambient lighting.

Technology always present

You get standard front collision warning with automatic emergency braking (Front Assist) with pedestrian and (new for 2023) cyclist detection, active blind spot detection (Side Assist), front and rear parking distance control, and high beam control (Light Assist). In addition, the IQ.DRIVE® advanced driver assistance suite is standard on all ID.4 models, with Travel Assist 2.0 with adaptive cruise control, Lane Assist, adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go, traffic sign recognition, and Emergency Assist 3.0. New for 2023, ID.4 adds Parking Assist with Memory Parking and Lane Change Assist as an upgrade to Travel Assist.

On the road

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

If we do a quick calculation of a two-ton plus vehicle with 201 horsepower. You will have understood that the weight/power ratio is not very favourable. The official figures say 8.5 seconds for a 0-100 km/h. For many people who drive an electric vehicle, these figures are of no importance, it’s the range and comfort that count, and you are well served in terms of comfort. The seats wrap the passengers well, and the suspension absorbs road imperfections well.

In city driving, the well-calibrated pedal is also noticeable, as it brings you from a stop with a creamy smoothness rather than a jolt. Those expecting more performance from the dual-engine, 4-wheel-drive version will not be blown away. The extra power is felt, and the 0-100 km/h drops to 6.2 seconds, but everything remains very controlled. You can feel the more alert response, yes, but not really sportier. The steering isn’t any more precise, and although you can launch yourself into a corner with confidence, it’s a little game the ID.4 doesn’t like to play.

Conclusion

Let’s just hope that Volkswagen will keep its promise to produce enough ID.4s to finally meet demand by the end of next year. That’s what the people at Volkswagen Canada believe. Let’s hope so because the ID.4 is an interesting, spacious, and well-built model.

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Benoit Charette

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Benoit Charette

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Benoit Charette

2023 Volkswagen ID.4, 2023 Nissan ARIYA | Photo: Benoit Charette

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

2023 Volkswagen ID.4, 2023 Nissan ARIYA | Photo: Benoit Charette

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

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