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  • - Last year when Volkswagen unveiled

  • its first long range electric vehicle for the U.S,

  • the ID.4, it warned us not to make the obvious comparisons

  • to other electric vehicles like Tesla.

  • That's because Volkswagen says it's real competition

  • is on the popular gas powered compact SUV's

  • like the Ford Escape, Honda CRV and Toyota RAV4.

  • VW has its eyes on a higher prize.

  • Not just the most popular electric vehicle in its segment

  • but the most popular vehicle on the road, period.

  • Did they succeed?

  • Well, I've only had the ID.4 for a couple of days

  • but I can comfortably say that the ID.4

  • is both a great EV and a really excellent mid-size SUV.

  • It has plenty of range for daily driving and short trips.

  • The technology inside feels intuitive

  • without being in your face.

  • And the really surprising thing

  • is the whimsicality of the ID.4.

  • Like VW wants you to just have fun while driving it.

  • (instrumental music)

  • The ID.4's origins aren't so playful.

  • The car wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Dieselgate,

  • the massive emissions cheating scandal

  • that nearly crippled VW five years ago.

  • As part of its many settlements,

  • VW promised to spend billions of dollars

  • towards electric vehicles.

  • That's why they're releasing the ID.4 now

  • and not two or three years from now

  • when the EV market is a bit more mature.

  • Consider it an apology for all the extra pollution

  • created by their diesel vehicles.

  • And as far as apologies go,

  • the ID.4 is a pretty great start.

  • (instrumental music)

  • Let's talk about the car itself.

  • There are three different trim levels.

  • The Pro, the Pro S and the first edition

  • which is the one that we have here

  • and obviously the first one available for sale.

  • The cheapest model, the Pro with rear wheel drive

  • will retail for $39,995,

  • but when you factor in the $7,500 federal tax incentive

  • plus any local and state tax credits,

  • the ID.4 lands in that low to mid $30,000 range

  • that's generally considered the sweet spot

  • for most of us car buyers.

  • There are six exterior colors to choose from.

  • We've got the blue desk, which I think is really cool.

  • It pops without being too ostentatious.

  • The first edition ID.4 is expected to get 250 miles

  • of range on a single charge

  • but that hasn't been certified yet by regulators.

  • It's possible that the EPA will rate the ID.4

  • with less than 250 miles of range,

  • which could drive away those customers

  • who have extreme range anxiety.

  • Either way, it's not as much as the Tesla Model 3

  • or the Model Y

  • but I think it will suit most people's needs.

  • VW says every effort has been made to optimize aerodynamics.

  • You can see that with the swooping lines

  • in the body of the vehicle, the large roof spoiler,

  • and with the door handles that are flush against the side.

  • Again, not exactly regulatory,

  • a lot of EVs have similar features,

  • but it does show that VW is thinking seriously

  • about ways that it can improve range.

  • This version has an 82 kilowatt hour battery

  • which is located in the floor of the vehicle

  • helping create a really low center of gravity.

  • The electric motor is located in the rear of the vehicle,

  • which is similar to the Volkswagen Beetle.

  • You can feel that when you're on a winding road

  • and the ID.4 is just really hugging the curves.

  • There are four driving modes.

  • Eco, comfort, sport and a custom setting

  • that allows drivers to pick and choose

  • from the other modes to best suit their own style.

  • It's got a pretty good OOP for an EV

  • with 201 horsepower and 228 pound feet of torque.

  • It can sprint from zero to 60

  • in a little over seven seconds,

  • which is nowhere near as fast

  • as Tesla's performance models.

  • While driving, you would expect a low grade motor whir

  • common with EVs, and you'd be right!

  • No noisy combustion engine under the hood

  • means no noise radiating throughout the vehicles interior.

  • As you accelerate, the motor definitely admits

  • a higher pitch sound but it's not disruptive.

  • There is a fake sound that the vehicle makes at low speeds

  • as required by law to alert pedestrian and cyclist.

  • It's kind of a video game-ish, Nintendo-ish sound

  • that legit made me laugh when I first heard it.

  • One of my favorite parts about the ID.4

  • are the front and rear lights.

  • Normally, I'm not into illuminated vehicle badges

  • but there's just something appealing about the light bar

  • stretching across the full width of the vehicle.

  • It's the ID.4's way of saying, "Hey, I'm an electric car,"

  • without exactly clubbing you over the head with it.

  • There's actually a lot of cool lighting accents

  • all over this vehicle.

  • At nighttime, a hexagonal light emanates

  • from both the driver and passenger door handles

  • and projects on the ground.

  • Inside the vehicle, a light bar runs along

  • the base of the windshield

  • that serves as a communication device.

  • If you're using the navigation

  • and you're about to turn right,

  • a blue light will move left to right

  • across the width of the windshield,

  • to signal that you're about to make a turn.

  • It also serves as a status bar

  • when you're charging the vehicle.

  • I thought it seemed gimmicky at first

  • but seeing it in action,

  • I found it to be actually pretty helpful.

  • And the interior lights are all adjustable.

  • There are 30 different colors to choose from.

  • Are the adjustable lights absolutely necessary?

  • No, but are they fun to play with?

  • Yes.

  • More evidence of VW's quirky designs

  • are the play and pause pedals.

  • I remember seeing these a few years ago

  • in VW's ID Buzz electric microbus concept

  • and thinking they seemed really stupid.

  • But now I kind of get it.

  • I mean, you can't call it a gas pedal

  • when the car runs on electrons, right?

  • So why not play and pause?

  • There are two screens, a 5.3 inch instrument cluster

  • behind the steering wheel

  • and a 12 inch one in the center console.

  • It's nice to see a pair of screens

  • that don't completely dominate the interior.

  • The UX is totally fine

  • but for those who prefer their smartphones interface,

  • the ID supports both wireless Apple CarPlay

  • and Android Auto.

  • The screens looked great.

  • They were bright and vibrant, and the colors really popped.

  • There's a home button on the left side of the screen

  • for easy access

  • and the default software felt similar enough to CarPlay

  • that I was fine using either.

  • That said, the ID.4's navigation

  • is not as clean looking as Google Maps

  • but that's usually the case with most cars today.

  • There aren't any physical buttons

  • but there are haptic feedback ones

  • that felt really satisfying to touch.

  • There is a voice assistant

  • which is activated by saying, "Hello ID."

  • And it worked pretty well.

  • Hello ID.

  • Turn my seat heater on.

  • - [Voice Assistant] Okay, warming now.

  • - [Andrew] Hello ID.

  • Change the ambient lighting to blue.

  • - [Voice Assistant] Please select an ambient lighting

  • setting on the screen.

  • - You gotta make me do it like that!?

  • Sometimes I found I had to repeat myself

  • to really get it to work.

  • I mean, it's definitely not as advanced

  • as the new Volvos with native Android Auto.

  • And there's gesture control, as you can see,

  • that works pretty well.

  • Sometimes, other times, not so much.

  • I can see that as being something that

  • probably most people don't end up using.

  • I didn't experience a lot of lagginess

  • in my time with the ID.4

  • but there were a few sticky spots.

  • Now, the ID.4 will accept

  • over the air software updates in the future,

  • so it's not anything that Volkswagen can't fix.

  • Volkswagen is new to OTA updates,

  • so it remains to be seen how they will actually approach it.

  • (instrumental music)

  • The panoramic roof is similar

  • to what's found in most Teslas these days

  • and it was really a joy to sit under.

  • The white leather in the first edition was a nice touch

  • and the air vents are real air vents

  • with open and close knobs.

  • So this might be the car for you

  • if you find Tesla's digital air vents off-putting.

  • The ID.4 uses a front radar, front camera, two rear radars

  • and eight ultrasound sensors to see the world around it.

  • The driver assist system,

  • not as advanced as autopilot or super cruise,

  • but it does have the standard features

  • like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking,

  • blind spot detection and pedestrian monitoring.

  • Let's talk charging.

  • The ID.4 comes with an 11 kilowatt onboard charger

  • that'll charge the vehicle to full in seven and a half hours

  • at home or at a public Level 2 charger.

  • As with most EVs, it's not recommended

  • to charge the ID.4 on a normal 120 volt outlet

  • because the rate of charging is practically glacial.

  • At a DC fast charging station

  • with 125 kilowatt charging available,

  • the ID.4 can charge from five to 80% in about 38 minutes.

  • Now, the challenge of course is finding a public charger

  • that actually provides that much power.

  • A lot of public chargers really only provide

  • about half as much as that.

  • One of the big selling points for the ID.4

  • is three years of free charging

  • with VW's Electrify America charging network.

  • Now like Tesla, VW have skin in the game

  • when it comes to electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

  • And that'll go a long way to luring shoppers away

  • from the warm embrace of combustion engine familiarity.

  • (instrumental music)

  • Electrify America has approximately 470 charging stations

  • in the U S with over 2000 DC fast chargers.

  • Though the company expects to install

  • or have under development approximately 800 stations

  • with about 3,500 DC fast chargers by December, 2021,

  • a fast reliable network of charging stations

  • will go a long way in selling the ID.4 to customers.

  • The $40,000 price tag will help too.

  • But it's still going to be tough VW to siphon away buyers

  • from low priced alternatives,

  • like the Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4,

  • both of which are in the mid $20,000 range.

  • Volkswagen is calling the ID.4

  • the most important vehicle since the launch of the Beetle.

  • And it's really apparent that the company

  • has put a lot of effort into making that true.

  • The company has a legacy in the U.S

  • that it wants to maintain and a lot of baggage to overcome.

  • And fortunately, the ID.4 is a really strong contender

  • in a year that's gonna be overloaded with

  • electro crossovers.

  • But if price is any indicator,

  • it's gonna be an uphill battle to make sure that

  • Volkswagen's battery powered crossover

  • crosses over into the main stream.

  • Hey, thanks for watching.

  • If you wanna see more stuff about electric vehicles,

  • we just did a video about all the electric vehicles