The Volkswagen ID.4 gets a more affordable option for the 2023 model year: a new base Standard model with updated design details across all trims, and a standard 12-inch touchscreen multimedia display.
Assembly is now being carried out in Chattanooga, Tennessee, although its eligibility for 2023 federal tax credits remains unknown as the Department of Transportation has yet to say. Nevertheless, the new base model’s price of $37,495 is $3,695 less than the 2022 entry level ID.4 Pro’s price.
Through the end of September 2022, Volkswagen has sold 11,072 ID.4s, good for ninth place in battery electric sales in the U.S. market, just ahead of the Nissan Leaf. Obviously, Volkswagen is looking for better sales with its lower priced ID.4 model.
For the 2023 model year, the new ID.4 Standard anchors the bottom of the line-up with a smaller battery than the mid-level S and top-of-the-line S Plus models. A Pro trim option is optional on Standard and S models, and standard on S Plus.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on all trims, but all-wheel drive is available only with the Pro option. Adding it to the Standard or S adds $5,000 to their base price before adding all-wheel drive, costs an additional $3,800. So a base Standard ID.4 may start at $37,495, but the Standard Pro all-wheel drive jumps to $46,295. The same all-wheel-drive Pro model in S trim costs $51,295. S Plus models come solely in Pro trim.
Volkswagen provided a $53,745 AWD Pro S Plus model for their preview drive.
Most folks will find it hard to spot any significant changes to the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4. As expected, there are revised wheels and new color choices. VW designers added gloss back headlight trim for 2023, while ID.4 S, Pro S and AWD Pro S models have adaptive LED projector headlights and illuminated VW logo and light pipes.
Its appearance remains modestly distinctive and modern. And the ID.4 has 6 inches of ground clearance, 6.8 inches with all-wheel drive.
All models now have three-zone climate control, and a choice of Cosmic or Galaxy interior trim, yet the interior retains its refreshingly simple, spirited, yet stark, demeanor. A small 5.3-inch digital instrument cluster mounted on the steering column tilts and telescopes with the steering wheel, with easily decipherable graphics that are Bauhaus elegant — a lesson that should be learned by American and Asian automakers.
Unusually, the transmission switch is on the side of the instrument cluster, and it’s operated by twisting it in the direction of drive or reverse. Its side button activates park. Despite its unusual design, it’s quite user-friendly. Not so are the solitary pair of buttons for the power front windows. To open the power rear windows, you must first hit a separate rear button, then actuate either the left or right button below it, an extra step that’s not needed if VW wasn’t so parsimonious.
Despite a wheelbase close to that of the Tiguan, the two-row ID.4 is less than the Tiguan’s 124 cubic feet of space, coming in at 100 cubic feet. Still, its spacious cabin provides legroom for 6-footers front and rear, although some taller folks will find the Tiguan offers more rear headroom. Cargo space is generous, at 30.3 cubic feet, expanding to 64.2 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. Payload is rated at 959 pounds, which is a little low if all seats are in use and the cargo area loaded.
For 2023, the ID.4 comes with a rear-mounted AC Permanent-Magnet Synchronous Motor and 1-speed automatic transmission is mounted to the rear axle, producing 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. With a 62-kWh battery pack, range is 209 miles, according to the EPA. Opting for the S or S Plus brings a larger battery, and 275 miles of range with rear-wheel drive. Adding all-wheel drive brings more power thanks to a second front-mounted motor, bringing power to 295 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, but range drops to 255 miles. Towing is rated for 1,650-to-2,700 pounds depending on model and type of trailer.
Safety and Technology
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has crash tested the 2023 ID.4, rating it five stars overall, giving it its top safety rating, five stars for front and side crash protection, but only four stars in rollover protection.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 2022 VW ID.4 a Top Safety Pick+, but hasn’t rated the 2023 model. Standard driver assistance systems include semi-automated driving assistance with assisted lane changing; forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking; blind-spot monitor; rear traffic alert; adaptive cruise control with stop and go; lane-keeping assist; and emergency assist.
The new, larger 12-inch infotainment screen is large without seeming oversized. Its user interface takes some time to master, as it’s inscrutable at first. Wireless charging is present, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Little has really changed with the Volkswagen ID.4. It is still a fairly fast, fairly nimble crossover in all-wheel-drive form, with a 0-60 mph time of less than six seconds. It feels very bottom-heavy when cornering, providing a solid, planted feel. At the same time, its firm suspension is a still a bit too unyielding. Steering is quick, and returns a scintilla of feel, while body lean is modest in corners.
Drivers have a choice of standard or regenerative braking mode, which captures energy during braking to help recharge the battery. But even in the latter mode, the one-pedal drive feel is significantly less severe than that of competitors. Similarly, the aggressive off-the-line friskiness of most EVs is more restrained here, allowing for a smooth driveline experience and a different demeanor than other EVs. And it’s very quiet, in a way that life no longer seems to be.
2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S AWD Specifications
|Dimension||L: 180.5 inches/W: 72.9 inches/H: 64.5 inches/Wheelbase: 108.9 inches|
|Powertrain||Dual permanent magnet synchronous motors, 1-speed transmission and all-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||104 mpg-e city/93 mpg-e highway/99 mpg-e combined|
|Performance Specs||295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||As tested: $53,745; plus $1,295 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The 2023 Volkswagen ID.4’s price drop is appreciated, as it makes it more accessible, but even Volkswagen admits the S model will be its most popular with buyers. As good as the ID.4 proves to be, there’s a generic quality to this vehicle that plagues far too many VW vehicles. Its lack of character is amazing considering the company paraded the ID Buzz around for years. How much higher would VW EV sales be if this was the ID.Buzz instead of this generic mainstream people mover?
This is why Ford’s first EV was the Mustang Mach-E, a model that outsells the ID.4 by nearly two-to-one despite its far higher price tag. How much more successful would VW be if the vehicle had been a Beetle or a Bus? This is why VW is reviving the Scout; character counts with American buyers. Its arrival will surely overshadow the ID.4’s more international character, which is very good indeed, but still not enough to make it head of class.
2023 Volkswagen ID.4 — Frequently Asked Questions
When can you order a 2023 VW ID.4?
Does VW ID.4 qualify for a federal tax credit?
The company is waiting to hear from the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding 2023 federal tax credit incentive.
Is the ID.4 the same size as a Tiguan?
The Tiguan is 6 inches longer, 0.9 inches narrower and more than 2 inches taller. The Tiguan also can seat up to seven, depending on model. The ID.4 comes with two rows only.