RE: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Max | PH Review

RE: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Max | PH Review

Yesterday

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Max | PH Review

The GTX wants to be a quicker, cooler ID.4 - can 299hp and all-wheel drive do the job?



Reading the press gubbins, the ID.4 GTX Max is said to follow 'the familiar GTI and GTE lines but represents performance electric mobility combining sustainability and sportiness.' It's the quick one, then, and the most focused. The MEB platform provides 50:50 weight distribution, a 77kWh battery (sitting low in the wheelbase to help the centre of gravity), MacPherson struts at the front and a five-link arrangement at the rear, although there are upgrades on top befitting its GTX status.

The suspension is dropped 15mm over the standard car's, and because this is the Max trim, it comes with DCC adaptive suspension as part of the package. You also get 20-inch wheels with 235-section front and 255-section rear tyres. And it's the most power of all the ID.4s, with 299hp metered out by two motors - one on each axle - with an XDS differential helping to boost its all-wheel-drive performance potential.

Boy, is it a heavy car, though. At 2,224kg, it weighs basically the same as a Land Rover Defender, but the combined power and 339lb ft of torque that's available - and far more readily than any internal combustion could hope to manage - means it achieves Golf GTI-like acceleration. 0-62mph is quoted as 6.2 seconds and, in practice, it feels quick, if not shockingly so, like the much lighter Tesla Model 3 Long Range. The latter is pretty much two-seconds quicker over the same sprint, and at ยฃ5,000 cheaper with a longer, 360-mile WLTP range (the GTX is 291 miles) it ticks a lot more boxes. Even the VW\s charging rate of 125kWh looks comparatively poor and is going to leave you exacerbated that you cannot take advantage of the much faster chargers that are, slowly, being rolled out.



The Model 3 is also a better-handling car, even if it's no 3 Series. The GTX is capable but doesn't feel in the least bit sporty. It leans more than the Model 3, even with the adaptive suspension firmed up to the max, and my sense is the ID.4 has a bit less front end grip as well (although, in fairness, this wasn't a back-to-back test). On the plus side, the steering is much calmer and more intuitive than its closest rival and comes with a nice amount of resistance as you make your turns - albeit without much feel through the rim.

If only the brakes were as progressive as the steering. I just couldn't get on with them and not because they're binary, like the Mustang Mach-E's. You can meter them effectively without banging your passengers' heads constantly against the headrests, but they're just not consistent. Not like the Model 3's, anyway, which keeps the pedal solely for hydraulic braking, whereas the GTX's pedal is operating the regen as well. You know that intuitively because the rate of deceleration isn't always what you anticipated, and even when you're steady on the pedal, you can feel the electronics changing how it feels under foot as the two systems jockey for control. It's disconcerting rather than frightening, not least because when you stamp on the pedal the GTX pulls up sharply.

What it does do rather well - and better than the Tesla - is comfort and refinement. The suspension is fine at levelling out pretty much any road surface, be it urban street, country road or motorway. After any notable imperfection you can still sense the chassis dealing with all that mass - the dampers need a moment longer to regain composure than a lighter car would - but the effect is some jostle rather than a genuine lack of compliance. Add in the relatively hushed wind noise and near-absence of road roar, and it's a great car to cover miles in.



It's got the potential to be a family favourite, too, offering ample space for five adults, so children in the back will absolutely fine. And the seats are comfortable, elevating you to a natural seating position that's more agreeable than many other family EVs that sit you too close to the floor (I'm thinking of the Model 3 and Kia EV6 to name but two). Even the 543-litre boot shouldn't be a bar to ownership for the average household - that's enough for your golf clubs or your child's buggy, and almost everything else in between.

Consequently, none of its weaknesses are deal-breakers. Until we get to the useability that is, which, like most new Volkswagens, is worthy of some serious castigation. Why does the ID.4 have two window switches on the driver's door, with a stupid touch-sensitive control to change whether they operate the front of rear windows? It is easy to knock that, which makes just opening a window is unnecessarily complicated. The touch-sensitive steering wheel controls are no better because they're easy to catch by mistake, and the row of touch buttons on the central panel just stopped working on one occasion - I had to stopped the car and switch it back on again. The infotainment system is no better with its needlessly complicated menus, although, dare I say it, this is the first ID product that at least responds well and hasn't crashed on me - yet.

It is this kind of infuriating shortfall in functionality that would make the GTX hard to live with, and therefore unworthy of recommendation despite its various likeable qualities. Especially when you could buy the better thought out and better looking Kia EV6 - or indeed the Model 3, which is cheaper, faster and endowed not only with a bigger range but also a much better charging network. Moreover, its software won't drive you to distraction. Game, set, Max.


SPECIFICATION | VOLKSWAGEN ID.4 GTX MAX

Engine: Dual electric motor
Transmission: Single-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 299
Torque (lb ft): 339
0-62mph: 6.2 secs
Top speed: 112mph
Weight: 2,224kg (unladen)
Battery size (kW): 77
Energy usage (miles/kWh): 3.5
WLTP range (combined): 291 miles
Price: ยฃ55,555







Author
Discussion

Bencolem

Original Poster:

699 posts

210 months

Yesterday (02:32)
quotequote all
£55,555. I wonder who VW’s no doubt extensive research said would actually buy one of these for that amount of money?

mrpenks

314 posts

126 months

Yesterday (04:02)
quotequote all
£55k. What is VW thinking?

GTEYE

1,927 posts

181 months

Yesterday (06:11)
quotequote all
Am I alone in seeing both the ID.3 and ID.4 as both very poorly designed, the proportions are all wrong from almost every angle.

Even the Tesla Model 3 Long Range looks good value compared to this….

Edited by GTEYE on Friday 26th November 06:14

Debaser

4,110 posts

232 months

Yesterday (06:22)
quotequote all
What are VW thinking with that awful infotainment system? I’ve been using a similar system for about six months and it still surprises me with how utterly crap it is.

biggbn

11,507 posts

191 months

Yesterday (06:52)
quotequote all
Prefer that to the Tesla to be fair. Bit out of my pocket range though. Imagine range being an issue with an EV?

CDP

7,110 posts

225 months

Yesterday (06:54)
quotequote all
Bencolem said:
£55,555. I wonder who VW’s no doubt extensive research said would actually buy one of these for that amount of money?
I'm guessing they expect to lease the more expensive models, especially as company cars.

At the moment there's a significant waiting list.

Stoned

62 posts

100 months

Yesterday (07:10)
quotequote all
While I'm never going to own one of these; in a digital world where power output is nothing more than lines of code, why on earth didn't they throw in that 1 extra bhp to put it in the 300bhp category.

Gecko1978

6,038 posts

128 months

Yesterday (07:42)
quotequote all
Kia or Hyundai cheaper and offer same range better style, Tesla cheaper faster longer range, perhaps issues with build. I don't get the VW EVs. Also they had a golf ev that had a 200m range and was mid 20s....where as this is 55k....yeah not for me.

Roy m

141 posts

184 months

Yesterday (07:44)
quotequote all
Just so I fully understand this - £55k for a car with faulty software, that has compromised control design, and has limited charging capacity and range?

Are the BIK's that good to endure such compromises? Certainly seems to be a car for people that have given up on cars!

jon-yprpe

278 posts

59 months

Yesterday (07:44)
quotequote all
The charging issue is going to leave you ‘exasperated’ not ‘exacerbated’.

ajap1979

5,368 posts

158 months

Yesterday (07:45)
quotequote all
What’s with the repeated comparisons with a saloon car?

Mr E

20,331 posts

230 months

Yesterday (07:47)
quotequote all
Roy m said:
Are the BIK's that good to endure such compromises?
Yes

ajap1979

5,368 posts

158 months

Yesterday (07:47)
quotequote all
Gecko1978 said:
Kia or Hyundai cheaper and offer same range better style, Tesla cheaper faster longer range, perhaps issues with build. I don't get the VW EVs. Also they had a golf ev that had a 200m range and was mid 20s....where as this is 55k....yeah not for me.
The Tesla comparison should really be the Model Y, and that’s the same price. Do Kia and Hyundai do EV SUVs?

sledge68

446 posts

168 months

Yesterday (07:50)
quotequote all
EV6 and Ionic 5

ajap1979 said:
The Tesla comparison should really be the Model Y, and that’s the same price. Do Kia and Hyundai do EV SUVs?

ajap1979

5,368 posts

158 months

Yesterday (07:54)
quotequote all
sledge68 said:
EV6 and Ionic 5

ajap1979 said:
The Tesla comparison should really be the Model Y, and that’s the same price. Do Kia and Hyundai do EV SUVs?
They’re SUVs?

spikyone

700 posts

71 months

Yesterday (07:56)
quotequote all
sledge68 said:
EV6 and Ionic 5

ajap1979 said:
The Tesla comparison should really be the Model Y, and that’s the same price. Do Kia and Hyundai do EV SUVs?
I'd take either of them over this too. I know it's a tired cliche to refer to EVs as appliances, but to my eyes all of VW's ID things really do look like something you'd find in your kitchen, especially in white. Just dull boxes on wheels.

Surely they're not going to persist with the stupid touchscreen nonsense with the massive level of complaint in every single review? At some point they've got to take the hint.

ajap1979

5,368 posts

158 months

Yesterday (08:00)
quotequote all
spikyone said:
sledge68 said:
EV6 and Ionic 5

ajap1979 said:
The Tesla comparison should really be the Model Y, and that’s the same price. Do Kia and Hyundai do EV SUVs?
I'd take either of them over this too. I know it's a tired cliche to refer to EVs as appliances, but to my eyes all of VW's ID things really do look like something you'd find in your kitchen, especially in white. Just dull boxes on wheels.

Surely they're not going to persist with the stupid touchscreen nonsense with the massive level of complaint in every single review? At some point they've got to take the hint.
Tesla have persisted with their touchscreen. Heck you’ve even got to use the screen to change the windscreen wiper speed.

White-Noise

3,854 posts

219 months

Yesterday (08:22)
quotequote all
I don't know why this is being compared to a model 3, it's comparing a saloon and a small suv, they're different cars!?

fantheman80

523 posts

20 months

Yesterday (08:25)
quotequote all
So the ‘fast one’ isn’t that fast. I know Tesla have maybe set an unfair expectation in performance benchmarks, but if you are gonna make the switch to lecy that was one of the benefits I thought. Maybe why they’ve kept it 299, all psychological!
Yesterday (08:26)
quotequote all
This has all the desirability of the Ssangyong Rhodius. Ghastly