2021 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S
Sets A New Standard For Fully-Electric SUVs
After dabbling with battery electric concepts for years, Volkswagen was actually one of the first brands to make a production commitment to go full ev. The ID.4 was the first all-new design to embody that philosophy; offering roomy suv practicality at an affordable price. But one thing was missing: all-wheel-drive. Well, now it’s here; so with all-wheel-traction now the main attraction, let’s get a grip!
This Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S is largely the same compact SUV we tested last year, but with one important and most essential addition: all-wheel-drive. It comes courtesy of an additional 80-kW motor on the front axle, joining the 150-kW rear unit.
The AWD configuration uses the same 82-kWh battery, so range decreases from a max of 260 to 240-miles, but total power output increases from 201 to 295-horsepower with 339 lb-ft. of torque. More important than all of the numbers, after driving around for a few days in real world conditions, we found we could easily travel more miles than initial indications; lessening the range anxiety the more we drove.
And we also had more than enough range to get to our Mason Dixon Dragway test track for complete testing.
It doesn’t explode off the line with the gut-punching launch of many EVs, but it does have decent power, hitting 60 in 5.5-seconds. We didn’t get a chance to track test the rear-wheel-drive version, but this one feels considerably faster. Power stays full and uniform all the way down the track, with no gear changes to interrupt the process. Smooth and steady, for a 14.3-second ¼-mile at 97 miles-per-hour.
Electric vehicles generally benefit greatly from a lower center of gravity, and the ID.4 exploits that to the full. Combine that with the additional AWD-grip, and it really did feel glued to the ground through our slalom course.
Steering was very responsive-- almost intuitive, as it seemed to know exactly what we had in mind as soon as we started to turn the wheel. There is some body roll and stability control will intervene if you turn in too aggressively; but, the experience was almost “Porsche-like” according to one of our test drivers.
Safe and sturdy feeling in our braking test. Stops from 60 averaged a good 110-feet, with minimal nose dive and nice firm pedal feel.
Some of our favorite aspects of the ID.4, and the big reasoning behind it earning our 2022 Drivers’ Choice Award for Best EV, are that it drives just like the SUV you’re used to, and it’s just as practical too. Not only is there decent cargo space in back for a wide range of family adventures, but there’s plenty up front for all of those small items we seem to bring with us, as well as plenty of room for everyone to get comfortable.
Like most EVs, some controls are a little quirky compared to what most people are used to. Primarily the shifter, which is mounted on a bracket coming off of the gauge panel, and is not clear at first exactly how to operate it. Materials? A mixed bag. There are some hard plastics but most are quite nice.
The S in Pro S stands for “Statement,” and helping you declare your upgraded credentials are leatherette-covered seats, 30-color mood lighting, and a larger 12-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment display. VW’s IQ.DRIVE safety and advanced driving assist systems are standard with all ID.4s.
Government Fuel Economy MPGe Ratings are 98-City, 88-Highway, and 93-Combined; with an efficiency rating of 36 kWh/100 miles.
Adding all-wheel-drive is just the 2nd chapter of this ongoing ID.4 story which looks like to be a real page-turner; as ’22 models will get increased range as well as a more powerful onboard charger. And coming for ’23 will be an entry-level model with considerably lower pricing.
For now, AWD pricing starts at $44,870 for the Pro before any available tax credits; $49,370 for this Pro S. That makes the Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro the least expensive all-wheel-drive Battery Electric you can get. It probably won’t stay that way for long, but taken as a whole, the ID.4 sets a new standard for full on electric SUVs.
- Motor: 80-kW Front, 150-kW Rear
- Battery: 82-kWh
- EV Range: 260 miles
- Efficiency: 36 kWh/100 miles
- Horsepower: 295
- Torque: 339 lb-ft
- 0-60 mph: 5.5 seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 14.3 seconds at 97 mph
- 60-0 Stopping Distance: 110-feet