Volkswagen (VW) has strengthened the EV conversation with the release of its updated 2023 ID.4 all-electric compact SUV. The EV is innovative, deliberate, and resourceful. It now features two battery options, the new 62 kWh battery with a starting MSRP of $37,495 and a 209-mile range, and the 82 kWh version with a capacity of 275 miles (RWD) and 255 miles (AWD). Perpetually focused on helping the world reach carbon neutrality, the German automaker is building the EV locally at its cutting-edge factory in Chattanooga, TN utilizing an $800 million investment.
I love when Automotive Rhythms is invited to a gas-free test ride because it taps into my already clean-living lifestyle. Everything I do focuses on limiting the consumption of Earth’s resources. That’s why I was happy to hear about the V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces of the ID.4. Similarly, luxury sister brand Audi uses synthetic leather in the e-Tron GT. But the most convenient aspect of EV ownership is that you no longer have to visit grimy gas stations and can recharge at home or use public charging stations. In fact, VW is providing three years of complimentary usage through the Electrify America network, which currently has over 800 charging sites.
Of course, Earth requires more attention for healing as Global Warming precipitously increases yearly. Still, electrification education must continue and charging infrastructure must expand for most consumers to feel comfortable with making the switch. The good news is that EV interest has grown 69% from last year and EV sales have almost doubled to 5.6%. Specifically, the ID.4 is VW’s fasting selling vehicle and has attracted 65% of customers new to EV driving, of which 76 million plus miles have been charged from ID.4 owners using Electrify America. Amazing!
Some of the changes to the 2023 model include the all-new battery pack that reduces the price to entry, upgraded exterior and interior designs, new aluminum-alloy wheels, an improved center console, new color options, up to 170 kWh DC fast charging capability (up from 135 kWh), enhanced software with Over-the-Air (OTA) updates, and a new S Plus trim. Available in the entry ID.4 Standard, ID.4 Pro, ID.4 S, ID.4 Pro S, and ID.4 Pro S Plus models, we drove an AWD Pro S in the countryside of Nashville. My AWD Aurora Red Metallic ride came with 20” alloy rims, all-season Pirelli P-Zero tires, the 82 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack, a panoramic fixed-glass roof with an electric sunshade, Climatronic Touch dual-zone control, and massaging seats. The MSRP jumps to $51,295 for this particular model. But that’s not all folks. Additional technology nuances include a rear-lighted logo, Park Assist Plus with Memory Park function, Area View, and Driver Initiated Lane Change Functionality as part of Travel Assist.
Inside, the ID.4 is theatrical and comforts you with imagination by utilizing everything digital. With no physical knobs, operations are touch capacitive. This is cool, but I also prefer physical controls. A 12″ Discover Pro Max infotainment system is the nucleus of the interior, and the 5.3″ ID Cockpit is like a gaming controller. Connected to the steering column, it displays your shifts, state of charge, range, and navigation information. The vehicle is so connected that it automatically starts when the key is sensed. Digital touch windows, wireless phone charging, surround cameras, 30-color ambient lighting, Wireless App-Connect, Car-Net with Wi-Fi capability, and Hello ID voice control are just a few of the advanced features. Armrests on the driver and passenger seats, a cargo area with adjustable floors, and 60/40 split rear folding seats add to the ID.4’s versatility and comfort. However, the navigation needs more attention because it kept misdirecting us during our route to the next destination.
The smaller SUV is pretty spirited and darts away quickly anytime you hit the accelerator. Its modular electric drive architecture consists of both RWD and AWD variants. The RWD model features a single electric motor at the rear that distributes 201-horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. With the AWD setup, the ID.4 is motivated by 295-horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque from two electric motors. Drivers can also set the vehicle in Eco, Comfort, Sport, or Custom drive modes. Even though the ID.4 is not marketed as a sporty variant, it does come with a sporty flat-bottom steering wheel and bolstered seats. VW warranties the battery for eight years/100,000 miles or whichever comes first.
For safety and convenience, the ID.4 is outfitted with VW’s IQ.DRIVE advanced driver assistance technology, which includes Active Side Assist, Front Assist aka Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Braking, Pedestrian and Cyclist Monitoring, Lane Assist, Travel Assist with Adaptive Cruise Control, Emergency Assist, and Active Side Assist. In addition, a new function of the safety suite for 2023 welcomed Park Assist Plus with Memory Parking and assisted lane changing functionality to compliment Travel Assist. It’s genuinely comforting when your EV provides the satisfaction of protection for owners and passengers.
There is no denying that the pod styling and outer space identity of the ID.4 are that of an EV, especially at night when the front fascia’s illuminating light bar and logo shine to correspond with the cat-eye LED headlights. Are you ready for the future? The electric driving revolution is upon us, so you might as well begin retooling your mindset and decide which auto brand’s electric wave you will ride. VW’s 2023 ID.4 is an exceptional EV choice for your carbon-free mobility.