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2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Enough to change the EV-haters mind? [First Drive]

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2021 Volkswagen ID.4

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is a breath of fresh air. (Photo by Tim Esterdahl)

Because we talk a lot about trucks and larger SUVs on the Pickup Truck +SUV Talk channels, some people get the idea that we dislike electric vehicles. (We promise, it’s only the Cybertruck!) The truth is, electric vehicles are the future and the future is coming sooner than any of us imagined. Just last week Ford announced an all-electric F-150. Our team was recently at an event where the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 was on-site, and we got to drive it.

Publisher Tim Esterdahl made a quick video which we’ll share below. Managing Editor Jill Ciminillo and I got to drive it, too. Personally, I think it’s a huge win. Esterdahl, however, has other ideas.

First impressions

At an event like this, you don’t get a lot of time in the car, but it is a good chance to share first impressions. I thought VW knocked it out of the park when it comes to the exterior styling. It’s futuristic without being weird, and it’s actually kind of beefy, especially looking at the rear end. Esterdahl thought so, too. He says it’s actually kind of normal, and I think he meant that in a very positive way. Ciminillo called it cool and quirky, and she points out a lot of cool textures and materials in her own walk-around video.

Esterdahl says the interior is roomy and comfortable but not overly fancy. He likes the clean graphics and interesting dashboard. I thought the all-white interior on the launch edition was beautiful, and I kind of liked the futuristic driver’s display that turns with the wheel and the odd little gear shift.

Ciminillo says the interior is where the car really shines. The accelerator and brake pedals were a big hit, too, with their pause and play icons.

Power, power, power

In an electric vehicle, torque on demand is a big deal. This is what makes them super fun to drive. And the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has plenty of it. The get-up-and-go is smooth, and the one-pedal driving option is fun. It may take some getting used to, but regenerative braking can help save battery life! This vehicle will also be available as an AWD SUV.

The EPA estimated range for the ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition is 250 miles. That’s wonderful for an SUV! The estimated charging time (at a public DC fast charger) is 60 miles in about 10 minutes.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: CUV or SUV?

Volkswagen calls it an SUV, but it’s not very tall (see Esterdahl’s height comparison in his video), and it is only a two-row vehicle. Size-wise it feels more like a CUV. But we’ll leave that up to you.

Something interesting to note: There is no frunk (front trunk) in the ID.4. But the rear cargo space more than makes up for it — it’s massive!

The starting MSRP for the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is $39,995. The model we drove was a 1st Edition and was priced at $43,995. According to the VW website, you may be able to get an ID.4 for as low as $32,4952 after a potential federal tax credit. Not too bad for an electric SUV!

Be sure to watch the video below to see all of Esterdahl’s comments about this EV.

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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