Volkswagen just revealed that the ID.4 will start its career in the US for $39,995 before the federal tax credit. If you count on it, it can cost as low as $32,495 – or $ 5,495 less than a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus. At this point, you are probably asking yourself if it has other appealing features to seduce buyers, and we’ll try to answer that with what Volkswagen told InsideEVs so far.
The first argument in favor of the ID.4 apart from pricing is that it is a crossover, not a sedan. That makes it more appealing to families and people in need of space for kids, pets, and bags with more style than minivans used to offer.
If you think it through, the ID.4 should compete with the Tesla Model Y, not with the Tesla Model 3, but its value makes it $9,995 cheaper than the Californian crossover – also before the federal tax credit. Include it and the price difference is $17,495, which may allow you to buy a decent used EV.
VW has also revealed lease pricing for the ID.4. VW states, "For highly qualified customers through Volkswagen Credit, the monthly lease payment for a 36-month lease with 10,000 miles a year, is $379 per month with $3,579 due at signing, excluding tax, title, license, options and dealer fees."
If the ID.4 is so much cheaper than the Model Y, what about its dimensions? It is indeed a smaller vehicle, at 180.5 inches long, 72.9 inches wide, 64.4 inches tall, and with a wheelbase of 108.9 inches. The Model Y’s dimensions are respectively 187 inches, 75.6 inches, 63.9 inches, and 113.8 inches.
That starts the aspects in which the ID.4 is beaten the Model Y, such as roominess. Tesla informs its crossover has 68 cubic feet of cargo space, but that includes the frunk and is measured with the second row of seats folded.
The Volkswagen ID.4 has no frunk (front trunk), but it does offer 64.2 cubic feet of room with the seats folded and 30.3 cubic feet only in the trunk. Unfortunately, Tesla does not inform the size of the Model Y's luggage compartment alone. Considering the ID.4 is so much shorter than the Model Y, it indicates Volkswagen has done a good job of maximizing space in its crossover.
The ID.4 will be offered only in RWD at first. It will come standard with the roof painted in the same color of the rest of the car, 19-in wheels, black roof rails, heated side mirrors, and heated washer nozzles on the outside. Inside, the ID.4 offers six-way adjustable seats, black piano finishing, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, keyless access, wireless mobile charging, wireless App-Connect, Volkswagen Car-Net (which provides in-car 4G LTE WiFi capability to up to four devices if you subscribe to a data plan), and heated steering wheel.
Regarding the drivetrain, it offers 201 horsepower from the single rear motor and a battery pack of 82 kWh (77 kWh usable).
Volkswagen promises an EPA range of around 250 miles but official numbers have yet to be published. It would be nice to know if the company decided to perform the shorter or the more extended EPA cycle test. Tesla goes with the longer one, which allows it to claim better numbers. Most other manufacturers go with the shorter one, one of the explanations for the modest numbers of the Porsche Taycan, as Car and Driver explained a while ago.
One of the most curious pieces of information about the ID.4 is that it uses drum brakes for the rear wheels. According to Volkswagen, it has to do with EV peculiarities. Because of regenerative braking, drum brakes would be more effective than discs “after long periods of not being put to heavy use.”
That makes sense. We have already seen the guys at the Electrified Garage comment about that. With exposed components, discs often rust when they are not used for long. In that sense – and even if drum brakes also cost less and help reduce the price – the way they are built may preserve them for more time.
The VW ID.4’s most expensive version will be the 302-hp AWD Pro, to be sold for $43,695 “later in 2021.” To the standard items we already mentioned, it adds a heated windshield and a tow hitch. Its price can increase to up to $49,695 if it includes the Statement and the Gradient packages.
The first one costs $4,500 and adds a premium LED projector headlights with AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System), 12-way power seats with massage lumbar and memory, satellite radio with a three-month trial, adjustable trunk floor, power tailgate, power-folding side mirrors, 30-color ambient lighting, and a panoramic glass roof.
The second one requires the Statement package, or else, you can only have the $1,500 Gradient package if you buy the Statement package first. With it, customers get 20-in wheels, black roof, and silver roof rails and seats.
The limited-series 1st Edition costs $43,995, but it comes with the Statement and Gradient packages already included. That can be seen as a bargain if you are willing to be one of the first customers to have the car – something engineers do not advise you to do.
Buyers will be able to order the ID.4 in six colors: Glacier White Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Moonstone Grey, Scale Silver Metallic, Blue Dusk Metallic, and King’s Red Metallic.
People wanting to buy the ID.4 can reserve one for a refundable $100 deposit. When the production starts at Zwickau, Germany, these customers will have to confirm their reservations with another deposit of $400, also refundable. The ID.4 will be sold in all fifty US states, through a network of “more than 600 dealers,” which gives VW an impressive reach.
In 2022, Volkswagen expects to start manufacturing the ID.4 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. When that happens, the pricing for the entry-level version of the car will drop to around $35,000. We are not sure if it will keep the three-year offer of free fast charging at Electrify America. That may depend on the demand for the new electric crossover, and we have no reasons to believe it will be low, on the contrary.