There is plenty to like about the ID 4’s dynamic properties, which are pleasantly fluid and quite responsive. This is particularly noticeable around town, where its 10.2m turning circle provides the new five-seater with outstanding manoeuvrability and the sort of nimbleness usually associated with much smaller cars. In this role alone, it is extremely convincing.
Upping the pace reveals outstanding cruising qualities with low levels of wind buffeting, outstanding isolation from road noise and good longitudinal stability.
A low centre of gravity provides the foundation for agreeably agile handling distinguished by light but accurate variable-rate steering that benefits from the drive being directed to the rear wheels, the ability to vary the drive between each rear wheel for optimal traction and, on models featuring the variable damping control used by our test car, excellent body control.
Because of the weight, grip is the limiting factor when you begin to push hard over challenging roads, although you can generate quite a bit of cornering speed before the stability control light illuminates to signal a breach of adhesion and subsequent reduction in the reserves dished out by the electric motor.
Overall, it is very competent and, with rear-wheel drive, quite entertaining. However, it lacks the tactility to be described as truly involving.
But while enthusiast drivers might want for greater involvement, they’ll have a hard time criticising the ID 4’s ride, which is smooth and controlled on well-surfaced German roads. We’ll need to put the new Volkswagen over UK roads before we can make a definitive call in this area, but those optional adaptive dampers provide impressive absorption of road shock, leading to a generally settled feel.
The brakes, too, feel well up to the job. They’re a combination of discs at the front and drums at the rear, which has led some to question their ability to cope with so much weight. Without merit, as it turns out. There’s a firm feel to the pedal and nice progression when you call for greater stopping ability.
Why the drums at the rear? Volkswagen says the fast-acting regenerative qualities of the driveline mean the ID 4 doesn’t need the sort of brakes required for a comparatively heavy combustion-engined model. “There’s less need for the brakes to do the stopping,” we were told.
Despite the ID 4 being a similar size to the Tiguan outside, Volkswagen claims the ID 4’s interior is as roomy as the larger Touareg’s. It is certainly spacious up front, with ample head and shoulder room giving it a feeling of a much larger car.
However, the rear seat is set unusually high due to the packaging of the battery, so although it offers a good amount of leg room, it is rather restricted on head room.
Boot capacity is put at 531 litres – some 11 litres more than the Tiguan. But although it features a flat floor, the loading lip is set quite high, making it a bit of a stretch to load heavy items. Folding the rear seats away liberates 1575 litres of space. There no luggage room in the nose, which is occupied by the power electrics for the driveline.