The 2024 Volkswagen ID.4 Makes Good Changes But Keeps Some Headaches


The Volkswagen ID.4 is already a hit. The company sold 37,789 units last year, representing 11.5% of VW’s total U.S. sales and an 84% improvement year-over-year improvement for the ID.4. Despite some initial, high-profile quality problems and frequent complaints about usability, with growth like that you could argue that VW didn’t need to change much for the 2024 refresh. So VW mostly didn’t. 

The updated ID.4 gets a few tweaks targeted at several of the above concerns, along with some upgraded tech and software features, updated standard equipment for big-battery models and more power and range than ever before.

Is it enough to get someone into an ID.4 if they weren’t considering it before? That depends on how much they’re down to spend.

(Full Disclosure: Volkswagen invited me to Pasadena, California to drive the updated ID.4. I drove myself up and back on the same day, but I did eat a tasty lunch on VW’s dime.) 

2024 Volkswagen ID.4 Specs And Pricing

For 2024, the U.S.-spec ID.4 continues on with two battery sizes—62 kWh and 82 kWh—and as before, can be had in rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. There are eight trim levels in total, spread across three variants: Entry, S and S Plus, with various battery sizes and AWD and RWD configurations between them. 

It can get a bit confusing, but the table below should help:

ID.4 Spec Box

*Prices do not include the $1,425 destination charge or the $7,500 tax credit. Both are applicable to all ID.4 models, whether purchased or leased. 

The upgrades to the ID.4 include a new 12.9-inch infotainment display, standard heated and ventilated seats on the Pro S 82 kWh and higher trims, backlit sliders for temperature and volume on the new infotainment system, more powerful processors for a faster and better infotainment system, available Harman Kardon audio and a new drive motor for the big-battery cars. 

2024 Volkswagen ID.4

But almost all of these features, in fact, are exclusive to the more expensive ID.4s with the 82-kWh pack. Volkswagen opted to keep the base price of the 62-kWh rear-wheel-drive version low, at $41,160 with destination. Since the ID.4 is currently the only foreign-brand EV to qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit for purchased vehicles, that means you can take home a new ID.4 for $33,660.

Just note that your $33,660 2024 ID.4 will have the laggy infotainment from the pre-refresh cars, no backlit sliders, rear-wheel drive, the same motor as last year, and a 206-mile range. That doesn’t sound like a terribly enticing proposition, but at least you won’t be paying for gas

2024 Volkswagen ID.4

RWD cars with the bigger battery and all AWD ID.4s get a new rear drive unit, the APP 550 permanent magnet motor. Total output for the RWD ID.4 (with the 82-kWh battery) rises to 282 hp from 201 hp, a massive improvement. Torque grows even more, from 229 lb-ft to 401 lb-ft. The 0-60 sprint now takes 5.9 seconds, down from 7.7 seconds, the difference between middling and sprightly.

AWD ID.4s gain 40 hp, with a peak output of 335 hp. The rear motor makes 401 lb-ft, and the front motor makes 99 lb-ft, but note that you can’t simply combine those to get an overall output. Regardless, the duo are good for a 4.9-second 0-60 sprint, down from 5.7 seconds. That means the new ID.4 is quicker than a GTI.

2024 Volkswagen ID.4

How Does It Drive?

On California’s winding canyon roads, the all-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro S (as-tested: $55,955) I sampled had plenty of power and excellent body control. It offers direct and light steering, with predictable lean and solid grip. There’s no avoiding that electric crossovers weigh more than their conventional counterparts, but few manage their heft as well as the ID.4.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 feel similarly composed, but most other EV crossovers feel overburdened. There’s no noticeable detriment in ride quality, either, as the ID.4 was plenty pleasant on Los Angeles surface streets. I didn’t encounter any particularly bumpy pavement, but I’m confident that the ID.4’s suspension and seats are comfortable enough for most drivers.

I’d be fine spending 291 miles in the ID.4, which is as far as the RWD one can go before it needs a charge. The all-wheel-drive model can cover 263 miles on the EPA cycle. Both versions with the big battery can handle 175 kW from a DC fast charger. If you get the smaller battery, it’s capped at 140 kW. A 10-to-80% charge on a big-battery ID.4 should take about 30 minutes, per VW. (We will know more about efficiency calculations when we get some longer seat time with the ID.4.) 

Also, there’s Plug-and-Charge support at all Electrify America stations, which means you can plug in the ID.4 and it’ll automatically start charging and debit your account. 

2024 Volkswagen ID4 first drive

The ID.4 also has a solid amount of space. It can swallow 30.3 cubic feet of cargo with the seats up, or 64.2 cubes with them down. That’s a bit more than an Ioniq 5 and a lot more than an EV6. Thank the ID.4’s more conventional roofline. VW’s EV feels more conventional in many ways compared to cars like the Ioniq 5, and I think that familiarity is part of its mainstream appeal.

But the interior is certainly a departure from a typical Volkswagen, and I’m sorry to report that it remains the ID.4’s biggest weakness. The first issue is shared among most EV SUVs. Building an electric car is currently more expensive than building an internal combustion car, and manufacturers try to minimize the MSRP difference by cutting as much out of the interior as possible. Volvo and the Hyundai Motor Group are among the most successful at cutting costs while making the cabin still feel nice inside; Volkswagen hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it.

2024 Volkswagen ID4 first drive

Control Challenges

The ID.4 has decent touch points, but most of the other plastics are harsh, scratchy, and cheap to touch. That’s not damning, but the window switches are. Rather than giving the driver four window switches to control all four windows—like every other car—VW gives the driver a left and right window switch, with a toggle labeled “rear” to enable rear-window control.

And because the company was cutting costs, that button is an imprecise haptic touch button that plays a not-convincing clicking feedback sound out of the central speaker about a half second after you actually click it. That feels half-assed, and unbecoming of a $55,695 fully loaded car. Plus, there are no hard buttons for the climate temperature or volume, either, just capacitive sliders that mostly work ok. In the last model (and the current 62-kWh model) they were invisible in the dark, but now at least they’re backlit.

2024 Volkswagen ID4 first drive

Pushing all of the controls into the touchscreen isn’t my favorite strategy regardless, but you can make it work. The software just has to be fantastic, and the hardware backing it up has to make it feel seamless. See: Tesla. Despite improvements over the previous model, VW still doesn’t quite pull this off. There’s still no home button, there’s still a confusing mix of locations for functions to sit in, there’s still noticeable lag moving the map around, and there’s still plenty of settings that require you to navigate a perplexing and not-particularly-quick-rotating 3D model of the car.

If you want to set a speed limit, for instance, you have to tap the car menu, pull up the 3D display, and click on “Tires.” I get why it’s there, but to navigate it your brain has to work like a Volkswagen engineer. I’m a writer, so mine absolutely does not, and I bet yours doesn’t either. At least the climate controls are now permanently pinned to the bottom of the screen for one-tap access.

2024 Volkswagen ID4 first drive

There are other advantages to VW’s new infotainment setup. The screen is crisp and looks great, with a noticeable speed boost over the previous unit. There’s still some lag on functions like pinching to zoom and panning on a map, but clicking on a menu yields a near-instant response. Unlike some EV manufacturers, Volkswagen includes route-planning and automatic battery pre-conditioning into the navigation software, with range estimates that factor in things like elevation and speed.

It’s also worth noting that VW’s fast-charging perks have changed. The old ID.4 got three years of free 30-minute DC fast charging sessions (or 60-minute Level 2 sessions) at Electrify America. The new ID.4 gets 500kWh of free fast charging and a three-year subscription to Electrify America Pass Plus.

Pass Plus gets you about 25% off, depending on a few factors. It’s not nothing, but it’s a notable downgrade from the previous plan, especially when you consider that a 10-to-80% charge could be completely free on the previous plan. Then again, we’ve been saying for a while that it’s probably time for these free fast-charging deals to end; they’ve had lots of unintended consequences like huge lines at DC fast chargers.

Early Verdict

2024 Volkswagen ID4 first drive

The 2024 ID.4 has gotten better in areas where it was already good and incrementally improved in areas that needed big improvements but is still has a frustrating user experience. 

It’s always been a good option for those seeking a conservatively styled, spacious, comfortable family runabout with above-average dynamics. Now, it’s got a healthy dose of extra power, a bigger, better infotainment system and far better route planning. These updates may not be obvious from the outside, but they are welcome ones—so long as you aren’t expecting all that on the bargain-basement version. 

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