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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Electric
 overall score
Category Ranking: 4

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $43,995
Price as Tested: $45,190

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Electricity
120V Charge Time: 4.4 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 33.3 miles per hour
DC Fast Charger: 5% to 80% in 38 minutes
EPA City MPGe104
EPA Highway MPGe89
EPA Combined MPGe97
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 250

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

The new Volkswagen ID.4 compact crossover—VW’s first dedicated EV available in the U.S.—is surprisingly easy to live with. On the road, it delivers enough battery range (about 250 miles) for a few days of normal driving. Its selective regenerative braking and 2 charging options—Level 2 and the faster Level 3—are definite pluses when refilling it with electrons. Inside, the sleek passenger cabin is both quiet and spacious, although the materials quality could use some upgrading. But there’s plenty of room (especially legroom) for 4 adults 64 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded. A full suite of advanced safety features (VW’s IQ.Drive) is standard; automatic adaptive LED headlights are a useful option. Unfortunately, some of the ID.4’s controls are overly complicated, including an infotainment system that’s difficult to use and an instrument cluster that displays information unintuitively. The gear selector, a knob next to the gauge cluster, also takes some getting used to. Ultimately, though, the ID.4 is an EV that delivers good value and makes going green relatively painless
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Overall good value
  • Acceptable EV range
  • Plenty of room - especiallylegroom - for all passengers
  • Available automaticadaptive LED headlights

Weak Points

  • Difficult-to-useinfotainment system
  • Interior button and shiftercontrols are quirky andunintuitive
  • Quirky interior stylingand materials
  • Poor image quality fromrearview camera

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4680.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 180.5 / 72.9 / 64.4
Wheelbase (in): 108.9
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Alenza Sport A/S
Front and rear tire size: 235/50 R20
Max towing capacity (lbs): 2200
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 1-speed
Drivetrain type: Rear wheel
Engine/motor: PSM perm-magnet
Electric motor horsepower: 201

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


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