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With ID.4, Volkswagen has electric SUV that
whispers, not shouts
Capable, well-equipped, and nice-looking, VW's entry into the growing field of electrified utility vehicles
will fit in with a lot of families
“We are building EVs for the millions, not millionaires.”
That’s how Mark Gillies, the senior manager for product communications at Volks wa gen, described the 2021
Volks wagen ID.4 on a recent video call. After all, last year the VW brand sold 5.3 million vehicles worldwide —
more than Audi, BMW, and Porsche combined.
After driving the ID.4 for a weekend around Los Angeles, I’m not so sure millionaires won’t like it, too. The first
electric SUV from VW will hit the market this spring with futuristic good looks, high-tech driving features, and 250
miles of battery range. While it will never be mistaken for a six-figure electric supercar, with its airy cabin and
satisfactory performance, the ID.4 holds its own.
Goldilocks of electric SUVs
Electric vehicles aren’t exactly proliferating in the US. They make up just 2 percent of the units being sold. While
many companies (Porsche, Audi, General Motors) are making big promises about delivering myriad electrified
vehicles within the next decade, it can feel hypothetical and philoso phical (and political) at this point.
Still, that doesn’t mean Ame r ican consumers aren’t curious about them. As I was driving an ID.4 up California’s
Highway 101 toward Pasadena on a Sunday, it earned multiple thumbs-up from cars passing by — a rare
occurrence for a Volkswagen SUV, non-electric versions of which are ubiquitous in LA. When I met my
indefatigable realtor several times over the course of the weekend, she, a longtime California resident, asked what
I thought of it and professed a desire to own one.
We’ve already seen a slew of higher-priced electric vehicles, including the Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X, Audi e-
tron, Porsche Taycan, and a few budget-minded ones such as the oblong, awkward-looking Chevrolet Bolt, Kia
Nero, and Toyota P