2023 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S

Howdy hoons, it’s me Will, and I’m back with more new car reviews. I’ve been on a crossover bender, there was Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, the Toyota Venza, and now they sent me this VW ID.4 AWD Pro S. This is my second go in the all-electric ID.4, I spent a week with a 2021 ID.4 Pro S and…well I wasn’t a huge fan. So, ideally this upgraded 2023 version will fix some of the issues I had with the ID.4 a couple of model years ago. Let’s giiit it on!

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Overview

For 2023 VW will sell you an ID.4 in one of four trim levels: Standard, Pro, Pro S and Pro S Plus. You’ll get an 82-kWh battery pack and a choice of RWD or AWD in most trim levels. However, the “Standard” trim is new for 2023 and comes with 60-kWh battery, is only available with RWD, and drops the entry price for the ID.4 to a very reasonable $38,994 starting MSRP. As you can see below, the Pro is in the mid to upper $40K range, The Pro S starts just under, and crests the $50K mark in AWD guise like our tester, while the Pro S Plus will hit around $55K in top spec.

Volkswagen did a good job delivering a bit of a “something for everyone” with the ID.4 lineup, those looking to get into an EV relatively inexpensively will have the option of choosing the Standard model. If you don’t need AWD or a range of (much) more than 200 miles, it’s a good option. Automakers have been racing to hit that magic $35K mark in a decent sized (compact or better) EV crossover, and VW is getting damn close.

I’ll let you read through the window sticker above, the Pro S is a nice spot in the ID.4 lineup. It’s got a solid range of up to 275 miles when equipped with RWD, but that drops to 255 miles with AWD. Our tester only adds $395 for Aurora Red Metallic paint bringing the all-in tally to $52,985 with destination charge. Most EVs in this segment with AWD are priced from just above $40K and can easily crest $60K, so the Pro S AWD lands right in the middle of that range. Let’s get into some details to find out if it should make your list, or will it once again land in the “nah” category like the 2021 I tested.

 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S Inside & Out

The ID.4 has a clean design, without a lot of unnecessary character lines or overly designed elements. The front actually reminds me of a Golf GTI with nicely sized headlights joined in the middle with a light bar. The rear shares that same pattern with a long LED strip crossing the back of the ID.4 and a lit VW logo in the middle. Like when hybrids first hit the market, automakers are all using similar methods to highlight that their vehicle is an EV. In this case it’s the front and rear lighting that spans the width of the vehicle, you see it on everything from the Ford Lightning to the Mercedes-Benz EQS. In this case it works and I even dig the raised “ID.4” lettering on the back. I dig the wheel design, it’s a good mix of bright and dark with a fun spoke pattern.

Overall, a very solid rating on the exterior styling. The ID.4 isn’t over-styled and has a few nice touches to help it stand out.

So that means it’s time to delve into the interior, for better or worse. I’ll start on a positive note, the layout remains clean and free of busy details. For 2023 VW upgraded the standard screen to 12-inches (up from 10-inches) and their infotainment software is pretty straightforward and easy to use. Naturally there was Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration (with wireless capability for both) and a digital gauge cluster sitting up inside the steering wheel.

VW gives you the option of black and grey leatherette or white leatherette for the seats. They seats were fairly comfortable and would be a solid long-distance cruiser (255 miles at a time). The center console has plenty of space for drinks and a spot to stash your phone that also doubles as a wireless charging area.

So, that’s the good, now back to those buttons, or lack thereof. Just like in the Golf GTI I just drove, there aren’t any. Even the key fob doesn’t have real buttons, just flat spots to press. I have to hope that buyers will just “get used to it”, but over the week I spent in the ID.4 I had a hard time hitting the right spot. I also hate that there are not four window switches, you have to put two down, then press “rear”, and then put two down.

The cargo area isn’t massive, but the 30.3 cubic feet of space wasn’t bad (by comparison the Mach-E has 34.4 cubes) and was adequate for hockey practice, which is my big metric. You’ll get 64.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Passenger space in said rear seat was a little cramped, depending on the placement of the front seats. My above-average height 15 year-old daughter had to squeeze in a little to sit behind me, the 37.1-inches of rear legroom is again a bit less than the Mach-E.

Out on the road, the ID.4 feels livelier than the 2021 I drove. However, it still struggles a bit to get its 4,877 pound curb weight moving with only 295 horsepower. VW cites a 5.8 second trip to 60 mph, likely assisted by the instant torque (339 lb-ft) which would have been quick back in the sport-compact car era. However, today while almost every EV I drive seems “fast”, the ID.4 just didn’t. However, for the average buyer who isn’t as hoon-focused as I am, the ID.4 will likely do what it’s called upon to do, cruise silently around town in relative comfort.

Wait, I forgot, there is one button, the power button! But I’m not sure why it is where the key would go in a regular gas car (photo above left).

 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S Summary

I think one of the interesting things about electrical vehicles was that initially they seemed very unique and different and interesting. I actually like that the ID.4 feels like a regular car. But even as a regular car, it’s not particularly good at any one thing. It’s just kind of there. Which is probably fine for most buyers, I just found it a bit of a struggle to enjoy.

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3 responses to “ 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S”

  1. J.S> Avatar

    Do those silly hubcaps keep spinning after the vehicle has stopped?

  2. George G Avatar
    George G

    I just can’t get excited about another electric suv thing. Just no interest at all.

  3. Sjalabais Avatar

    Everything on the ID4, the lacklustre design, the meh features and driving feel, the lack of passion and interest everywhere just comes across as…boring. On paper, great! In real life, not very competitive. I dislike how this sounds like a Top Gear conclusion of old, but it’s just true.