The Volkswagen ID.5 inherits both the good and the bad aspects of the ID.4, resulting in a fairly well-rounded electric SUV that isn’t too much affected by its sportier silhouette. However, it is not a cheap option in a market that is becoming more affordable and consumers have more choice by the month.
It seems almost impossible these days for manufacturers to make a mid-sized to large SUV without resisting the temptation to follow up with a “coupe” version. Sure enough, just over a year after the Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV hits the UK market, we find ourselves driving a more style-oriented sibling: the ID.5.
The design does not differ much from the ID.4. From some angles you might not even notice the new rear end, with redesigned C-pillars, a sloping roofline and a new boot lid with a rear wing.
Inside, the cab has been taken over from the ID.4, albeit with an improvement in finish quality to reflect the ID.5’s position at the top of Volkswagen’s European EV line-up. It’s noticeably more comfortable when you sit down, but there are still some cheaper-feeling elements, which is all the more disappointing given that the related Skoda Enyaq and Enyaq Coupe both feel more arguably premium.
The ID.5 further differentiates itself from the ID.4 and is only available with the largest battery pack available in cars using the VW Group’s MEB platform: a 77 kWh unit offering a range of up to 513 miles in the rear-wheel drive Pro and Pro Performance models.
The Pro develops 171 hp and completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds, while the Pro Performance is good for 201 hp, which makes for a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds. Both top out at 99mph. For those who want to go faster there is a GTX model, but ridden here it is the Pro Performance version. It is expected to make up 35 percent of UK sales volume.
Driven by the German equivalent of the highly-featured Max trim level we’ll be getting in Britain, this trim will offer 20-inch wheels, adaptive dampers and ‘Top-Sport Plus’ seats. Our car had 21-inch wheels, which will be optional on Max cars.
Even on the larger diameter rims, the ID.5 rides comfortably, insulating the cab well from imperfections in the road surface. It’s a quiet, comfortable car to drive, just like we found with the ID.4 – no surprises here, as the pair are mechanically identical.
The feeling of familiarity continues when reaching a corner. At over two tons, the ID.5 is hardly a flyweight. But as we’ve seen time and again with electric cars, a low center of gravity provided by a low-slung battery pack means it doesn’t always feel so heavy.
To a certain extent at least. Although it changes direction sharply enough, push the ID.5 hard into a corner and its mass will become more apparent, as the front presses on it. However, the body is contained fairly well and traction from the rear axle is offered in abundance. Most will find that the ID.5’s handling is more than adequate for their needs, even if they would have more fun in a Ford Mustang Mach E.
The steering is heavier than many Volkswagen products from the last 10 years or so. There’s an odd, springy quality to the power steering, though, with the wheel centering itself quickly, especially in Sport mode. In this Pro Performance model and the GTX, it is a progressive rack, with the steering ratio tightening as the lock is added.
Sport mode also stiffens up the suspension to reduce body roll, albeit not significantly (we suspect the difference will be more apparent on UK roads), and tightens up the throttle.
With all 310 Nm of torque from the single engine available almost immediately (there’s a gradual increase in throttle accelerator regardless of mode), the Pro Performance feels pretty solid during initial acceleration, then picks up speed nicely after that.
Based on our experience with the ID.4, the cheaper Pro version will feel sluggish, although it is expected to be the biggest seller, with around half of UK buyers predicted to opt for the least powerful variant of the ID.5.
All derivatives get the 3.0 version of VW’s latest software package, which is intended to eliminate the bugs of previous systems. In our first hands-on experience, the setup was stable and crash-free, but we managed to accidentally activate the seemingly improved voice command system several times during a general conversation between driver and passenger.
The central touchscreen is quite responsive, but it’s still a pain to use to change the climate control settings. This is far from the only faux pas the ID.5 has inherited from the 4 user experiences – you still get the haptic feedback on the steering wheel with touch-sensitive sliders that are all too easy to accidentally knock.
|Fashion model:||Volkswagen ID.5 Pro Performance|
|Power/Torque:||201 hp/310 Nm|
|Transfer:||Single speed, rear wheel drive|