The Electric SUV Coupe That Sells Dreams… At A High Price

A few months after the Audi Q4 e-tron, a few weeks after the Skoda Enyaq Coupe, it was Volkswagen’s turn to introduce a coupe version of its family SUV. On this occasion, ID.4 becomes ID.5. That’s reason enough for us to look into his case.

Volkswagen’s third all-electric car is perhaps the most ambitious of the three. Responding to all current trends (electric, coupes, and SUVs), ID.5 can really set itself very high goals. Especially since its predecessor, the very wise ID.4, is one of the best-selling electric models in Europe. If it has less success in France (it’s the 20th best-selling electric model since the start of the year), there’s no doubt its coupe version should take the place.
But is it enough to profile the ID.4’s roofline and stick larger rims on it to turn a family SUV into a sports car? Also, is this just the purpose of VW? Otherwise, how can you justify such a price difference with the classic ID.4?

Not only a coupe, but also a premium

The younger brother ID.4 is in many ways similar to his older brother. The front grille of both models is almost the same, except for the edging, consisting of an LED strip that connects the two optical units in front. You can also notice the difference in the sills, but otherwise, with the exception of the sloping roofline characteristic of coupe models and a nice spoiler at the rear, the filiation is obvious.
The benefit of this silhouette change is that it creates a leaner, more dynamic and modern overall impression. This stylistic evolution is not a surprise anyway, as SUV coupe styling is at the party with various car manufacturers.

Inside change comes from techno

It would be an understatement to say that most of the pencil stroke effort was put into the exterior of the car. Indeed, the interior of the ID.5 is no different from that of the ID.4 and includes the sometimes separating elements of Volkswagen’s electric range. Thus, the small instrument screen in front of the steering wheel acts as the main display for the driver. Like the ID.3, it’s a weird switch that lets you start the car, as well as activate a “brake” mode to regenerate power. Moreover, in operation, its location raises a question, but what’s the difference, not that this cabin was a model of ergonomics.
Indeed, in the ID.5 we find the same problems with tactile zones that we have seen before on the latest Volkswagen models. The capacitive touchscreen certainly allows you to adjust certain settings, such as sound volume and air conditioning, but its use is far from natural. The same applies to the labels on the steering wheel, whose feeling looks like a mediocre game controller. We’re certainly more demanding than other SUV coupe testers on this one, but it seems clear that Volkswagen can do better on this one.

The ID.5 is the first vehicle on which VW has deployed version 3.0 of its own software. The German group had great difficulties with the software part of their electric vehicles during the development of the ID.3. Thus, each major update is the source of many improvements. Luckily, this is the case for the latest version, which, in addition to improving navigation, also adds some features and driving aids.
The most impressive of these is the ability to train the car to perform a maneuver so that it reproduces it without driver assistance. Indeed, the new “Parking Assistant” is able to record the last 50 meters traveled and play them back without the owner’s intervention. This can store up to five favorite maneuvers and ask the machine to perform them on its own. In fact, if access to a parking space is difficult or particularly narrow, the ID.5 may learn to stand there on its own if it is shown the way for the first time. How it works ? All you have to do is maneuver for the first time, then go to the “Parking” menu and record your actions using the “Menu P with memory function” option. Therefore, under suitable conditions (free space, no obstacles on the way, etc.), ID.5 will be able to reproduce a niche, parking on a block and other steals in the aisle.

The ID.5 also includes an automatic lane change feature. This time it happens on the tools screen. If the markings on the ground allow this and there is enough room to change lanes, the vehicle indicates when the maneuver is possible. Then it is enough to touch the indicator symbol for the ID.5 to proceed to the lane change in a relatively natural way. In this regard, VW is not yet at the level of, for example, Mercedes, but the driving assistance is managed well enough that we agree to trust the car in such a situation.

Autonomy in clear progress

The ID.4’s autonomy left us somewhat unsatisfied during its testing in May 2021. At the very least, it was logical to hope for an improvement in its more streamlined version. The advantage of this coupe version over the classic SUV lies primarily in better aerodynamics. Admittedly, the drag coefficient of a sports car is slightly better (Cx 0.26 versus 0.27 for the ID.4), but thanks to this factor alone, this would save ten kilometers of autonomy.

The other criterion that comes into play and allows the ID.5 to display much better consumption is, in fact, the software. Indeed, as with the infotainment system, version 3.0 software from Volkswagen is also of great importance for battery management. In fact, the numbers are clear. Where ID.4 consumption hovered around 20kWh/100km on the combined cycle, with peaks above 27kWh/100km on the highway, the ID.5’s balance is much better. On our 179km test route, average consumption was 17.8kWh/100km, close to what we got with its Q4 e-tron Sportback cousin from Audi. Concretely, even when driving on cruise control at 130 km/h, it should be possible to travel more than 300 km autonomously with a 77 kWh battery, making the ID.5 an electric vehicle capable of traveling. The good news is that ID.4 owners will be able to take advantage of this version 3.0 of the Volkswagen software. For them, the long-awaited update should be released before the end of the year.
As far as recharging goes, the ID.5 settles for nothing more than average, with a maximum output of 150kW for the GTX version of our test. The entry level version is limited to 135 kW. Under these conditions, a recharge from 0 to 80% takes about 30 minutes.

What does ID.5 look like on the road?

The ID.5 comes in three trim levels, each with a 77 kWh battery. What has changed is obviously the power of the engine, as well as some of the options. The Pro version includes a 174 hp unit, Pro Performance has a 204 hp motor, and the GTX, our test version, boosts power to 299 hp. With this engine and a huge torque of 460 Nm, the ID.5 shows serious performance, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds. And in fact?

Indeed, the acceleration of the Volkswagen coupe excites, like its times, but with all this it is difficult to call it sporty. No engine noise purists would say. But not only. The fact is that, despite its dynamic capabilities, ID.5 control is smooth. The direction, the more comfort-oriented damping adjustment, and the weight of the car, which is felt when cornering, form a rather awkward whole, contrary to its technical description. However, is it really that bad? The high seating position of an SUV and the size of the vehicle do not contribute to dynamic driving in any way. As a result, the ID.5 reaches a rather interesting compromise: agile and pleasant to drive in the city, it can show its teeth when leaving the toll road or in the acceleration lane. On the other hand, approaching the winding departmental road, it is better to moderate your desires.

How is the ID.5 positioned compared to the ID.4 and its cousins ​​in the VW group?

In terms of price, the ID.5 starts at 52,550 euros (excluding bonuses). With equivalent equipment, this is almost 4000 euros higher than the ID.4. The price difference seems significant considering the differences. The same price range is found on the GTX version of our test compared to the equivalent on the ID.4. Even compared to not-so-distant cousins ​​Skoda and Audi, the price of the Volkswagen coupe seems especially high. Most surprising is the comparison with the Q4 e-tron Sportback. The four-ring marque has made its SUV coupe the entry level of its electric catalog, with Volkswagen choosing the ID.5 as its technology flagship. Of course, the level of equipment varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and the price of options, especially for Audi, can quickly tip the scales in one direction or another. Aside from the fact that there’s nothing consistent about Group Policy, the choice offered to the consumer seems particularly difficult.

Judicial verdict

Despite its supposed sporty look, the ID.5 is a powerful family SUV. Driving pleasure, roominess, modern aids… everything is designed to ensure user comfort. Thus, performance is not the creed of this SUV, which prefers to bet on better autonomy than its predecessor and on a software environment that is in marked progress. However, ID.5 comes at a high price for these benefits. Compared to the ID.4, on the one hand, which it is only slightly superior, but also compared to its VW group alter ego, on the other hand, compared to which the difference is not so obvious. Is a good style and a few well-chosen options enough to tip the scales in his favor?

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