The Volkswagen ID.4 GTX is the all-wheel drive version of the all-electric ID.4 SUV; with more grip, power and torque, it’s even better to drive, and still practical.
We’ve already reviewed the Volkswagen ID.4 and found it to be excellent to drive as well as practical. The ID.4 GTX adds all-wheel drive, along with more power, more torque, and also a more expensive price tag. So should you go for rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive?
We previously tested the Volkswagen ID.4 1ST Edition Pro Performance with a 77kWh lithium-ion battery – the same battery is in the ID.4 GTX.
The key difference between the ID.4 and the ID.4 GTX is the addition of an extra electric motor on the front axle to give all-wheel drive. The rear motor has the same torque as before – 310 Nm – and the front motor produces 162 Nm of torque. There’s more power – 299 PS for the GTX compared to 204 PS for the ID.4. In terms of figures, the result of all this is a faster 0-62 mph time of 6.2 seconds compared to 8.5 seconds, and a slight weight increase: 2,224 kg compared to 2,124 kg.
Another change is that the suspension of the GTX is 15mm lower than the standard ID.4. The GTX ‘Max’ trim includes Dynamic Chassis Control as standard.
The ID.4 GTX offers lots of space for its occupants, with a wide rear seat for three people and a flat floor. The luggage capacity is unchanged: 543 litres with the rear seats upright, or 1,575 litres with the seats folded. There’s space under the boot floor for the charging cables, which is good – something that all EVs should have.
There’s also a large storage area between the two front seats, which could potentially hold five drinks bottles – useful if you’re feeling very thirsty.
Visually there’s very little difference between the GTX and the standard ID.4, so the GTX doesn’t look particularly sporty – and this wasn’t helped by the ‘Moonstone Grey’ colour of our test car – which also isn’t great for photography on a grey day in the mountains. Other (nicer) colours are available.
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The Volkswagen ID.4 GTX is excellent to drive. Acceleration is smooth and linear, the ride quality is very comfortable (despite the large 20-inch wheels), and the steering is responsive. Handling is very secure on fast corners – the low centre of gravity helps. But with the 2,224 kg kerb weight, you just can’t describe it as agile.
Grip is good with the standard rear-wheel drive ID.4, but it’s even better with the all-wheel drive GTX.
So what about performance? Is the GTX massively faster than the ID.4? Well, it’s quicker on paper thanks to the 0-62 mph time of 6.2 seconds compared to 8.5 seconds, and it feels as though the performance is perfectly sufficient, but there’s not the huge difference between the two cars that you might expect.
The ID.4 GTX is good to drive around town, the performance and the all-wheel drive mean that it’s excellent to drive in the countryside and in the mountains, but it’s even better on the motorway, when it just makes effortless and extremely refined progress.
There are drive modes of Eco, Comfort, Sport, Traction and Individual. You can also select B gear setting to provide more brake regeneration.
While we’re on the subject of gears, the gear selector is on the right-hand side of the driver’s instrument display (a very similar position to that in the BMW i3). This isn’t as intuitive as having a gear selector in a conventional position between the front seats, and the main issue is that you can’t see it because it’s hidden behind the steering wheel rim, however you’re likely to get used to this.
The ID.4 GTX includes an augmented reality head-up display which features, for example, moving arrows to indicate a turn is approaching. And the headlights are excellent, either on dipped or main beam.
There’s ambient interior lighting and you can change the colours between options including red, yellow, blue and green. And there’s a light strip running under the windscreen which lights up in different colours – such as in red if it sees a car ahead that it thinks you’re going to crash into.
So it’s all good so far, but there’s one thing that spoils the driving experience of the ID.4 GTX (and the ID.4) (and many of the latest Volkswagen Group cars): the interior designers have removed almost all of the buttons from the dashboard, meaning that there’s far too much button-pressing for the driver. Let’s explain…
Like most new cars, the dashboard is dominated by the central touchscreen, and almost all controls are hidden in here. Before this became a fashion, most cars had controls on the dashboard, for example, a dial on the dashboard that you could rotate to instantly turn up or turn down the fan for the heating and ventilation. The ID.4 has no such dial. Instead you have to go into the touchscreen, press a button for climate, then press another button for the fan speed. There is actually a shortcut button for climate – one of only a few shortcut buttons – but you still have to press the climate button, then press a button to adjust the fan.
Although the above relates to the fan, it’s a similar story for many car controls. For instance there are symbols on the touchscreen for the heated seats, but when you press these, you’re then taken to the climate screen and have to press them again (on the climate screen at the far left there’s also a button for the heated steering wheel). If you want the windscreen de-icer button, it didn’t appear to be on the touchscreen at all, but in an area with a collection of buttons for lights and window demisters protruding from under the far right-hand side of the dashboard – which we discovered that it’s possible to hit with your knee when you get in the car.
To switch off the lane departure warning system and return to the screen that you were on previously takes four button presses. By the time you’ve done that you’re likely to have crashed.
When you select navigation, you get a diagram of recently-visited places, so you always have to press another button to get a normal map.
The issue is that there aren’t sensible shortcut buttons, for example for navigation or radio etc. So you’re forever pressing a button on the right of the touchscreen which then brings up a home screen of buttons for different functions. All this isn’t helped by the touchscreen being slow to start.
And removing buttons doesn’t just relate to the touchscreen. Rather than the conventional four buttons for front and rear windows on the driver’s door, there are only two – but there’s another button to press to change the two buttons to operate the rear windows rather than the front.
There’s an area of plastic under the touchscreen which you can press to change cabin temperature or volume, but there are no buttons to click and it’s quite hard to press the plastic in the right way to get the changes you want.
Another thing to be aware of is that you don’t need to switch on the ID.4 (although there is a button on the right-hand side of the steering column to do this) – when you get in, the car is already on – as per Tesla – and the same applies when you stop the car – no need to switch it off, just get out and lock it.
The Volkswagen ID.4 GTX has a WLTP combined electric driving range of 291 miles. In real-world driving – in winter with the heating on – the car was promising a range of 236 miles.
The ID.4 GTX can charge at up to 125 kW DC and 11 kW AC. Charging time at a (DC) 125 kW rapid chargepoint is 38 minutes to 80%, and around 12 hours 40 minutes at a 7.2 kW chargepoint (to 100%). If you can find an 11 kW 3-phase charger (more common in Germany, only typically found at some workplaces in the UK), a charge to 100% would take 7 hours and 30 minutes.
Electric cars do not charge at their maximum charge rate for an entire charging session – their charge rate typically starts off high with a battery with a low state of charge, then the charge rate decreases as the battery charge increases. See the charge curve for the X from Fastned:
The Volkswagen ID.4 is available in two versions – the ID.4 GTX and the ID.4 GTX Max, as tested.
The Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Max 77 kWh 299 PS costs £56,380. The ID.4 Pro Performance model that we previously tested cost £40,800, so there’s quite a price hike for the GTX.
Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2021/22) for the Volkswagen ID.4 GTX is just 1%.
The Volkswagen ID.4 GTX is excellent to drive – it’s responsive, refined and comfortable – and it offers a good driving range. It has the same spacious cabin and boot as the standard ID.4 model. There’s not much to fault it, but some people – such as us – are likely to prefer less button-pressing to operate basic car controls. The main solution to less button-pressing for the driver is for the interior designers to include better thought-out shortcut buttons for the touchscreen.
So should you choose the Volkswagen ID.4 or the ID.4 GTX? For most people, the standard ID.4 is probably sufficient. However if you do a lot of driving in the countryside in all-weathers then the all-wheel drive grip of the GTX is probably worth it – especially if you fit tyres that can cope with all weather conditions.
Overall the Volkswagen ID.4 GTX is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 10 out of 10.