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2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD review: More power for the better

Among the new crop of battery-electric crossovers in the market, the Volkswagen ID.4 is among the most family-friendly. However, wearing that badge on the hood comes with certain expectations, especially when it comes to the driving experience. The example we drove last year was a 201-hp single-motor ID.4. While it was pleasant, there was room for more. Enter the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD with its additional power courtesy of a second electric motor on the front axle. Will this be enough to sweeten the deal?

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD exterior

2022 Volkswagen ID4 AWD rear three quarters 05
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Not much distinguishes the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD from its rear-drive sibling. The most obvious one is the ground clearance of 6.7 inches, an increase of 0.7 inches over the single-motor variant. Otherwise, you get the same curvaceous greenhouse, the short front end, and expressive exterior lighting elements. Selecting the Gradient package on the Pro S trim, adds 20-inch alloy wheels, and the cool tritone treatment with the black roof, silver C-pillars and roof accents, silver exterior trim, and silver roof rails. The only other hints that you’re looking at the dual-motor version are small blue AWD badges on the front fenders.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD interior

2022 Volkswagen ID4 AWD front seats 01
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

You’ll immediately appreciate the ID.4’s spacious interior. Like its single-motor counterpart, the AWD variant easily accommodates five adult passengers and their belongings. Comfortable and supportive seats, especially for those in the front make long drives more doable. The cabin has an airy ambience and great visibility all around thanks to generously sized windows and a glass roof with a retractable shade. There are lots of clever storage solutions, too, like the removable front cup holders, two-level cargo floor, and the center console bin with integrated dividers and a wireless charging pad.

No matter which color you choose for the interior, you’re getting a two-tone scheme in the Pro S grade. Our test car came with the black and brown combination with white contrast stitching for an earthy ambience. Generous sound insulation adds a sense of calmness since there’s not much noise entering the passenger compartment save for a slight hint of wind buffeting on the highway. Even with the 20-inch alloy wheels included on the Gradient package, tire and road noise don’t get excessive. Build quality falls right in the mainstream ballpark but at least every touchpoint is soft or padded.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD tech features

2022 Volkswagen ID4 AWD dash 02
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Volkswagen’s latest user interface uses a 10.0- or 12.0-inch main touch screen complemented by a 5.3-inch gauge cluster attached to the steering column. While the graphics are clear and crisp, it’s still finicky to use because everything is on haptic feedback controls or buried under multiple submenus. Within the climate settings alone, there are three of them, making it more distracting to change things like the fan speed. Thankfully, there’s a square home button on the screen that gets you back to the main menu in case you get lost. If you prefer voice commands, say “Hello ID!” followed by what you want it to do. Every ID.4 also gets a seven-speaker audio system that’s clear but could do a better job covering the cabin.

IQ. Drive, Volkswagen’s driver assistance suite, works well in most situations. The lane centering and steering assist components gently re-center you back in your lane and will help you take easy turns on the highway with adaptive cruise control active. Turning on Travel Assist brings traffic jam assist into the equation to help you slog through traffic and actively keep you centered.

Travel Assist keeps you at a reasonable distance from the vehicle ahead. The system tracks other cars around you and will brake to prevent a collision if one suddenly merges into your lane. However, it needs to reduce the speed sooner when traffic ahead begins to slow down. Keep the distancing component in its middle levels that way the system doesn’t get jerky in stop-and-go situations. It also doesn’t slow down for turns, meaning you need to reduce your set speed manually if you’re coming up on a tighter one.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD driving impressions

2022 Volkswagen ID4 AWD side 01
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

On the road, you’ll immediately notice the additional power. Thanks to the second electric motor on the front axle, the ID.4 AWD makes 295 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, a healthy increase of 94 hp and 110 lb-ft. The extra output more than makes up for the 223-pound weight gain. It’s like the extra heft isn’t there when you mash the accelerator thanks to how effortlessly the ID.4 AWD gets going.

The ID.4 AWD uses a blended braking system that works more seamlessly than in the RWD version, likely due to the additional electric motor. Transitions from regenerative to mechanical braking are less noticeable, and it’s easier to modulate the amount of stopping power you’re inputting outside of B mode. Although the ID.4 doesn’t have true one-pedal driving, it still recaptures a lot of energy and can recharge the battery by a significant amount when used strategically. Put the car in B mode to get more regeneration and enable it to slow down more when you ease off the accelerator.

Adding a second electric motor gives you more than just better straight-line performance. Surprisingly, it results in improved handling especially when you take into account the low center of gravity afforded by the 82-kWh lithium-ion battery’s placement under the passenger compartment. This amplifies the ID.4’s confident road manners via additional traction, resulting in a car that’s fun to toss around and evokes vibes of a more powerful Golf Alltrack. Since the rear axle has more power, the ID.4 AWD rotates easily but controllably and it’s complemented by the front motor pulling the car out of turns to add stability. Body motions are nicely controlled, keeping the ID.4 from feeling floppy or unruly when turning or driving over bumpy roads. Together with accurate steering, you get a crossover that’s easy to drive in all road conditions.

Comfort doesn’t get sacrificed in favor of confidence because the ID.4’s ride is cushy. Even with the optional 20-inch alloy wheels and the adjustable dampers in Sport mode, the car absorbs harsh impacts nicely and the suspension does a good job keeping the passenger compartment isolated. Tires with generous sidewalls also play a huge part in keeping things compliant once you get onto poorly maintained surfaces or gravel roads. The higher ground clearance adds a little more isolation thanks to the extra suspension travel.

One of the major changes for 2022 is the increased peak DC charging rates. The ID.4 can now DC charge at up to 135 kW, shortening the time spent plugged in. When using a level 2 AC charger, the crossover charges at rates of up to 11 kW, meaning you can get a full charge overnight. The EPA range estimates for the 2022 ID.4 AWD is 251 miles for the base Pro and 245 miles for the Pro S grade. Single-motor examples are good for 280 miles for the Pro model or 268 miles on the Pro S.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD pricing

The base 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD starts at $45,635 or $3,680 more than the rear-drive, single-motor version. Our test car with the Gradient package and the extra cost Kings Red exterior color with the contrasting black roof costs $52,030. The ID.4 is eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit plus local and state incentives.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD final verdict

2022 Volkswagen ID4 AWD front three quarters 03
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Getting behind the wheel of the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD reveals the crossover’s other personality. The single-motor variant is calmer with its chill driving demeanor. Dual-motor versions add a dose of fun to the equation because it now has the power to enable the driver to take advantage of that rigid suspension and structure. This further reduces compromise in the ID.4 because you now have a practical, family-friendly EV that’s also pleasant to drive. If you don’t mind the finicky user interface, the dual-motor ID.4 should be on your list.

At a glance

  • Year: 2022
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Model: ID.4 AWD
  • Trim: Pro S
  • Type: 4-door compact crossover
  • Horsepower: 295
  • Torque: 339 lb-ft
  • Range: 245 miles
  • Combined MPGe: 95
  • Pros: Quick acceleration, surprisingly fun to drive, lots of space
  • Cons: Finicky infotainment system is still there, no true one-pedal driving, Travel Assist gets jerky in stop and go situations
  • Base price: $45,635
  • Price as tested: $52,030
Written by Stefan Ogbac
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