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Old 02-01-2024, 03:13 PM   #1
robg
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Just leased a VW ID4

We've been toying with the idea of getting an EV as a 2nd car for a while now. Over the course of the past year, I've managed to drive nearly everything from a Mini EV to a Taycan. Our original thought had been to get a Mini since we dont really need long range and the lease incentives were good. But, we didn't love it on the test drive due to weirdly vague on-center steering and a somewhat harsh suspension. Also doing school drop off and pickup without backdoors would've been kind of a pain. So, that idea got put on the back burner for a while.

I periodically peruse Leasehackr to see what deals are possible and noticed that VW was offering good lease incentives on the ID4 making it cheaper than nearly every other mainstream EV other than the Leaf (which we both drove and didn't like). Did lots of research and read all the reviews. The common theme is that the lack of physical controls combined with a poorly designed infotainment system is very frustrating. But, coming from a clunky Land Rover system, I figured it'd atleast be worth looking at.

We test drove one a week ago and both really liked it. Better ride quality than most of the others but without being floaty, and very comfortable seats with massage! Great build quality too. Played around with the infotainment and, yeah, it's bad. But, I figured that 95% of the time we just use carplay anyway. My wife really liked it and said that it was her favorite EV that she'd driven (she often gets rental EVs for work). Did more research on the quirks and downsides of the car, and realized that, for us, the positives outweighed those negatives.

The 24 MY will be out soon and has a complete redesign of the infotainment system, but there are lots of leftover 23s on dealer lots. So, I figured this woudl be a good time to score a great deal on a leftover 23. After emailing various sales managers, I found a dealer that was willing to sell me one for the highest discount. We agreed on the numbers which surprisingly had no extra BS fees, money factor markups, etc. Since the dealer was about a 1/2 hour drive from us, I asked if they did home delivery. He said yes they did.

Got a call from the finance guy the next day to go over the final numbers -- I structured it with 0 down so just the first payment was due. Did a 24 month lease since it wasn' tmuch more and allows us to not be stuck with too long if we end up not liking it. He half heartedly tried to sell me on the lease protection plan but quickly dropped it when I said no. By that point, there will be a bunch of new models on the market that look intereesting (Macan EV, Q6 etron, possibly A6 etron avant).

On Tuesday afternoon, the delivery specialist arrived at our house with the car. He went over everything, ensured that the car would charge on our 120v garage outlet (we only drive about 30 miles/day so am going to wait and see if its worth installing a 240). It's a dark blue AWS Pro S model, so it has all the features I want in a daily drive. I signed the paperwork, asked some questions and the whole thing was over within 1/2 an hour. Overall, probably the smoothest, easiest car purchase experience I've ever had (knocks on wood).

So far I'm really liking it. Just very smooth, quick and comfortable. I tried out the adaptive cruise and lane centering this morning and they worked really well (steering wheel has capacitive sensors rather than torque sensing which is nice). Had the heated seats and massge going and didn't care when i got stuck in traffic. Pretty painless way to dip my toe into the EV world...and see how much I want to really commit to it with the next car (for example, Macan EV, taycan, etc).

Overall, I think we'll be very happy with this car as long as it doesn't make any unexpected trips back to the dealer.

Haven't bothered taking any pics yet but i quickly found this one online (same color and wheels):
https://static.cargurus.com/images/f...-1024x768.jpeg

Anyway, here's a summary of my likes and dislikes:

Likes
-Usual EV stuff (smooth, quick, ease of home charging)
-Good adaptive cruise and lane centering. Easy to activate too (no need to turn it "on" and the set. you can just hit one button to activate adaptive and 1 button to activate lane centering).
-Comfortable seats with massage. Good backseat room and backseats have their own temp control which is a nice feature on a mainstream car.
-Good driving position with well placed armrests.
-Good steering. Not overly light or heavy. No vagueness on center. I know that sounds like faint praise but I'm amazed at how many modern cars screw this up.
-Good but normal interior storage. Some EVs get too creative in this regard and are less useful as a result. This just has a big cubby under the center armrest, another open compartment for your phone and other small items and some cupholders. Perfect.
-Wireless phone charging works well and is well located. Like other VW group cars, there's a clip that holds your phone against the charging pad but here they've put it out in the open and not buried under the arm rest or some other awkward spot.
-I like how easy it is to toggle regen on/off (just twist the gear selector to B). I prefer it in B wherease my wife prefers the default of coasting
-Like the overall design; it's moden looking without trying to be a spaceship. I especially like the rear light bar design. Kind of has a similar vibe as the Porsche SUVs...good surface treatment, with simple clean design but ultimately neither inspiring or offensive. Funny enough I parked next to a Cayenne today and the rear light bar design is very similar. Weirdly the side view mirrors had pretty much the exact same shape too. Again, so my modern cars screw this up.
-Build quality..paint and panel gaps are perfect (as expected with any VW group product). No rattles. Nice door thunk. Feels solid. Didn't get quite the same feeling with most of the other EVs i tried (other than Audi and Porsche products of course).
-Interior design; materials are nothing special but they've done a nice job of balancing mimimalist design along with some nice details to just give it an overall more premium feel than the other mainstream EVs. I think after years of driving european cars, it's also just closer to what i'm used to.
-Great turning radius
-Compact exterior size with good interior space (its only 4" longer than an e46 but has about the same interior and cargo room as our Land Rover!)
-Has a power sunshade for the glass roof (unlike any other mainstream EV). I hated the open glass on the various rentals I've tried.
-On that same note, it has all the stuff I've come to expect in a modern car but that some EVs delete for who knows what reason. Wireless Carplay, rear wiper, blind spot indicator in the mirror, instrument cluster, are a few that come to mind).
-VW announced support for plug and charge with EA on the ID4 yesterday (weird that other VW group products such as Taycan have had this for a couple years now). Not really super relevant since we rarely if every plan to use public charging...but maybe I'll give it a try just to see if it works. Looks like there's a Target pretty close to us that has some EA charges so next time we're over there I'll give it a try for the heck of it.


Downsides
-Infotainment is slower to connect to Carplay than most. Overall clunky and confusing design...but mostly irrelevant after you've configured everything (VW likes to hide settings all over the place. Just today i finally found how to disable the native voice assistant from waking up when it thinks i'm saying its name).
-Interior door handles are weird cause they look like normal levers but theyre really just electronic. Similar to the Taycan in that regard. Exterior door handles are similar to Taycan too (though they dont pop out) in that they look like they should pull but actually just remain fixed-- you're really just pressing a sensor on the underside. Still, better than many of the other silly EV door handles i've tried. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that I've already gotten used to it and probably wont think twice about by next week.
-Climate controls are dumb (unlit capacitive slides underneath the screen). Not a big dealt though cause i mostly just set and forget). Same goes for volume but I just use the steerring wheel. Still dumb.
-Rain sensing wipers don't seem to work that well.
-No way to show media info on the driver dislay. I get that its small, but they made space for driver assistance, nav and trip data. Don't get why I can't just change one of those panels to media info.
-Steering wheel control layout is odd. I actually dont mind the capactive/haptic buttons...its just the layout is odd (example is you use the downward facing arrow to skip to the next station or track). Sounds like this is something they've changed for the 24s. Not a big deal once you get used to it.
-Brake feel could be better. It's a blended brake pedal, but they could've tuned it better. I mostly drive in regen mode, though, so it mostly irrelevant to me.
-Dont like the new car smell in this likely cause its all plastic (leatherette seats, etc). But so far the perforated leatherette isn't making me sweat so that's good.
-Door pockets and glove box aren't lined in felt as they are in other VW cars like GTI. NOt sure why they cheaped on that yet added massage seats as standard.

Last edited by robg; 02-01-2024 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 02-01-2024, 03:27 PM   #2
JST
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Nice write up; yes, that does seem like a good deal and a good way to try out EVs. I havenít driven an ID.4, though I am curious to do so.
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Old 02-01-2024, 03:35 PM   #3
nate
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Nice!

I've always thought these were attractive crossovers and it sounds like a great set up as a daily driver. Good color choice.
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Old 02-01-2024, 04:21 PM   #4
Jeff_DML
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congrats
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Old 02-01-2024, 04:30 PM   #5
FC
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Congrats! Glad you like it. I was very impressed with our eGolf. Of course, it was just an EV MK7 Golf so it shared in all the good things that gen had, but still, for a first attempt at a EV, I think the VW did a good job and the eGolf is underrated. It just had low range and power.

Seems like they learned a lot from it. Hope you have a great ownership experience.
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Old 02-01-2024, 05:42 PM   #6
lemming
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*I love the ID4

I have driven them on test drives and they’re quite nice.
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Old 02-01-2024, 08:29 PM   #7
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Cool. I have alway liked the look of those.
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Old 02-01-2024, 11:47 PM   #8
robg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC View Post
Congrats! Glad you like it. I was very impressed with our eGolf. Of course, it was just an EV MK7 Golf so it shared in all the good things that gen had, but still, for a first attempt at a EV, I think the VW did a good job and the eGolf is underrated. It just had low range and power.

Seems like they learned a lot from it. Hope you have a great ownership experience.
Yeah- i hope they bring back the eGolf one day. Seems like they might (recent electric GTI concept). Everyone I know that has/had an eGolf really liked them and had no issues. Mk7 was peak Golf I think.
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Old 02-02-2024, 07:38 AM   #9
wdc330i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robg View Post
Yeah- i hope they bring back the eGolf one day. Seems like they might (recent electric GTI concept). Everyone I know that has/had an eGolf really liked them and had no issues. Mk7 was peak Golf I think.
I would consider one of those as my next car for sure.
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Old 02-02-2024, 08:53 AM   #10
Alan
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Really great detailed write up, looking forward to seeing how you like having an EV. I have a feeling youíre going to end up with a charger in your home and if you think about it being EVís are our future youíll be using it for your future cars as well.

If you get time over the weekend please post some pictures.

Enjoy !!
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