2023 VW ID.4 Standard review by Ben Lewis

The EV market continues to boom, and it seems like every day another manufacturer adds a new or updated model. We last tested a 2021 VW ID.4 we found it a great overall EV. For 2023 VW has added some updates, including a new more affordable entry-level model.

With the prices for EV’s running so high, that sounds like a great option, so we decided to test it. Frugal or fail? Let’s find out!

Still a Stunner

Well, the ID continues to make a great first impression with a bold and capable look that’s one of our favorites.

Up front, the lines are simple and clean, with a VW badge in the center to make sure you know who makes this beautiful EV. LED headlights and driving lights create a wide, sleek effect, while the grill-less front end looks aero and sleek. There’s a large mesh pattern lower grille that adds a touch of sport, while new for 2023, gloss black highlights give an upscale vibe.

The vibe of the profile is extra sporty, with muscular fender flares and a coupe-like sweptback line. Black roof rails hint at all sorts of fun you can have bringing gear along. Our standard trim model featured new-design 19-inch alloys that are handsome and add to the athletic vibe. Other models feature larger, standard 20-inch alloys.  

The rear carries over the clean styling theme from the front, with LED taillights, a nice horizontal bar that spans the width of the back, and a large VW emblem. Up top, a rear spoiler gives some added aero excellence, while a blacked out lower fascia gives some SUV ruggedness. Finishing off our tester was the Silver Mist Metallic paint job, and while we’ve harped in the past about the over popularity of silvers, we have to admit it really suits the ID.4’s design.

Bordering on Swedish Design

Yes, VW is a German brand, but the interior feels more Volvo than anything to us.

Open the door, and there’s a strong minimalist vibe here, with everything in mostly tones of light and dark gray VW calls Stone. You are aware this is the entry-level model – the seats are manually adjustable, with leatherette bolsters and a simple gray cloth VW calls mélange that wouldn’t look out of place in an affordable IKEA couch. Even in a base model like ours, heated front seats are standard. Nice!

Which is not to say anything looks cheap – the plastics are of high quality, there’s tasteful stitching on the dash and everything is beautifully put together – it’s just simple, in a refreshing way.

Getting in is a kick, since the key fob not only allows keyless entry, but you also find that once you sit down the car is up and running (as it were) and you have full usability once you put your foot on the brake.  While there is a stop/start button on the column you don’t need to use it. Same on exiting – you push Park, it starts shutting down, and once you open the door and it senses you’ve left the driver seat, it’s off. Very cool.

Those plain seats turn out to be very comfortable and nicely cushioned and place you perfectly for the chunky three-spoke steering wheel, and a 5.3-inch customizable gauge display. On the right hand “ear” of that small display is a twist-type knob you use to select gears. Simple and effective, and it clears up the center console for plenty of storage.

Standard on all ID models now is a large tablet-style 12-inch infotainment display. The system works well with our Apple CarPlay (Android Auto is standard, to) and we love the simple sleeve on the back side of the console for the wireless charger – the best idea we’ve seen yet. We do wish the display had actual knobs for volume and tuning like our recent GTI, though.

The interior is notably spacious, and the rear seats are comfy for adults. With the rear seats up luggage space is generous and flipping them down gives a huge cargo hold. There’s also a hidden storage space below the floor – great for stowing stuff including an adapter that allows you to charge the ID at home.

Swift and Silent

Driving the ID.4 remains a fun experience – in a different sort of way.

Where the GTI we tested was pure automotive euphoria for the enthusiast, the ID.4 serves up its enjoyment in a creamy, near-silent glide. Like our previous tester, you’ve got a single electric motor pumping out a respectable 201 horsepower to the rear wheels. And since it’s an EV, all the power is available as soon as you touch the accelerator. (Almost said gas!) That makes for quick, effortless getaways, and the silence makes it feel even quicker than it actually is.

One change for 2023, to create a lower cost of entry with the Standard model, you’ve got a smaller 62 kWh battery, which reduces the range down to 209 miles. (Side note, it also saves 240 lbs. of weight.) If you pony up for one of the more expensive trims you get a larger battery and about 275 miles of range. You’ll have to decide which works better for you.

On our Standard model, with a Level 2 charger you’re looking at a little over 6 hours for a full charge. If you can find a 140kW DC fast charger, you can go from 10-80% in just 30 minutes – perfect time to pop in and grab lunch or quick workout! Sweeting the deal, the 2023 ID.4 comes with three years of unlimited 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America DC fast chargers at no additional cost.

Along with the swift and silent powerplant, the ID serves up a very comfortable ride, and the steering has that light and slick steering feel that’s very Audi/VW like. Ok, it’s not a GTI, but it is a wonderful, easy and composed way to get around. Here’s a thought – an ID.4 for your daily, and a GTI for your weekend toy! The perfect combo!

What’s the Charge?

We mentioned that the smaller battery pack makes for a more affordable ID.4, and it does. Our tester started at $38,995 – one of the lowest starting prices in the EV SUV segment. With no options and $1,295 for Destination, rang the bell at $40,290. Check with your dealer about rebates – adding those in may make the ID.4 an irresistible proposition!

Competitors would include the Hyundai Ionic 5, with a 220-mile range, you’re looking at $42,785. The Kia EV6 is a stylish stunner, but they’ve dropped their entry level model for ‘23, and getting into one now starts at $50,025. Gulp!

Stylish, swift, and with a new lower price, the 2023 VW ID.4 Standard is a great, affordable EV!


Ben Lewis grew up in Chicago, and after spending his formative years driving sideways in the winter – often intentionally – moved to sunny Southern California. He now enjoys sunny weather year-round — whether it is autocross driving, aerobatics, and learning to surf.

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