In the middle of December we finally have another onset of winter in the real north. In front of the door is the ID.4 with the 80% charged battery, we start the first winter test for a day in the middle of a dense snow flurry. A hand’s breadth of snow has already spread over the ID.4 like a coat. So first scrape the windows and then take a seat in the cool seat. With that, the trip into what feels like the first real winter for years begins in December. How does the ID.4 fare in the winter endurance test?
In the test we have the VW ID.4 Pro with a 150 kW electric motor and the large 77 kWh battery pack. The mouse-grey metallic finish matches the subtle appearance of the functionally cool ID.4. As a sandwich model between the ID.3 and the large-format ID.5, its design and possible uses primarily appeal to families and those interested in space, for example for leisure or sports activities.
The large battery pack is not only interesting for long-distance trips, but also shows qualities in winter that many electric cars are denied, namely winter suitability. Shortly after the start, despite the crisp night frosts, an available range of 208 kilometers is still displayed. Even in harsh winters, all important errands in the vicinity can be easily done with it.
Ride comfort as standard
But first, let's take a look at the details in the cockpit. Forward or reverse gear is engaged using a compact gusset at the top right behind the steering wheel. Cleverly solved and space-saving for the center console, this medium is also combined with a tip for the electronic parking brake. Four driving modes can be called up before and during the journey. In addition to the usual ECO, Comfort and Sport modes, everyone can configure an individual setting according to their own ideas. The huge panoramic glass roof is combined with an activatable sun protection.
In the spacious center console there are a total of four USB-C ports for both the front and the rear seats and, of course, a charging cradle for everyday mobile use. The all-round view is somewhat restricted due to the small rear window and the massive C-pillar. It is compensated for when maneuvering by the reversing camera and the parking sensors, which worked perfectly despite the snow disturbances. There is ample legroom in the front and rear seats, you can experience enough freedom even on long journeys.
The setting options for recuperation are somewhat limited, you can use the gusset on the steering wheel to switch from normal drive mode to brake mode with stronger deceleration and higher energy recovery. Of course, this is not a one-pedal mode and in certain situations it is necessary to press the brakes. The ID.4 Pro compensates for this with a sophisticated distance system to the vehicle driving in front and a sophisticated detection of the maximum speed.
If the adaptive cruise control is activated, the adjustable distances are maintained and the maximum speeds are automatically updated while driving via traffic sign recognition. We tested this extensively on 1.200 kilometers of the Kiel-Cologne-Kiel motorway on the A1 and A7. The overtaking maneuvers can also be estimated well if you drive on sight and cut into the flowing traffic in good time.
We were also able to take a good look at the charging speeds on this long-distance journey. We were able to charge up to 130 kW at the public fast charging stations. Volkswagen will probably have to top that a bit with the next upgrade, because the competition like the Kia EV6 and Hyundai IONIQ5 are still ahead. But at least the battery is charged up to 40% within a good 80 minutes for the next sections of the route. Unfortunately, AC charging is still limited to 11 kW.
The onset of winter
Then came the onset of winter in the middle of December. Freezing cold nights with up to minus 10 degrees and during the day the temperatures did not rise significantly. Interesting terrain for electric cars, which are always said to be unsuitable for winter use. After we got in, all settings for the climate control could be quickly selected via the main menu. Once activated, the windscreen and rear heating are active within a short time and the seat and steering wheel heating also react quickly. We can take off within half a minute.
And even in ice-cold conditions, the ID.4 Pro can achieve an acceptable range despite the seat and steering wheel heating being switched on. You can see the conditions on our photo gallery. On the partially cleared roads, we managed to get across the roads in a stable manner over the snow and the ABS and lane stabilization assistants became active during braking manoeuvres. During our test drives, we were able to achieve a range of over 200 km in winter with a fully charged battery.
In the first acute onset of winter, the ID.4 Pro was able to impress with a sophisticated climate concept and fast-acting front and rear window heaters, even over longer distances. In the long-distance test in the direction of Cologne, the well-engineered adaptive cruise control in combination with traffic sign recognition and automated speed adjustment appealed. For the future, the desire for a higher charging speed will remain an important factor for electric cars, especially in colder seasons.
Test from winter 2022/2023
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