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Dusk Blue FE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dealer's first allocation of ID4s arrived last week. There were three FEs, two blue and one black. The black was a demo; the blue ones were reserved. One of the blue ones was mine; I was the first to reserve an ID4 (with that dealer) and the first to take delivery.

First place isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I went to the dealer on Thursday, Mar. 25, for my first test drive and, presumably, delivery. They told me my FE was still in transport mode so, while they were unlocking it, my wife and I took test drives in the demo. It met our expectations (I'll post a review elsewhere) so we sat down to talk finance. It should have been easy because I was paying cash but I had to deflect the usual basket of overpriced add-ons. There was one add-on they wouldn't budge on (this experience is discussed on another thread) but we settled on a price. (Summary: I paid the disputed charge ($179) but they threw in floor mats.)

Once out of the finance torture room and ready to replace those bad feelings with the warm fuzzy feeling of driving off in a new car, I found that they were still unable to get it out of transport mode. Apparently, there is a software key that VW provides. The dealer had already unlocked the other two FEs, so this was not a case of incompetence. (I spoke with the mechanic, who was personable and knowledgeable, and understandably frazzled.) When it became clear that would not be unlocked on that day, I accepted their statement that they would get if fixed by the next day. I drove home (approx. 80 miles, with mixed emotions simmering. Coming back the next day was not quite as burdensome as it sounds, because my Covid vaccine was scheduled for the next day, in a nearby town.

When I arrived on Friday, nothing had changed. Transport mode retained its relentless grip on the car. I looked at my FE, which had been fully paid for and was beginning to look like a big blue paperweight, albeit one that could move at up to 20 mph because of transport mode. While waiting for some progress, I called the VW customer care hotline. The computer told me to expect a hold time in excess of one hour, so I hung up and tried the chat function. After several minutes, I got through. The agent messaged that he would accelerate this claim and someone would call me in a day or two.

Meanwhile, I asked the salesman whether the dealer could give me the other blue FE instead. He had already told me that the person who reserved it cancelled the order, so it was unclaimed. I knew that this would require redoing all the paperwork, but I thought I deserved that much consideration. The finance manager nixed that idea, saying that, since a title had been ordered for my original FE, it would now be considered as a used car and the dealer didn't want to eat the depreciation. (That's a bogus argument when you are talking about a vehicle with 3 miles on it that is in high demand.) But, a little while later, the finance manager was either overruled or had a change of heart, because they offered me the unsold blue FE. Naturally, I took it.

But the purgatorial wait continued, while they prepared new paperwork and washed and prepped the benchwarming ID4. Since this was their first delivery, they didn't even know how to mount the license plate brackets. The mechanic had to consult an email from VW that gave the instructions. (Mounting license plates is not exactly rocket science, but the mechanic did not want to drill any holes in the bumpers without clear instructions to do so.) When the car was almost ready, I received a call from VW customer care -- a call I did not expect to eceive the same day. The rep was very solicitous and, when I told him there had been a car substitution, he asked me what else I wanted from VW. I already had the floor mats, which were slightly used, since they took them out of the demo. (They had nothing in stock and I didn't want a third 160-mile round trip.) The only other accessory I wanted was the cargo mat, so I suggested that. The rep thinks it will fly and will get back to me in a few days.

The drive home was 80 miles so I will have a comprehensive review, once I have the energy to write it.
 

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Dusk Blue FE
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94 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Comments on the car following the 80-mile drive home from the dealer. I realize that there are varied opinions on many subjects, and I don't think my opinions are any more "right" than anyone else's on matters of preference, but here goes:

Performance: I was totally satisfied with the acceleration. At one point in the drive, I passed a car on a two-lane road. There was an approaching car in the distance, so I gave the pedal a boot. Glancing down at the speedometer, I was quite surprised to see 93 mph. I wasn't trying to go that fast; I was just passing. (All this was in "Comfort" mode; I did not try "Eco.")

Handling: Not a GTI, but perfectly competent in the corners. It drives like a VW.

Ride: On my test drive in the demo, the mode was set to "Sport" and I thought the ride was just a bit too harsh. Driving home, I set it to "Comfort" and thought it was just right.

Road noise: In town, it's virtually silent, notably quieter than my (departed) Chevy Bolt EV. Tire noise was minimal on good roads, but on some surfaces (Oregon has a lot of badly worn highways) it was very noticeable. I was disappointed that there was some wind noise at highway speeds, but not nearly as bad as my Outback.

Pedestrian warning sound: Many have complained about this but I thought it was just right. With the windows rolled up, I barely heard it.

Coasting: This was a revelation. Part of my drive was hilly and, in Drive mode, the car coasts like a hockey puck. Realizing that I was using no electricity, I began to appreciate VW's decision to have no regen in Drive mode. When the speed got too high on a downhill, I could brake lightly, knowing I was braking with regen and not the friction brakes.

One-pedal driving: In my Chevy Bolt, I kept it in regen mode ("Low" setting) almost all the time. Brake mode in the ID.4 is roughly equivalent to "Low" in the Bolt and I was satisfied with using it in town. On the country roads, though, I thought the Drive mode was smoother and, because of the coasting, more efficient. I expect that I will be shifting frequently between D and B, and I don't mind that at all.

Seats: No complaints. Better than my Outback and much better than the Bolt.

Instruments: The binnacle on the steering column is just right in size and placement, but I wish it provided more info on range. The Bolt's range guessometer is much better. Like the ID.4, it shows your range in miles, based on your recent battery usage, but it also shows a maximum and minimum, so you know how far you can go driving gently and driving aggressively. I like the placement of the infotainment screen, high enough to minimize taking my eyes off the road, but not so high as to impair sight lines. I did not experience any objectionable lag in the screen.

Controls: The brake pedal feels odd, but I expect that I will get used to it. VW has done a pretty good job of blending regen and friction in the braking but, because you get regen first and then transition to friction braking deeper in the pedal, the overall travel is longer than normal. Anywhere I would use the brakes repeatedly, I shift to B mode. As for the haptic buttons, I would prefer conventional buttons, but these are not terrible. I was able to get a feel for bumping the cruise speed up/down in either 1 mph or 5 mph increments.

Safety nannies: "Lane Assist" is not overly intrusive; you can barely feel it tug at the steering when you wander over a lane line. Best of all, unlike my Outback, it does not beep incessantly when you approach a lane line. I really like how the Blind Spot Monitor works. My Bolt and Outback have a small warning light built into the side view mirror. The ID4's warning light is larger and is set into the black inside face of the mirror housing, so it is much more noticeable.

Adaptive Cruise Control: Very competent and smooth in operation.

Travel assist: This worked surprisingly well. It keeps the car in the middle of the lane, with no herky-jerky. You have to keep touching the steering wheel, which I would do anyway.

Glass roof: While it is not deeply tinted, it must have some anti-glare coating because, on a sunny and cool day, I did not notice any glare and the slight sun-warming in the cabin was welcome. I did not need the sunshade, but I could not live with a glass roof without one.

Charging: At home, I used my Grizzly non-smart charger for the first time. Flawless, and much faster than charging a Bolt with its EVSE, even at 220V.

That's all for now.
 
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