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I'm up in central New Jersey and went to one of the organized VW events for a test drive at Reydel Edison. I was planning on picking up at Reydel Linden, which is 4 miles away from where I live. To my surprise, Zabih from Reydel Linden told me my car came in that day! He offered to let me pick up at any time and was willing to give me the week that I needed to build my remaining cash reserves (thanks federal tax refund!) to purchase the vehicle outright. In the meantime, they let me check out my Dusk Blue 1st Edition and take it for a longer spin.

Initial thoughts:

- The cabin is extremely spacious. I was blown away by the space in the back specifically. I'm a more modest 5'8" and sat behind me and was thoroughly impressed. My wife is 5'2" and was swallowed by the rear seat space. Leg room abound. We are just starting our family and have two adult passengers typically with us along with a car seat, so it was nice to see that nothing will be cramped like in my current 2018 Hyundai Kona.

- The seats are very nice, and the leatherette felt just as premium as the leather in my Kona, if not more. The massage functionality is nice to have but isn't by any means impressive, though on a car at this price point it is pretty sweet.

- The displays both felt bigger in person than they appeared in even the POV videos. The 5.3-inch driver display is very useful. It is nice to see your speed displayed prominently. Unfortunate that the battery meter only shows the guessometer estimate rather than state of charge. The navigation directions on the right side of the display are fantastic, and I really appreciate that navigation with Google Maps on Android Auto will also be visible on that display.

- The Travel Assist was reasonable enough to access, but it definitely takes some getting used to and I'm still not sure I fully get it. When it worked, it worked well. On the Garden State Turnpike where I live there were some decent turns that the thing handled excellently. It's also nice to use the ACC on main roads if you're driving straight for a while. It does take a hot second to turn on though, and if you forget the buttons or accidentally haptic slide the options trying to fuss around with the controls on the left-side steering wheel, it will take more time to get back into it. That got frustrating during the drive and is yet another thing that can take away from your attention when it should be decreasing your to-do list in the car.

- The capacitive steering wheel sensor for the ACC is awesome. It's not quite the visual sensor that the Ford's system or GM Super Cruise have, but it barely needs your hands to be there, and it's a simple tap to trigger it back.

- The haptic sliding on the main console is definitely a minus. You can get used to it, and I think in time it was easy to adjust the temp when I was looking at it, but there's a decent chance I'll never want to slide my finger to adjust my temp and would probably pull up the climate menu, which once again requires my attention away from the road. Dials/buttons would have been clearly better for this. The volume modulation is easier because it's on the steering wheel, where the capacitive controls are both haptic and button-like. You can still press the volume up and down controls like they're buttons, and you'll receive button-like feedback.

- Having never driven an EV before, I felt the B mode regenerative breaking was more than enough. I understand folks want the car to come to a complete stop without brake pedal use, but I felt the regen hit hard on local streets when you're driving in the 30s. Approaching turns on local roads, I didn't really hit the brakes much unless we were at a full stop. Same thing for approaching stop signs. As Nabih said, you just have to get used to not letting off the pedal entirely. I'll be working on it.

- I drove in two vehicles with the 0792 2.1 update, and the lag is still present. As was pointed out earlier, it is most prominently present if you are swiping to navigation, specifically the default middle menu that has the nav map up. I did not try to change it to see if the swiping lag dissipates. I did notice that if you are swiping quickly, it might not register or lags behind your movement. If you swipe gently, it moves smoothly enough. Definitely not a dealbreaker, but as disappointing as other folks have mentioned in reviews. A release-ready product shouldn't be like this. That said, it feels smoother than running Android Auto on my Kona with my Moto g6.

- Voice recognition is very inconsistent. This can be updated I'm sure, and more functionality will probably be unlocked, but yeah, Siri and Google Assistant are miles ahead. I attempted several times to ask for navigation assistance from Hello ID and it does not listen well. For example, I asked it to navigate to my hospital workplace and it instead provided me options on the closest hospitals without any filtering based on my hospital's name.

- That could be on the navigation I suppose. Nav also didn't recognize my dealership and only knew the Edison location, so the maps will need updating it seems. Once you turn on navigation, it works very well. The screen makes the upcoming movements clear, and ID Light is a big boon as an additional visual cue. Truthfully, you don't even need to be on the map on the main screen given the combo of ID Light and the driver's console.

- I thought about wind noise after my second drive, since I got a chance to drive it on the Garden State Parkway. We had the radio on and I was speaking with my wife, but I thought back to it and did not really notice it at all. I do remember driving on my own the first time and thinking how quiet the cabin was. Definitely a plus.

- I didn't check which mode I was in but I floored it heading into the Parkway and was impressed by the acceleration and instant torque. My wife was audibly impressed. Again, coming from an ICE vehicle this was impressive, and I never felt like I needed more. Admittedly, I forgot to try and pass people on the highway in favor of tinkering with the Travel Assist, so I couldn't judge it at higher speeds. But it traveled nice and smooth at 70+ mph without much effort on my end. My Kona would have to grind and hum on Sport mode to achieve a similar outcome that the ID4 did with quiet ease.

- Turning radius was awesome. Basically U-turns on the dotted divider line with no difficulty. Never had this much ease U-ing.

My overall impression is that I was sold on this car. The early reviews concerned me enough that going blind would have been worrisome, but I was relieved to see how comfortable and effective it was for what I want the car to do, which is take me to work and my family around the town. The last bit of testing will be mileage efficiency, but with most reviews saying that the vehicle hits its EPA numbers correctly, I think it will do just fine. I can't wait to get it next Saturday early morning!

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ID.4 1st Edition
4,718 Posts
Excellent review and insights!

Related: Yesterday I compared my daughter's Mazda CX-5 to my ID.4. Overall length & width is about the same. It was readily apparent to us that the back seat occupant volume is greater in the ID.4 than in the CX-5, with the Mazda reciprocally having a bit more rear cargo volume. So it's evident VW tipped the scales a bit more for the Volks than the Wagen. But of course when you drop the ID.4's rear seat backs they're pretty much moot equivalents.

I'm a longtime fan of Mazda, and in fact talked her into same with which she's pleased, so a good comparison for us. But I prefer the ID.4. ;) btw: Her prior 2004 Mazda 6's only real flaw for a sedan was abysmally large turning radius. The ID.4's is truly amazingly tight however!

I've actually found the integral VW Nav Voice Recognition quite good. My prior 2016 TTS had trouble comprehending the address input for my VW dealership test drive day, but the ID.4 was flawless on this and every other input to date. I just use the steering wheel push-to-talk button and then voice "enter address" however, as a carryover habit pattern.
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