Volkswagen was an early entrant into the world of electric cars when it launched its ID.3.
This was followed, not surprisingly, by the larger ID.4. However, arguably, the best-looking in the range is the sleek ID.5.
So, just how good is it as a practical, electric, family SUV?
Technically — and we’ll look later at that side in more detail — the ID.5 shares its mechanical bits with the ID.4. Essentially, the principal difference is the ID.5 swaps the 4’s less flattering, boxy styling with sporty lines which include a sloping coupé roofline. There’s certainly no denying the coupé look brings a bit of extra styling panache.
It’s also a style-focused approach you see elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group’s electric car range – think Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback and the ŠKODA ENYAQ Coupé, which are the sleeker variants in their respective electric SUV model line-ups.
With the Volkswagen, again as essentially seen in the Audi and ŠKODA, from certain angles the coupé look isn’t noticeable. The ID.5’s design doesn’t deviate from that of the ID.4 other than redesigned C-pillars, a sloping roofline and a new boot lid incorporating a rear wing. The result, certainly seen in full side-on profile, is eye-catching and much more attractive than the ID.4.
The cabin, understandably, has been carried over from the ID.4. Following the principal of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, the cabin is a super place to be. And given the coupé version sits above the ID.4, the ID.5 — which heads up Volkswagen’s European EV line-up — benefits from an improvement in trim quality.
The front seats especially are comfortable and enjoy plenty of adjustability to let you get settled in behind the wheel. As is the modern norm, there are very few buttons visible on the fascia. There are, however, lots of storage cubby-holes up front, and the cabin’s minimalist design is easy on the eyes.
In the rear, and despite the swept-back roofline, there’s still enough space for adult passengers to get comfy. And with the flat floor, three kids will fit in the rear just fine. As for bootspace, the ID.5’s 549-litre boot is actually marginally larger than that of the ID.4.
All ID.5 models get the same 77kWh battery, which is good for a range of up to 313 miles in the rear-wheel-drive Pro and Pro Performance models. The entry-level Pro version generates 174hp, but I’m testing the ID.5 Pro Performance with the larger, slightly more powerful 204hp motor. It’s expected to account for 35% of UK sales volume. It’ll cover the traditional 0-62mph benchmark in 8.4 seconds, and both carry on to a max of 99mph. If you want more 0-62mph punch, there’s also the 299hp GTX model, but range drops to 296 miles.
It’s interesting that the steering is heavier than a lot of Volkswagen products from the last ten years or so; no bad thing from my perspective. And the wheel is rather quick to self-centre, particularly in Sport mode. Speaking of Sport mode, you’ll also find the suspension firms up in this mode to reduce body roll and sharpens up the throttle. It’ll also, generally, put an even bigger smile on your face.
With all 310Nm of the single motor’s torque available near instantaneously, there’s no getting away from the fact the Pro Performance feels fairly brisk during initial acceleration. After that it gathers speed nicely.
As for charging, if you plug the ID.5 into a 7kW home wallbox charger, you’ll top the battery up from 0-100% in just over 12 hours. If you have access to a 130kW public charger, you’ll be able to take it from 10%-80% capacity in half an hour.
In one word, relaxed. But that tends to be the over-riding sensation in most electric SUVs. Take the ID.5 into town and you’ll find it accelerates smoothly and swiftly. And no matter how tight your town centre streets are, the accurate steering will make light work of your manoeuvres.
Thinking of making the switch to electric?
Worth mentioning, there’s a small price to pay for the sloping roofline in terms of rear visibility, which is restricted through the tiny rear window. The good news, though, is the combination of parking cameras and sensors ensure you can reverse safely into the tightest of parking spaces.
Take it on to the motorway and it becomes a near-silent mode of transit, with only the wind rush from the wing mirrors spoiling the calm environment. But the ID.5 will certainly take the strain out of long-distance driving
The ID.5 has a price range of £49,735 to £62,500, with the Pro Performance Tech, as driven here, costing £53,950.
As for a verdict, the ID.5 is a super, practical family electric SUV which cuts a dash in the crowd of what are often pretty boxy, boring-looking EVs. It’s also easy to drive, and a sensible choice for families wishing to move into the electric world.