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ELECTRIC DREAM First Drive: Volkswagen's latest EV ticks all of the boxes

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The Volkswagen ID.4 is impressive so many levels

The Volkswagen ID.4 is impressive so many levels

The interior is as impressive as the exterior

The interior is as impressive as the exterior

The ID.4 is one of the biggest EVs on the market

The ID.4 is one of the biggest EVs on the market

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The Volkswagen ID.4 is impressive so many levels

Volkswagen - ID.4 (1st Edition Max)

The Volkswagen group is vying for my two-in-a-row gong. Last year the German brand scooped my top award for Car of the Year with its ID.3 and this year it's going to push me hard again with the arrival of the all-new, fully-electric ID.4.

The first thing that I noticed when I saw it in the flesh for the first time is how big it is. It's a fine big bus that shares similar head and legroom with its Tiguan Allspace sibling.

It's a very smart and futuristic-looking machine that turned a few heads during the week when I got behind the wheel for a quick spin.

Volkswagen claims that the new ID.4's vehicle body is that of an 'athlete', I'm not too sure which athlete the company is talking about but it does sit on rather large wheels that hint at its sportiness and off-road suitability.

On the inside, the all-new ID.4 is airy and roomy. There is a commanding view of the road for the driver and visibility is good all round, even with its sloping roofline.

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The interior is as impressive as the exterior

The interior is as impressive as the exterior

The interior is as impressive as the exterior

In the second row of seats, there is a similar amount of legroom to a Tiguan Allspace, while the headroom on all five seats is slightly better too.

The boot can accommodate 543 litres of luggage, a figure that increases to 1,575 litres when the seats are folded, while the roof railings, which are fitted as standard, offer an extra 75 kilogram load if needed.

Elsewhere in the cabin, the ID.4 shares almost all the same switchgear as the ID.3 with a little fine tuning here and there.

On the road, the new ID.4 handles really well. I am fortunate enough to have both the M50 and the Dublin mountains on my doorstep where I put the ID.4 through its paces without breaking any lockdown rules, and it never put a foot wrong - even on the greasy, meandering roads around the famous Hell Fire club.

Now down to the most important part - the range. The ID.4 shares the same 204bhp fully-electric drivetrain as the ID.3. Being a heavier model you would expect it to be a tad slower than the smaller variant - but it's not.

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The ID.4 is one of the biggest EVs on the market

The ID.4 is one of the biggest EVs on the market

The ID.4 is one of the biggest EVs on the market

It has ample acceleration to match any petrol or diesel SUV of similar size with all the power going to the rear wheels.

Volkswagen claim that the new ID.4 has a range of 500km with a full charge, but we all know only too well that these figures are never achieved under normal driving conditions.

Due to level 5 restrictions I cannot say how accurate the range is, but I do remember being very impressed with the ID.3 and it wasn't that far off it.

Prices and specification details released this week by Volkswagen Ireland are for the two ID.4 1st Edition models only - the ID.4 1st and ID.4 1st Max.

On-the-road pricing, which includes the 23 per cent VAT rate, SEAI grant and VRT rebate, is €43,326 for the 1st and €56,565 for the 1st Max respectively.

Now I am no mathematician, but that is a rather large figure separating the two models.

I am not so sure I would be willing to pay that high premium to step up to the Max edition as the entry-level 1st is fairly well specced up as it is.

It comes with heated front seats, heated 'sound insulating' windscreen, auto lights and wipers, power folding door mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, 10-inch touchscreen with Discover Pro navigation system, keyless start, four USB-C ports, adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, front and rear parking sensors and rear-view camera.

The 1st Max adds good few extras like a 12-inch touchscreen, 21-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, electric windows all-round, panoramic glass roof - but not €13k worth in my eyes.

Volkswagen Ireland expects to sell around 1,700 units of the ID.4 this year. Already 350 have been reserved by customers who can expect delivery around April.

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