Volkswagen is intent on becoming a serious player in the EV market, and the ID.4 SUV has received the bulk of the brand's attention toward that goal, at least in the U.S. Having entered production in 2020, VW has now seen fit to update the ID.4 with a raft of small upgrades that should drastically improve livability—especially if you drive at night.
The key upgrades are to ID.4 models with the 82 kWh battery option, which covers the Pro, Pro S, and Pro S Plus trims. These models will get a new performance drive unit with additional horsepower. Rear-wheel-drive models will now get 282 horsepower, with all-wheel-drive models seeing a bump to around 330 hp, according to VW. The German automaker anticipates this upgrade will also come with additional range, with EPA figures to be released closer to the 2024 models hitting the market.
The 82 kWh models will also receive a 12.9-inch infotainment unit, running the software seen in the new ID.7. The interface itself is an improvement, but with it comes a major quality-of-life upgrade: backlit touch sliders for volume and climate. Previously, the non-lit touch controls were a bugbear for many, providing neither tactile feedback nor a clear visual indication of their position and function when the cabin was dark.
It's still not ideal, and we'll have to wait until the next generation of VW products for the return of actual physical buttons for important controls. Regardless, it's a significant improvement over the previous setup in the ID.4, as the non-lit climate control sliders were perhaps the vehicle's most frustrating feature.
The new infotainment system also features a revised climate control interface, along with a new shifter position and an updated steering wheel layout. The previous 12.0-inch infotainment unit will remain in 62 kWh ID.4 models going forward. In other words, VW has deemed its most budget-conscious EV customers don't get the luxury of night-friendly inputs.
Other updates include ventilated front-row seats for S models with the 82 kWh battery, along with a premium Harmon Kardon audio system for S Plus models. ID.4 Standard AWD models will also get 20-inch alloy wheels going forward, while S Plus models will upgrade to 21-inch machined alloy wheels.
While a competent electric vehicle, the ID.4 was nonetheless let down by its user interface. The new raft of upgrades should go a small way to rectifying this. In any case, though, VW still has much more to do to regain the trust of consumers who found its anti-tactile approach to interior design more frustrating than fun.
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