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2024 VW ID.4: Consider It ID.4.2

2024 volkswagen id4
2024 Volkswagen ID.4: Consider It ID.4.2Volkswagen

The VW ID.4 just finished a solid sales year in 2023, but there are choppy waters ahead. Volkswagen moved 37,789 ID.4s last year, up 84 percent from 2022 and enough to comprise 11.5 percent of VW's overall American sales. As production is ramping up at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant where American ID.4s are assembled, however, EV demand seems to be slowing across the board, and the pool of competitors keeps growing. There are no waiting lists for the ID.4, as there were a mere 12 months ago, and you might even find the ID.4 is your cheapest lease option in a VW showroom.

Fortunately, the 2024 model is getting several major and useful upgrades that should boost buyer interest.

Powertrain Upgrades

First and foremost, the little SUV is getting more power. Thanks to a new rear motor dubbed APP550 that employs a stator with more, and larger, square-section wires; a bigger heat sink; and an uprated oil- and water-cooling system, output for rear-wheel-drive models with the 77.0-kWh battery skyrockets from 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque to 282 horses and 402 pound-feet.

2024 volkswagen id4
Volkswagen

With the new motor, the rear-drive ID.4's power-to-weight ratio is now almost a match for the outgoing all-wheel-drive model. VW claims that the sprint to 60 mph shrinks from 7.7 to 5.9 seconds, but given the huge increase in torque, we think it might even do a little better than that.

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The all-wheel-drive model also gets this new rear motor, coupled with the existing 107-hp and 119-lb-ft front motor. Because of limitations in the power control electronics, this version doesn't get as big a jump in output as the rear-drive model, but combined power still increases from 295 to 335 horsepower, while torque jumps from 339 pound-feet to somewhere close to 500 (VW hasn't released this combined figure). This will drop the zero-to-60 time from 5.7 to 4.9 seconds, according to VW. We measured 5.4 seconds for the all-wheel-drive 2022 ID.4 that we tested, so that new estimate seems entirely doable.

While net battery capacity is unchanged at 77.0 kilowatt-hours, the battery does benefit from a slight improvement in the battery chemistry. And this new motor is not only more powerful, but also slightly more efficient. As a result, EPA estimated range increases from 275 to 291 miles for the rear-driver, while the AWD model has a more modest bump from 255 to 263 miles.

2024 volkswagen id4
Volkswagen

The entry-level rear-drive model with the 58.0-kWh battery gets none of these powertrain changes—with horsepower and torque staying at 201 ponies and 229 pound-feet, respectively—and its range actually shrinks slightly from 209 to 206 miles. Of course, it's worth mentioning that VW—and most EV manufacturers—recommend charging to only 80 percent to preserve battery life, unless you're going on a long trip. So give all of these range predictions a 20 percent haircut for most real-world driving situations.

Much-Needed Infotainment Improvements

More impressive than these improvements are the upgrades to the infotainment system. As someone with a 2023 ID.4 in our family's vehicle fleet, I would say that our car's human-machine interface seems to have been designed to maximize the number of control inputs needed to perform the simplest tasks while coupled to a computer that seems even dumber than a typical politician.