- Easy and comfortable to drive
- Decent driving range between charges
- Spacious cabin and boot
- Voice assistant is really annoying
- Over-complicated infotainment system
- Expensive to buy
Volkswagen made its intentions on the electric cars industry very clear when it unveiled the ID.3 back at the Frankfurt Motor Show - it wanted to be a world leader. Since that time, we have faced all manner of disruptions – a pandemic, manufacturing delays and the threat of a recession.
And, also in that time, there has been an influx of top-quality models from rival carmakers with prices finally beginning to level out and driving ranges increasing at the same time.
The ID.3 was followed swiftly by the ID.4 – an SUV sized model and now the ID.5 brings coupe-SUV design to the mix. There are trim choices called Style, Tech, Max, GTX Style and GTX Max but only one battery size.
VW’s trio of ID models certainly play their part in the UK’s EV line-up, but world leader? We’ll see.
The five-door VW ID.4 was a mid-to-large fully electrified SUV. The follow-up ID.5 is a more dynamic, coupe-styled model with athletic lines and more streamlined styling.
The front end looks similar to its sibling ID.4, but as you move towards the rear, it slopes away to give a sportier appearance with a coupe-like roofline. There are IQ Light Matrix headlights (which are superb at night), 3D LED rear light clusters, body-coloured bumpers, integrated and illuminated door handles, a panoramic sunroof, tinted rear windows and 20-inch alloys.
Moving inside, the interior is clutter-free and upmarket with vegan leather upholstery, 30-colour ambient lighting and a wealth of tech to explore.
Features include a 12-inch colour touchscreen with navigation, (including Europe), wireless smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and plenty more besides.
The Hello.ID voice assistant can help with all manner of functions, but after a week behind the wheel, had turned from friend to foe. It seems to chirp in uninvited at the most inconvenient times.
That aside, nearly all the on-board functions are accessed via the touchscreen. Some people like this simplicity, but I find altering the temperature via drop-down menus quite distracting.
On The Road
Handling & Performance
The VW ID.5 is powered by a single 77kWh battery, but there is a choice of power outputs ranging from 174PS Pro, 204PS Pro Performance and 299PS GTX. We opted for the ID.5 in Style trim level powered by the 174PS battery with 300Nm of torque.
There is a start/stop button, but the car does detect the key so you can simply select Drive and off you go. The vehicle also turns itself off when you select Park and open the driver’s door. All readouts and dials are perfectly positioned for ease of use with clear, sharp digital graphics.
Our car could reach 62mph from a standing start in 10.4 seconds with a maximum speed of 99mph. With a generous driving range of 313 miles between charges, the ID.5 offers the best of both worlds with emission-free city driving, but plenty of scope to venture further.
The acceleration is swift and there is ample power on tap to overtake at short notice, despite being the lower-powered version. The rear-wheel drive car is beautifully balanced through twisting country lanes with plenty of grip and no sign of body sway. The steering is perfectly weighted too with great driver feedback and it’s a motorway cruiser at 70mph.
A ‘B’ mode will increase the levels of regenerative braking and Eco, Comfort and Individual modes alter the handling. In Individual you can adjust the sportiness of the driving dynamics and steering etc.
Space & Practicality
The VW ID.5 is a spacious car that stretches 4,599mm in length, 2,108mm in width and is 1,615mm tall. Up front there is bundles of room and a central airbag protects the occupants from colliding in the event of a side-impact accident.
There is ample room in the back for a couple of adults to sit comfortably, but add a third and it gets a little too cosy. It would be ideal for youngsters though.
It is worth noting that the sloping roof design of the ID.5 compared to its sibling ID.4 does result in a reduction in rear head room. As does the panoramic sunroof, which is a standard feature on all models.
The boot is generously-sized too with a 549-litre capacity. This can be increased to 1,561 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
And there are a number of practical storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including decent-sized door bins, a central cubby box, front and rear cup holders, a glovebox and trays.
There are two USB-C ports up front and an additional two in the back of the car.
Charging the ID.5 takes 29 minutes via a 135kW rapid charger to 80 per cent; 12 hours, 40 minutes to 100 per cent on a 7.2kW wallbox or seven hours, 30 minutes via an 11kW point.
The VW ID.5 comes with a comprehensive list of standard equipment which means there a just a few optional extras to be selected if required. On the downside though, unlike some rivals, the car is only available with the large 77kWh battery which does push the price up.
Our entry-level style model cost £49,735 with upgraded alloys, an energy-efficient heat pump and specialist paintwork bumping the price up to £51,970.
With zero tailpipe emissions, the everyday running costs of the ID.5 will be rewarding though because the vehicle will be exempt from any road tax or Congestion Charge fees.
And, for potential business drivers, there are attractive tax savings to be gained as the car has an excellent Benefit in Kind rating of just two per cent.
In addition, anyone concerned about the longevity of an EV’s battery will have their fears addressed thanks to an impressive eight-year, 100,000-mile battery warranty on the ID.5.
The vehicle sits in insurance group 30.
The VW ID.5 is a great-looking coupe-styled SUV that’s big on space and big on character. It drives well, offers an impressive range between charges and is packed with tech.
On the downside, it is really let down by its infotainment set-up, especially that irritating voice assistant. Many rival brands seem more advanced in this area right now, so VW has a way to go before being a ‘world leader’ in the sector.