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All the Ways the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is Annoying

All the Ways the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is Annoying

As you can see, the difference between estimated range on plug-out and actual distance driven (plus estimated remaining range) showed the ID.4 overestimating range by at least 60 miles. Unless the ID.4 is initially taking into account a buffer past the 0 miles DTE mark, we can’t explain why there’s such a vast gulf between observed and estimated range.

The touchscreen interface really is that bad

One of our staff’s major complaints with the ID.4 has been the touchscreen interface. “How could it be?” I thought. I’m pretty computer-savvy, and I love Volkswagen’s previous system — though ugly, it’s quite intuitive.

Readers, the ID.4’s new interface is abhorrent, with issues both intentional and random. Speaking to the former, it takes multiple presses of both the capacitive button on the dash and virtual menu-hunting to alter the climate system’s fan settings, and the radio menus are confounding. Without getting too granular, switching between stations is clumsy. When reversing, turning the parking sensor alert off also gets rid of the rear camera image. Who thought that was a good idea? And there are too many glitches to count, many of them phone-related. I’ve given up on connecting my phone to the car via a data cable. If I need to charge my phone, I use the rear USB-C charge-only ports rather than the data ports, because doing so wreaks havoc with Apple CarPlay and often renders it unusable. Also, on more than one occasion, the ID.4 simply didn’t display satellite radio as a music source. One of the buggiest touchscreens I’ve ever seen.

Human-machine interface issues abound

I’ve already covered the confusing climate system interaction, and others have noted how silly the window switches are (as a refresher, there are only two switches — left and right — and you press a button to toggle between front and rear window operation).

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 detail

I’ve also found that the wiper stalk is positioned oddly close to the transmission selector, so even seasoned drivers will hit the stalk unintentionally. That means you’ll inadvertently drag front and rear wipers against bone-dry windows. A lot.

The dome lights don’t always illuminate when you open the door

I like that the ID.4 comes standard with configurable ambient lighting. I don’t like that the dome lights don’t always illuminate when you enter the car. I have found that they usually illuminate when you exit the car, but there’s often only ambient lighting when you get in. Occasionally the dome lights will brighten the interior when getting in, but it’s not every time. And, yes, I have checked to make sure that the dome-lights-off-when-doors-are-opened switch is disabled. As far as I can tell, the ID.4’s dome light logic is working as intended.

There’s no rear armrest

We ordered the base Pro model, which means it naturally doesn’t have all the features of the whiz-bang Pro S. Fine. But to not include a rear armrest in a $40,000 vehicle that Volkswagen calls “an SUV through and through” is ludicrous. Other than cutouts in the doors, there aren’t any rear cupholders either. If I had purchased a Pro without carefully studying the list of standard and optional features, I would have definitely walked away disappointed by the lack of actual utility.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 interior rear