Volkswagen is one of the most popular brands in the car industry. So it’s safe to say we have high expectations for everything they do. This was particularly the case with 2021 ID4, their first all-electric SUV and the first global EV. In fact, ID4 is dubbed as the first chance for customers in the U.S. to experience an entirely new interior and exterior design language from the famous German automaker. We can easily say the VW ID4 interior is interesting in a way it combines classic Volkswagen style with modern vibes. This is usually where automakers make mistakes – when they try to retain their signature interior design style but bring a dash of modern and urban elements into it. However, although the ID4 interior is impressive (to say the least) it also leaves room for improvement which, hopefully, we’re going to see in the upcoming models.
2021 ID4 has a simple and minimalist style characterized by a modern and airy design with meticulous attention to detail. In fact, it may seem too minimalistic at first glance. But once you take a closer look or, actually, sit inside you’ll notice all the details that make the interior design of this car impressive. We’ll start with the infotainment system. The smartphone-like user interface makes the infotainment system user-friendly. It’s easy to get used to all the features and settings. The hallmark of the infotainment system is the upgraded 12.0-inch display. The display is bright and slightly angled toward the driver. That way it’s easier for you to see everything on the display while driving. It’s needless to mention this significantly lowers the risk of accidents. Display makes the ID4 infotainment system more responsive than previous models. A simple tap is enough for the infotainment system to respond accordingly, which wasn’t the case with previous installments.
Icons of the infotainment are simple, easy to understand, user-friendly, and the overall menu structure is more intuitive in terms of media controls, navigation, and HVAC. The all-electric SUV from Volkswagen has a touch-sensitive volume slider replacing the “traditional” volume knob. While many are going to miss the standard volume knob, it’s impossible to deny the responsiveness of a volume slider in the 2021 VW ID4 interior. That’s not all, the volume slider in this car is way more responsive than those in some models of Cadillac or Honda. However, volume slider is not the only touch-sensitive feature in ID4. Everything is touch sensitive in this car including cabin lighting, exterior lights, steering-wheel-mounted functions, and mirror-adjustment controls. All these touch-sensitive controls are something you need to get used to and for some drivers it could be trickier than getting a grasp of the new, user-friendly, infotainment software.
The entire dash panel looks like it’s floating mainly because it’s not connected to the center console. The front section drops down towards the interior in steps. Top and bottom halves are separated by the decorative trim.
Mounted on the steering column sits the instrument cluster. The tiny digital display moves as a driver tilts the steering wheel up or down. Even though the instrument cluster display is convenient at first glance, it has a slight drawback. Since the dimension of the screen is 5.3 inches it may feel like too much info and features were crammed in a small space. For that reason, the instrument cluster display may seem cluttered thus making it tricky to see some info easily. When compared to large Digital Cockpit display incorporated in other Volkswagen vehicles this seems like a downgrade.
The traditional gearshift is replaced by a large rocker switch on the right.
Moving on from the infotainment system to the spacious passenger compartment. Long and spacious center console runs between the front seats. Both front and back portions are modular in design and can be reconfigured with adaptable inserts.
In a way the ID4 passenger compartment is similar to that of VW Tiguan. The most notable difference here is the absence of a high central tunnel in the 2021 ID4. As a result, the driver and passenger area is roomier and more comfortable. The Statement package comes with a panoramic glass roof that adds headroom and makes the cabin light, airy, and luxurious. An electric sunshade prevents the interior from heating up on hot and sunny days. A driver can control the electric sunshade through controls on the infotainment system or via a touch slider above their head.
Made of leatherette (synthetic material designed specifically to mimic leather) rear seats are just as comfortable as the front seats. Don’t let leatherette material fool you – the high-quality materials feels and looks like genuine leather. That’s always a good thing, of course.
For an added convenience which we expect from an EV, Volkswagen added two USB-C ports in the front and back of the cabin. You can easily charge your devices while driving. To make things more practical, the German automaker also added a smartphone pocket. You can find them in the back of the front seats.
The heavy use of hard plastics in the cabin of VW ID4 interior is somewhat a shortcoming of this otherwise impressive car. For example, the upper parts of the door panels are all made of hard plastics and appear quite cheap. The lower part of the dash is also made of hard plastic. Although it’s easy on the eyes, it’s still plastic. While the elbow rests on all doors are padded, they still don’t come close to those in previous models.
Let’s be honest, the 2021 ID4 is not the first (and most certainly not the last) Volkswagen vehicle to rely on heavy use of hard plastic. VW Atlas is also plastic-laden. However, materials in this particular car seem less sturdy despite their luxurious appearance and practical design. For example, it may seem a window switch would come off if you pull it harder. That being said, it’s useful to keep in mind the press and media got access to a pre-production model and the actual car that hits the market could be slightly different in terms of materials used.
To sum it up, the VW ID4 interior is impressive in its practicality and convenient features. Sure, it has some shortcomings in terms of materials but it leaves room for improvements in the near future. The car will hit the market later this year.