Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Review: Finding the 'X' in GTX

Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Review: Finding the 'X' in GTX

James Wong
James Wong
09 Oct 2023
... it’s certainly proof that VW has carried over a thing or two of what it learnt from building millions of ICE cars.
What we like:
pros
Underpromises and overdelivers on power
pros
Predictable handling
What we dislike:
cons
Ride can be lumpy
cons
Exterior design is a little anonymous

After a short first drive in the ID.4 GTX, I was keen to see if more time spent with the sportier version of the ID.4 will help me warm up to it.

What car is the ID.4 GTX?

It’s the hot version of a midsize SUV that’s meant to be VW’s grand entry into the mass consumer EV market. 

What is the difference between the ID.4 and GTX?

To recap, the GTX follows on from the lineage of cars like the GTI. In other words, Volkswagens with a bit of fizz in them. The GTX is simply a variant of the ID.4.

With a dual motor setup delivering 299 PS and 460 Nm, the GTX can do 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds - not quick by EV standards, but numbers that would benchmark something like a Mk8 Golf GTI.

How is the ID.4 GTX to drive?

I thought what better way to let the GTX stretch its legs a little than a short jaunt to Malaysia? And so we crossed the border, and with the mouths of most people gaping open upon seeing the GTX’s psychedelic launch livery (including immigration officers!), we set out to see what it can do. Without attracting too much attention.

In the GTX, you’re never left wanting for pace. It feels sprightlier than what is suggested on paper, and is always rearing to go off the line. In-gear acceleration is also strong.

It also has decent handling paired with a chassis that’s set up for mild understeer, so it will put down its power with aplomb while never making the driver feel out of control. In that sense, it’s very predictable, and very VW.

There is enough feedback from the steering wheel and, while it isn’t the best out there, it’s certainly proof that VW has carried over a thing or two of what it learnt from building millions of ICE cars. It’s reassuring and stable.

VW opted for rather mild regenerative braking with its EVs, and it’s the same in the GTX. In the normal setting, there is hardly any engine braking and even with regen at the highest setting, there is still a need to use the brake pedal quite a lot. It’s very much a personal preference here, but I wish VW had allowed one pedal drive as an option.

What is the range of the ID.4 GTX?

Around 497 km officially. We managed 272 km with 50 km of range left, with a consumption of 21.6 kWh/100km (official figure is 17.7). To be fair, we did spend a lot of time sitting on the causeway in traffic.

How is it like sitting in the ID.4 GTX for a road trip?

On the many hours we spent on the road, the GTX’s interior was a reasonably nice place to be in, but it feels a little claustrophobic somehow due to the high shoulder line. Its packaging also seemed a little compromised, and this shows most obviously from the size of its glovebox, which is only a small partition of what we’re used to. There is no frunk, either. Although the Skoda Enyaq suffers some of the same compromises, it does feel a tad better packaged with more interior and boot space.

EVs in general have a hard time managing their added weight due to their battery packs, and this filters down to its suspension setup. With much of the weight concentrated down low as well, it is a boon to handling but not so much for ride comfort. In the case of the GTX, even with DCC at the most comfortable setting the ride can be lumpy at times. However, it does settle at speed and feels like a good Autobahn stormer when duty calls.

How is the ID.4 GTX’s infotainment?

After some initial resistance to the GTX’s infotainment system, I’ve become accustomed to it over the few days and found it rather intuitive. Its simplified small screen in front of the driver is a great idea to keep things minimalist, while the large centre screen is crisp and quite easy to use. The most important feature I discovered was keeping the air conditioning on after I’ve parked the car - the menu only pops up after you go into Park, and it’s so useful for snoozing children in the car.

What’s cool about the ID.4 GTX?

I also noticed after spending a longer time with the car that attention has been paid to the GTX’s exterior lights, which put on a show each time you lock or unlock the doors. It’s a nice touch which uplifts the car’s otherwise conservative looks.


Photos by James Wong

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