In our test car, the white plastic that wraps around the dainty 5.2in digital display also seems to be exactly the same sterile-looking, medicinally reassuring material they use for the cases of MRI scanners (absolutely intentional), and it branches off to form the new gear-selector rocker, à la BMW i3.
In addition, the attractive and superbly comfortable ‘Style’ seats, plus organic shapes in the door-card mouldings, and Volkswagen’s modern reluctance to use much in the way physical switchgear, do create quite a special ambience. And, yes, one that is genuinely very relaxing, not least because the scuttle is relatively low and forward visibility thus effortless.
Still, there are some quirks I don’t get. Why, for example, use a (not particularly) touch-sensitive pad to switch the driver’s pair of window switches betwen controlling the front and rear windows, instead of just fitting four switches?
And if you see the dashboard putting on a light-show, that’s the new ID. Light concept, which blinks in different colours and patterns to relay everything from satnav directions to charging status to incoming calls. It’s moderately useful at times, but mostly a bit distracting.
The fundamental ergonomics are excellent, though, and you might not be expecting to find such generous rear leg room. The ID 4 is akin to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the back, and overall it’s clear that Volkswagen has brought all its packaging knowhow to bear with this first electric SUV. You really do get an impression of spaciousness.
And to drive? It’s inoffensive but not inert; far from what you might call engaging but very intuitive. Like so many electric cars, the ID 4 could easily have ended up feeling like an appliance, and it does have appliance-like virtues, such as its high perceived quality and its straight-forward driveability.
But there’s also enough character to ensure that it doesn’t leave you cold: neatly tuned control responses, sharp initial performance, interesting little design cues and a sense of maturity on the move. That the ride quality, even on 20in wheels, is mostly fluid and well-mannered elevates the ID 4’s game further.