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Base Camp: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro

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Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we’ll let you know. If not, we’ll recommend one – or the required options – that earns a passing grade.

Last week saw the first inclusion of an all-electric vehicle in the Base Camp series. It spurred a healthy conversation, so we thought it a good idea to follow it up with another EV. This time, we have selected an all-new model from a German manufacturer. It’s the spellcheck-vexing ID.4, VW’s first clean-sheet EV.

Using crossover-like styling that’s so loved by the majority of today’s shoppers, the entry-level variant of ID.4 is called the Pro and uses an electric motor to power its rear wheels. The company says its 82 kWh battery is good for approximately 400 kilometres of range and can be force fed electrons up to a rate of 125 kW during a recharge. This means owners can potentially replenish about 100 km of range in about 10 minutes.

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Price checks in at $44,995 for the Pro, with all-wheel drive pushing the price to $49,995. This means the ID.4 qualifies under the federal iZev program, putting $5,000 back in pockets of buyers. Various provincial incentives also sweeten the pot, with some jurisdictions being quite generous with their largesse. In some markets, those combined rebates will put the price of a ID.4 Pro close to that of a mid-range Golf GTI or Tiguan crossover.

Adaptive cruise control, front autonomous emergency braking, and lane assists will help keep drivers straight as an arrow. Cloth seats are heated up front, dual-zone air conditioning keeps warring factions at peace, and there are plenty of places to charge a device including a wireless dock. Infotainment is handled by a 10-inch display, packing satellite radio capability and the typical smartphone integrations.

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2021 Volkswagen ID4

Trying to visually distinguish between an ID.4 Pro and its more expensive all-wheel drive cousin is a fool’s errand, since both of them are equipped as standard with the same LED exterior lights, matte black trim, 19-inch wheels, and heated washer nozzles. The only giveaway? A trailer hitch peeking from behind the all-wheel drive’s back bumper. Interesting colours are available, including this no-charge Blue Dusk Metallic

What We’d Choose

Some will argue that all-wheel drive is a necessity here in the Great White North, but we always encourage our readers to carefully consider their driving conditions before laying out the extra cash needed to power all four wheels. Some people will be just fine with the base car and a good set of winter tires which will cost many multiples less than the all-wheel drive upgrade (after which you should still get winter tires, anyways).

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2021 Volkswagen ID4

Likewise, we will pass on the ID.4’s so-called Statement Package, an $8,000 proposition that adds amenities such as 20-inch wheels and a power tailgate among other comforts. There’s an argument to be made that such items serve to increase the weight of a vehicle and, since this is an EV, negatively affect its range. It’s difficult to justify spending an extra near-20 per cent of a vehicle’s original sticker price on options that potentially make the car objectively worse, at least from an EV range perspective.

We’ll stick with the $44,995 ID.4 Pro – painted Blue Dusk Metallic, please.

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