Going Home Review: FAW VW ID.4 Crozz
A decent decent EV
First I want to explain the title, “Going Home Review”. Since I have to work from 9 to 5, there's little time for me to do a full review, so I can only do some tiny, shallow review of the car I drive home, and give some of my shallow opinions. And it might will be a series. Hopefully.
Then let me explain the subtitle. The first “decent” is about the price. It costs ¥199,900 to ¥279,900 ($30,839~$43,180/£22,362~£31,311) and the one I drove with RWD and long range costs ¥219,900 ($33,924/£24,599), which is a pretty decent price. You might think $30k/£25k is not cheap even among petrol/diesel cars, but remember, it's a Volkswagen. And that basically equals to German engineering, in other words, build quality. No wonder VW America will stop making Passat and use that factory to assemble ID. series.
To be honest, I love its shape. Feels dynamic and fluent, like running water. And I guess you've seen enough of its outside, and due to the limited time I didn't take many photos so let's move on to its interior which, I think is the best among all the VWs.
The first thing you'll see is the 5.4 inch dashboard screen. It's not that small but it's small. At least they've made the font bigger and a easy-to-read interface so it's quite simple and good. It can show the rev meter which is at the bottom with those blue and green bar. The blue bar represents the rev, and the green bar represents the energy recycling. The biggest part is the speedometer of course, it's on the right, and on the left you have Lane Assistant, which helps you stay in your lane and when you are about to out of the lane, it'll adjust the steering wheel and vibrates to notify you. Also you can see the remaining battery percentage and the range on it.
Speaking of the steering wheel, I have to say it's the best among all VWs. It's big enough to hold, but not too big so girls can handle it easily (I guess). On the left you have ACC kind of stuff and on the right you have media control and voice control.
Not only the buttons on the steering wheel, every button you see is touch button. But it's not like touch screens on our phones, you still need to push it, and it'll vibrate, just like Taptic Engine on your iPhone. Really mesmerizing. And you know what? I don't like normal buttons now already!
Since we've talked about its touch buttons, I want to talk about its media system. One word, “SMOOOOOOOOOOOOTH”! The center console screen is 12 inch, not too big but it's big enough and geeky enough. This time they've made it feel like an iPad. It's way smoother than the older MIB system.
So, normal stuff. Navigation, Bluetooth (for both phone and music), App-Connect (Apple Carplay, Baidu Carlife, and of course, Android Auto for global version), etc. I have to mention that it can show album covers from Spotify! Finally! 'Cause the e-Bora I drove earlier can't show album covers from Spotify and that's kinda annoying. Oh almost forgot about FM radio! A feature I love that is already removed from Tesla's EVs.
There're also some cool features that worth the price. You can use the VW App to control your car, but unfortunately it's a rental car so I didn't try that. And it has gesture control just like the new BMWs, you can swipe your hand in the air and the system will respond. But it's not really sensitive, sometimes you need to wave many times to let it respond. But, it's still a cool feature. Also, it's got light bars in the car, but the one I drove only has single colour lights which is white, but the top version has multi colour lights. And the top version has HUD, which is a really cool and useful feature.
The PRIME version (which is the top version) has Harman/Kardon sound systems but unfortunately the one I drove only has normal stereo. But it still sounds great, feeling dynamic just like the car's outside. And it feels balanced even when the equalizer is off. With the Dolby Atmos on my phone, the 3D effect is putting you in front of the performers. For the equalizer setting, I'd prefer enhance the mid part about 3-4dB. It also has increasing volume with speed feature, which means volume increases when you speed up, and you can adjust that or switch it off.
Okay, some other useful features. Big mirrors, really useful. Electric seats, really useful. Rear ISOFIX, really useful for those families who have kids, not useful for me though. Auto headlights, really useful. Electric gear changer (not a lever anymore), really cool and when you get used to it, it's really useful. Panorama skylight, better than normal skylights. If you need wind, just open your window.
And here's a really interesting detail I want to point out. On the accelerate paddle you will find a “play” ▶️ icon and on the brake paddle you'll find a “pause” ⏸️
Now, some downsides. First, the windows control on the driver's side only has two switches to control the front two. So how can you control the rear two? Touch “REAR”. That's useless! One step more means more inconvenience for the user. Second, it has no full screen of now playing. All you get is a small section on the top right and you have no progress bar so you don't know when your song is over and which album the song belongs to. Last one, all you get are 4 USB Type-C interfaces, 2 in the front and 2 in the back, and no regular USB Type-A. Not a problem for me though 'cause my cable is double Type-C interfaces lol
Alright, I think that's enough for the interior. Let's talk about driving experience, and that's the second “decent” from the subtitle. It is a proper VW, it feels like their petrol cars, not exciting but you'll know it's a VW and you'll love it. But when you suddenly put your foot down, it'll still deliver all 310Nm torque to its rear wheels and you'll be pushed tightly to the seat, just like other EVs. And that instant maximum torque output makes it differ from other petrol VWs. But if you gently put your foot down, it still is a normal car, a cozy daily drive car. With its 84.8 kWh (PURE+ version which is my test car) batteries with a range of 550km/342mi range (under NEDC) it is enough for daily going to work and going home.
All in all, it is a great EV, a great family car and a great daily drive car. I'd love to buy one if I have money. Sorry Tesla, Model 3 is great but I prefer ID.4.