Volkswagen ID.5 Pro+ long term review: the time is right

David Linklater
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Full length light bars tells the neighbours this is the Pro+. If they know their ID.5 specs.

Report 1 05/07/24

REPORT 1: (5th July 2024)

Mileage: 1189km

To describe the state of the New Zealand battery electric vehicle (BEV) market as “turmoil” is an understatement. After a boom 2023, sales have gone flat following the removal of the Clean Car Discount (CCD) and enormous discounts are now the norm; there’s also a lot of uncertainty about the saleability and value of used EVs right now.

VW ID.5 Pro+ long-term review.
ID.5 coupe is more aerodynamic than ID.4 SUV, and as a result offers better range.

So it’s a challenging time, especially for those in the industry. But here’s another perspective: for car buyers who are thinking about actually purchasing an EV, it’s the best possible time. The technology is not going away and everything will eventually settle into a sales rhythm at whatever level… the level will be. It just takes time.

The ID.5 is essentially the coupe version of the ID.4. But the two are basically the same underneath.

That’s our thinking behind adding another EV to the long-term fleet. Specifically a Volkswagen ID, for a variety of reasons. First, we really liked the lineup when we drove it last year, and we haven’t spent a huge amount of time in any ID model since. Second, VW has been one of the most aggressive with its discounting, probably because it has a lot of stock on the ground - after fighting so hard to get good supply through Covid, global demand and component shortages, following the model’s European release back in 2020.

VW ID.5 Pro+ long-term review.
Pro+ 3D tail lights put on a bit of a show on startup and shutdown.

The ID.4/ID.5 range was launched in NZ nearly a year ago, at prices ranging from $79,990 (to take advantage of that now-defunct CCD) to $95,490. Changes between then and now are too numerous to mention, but right now VW NZ is offering the model from a gobsmacking $59,990 “while stocks last”. It’s a lot of car for that kind of money.

VW NZ supplied our ID.5 in top Pro+ specification, which does bring some delicious extras.

Meet our new long-termer. It’s the ID.5, which is essentially the coupe version of the ID.4. But the two are basically the same underneath, based on the VW Group’s MEB platform, with a 77kWh battery powering a 150kW rear-mounted electric motor. It’s a close relation to the larger Skoda Enyaq and smaller Cupra Born (all three have the same wheelbase).

VW ID.5 Pro+ long-term review.
Ultra-minimalist dashboard has been controversial. Will we get used to it?

Oddly, the ID.5 actually gets a bigger boot and better range than the ID.4 (530km versus 513km), thanks to a longer, more aerodynamic shape. But really, there’s not a lot in it.

VW NZ supplied our ID.5 in top Pro+ specification, which does bring some delicious extras: 20-inch wheels, IQ.Light matrix headlights and 3D rear lamps with startup/shutdown light show, light bar at the front, superb “ergoActive” front seats with memory/massage function and upgraded audio.

VW ID.5 Pro+ long-term review.
Power/memory seats with massage function are a Pro+ treat.

At the risk of seeming unappreciative at this options-list generosity, the Pro+ is not the one we’d recommend right now. VW’s big ID discounts don’t apply to this model, so it’s still listed at the original $95,490. The ID.5 Pro, however, has been reduced from $86,490 to just $64,990, and given it’s mechanically/electrically the same apart from smaller 19in wheels, a $30k price leap is pretty much impossible to justify.

We’re looking forward to finding out what VW’s idea of a People’s Car circa-2024 is like to live with.

It might be a moot point anyway, because a search of current NZ stock (you can do that on the VW NZ website here) at the time of writing reveals 27 ID.5 Pro models available, but not a single Pro+.

VW ID.5 Pro+ long-term review.
Our ID.5 Pro+ costs a heady $96k, but there are bargains to be had elsewhere in the range.

Like we said, they’re almost identical to drive, so we’ll keep a level head about the Pro+ extras and report on the ID.5 as an overall EV experience. And if we get a little massage along the way, what’s the harm?

We’re looking forward to finding out what VW’s idea of a People’s Car circa-2024 is like to live with, whether we do prefer the ID’s handling/ride balance to the sister Enyaq (the VW is sharper, the Skoda softer) and how day-to-driving will get us in synch with the ID’s still-controversial dashboard layout, which has virtually no physical controls and relies instead on haptic feedback and touch-sensitive sliders.

It has one of those fancy intelligent voice assistants, too; so Hello ID, we’re ready to go.

- David Linklater

What is the Volkswagen ID.5 Pro+?

The coupe version of VW's ID.4 electric SUV. It's based on the group's MEB platform (Skoda, Cupra share it), so this is really the core of VW's EV offering.

Why are we running it?

To find out whether VW has nailed this EV thing in the middle of an uncertain zero-emissions vehicle market in NZ.

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