Likeable, but an ID 4 is cheaper while rivals outside the group exhibit more charm and charge quicker

Find Volkswagen ID 5 deals
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
New car deals
Nearly-new car deals
Sell your car
In partnership with
Powered by

A model range which starts at a mite over £50,000 doesn’t feel especially ‘people’s car’, yet that’s exactly where the Volkswagen ID 5 sits.

As the name suggests, it’s the latest in company's electrical onslaught, though its styling – from most angles – isn’t a vast departure from the Volkswagen ID 4 that came before it. It’s one of those oh-so-fashionable crossover coupes, only in the world of EVs they do at least provide a slight aerodynamical benefit for a mite more range. You’ll just pay handsomely for the benefit – like-for-like, an ID 5 is about six grand more than an ID 4, though the gap closes up on the leasing market. 

Not having paddles to cycle through levels of brake regen makes the ID 5 feel more aloof than rivals, and you engage it with less as a result

Still, people obviously love these things, otherwise sensible brands like Skoda and Volvo wouldn’t have jumped aboard the trend. And the ID 5 is a likeable take on the formula, if a little bland in some of its detailing. A softer-edged car makes a change from the industry’s broader obsession with aesthetic aggression, though, so let’s chalk up the friendlier lines of this car as a win.

Unlike the ID 4, all versions pack VW’s larger 77kWh battery, giving every ID 5 a WLTP range over 300 miles, though VW’s proud claims that it’ll charge at 135kW pale in comparison to the 350kW proffered by its gaggle of rivals from Hyundai, Kia and Genesis. All of which are spun from a similar platform-sharing philosophy to the one VW helped pioneer decades ago.

Back to top

The range kicks off with a pair of rear-wheel-drive variants – the 172bhp Pro and 201bhp Pro Performance – and is topped by the ID 5 GTX, a 295bhp AWD performance version that helps launch a new suffix that’ll be slapped on numerous sporty (well, sportier) EVs.

Volkswagen id5 rear 0

We’ve driven them all, but perhaps it’s most prudent to focus on the cheapest, given that its 327-mile range is equal-best in the range but at the lowest price, even if saving £25 a month over its more powerful sibling feels token when you’re already stumping up around £700.

Given both RWD ID 5s share the same 229lb ft peak torque, they feel very similar in an urban environment, accelerating with the same modesty out of junctions and away from the lights – there are no jaw-dropping EV theatrics when you’ve got a single motor in a 2.1-tonne car – and handling with similar deftness. While there’s little in the way of outright fun here, the steering is light, quick and easily read and the benefits of its rear-driven platform are clear, understeer taking more commitment (or clumsiness) to unearth. 

It’s above 50mph where the greater power-to-weight ratio of the Pro Performance – 95bhp per tonne versus 81, saving a whole two seconds to 62mph – comes to the fore. Its extra cash justifies itself on slip-roads and during rural overtakes, especially given I compared the two sat on my own in the car. Full of families and their paraphernalia, the Pro Performance’s additional power will feel more starkly welcome.

It’s at this point I should also reference the GTX, which looks good value at £56,460 considering the power hike involved; a performance electric SUV remains a true mish-mash of genres on paper – and one we should definitely argue the merits of elsewhere – but the reality is it’s the most charming version of the ID 5. Albeit one that’ll be chosen by the minority.

Volkswagen id5 interior 0

Half of UK buyers are expected to stick with this base model, and it does almost all of what the ID 5 ought to. It’s very habitable for a crossover coupe, too. While rear visibility is inevitably an unhelpful sliver, the rest of its hindquarters are impressive, with plenty of leg- and headroom for most adults and a window line sympathetic to letting a decent amount of light in. Real pernickety stuff, sure, but it’s curious how claustrophobic some of these cars can feel for those perched in the back. The ID 5 coddles them well, with a pair of USB-C ports the cherry on top of some amiable hospitality.

Back to top

The front is decent too – once you’ve got your head around the ergonomics. Too many column inches have been spent haranguing VW’s recent cabins, and the firm appears to be responding to criticism by reinstating some physical switchgear with its future facelifts. The ID 5 is still largely touchscreen-led in its operation, but at least the materials feel good and some of the tech – such as a sweeping strip of light on the dashboard that helps reiterate nav directions – genuinely stands out.

It's just the rest of the car can’t quite manage the same. For all its likeability, there’s nothing to love about the ID 5, and its appearance and dynamics exhibit much less drama than a Hyundai Ioniq 5, EV6 or Genesis GV60, a trio of truly individualistic cars which really run with the platform-sharing baton without skimping on character. For some, its sheer strait-lacedness might nose the ID 5 ahead of quirkier rivals, as it ever was with VW products. But if that’s your motive, perhaps you’ll be better served still by the cheaper ID 4.


  • Spacious interior given the coupe roofline
  • Good percieved quality within


  • Modest rapid-charging potential
  • Staid handling doesn't enagage the driver
  • So-so performance for the money

Stephen Dobie