Volkswagen ID 5 GTX review

Open gallery Close by Felix Page 10 May 2022 Follow @felix_page_ Share

How we test cars

Viewed from inside, from the B-pillar forwards or from underneath, telling the new Volkswagen ID 5 apart from the straighter-backed Volkswagen ID 4 launched last year will be no mean feat. 

After all, they each use the Volkswagen Group’s MEB EV architecture, can both be had with a rear or four-wheel-drive powertrain and offer broadly comparable performance and efficiency statistics.

But because the roofline on this – Volkswagen’s third bespoke electric car and the ninth (yup, ninth) entry into its swelling SUV portfolio – slopes towards the rear for a more aerodynamic and coupé-esque profile, it’s treated as a brand new model. Much like the closely related Audi Q4 E-tron Sportback and Skoda Enyaq iV Coupé, both also rakish roofed variants of conventional mid-size electric SUVs.

Right, got all that? Let’s crack on.

The ID 5 is available from launch with a choice of two single-motor, rear-wheel-drive powertrains, one with 172bhp and the other with 201bhp, or, in the range-topping GTX guise driven here, with a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive set-up good for 295bhp and 0-62mph in 6.3sec.

A 77kWh battery is standard across the line-up, giving a range of between 304 and 323 miles depending on the specification (very slightly up on the more upright ID 4).

Volkswagen is at pains to muffle any direct comparison between the hallowed GTI name and the products from this new electric performance family. GTX, it says, is to the ID 5 “what the GTE and GTD models are for the Golf”, which is to say better equipped, more aggressively styled and more powerful but not necessarily – as implied by the omission – a tangibly keener steer. 

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What’s it like?

Still, this is an impressively quick car, and no doubt about it – which is surprising really, because in terms of power-to-weight, with 136bhp per tonne, it’s roughly on a par with your average family hatchback.

The ID 5 GTX serves up its power instantly and constantly up to a relatively high tail-off point, meaning it can effectively all be exploited all of the time. It’s not pin-you-back-in-your-seat fast but certainly feels worthy of a more sporting moniker, at least by virtue of its superior straight-line pace compared with the rear-driven Pro Performance.

There’s also a reassuring surefootedness to the way the ID 5 GTX threads itself down a twisty road. What the steering lacks in feel and communication it makes up for in precision and predictability, which means more engaging stretches of Tarmac can at least be tackled with speed and confidence, if not wilful abandon.

With the chunky underfloor battery giving a low centre of gravity and weight shared fairly across both axles, there’s more than a hint of dynamic agility to exploit, particularly given how easy it is to build speed between corners. 

Sitting 15mm closer to the ground on uniquely tuned suspension, the ID 5 GTX can be tipped into bends at a good lick without giving way overtly to lateral movement, responding quickly, accurately and predictably to turn-in.

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