Marketed as a “style-focused coupe-SUV”, the ID.5 is also pitched as a slightly more upmarket alternative to the ID.4, which is basically the same car underneath that sloping roofline.
Priced from £50,710 (the ID.4 starts at £38,845), it’s only available with one 77kWh battery.
There are three versions of the ID.5 – Pro (expected to be the biggest-seller), Pro Performance and GTX. The former are both rear-wheel drive with a single electric motor, while the range-topping GTX gets dual motors and all-wheel drive (4Motion in VW-speak).
Power outputs span from 172bhp (Pro) and 201bhp (Pro Performance) to 295bhp for the GTX.
When it comes to the all-important range, the cheaper versions can travel a claimed 327 miles on a full charge, while the more performance-orientated GTX is a still healthy 314 miles.
Naturally, the latter is also the fastest (0-62mph in 6.3 seconds) with the cheaper versions coming in at 10.4s and 8.4s respectively.
Volkswagen’s design philosophy for the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5 is similar in a blancmange sort of way, but of the three, the ID.5 has the most kerb appeal thanks to its sexier profile. I like the way the rear spoiler is integrated into the tailgate – just a shame that there’s no wiper.
The ID.5’s cabin is virtually unchanged from that of the ID.4, which considering the price hike is a bit disappointing. In other words, it’s a tad bland and the quality and finish isn’t top notch.
It’s minimalist up front with few physical controls. There’s a gear selector mounted on the dinky driver’s instrument pod. Almost everything else is accessed via the 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and a few touch-sensitive switches below and on the steering wheel.
The ID.5 features an updated infotainment system, which promises faster response times. I can confirm that it seems slicker. However, the controversial touch-slider heating controls remain below the screen and the steering wheels controls are as frustrating as ever.
The good news is that the sloping roofline has not affected headroom as drastically as you might think, so a six-footer can sit behind a driver of the same height.
In fact, the cabin generally feels spacious and the front seats are comfortable and supportive with plenty of adjustment. There’s also a useful 549 litres of boot space, rising to 1,561 litres with the rear seats folded.
However, visibility isn’t perfect thanks to chunky front and rear pillars, plus the slim rear window.
Parking sensors front and rear help, along with the rear-view camera when manoeuvring. There’s also a clever Park Assist Plus system with memory function, which means the car can remember parking procedures at speeds below 25mph – ideal for parking in a driveway or garage.
Trim levels for the ID.5 span from the entry-grade Style, progressing through to Tech, moving up to Max, and then the GTX Style sitting beneath the range-topping GTX Max. VW reckons Tech will be the top-selling ID.5 trim, and is expected to take around half of UK sales.
My ID.5 201bhp Pro Performance test car (predicted to account for 35% of UK sales) seemed to strike a good balance of performance and affordability.
It’s not as gut-wrenchingly quick as some other EVs, but still swift compared to most sporty petrol-powered SUVs.
The ID.5 feels “normal” on the road, but don’t expect the most dynamic of drives.
Grip is impressive for a rear-wheel drive EV and the firm suspension limits body lean in faster corners, but it’s unlikely to put a smile on your face.
That said, if you want a car that will go about its business with the minimum of fuss, then the composed ID.5 might be for you.
It feels agile in urban environments and cruises along superbly on motorways with impressive levels of refinement.
The steering is progressive, which is more than you can say for the brakes. Just like the bigger ID.Buzz, the brake pedal has a long travel, which means that slowing down isn’t always the smoothest of operations.
As well as the three drive modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport – you can select ‘B’ rather than ‘D’ for increased brake regeneration.
These modes can mercifully be changed at the touch of a button. Softer Comfort is just fine, though the occasional range-sapping burst in firmer Sport spices up things a bit. Eco is best left for motorway runs in cruise control.
When it comes to charging, it’s fair to say that the ID.5 isn’t top of the league when it comes to speed.
It is capable of charging at speeds up to 135kW (much less than the 350kW charging capability of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6). In theory, a boost up to 80% at 135kW will take around half an hour, which equates to 62 miles of range being added in seven minutes. Naturally, it will also charge overnight via a home wallbox.
The ID.5 is very well equipped and packed with safety and driver assistance systems.
Awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP, there’s an autonomous emergency (AEB) braking system that recognises other vehicles and other vulnerable road users, road sign recognition, traffic jam assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and lane-change assist – to name but a few.
Rivals include its Volkswagen Group cousins, the Skoda Enyaq iV Coupe and the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, plus the Kia EV6, Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Volvo C40 Recharge.