2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Luggage Test | Crossover skills

·4 min read



In some ways, the 2021 VW ID.4 and its dimensions in particular are right in line with other compact crossover SUVs. It's about the same length as a Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, for instance, and it wouldn't be surprising if uninformed passers-by mistook it for a next-generation Tiguan.

However, the ID.4's electric architecture allows it to be quite different than the average bear. Specifically, its wheelbase is about 4 inches longer than that of the CR-V and RAV4. That results in a truly staggering amount of back seat space for a vehicle its size -- I managed to place our gigantic rear-facing Britax Boulevard car seat behind the driver seat pushed nearly all the way back for my 6-foot-3 self. That's incredibly rare. However, Volkswagen clearly chose to tilt the interior space scales towards passengers rather than their stuff. While the back seat is vast, its cargo area is not (more space between the axles relative its length results in less space behind them).

Officially, the numbers are 30.3 cubic-feet with the back seat raised and 64.2 cubic-feet when lowered. That's more in line with a Mazda CX-5 than a CR-V or RAV4, which have 37.6 cu-ft. Let's see if that hierarchy shakes out in person.

Like many hatch-backed vehicles these days, the ID.4 has a two-level load floor. This provides for a flat floor when the back seat is lowered, but maximum capacity when it's raised. As I'm seeking the latter with this test, the floor stayed at its lowest position.

I also kept the rigid cargo cover in place for the first go at luggage placement. This is for the worst-case airport scenario where you show up to pick people up at the airport having either forgotten to remove the cover or discover your friends packed like Queen Elizabeth.

As in every luggage test I do, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife's fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).

All the bags fit with the cover in place, but the fancy bag was pretty squished. There was also a decent amount of space on top of the bags to the right. This is actually better than I could manage with the Mazda CX-5 with its cargo cover in place. It's also waaaaay better than the Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid for some inter-VW-Group points of comparison.

Also, it's basically the same as the CR-V or RAV4 can manage with their cargo covers in place.

Buh-bye cargo cover.

This makes it way easier to load and lets the fancy bag ride along without getting smashed. It also frees up enough space for another duffle bag and a briefcase.

Pretty good, but this is where the CR-V and RAV4 take the lead. Instead of that briefcase, I could fit an entire 38-quart Coleman cooler in those. The reason? Cargo area height. The ID.4 has a significant roofline rake, meaning there isn't that much space above the seatback line.

Now, what about other EVs? Let's take a look at the ID.4 versus the Mustang Mach-E.

It was actually easier to load all the standard allotment of bags into the Mach-E, but that's all that was fitting in there. Removing its clever flip-and-fold cargo cover really makes no difference.

So there you have it. The VW ID.4 doesn't have quite as much cargo capacity as the biggest compact crossovers, and its sloped roofline does limit its versatility. Still, it's a better cargo hauler than its current obvious competitor. I don't think that would've been enough to let it eek out a win in our recent comparison test, but it could certainly make a difference for potential buyers.

Oh, and one final point: the ID.4 does not have the usual under-hood frunk as most electric vehicles do. They're rarely big enough to be useful, though, so I'm not sure how much you're really missing.

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