VW might just buck the trend of ever-rising EV prices. The automaker has revealed that the 2023 ID.4 electric SUV will start at $37,495 before the destination fee ($1,295) and tax credits, or well under the $41,230 price of its predecessor. The trick, as you might guess, is a smaller battery. The base model (now called the ID.4 Standard) uses a new 62kWh battery that musters an estimated 208 miles of range. While that won't thrill anyone planning cross-country jaunts, it could make the EV a better value if you're just looking for a commuter car.
There are numerous technology upgrades, too. The ID.4 now comes standard with a previously optional 12-inch infotainment display, 45W USB-C, simpler Plug & Charge functionality and Intelligent Park Assist. All 2023 models now have driver-initiated lane changes in Travel Assist. You can also expect a posher interior with part-leatherette seats on the Standard model.
You'll still have strong incentives to buy higher-end configurations. The $42,495 ID.4 Pro upgrades to an 82kWh battery with an estimated 275-mile range and 170kW DC fast charging while throwing in perks like a heated windshield, a tow hitch and a variable compartment flow. An all-wheel drive variant of the Pro starts at $46,295. All of these models are available in an S trim that adds a panoramic roof, 12-way power seats, a power tailgate and more advanced lighting. The ID.4 S, Pro S and Pro AWD S respectively start at $42,495, $47,495 and $51,295.
At the high end, the $50,195 ID.4 Pro S Plus and $53,995 AWD Pro S Plus both offer 20-inch wheels, a speaker upgrade with subwoofer, an "Area View" camera system, three-zone climate control and power folding door mirrors. They replace last year's Gradient package.
The more affordable model arrives in the fall. It comes just as VW has started US production of the EV, and reflects the company's shifting strategy. It's betting that a lower price and equipment upgrades will help it undercut rivals in the $40,000 range, like Ford's Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai's Ioniq 5. While it won't be surprising if competitors offer similar options in the future, there's now a clearer reason to buy an ID.4 than before.