The ID we’ve been waiting for? Month 1 with the Volkswagen ID.5

Published: 18 April 2024 Updated: 03 May 2024

► We test the new VW ID.5 Pro
► Is it the Volkswagen ID EV we’ve been waiting for
► Welcome to month 1 of the journey

Few would argue that the ID range has been the out-of-the blocks success Volkswagen had initially anticipated. Modest range, software glitches, bland styling and ho-hum cabin quality – the ID. 3 fell a long way short of establishing itself as the next Wolfsburg icon alongside the Beetle and Golf.

The ID. 4 SUV hasn’t done much to change opinions, so perhaps the slightly more rakish and svelte ID. 5 can hit that sought-after sweet spot with a solid mix of style, performance, range, value and technology. Like all ID models to date the ID. 5 is underpinned by the battery-only MEB architecture, and it’s pitched as a rakish and dynamic coupe spin-off of the ID. 4. A car that, in VW’s words, ‘achieves a modern synergy of SUV and coupe’.

Volkswagen ID.5 Month 1 - front on

This ID. 5 is the rear-wheel-drive Pro Performance model that sits above the Pro and below the GTX models, and its 77kWh battery is rated at 201bhp, again placing it ahead of the 172bhp Pro model and the top-drawer all-wheel-drive 295bhp GTX.

With a chunky 2118kg kerb weight (73kg heavier than the heaviest VW Multivan) the ID. 5 will saunter its way to 62mph in 8.4 seconds, draw the electronic line at 99mph and, on paper, will return 3.9 miles per kWh for an WLTP range of 323 miles. Its maximum DC charging rate is 135kW for a zero to 80 per cent recharge time of 29 minutes.

The standard Pro Performance Tech model weighs in at £55,580 and is so laden with safety, convenience and infotainment kit that options are relatively limited. Tri-zone climate control, massage front seats, adaptive cruise control, augmented-reality head-up display, hands-free parking, active LED matrix headlamps, panoramic glass sunroof, wireless charging and Apple CarPlay, OTA updates – it’s a long list of standard gear.

Volkswagen ID.5 Month 1 - side dynamic

We splashed £1000 on upgrading from 19-inch Hamar alloys to 21-inch Narvik wheels, while opting for the two-tone Kings Red Premium metallic below and black above at a cost of a further £860. Last on the list is a swivelling towbar for £890, for a total of £58,330. No one said the entry ticket for the electric age came cheaply.

Those of you who followed my reports on the recently departed Volvo XC40 will know how quickly it secured our affections, didn’t put a foot wrong in six months, and almost, but not quite, made its punchy £61k price look like good value. 

After the Volvo XC40’s crisp lines and chunky proportions, which meant it couldn’t be mistaken for anything other than a Volvo, the blobby VW looks generically bland and anonymous. It’s more impressive on the go – the spacious and insulated cabin, excellent audio system, cushioned ride quality and direct steering work together to deliver an enjoyably relaxed demeanour and an easy-going driving experience.

Volkswagen ID.5 Month 1 - interior driving shot

Pity that serenity is regularly broken by either the voice-activated Hello ID digital assistant, which springs into life at random intervals, or me turning the air blue at the start of every trip as I try to deactivate the lane assist to stop the car constantly jinking left and right down the road.

Still, early days, and lots to discover.

Read month 2

Read month 3

Logbook: Volkswagen ID.5 Pro Performance Tech (month 1)

Price: £55,580 (£58,330 as tested) 
Performance: 77kWh battery, e-motor, 201bhp, 8.4sec 0-62mph, 99mph 
Efficiency: 3.9 miles per kWh (official), 3.3 miles per kWh (tested) 
Range: 323 miles (official), 291 miles (tested) 
Energy cost: 10.5p per mile 
Miles this month: 669 
Total miles: 669

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars