Electric car VW ID.5 GTX in the driving report: Fleet shell with fresh software

It can hardly be explained rationally: think of a vehicle format that pretends to be able to do more than a normal car off the beaten track, equip it with huge wheels and slightly more ground clearance, add a flat rear end and give the whole package a sporty attitude on – the SUV coupe is ready. It’s good for the industry that purchasing decisions, even when it comes to cars, are not made solely on the basis of practical aspects. For the corporations, it is crucial whether they get rid of their products in the desired quantities, and with the jacked-up coupé actors, there seems to be a sufficiently large number of interested parties from a global perspective. The VW ID.5 is therefore not alone on the market, but is in a rapidly growing environment. We were already able to do a first lap with the SUV.

It was particularly exciting to see whether Volkswagen finally managed to get its software problems under control. Technically, nothing separates the ID.5 from the other models on this platform. The maximum energy content in the battery is 77 kWh, the charging capacity has been increased slightly to 135 kW – so not a big step. The drive of the ID.5 GTX is also already being transplanted into various seedlings of this platform. The system output is 220 kW. An asynchronous motor with 70 kW works on the front axle and a synchronous motor with 150 kW at the rear. VW calls 6.3 seconds in the standard sprint, with 180 km/h the GTX can drive 20 km/h faster than the models with less power.

Previously, cars based on the modular electrical kit could charge with a maximum of 125 kW. Up to 135 kW are now possible.

In a direct comparison to these versions, you notice comparatively little of the second unit on the front axle during the test drive. However, this is mainly due to the fact that the congested country roads around Salzburg did not give the GTX much room for dynamic driving. With 220 kW, the power is far more than sufficient, most drivers should be completely satisfied with the 150 kW version. Putting the money into a little more equipment makes sense to us, even though the times when you could put together a new car individually with individual extras are over. There are only a few packages that can be booked for the ID.5.

The maximum output of 220 kW is only available in its entirety under precisely defined conditions. VW makes no secret of this, but states the preconditions very clearly:

Maximum electrical power 220 kW: Maximum power determined in accordance with UN-GTR.21, which can be called up for a maximum of 30 seconds. The power available in the individual driving situation depends on variable factors such as outside temperature, temperature, charge and conditioning status or physical aging of the high-voltage battery. In particular, the availability of maximum power requires the high-voltage battery to have a temperature of between 23 and 50 degrees Celsius and a battery charge level of more than 88 percent. Deviations from the above parameters can lead to a reduction in performance or even the non-availability of the maximum performance.

VW puts consumption in the WLTP at 17.7 to 20.5 kWh/100 km. The maximum range in this cycle is 491 km.

The panoramic roof gives the already spacious interior a sense of extra size. Unfortunately, VW saves an opening, which takes away some of the charm of this extra. The Pilot Assist function, which relieves the driver of a lot of work even in poor weather conditions, worked convincingly in the test car. Rarely does the system remind you to hold the steering wheel. While some other manufacturers tend to annoy the driver with constant warnings, the ID.5 lets you pass a light touch on the steering wheel as driving activity.

The distinguishing feature of the GTX interior is the red seam across the dashboard.

The assistant works so well, keeps a distance from the traffic ahead, correctly displays trucks or cars in the AR head-up display and offers an interesting feature with cloud support. If the data release is activated, the ID models draw digital tracks across the country and thus build up a map of routes that results from the averaged lanes of the different journeys. If enough different IDs have driven the same route, other vehicles can call up the track via the cloud and use it for assistance and later also pilot drives. In Austria, none of these tracks were visible – they can be recognized by a dotted line in the assistance display.

The center display is quite lavish at 13 inches, the tiny screen of the instrument cluster may pass as funny in the ID.3, but in the ID.5 it looks a bit lost. When navigating, hardly any information fits here and the three information tiles push each other out of the field of vision when you press the view button on the steering wheel, as if they just didn’t have enough space. The head-up display with augmented reality is standard in the ID.5. It duplicates some of the information displayed on the instrument cluster, so space is wasted.

The OS 3.1 was already working in the test car. The first batch of the ID.5 will be delivered with OS 3.0. It mainly brings improved route planning with automatic loading stops compared to the previous version. The navigation request to distant Hanover is answered politely after a few commemorative seconds – including two charging stops, according to the navigation system, we should arrive within 8 hours and 25 minutes with a remaining capacity of 12 percent. How reliable the forecast is can only be validated by testing the system. A casual comment from an employee when the vehicle was handed over summed up the fears: “First we checked Google Maps to see what the routes are today”. Two of the three routes to the hotel were excluded that day because Google – not the VW system – suggested it that way.

The navigation system in the ID.5 also needs improvement in version 3.1. Again and again voice commands are misinterpreted as destination input. The test route leads through the border area between Germany and Austria, which obviously leads to frequent registration and deregistration of the vehicle in different mobile networks. Nuance’s onboard voice recognition also works in principle without an internet connection, but in case of doubt, it classifies voice input as a possible navigation input according to a statistical procedure. If the vehicle is online, voice input works much more smoothly.

The display with active route guidance also has its pitfalls. The preset zoom level, for example, wants to make the route guidance clearer by completely hiding smaller side streets. However, these are extremely useful for orientation and the lack of precisely this information sometimes makes turning unnecessarily difficult. When cornering, which is quite frequent in the Alps, the vehicle alignment is only tracked haltingly, which makes orientation even more difficult.

The VW ID.5 is full in design.

The wireless version of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is a perfect success. The smartphone rests on the QI charger in the center console and fills the display with navigation content, music services and everything that the two automotive connections have to offer for smartphones.

The ID.5 is currently available in three versions: the basic model with 128 kW costs 46,515 euros, the variant with 150 kW around 1000 euros more. The ID.5 GTX that we drive starts at 53,615 euros. By default, VW already deducts the manufacturer’s share of the environmental bonus in the configurator. If anyone is looking for another argument as to why corporations are throwing a vehicle format onto the market that at first glance seems as sensible as the tasty combination of strawberry ice cream and liverwurst: there is not only a relevant number of customers for this, but they accept them special packaging in the case of the ID.5 also around 3000 euros extra. From a rational point of view, the SUV coupe format makes a lot of sense for the industry. Everyone else can console themselves with the fact that the more practical version is available for a little less money.


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