Home » VW Finally Fixes The Thing Everyone Complained About On The ID.4 (But Just On One Version)

VW Finally Fixes The Thing Everyone Complained About On The ID.4 (But Just On One Version)

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Volkswagen sent out a press release yesterday about updates to its mainstream electric crossover, the ID.4. The company has made some significant updates for 2024! More power from an all-new rear-wheel drive unit for the 82 kWh battery ones, there’s a new in-house developed inverter crammed in there, the range has gone up, and the price starts at $39,735. But the biggest change is one of the smallest: VW has finally illuminated the volume and temperature adjustment controls below the touchscreen. But only on the larger-battery models. Oh well, I guess it’s something?

Before I get into this more, a few specs: the new performance drive unit for the 82 kWh battery pack model makes 282 horsepower/402 lb-ft of torque for the RWD setup, and with the front drive motor that hp number goes to 335. The range for the smaller 62 kWh battery pack is 206 miles, while the big, juicy pack will go 291 miles.

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Okay, great, enough about that. Let’s get to the important stuff! Here’s what the press release says:

“Sliders for volume and temperature adjustment are located on the inclined surface below the display. For models with the 12.9-inch system, the sliders are backlit, and the climate control interface and infotainment menu have been revised for more intuitive operation.”

There’s pictures, too:

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See that bar of controls at the bottom? See how it’s night? See how you can see them? That’s a huge improvement from this:

Oldscreen

You may not think this is such a big deal, but pretty much every review made note of this annoyance, because, I think, there was just something so baffling and, well, avoidable about it. The concept of making things light up so they can be seen at night isn’t exactly a recent discovery, after all.

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And yet, for the 62 kWh battery versions of the 2024 VW ID.4, we still get this:

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It’s the same setup! Those controls are still not illuminated, despite VW developing a whole new set of illuminated controls for the 12.9-inch screen. Could they not have figured out a way to adapt those controls and bezel to the smaller 12-inch screen? I can only assume this is because of some cost-savings reason, because why the hell else would they have solved one of the most glaring issues of the car, but then only applied the solution to their upper trim levels?

I guess there’s a business-logic to it, but it’s still frustrating.

They did change the gear selector little rotating-knob thing they had to a stalk:

17676 2024id.4 Large

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…which is something that I personally didn’t feel like they needed to do. The gear selector wasn’t a problem!

And this all sort of points to the underlying reasons why I think the ID.4 isn’t a bigger success; it’s not that the car has overall problems, because I don’t think that’s the case. It’s a well-designed and pleasing EV, overall, practical and attractive and comfortable. It’s just the details where things go wrong, and not even big details, but the sort of details you encounter every time you drive the car, and those are the things that stick in your head. Details matter.

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A lot of these details have to do with user-interface controls, for things like the power windows, which I wrote about a while ago, and demonstrated, via the magic of moving pictures:

 

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A post shared by The Autopian (@theautopian)

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See what I mean? It’s the little things. They matter.

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So, while I’m delighted that VW has taken care of this rapidly-becoming-infamous problem, I’m still baffled that they somehow didn’t solve the problem entirely, when it sure as hell seems like they could have.

Maybe they’ll get it all sorted for the 2025 update.

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Erik Skavold
Erik Skavold
1 month ago

(this might’ve been noted earlier in the comments, but couldn’t immediately see it)

They did change the gear selector little rotating-knob thing they had to a stalk.

It’s still a rotating knob – they just changed the shape of it to the same as a few other new VW Group cars (see VW ID. Buzz, ID.4, Tiguan, Cupra Born VZ …)

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago

“They did change the gear selector little rotating-knob thing they had to a stalk”

Gear selector? What’s that? Does it decide what you should put in the cargo hold?

Grey alien in a beige sedan
Grey alien in a beige sedan
1 month ago

I rode in one of these at NAIAS last year and was pleasantly surprised by how competent the vehicle was. As an Asian car guy, I’m seriously contemplating buying one of these.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
1 month ago

As dumb as it is and there is no excuse for not having them, I can live with controls I rarely touch not being lit at night.. That cropped image of the C/D pillar area made me realize what a hideous, busy mess it is, though. Man, that’s ugly. I think the rest of it is actually pretty good looking in a boring, non-offensive kinda way.

Timbales
Timbales
1 month ago

I use my steering wheel buttons to adjust volume, so that wouldn’t really matter to me.
I just wish it wasn’t so homely. I prefer the styling of the ICE VW suvs.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Man, there are so many little problems with this thing that I half-expected to open this and see that they finally installed a frunk.

On that note, BRING BACK FRUNKS, VW.

Wgn_luv
Wgn_luv
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

There are aftermarket frunks available, mostly good for charging cable/pizza box storage.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago
Reply to  Wgn_luv

True, but VW should’ve fixed that from the factory…not to mention package things better to allow for more frunk space.

Wgn_luv
Wgn_luv
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

True they could’ve rearranged bits under the hood for a 1st party frunk.

But overall VW is far better than other legacy OEMs in packaging though. MEB hoods are shorter than the other EVs with frunks and the turning radius is so much tighter.

For ex: the Blazer EV which is a class larger has less cargo space than the ID4

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago
Reply to  Wgn_luv

IDK, man. I have a 411. I love a long hood with a big frunk, haha.

Wgn_luv
Wgn_luv
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Touche

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
1 month ago

I assumed you were talking about the window switches.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
1 month ago

The ID4 just doesn’t do anything good enough to make me want it. It’s not good enough looking, it’s not a good enough price, it doesn’t have best range… but there’s lots of little things I don’t like about it.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago

I don’t understand the gear stalk markings at all. Which way is go?

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
1 month ago

Twist forward for drive, twist backwards for reverse

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
1 month ago
Reply to  Jalop Gold

But what does B stand for? Brakes?

Dave mid-engine
Dave mid-engine
1 month ago
Reply to  Ecsta C3PO

It does, actually. B is like D, except when you let off the gas it brakes instead of coasting.

Take her for a test drive, and you’ll agree — Zagreb ebnom zlotdik diev.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Ecsta C3PO

R is “random”

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Yep, I hate it.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
1 month ago

They finally made this change which was good, but the omission of a full set of window switches still makes absolutely no sense to me. The cost of materials to make an extra set like in any other car would be so minimal to the price of the car. It seriously baffles me and the only reason I can find is someone in ergonomics/interiors decided “hey lets be high techy” and make the step for controlling rear windows more difficult. The rear windows already have their own separate switch so giving them to the driver would increase the BOM cost maybe $5 more at max. Something that could easily be offset with cheaper wiper motors or something. Anyways thats my rant for today.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

Nah. They probably dedicated a whole Raspberry Pi to controlling the two modes of the switches because one of the engineers spent a weekend playing with one.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
1 month ago

Have you seen the shortages of Raspberry Pi’s since 2019? There’s no way VW engineers would get ahold of one.

Querty
Querty
1 month ago

Looking at this car solves my sleeplessness every damn time

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
1 month ago

Well, I guess now I can continue not buying a mediocre car that I wasn’t going to buy anyway. Great job VW!

Harmanx
Harmanx
1 month ago

I thought the main problem he had with the ID.4 was absence of frunk.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
1 month ago

I’m looking to lease an EV as a second car / appliance for the family. It won’t be road tripped, so no concerns about range or charging – zero plans to buy out the lease.

So I’m considering one of these, among others, if I can score one for super cheap.

Looking into the id4, the solterra, some of the lower range base versions of like the ioniq 5…they’re just so so flawed as a primary car, or something to purchase (especially considering the market & depreciation).

It’s weird out there in EV land…

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
1 month ago

It is weird out there. Why? Why can’t they just make the same cars that everyone likes except with an EV powertrain? WHY? ANSWER ME!

Ben
Ben
1 month ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

Tesla, mostly. They convinced everyone that EVs must have weird, techno-dystopian interiors that suck.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

Because then they would just be cars, not mobility solutions.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
1 month ago

Lol. I work further down the supply chain for a company that manufactures “mobility solutions.” I just tell people we make the parts that make the cars go.

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
1 month ago

What blows my mind is that I have a 2019 Golf with exactly zero of these issues. I wouldn’t change a single thing about the HVAC, infotainment, steering wheel… all the buttons and knobs are intuitively placed and operable by touch. How they could mess up an “improvement” so badly…I just don’t understand.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago
Reply to  Scone Muncher

For real. Go back to a classic VW buttony interior and everyone would celebrate.

Alexk98
Alexk98
1 month ago
Reply to  Scone Muncher

I had a 2018 Golf and could not possibly agree more. Every single thing was extremely well laid out, intuitive, and perfectly tactile. I wanted to replace it with a Mk8 but then when I saw the interiors, defected into a new Mazda instead. Its got all the same tactility and ergonomics on the VW, but with more attractive design, and actual reliability. I would have been willing to sacrifice all of that if the Mk8 just had a decent interior layout, but VW fumbled so badly I’ll never have any current gen VW product.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

Get some of those battery operated LED units designed for under shelf mounting in cabinets. Tape them to the bottom of the touchscreen so that they shine on the climate controls. Inelegant? Sure. Faster and cheaper than waiting for VW to fix the problem? You bet.

AlterId
AlterId
1 month ago

Could they not have figured out a way to adapt those controls and bezel to the smaller 12-inch screen?

Of course they could have, but there’s a larger issue. Apparently the new control lighting uses a 500-watt incandescent bulb that’s shielded by mostly opaque plastic to provide just the right intensity and color temperature, and it would have too much of an impact on the smaller battery’s range.

Last edited 1 month ago by AlterId
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 month ago

I never understood the complaint about the non-backlit HVAC controls. I typically leave mine set at the same temperature and let the system figure out if it’s going to run the heater or AC. It’s a “set and forget” thing for me.

Now that VW has adopted the NACS standard, the only thing stopping them from selling every EV they can make is the clunky infotainment and phone app. If they get those working well, the ID.4 is a great alternative to the Model Y.

My wife and I are waiting for the ID.Buzz to show up at a local auto show. It may be the only EV minivan on the North American market. If we succeed in making kid #2, a minivan will make a lot of sense.

Geoffrey Reuther
Geoffrey Reuther
1 month ago

I have yet to meet a climate control system whose “Auto” setting is smart enough to know when A/C is needed to clear off condensation. There’s always a fair amount of fiddling in fall and winter to optimize visibility.

The only car in my fleet that doesn’t have backlit climate controls is my son’s ancient Subaru Legacy, which doesn’t have auto climate control.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
1 month ago

I have the inverse problem – all winter the Auto setting will only blow Defrost or Defrost + Feet. It makes my feet sweat while my body is still cold.

I’m still waiting on a car that can supply air to the windscreen and body at the same time so it can keep the window clear and also keep more than my feet warm. Is this just a Canadian concern?

Church
Church
1 month ago

I get how you might set it and forget it, but surely you can understand how someone would be disappointed by a manufacturer not having a nice, usable interface for the car? It may not be a deal breaker, but buying a new car and immediately finding disappointing features is, well, a bummer when you just spent a bunch of money. It’s one those things you may not think to check because it’s 2024 and we’ve been doing backlit controls for quite some time now.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 month ago

Like Torch said, the details really do matter. I had a rental last month with these controls, and they work, I guess. But it signifies such a profound level of Not Giving A Shit on Volkswagen’s part, and makes you wonder what else they half-assed.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago

My truck doesn’t have an auto and the Z4 does a decent job, but definitely never set and forget. Plus even if it’s immaterial to you, it’s not an unreasonable ask to have annunciators that, ya know, annunciate.

OnceInAMillenia
OnceInAMillenia
1 month ago

To each their own, but I’ve never found Auto to be particularly good at… well, anything in any of the brands of cars I’ve owned over the years. It’s either too soft and diffuse or goes immediately to LOUD ASS FAN that I feel if I have to micromanage it anyway, I might as well just adjust the controls manually.

Though, at the same time, I have no idea why temperature knobs are always given top billing in HVAC systems, because I change those only seasonally, whereas fan speed changes every few minutes.

Citrus
Citrus
1 month ago

Because at night you want to see all the buttons. Do I use all the buttons in my car at night? No. Do I still want to see where they are because it’s basic fucking UI design? YES. Even if you set it and forget it, that doesn’t mean everyone else does, and again, this is a solved problem that literally every other car on the market gets right.

Matti Sillanpää
Matti Sillanpää
1 month ago

I’ve got Skoda Enyqa 80x which is the ID4 AWD in more practical guise and has all the window swithces and no capacitive buttons in the steering wheel. Also the infotainment is a bit different, the HVAC controls are always in the bottom visible. And I have no gripe with any of it. Even seat heaters work with gloves these days. And I’ve got the car for 10 months now and I haven’t touched the heat setting (18C) since I got it, and we’ve had quite severe winter (4 months of -20C or more). It’s got the volume slider, but I don’t think anyone has touched it, there’s a volume knob in the steering wheel which is more handy anyways.

My main gripe is that the battery conditioning is apparently still not working, so below -20C the charging starts slowly (not that I use public charging more than once per month or two) and the range is limited to about 250km in below -20C. But even with heatpump, that seems to be what EV:s get in such conditions.

Finnish car magazine TM just *winter tested all the latest EV:s from all the major manufacturers, and such conditions travelling 100km/h (all at the same time). Consumption was from Tesla Model 3 LR 27,2Kwh/100km to Honda e:NY1 37,9kwh/100km. The Kia EV9 was second to last with 36,3khw/100km. And new VW ID7 did second best 28,2kwh/100km.

*The range is only small part of test, it wipes the floor with all US magazines with comes to testing science. They’ve winter tested cars for 50+ years.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

It gets hot as balls here, so I’m used to cranking the aircon up when I get in, then putting it down to a normal fan speed once temps are tolerable. Cars where that’s difficult are EXTREMELY frustrating to me.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Wow! When Stef puts down a puffalump to join the reply train about how bad auto climate controls are for some folks, I feel honored… or attacked. I can’t tell. Is it an honor to be attacked? I’ll just save my VW takes for r/UnpopularOpinion

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
1 month ago

Nah, keep sharing them here. We all have bad takes.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Oh, no—share away. I just wanted to point out that this one seems pretty climate-dependent.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

They changed it, didn’t fix it. I always thought the vents themselves should be the controls. Aim it tap on top for more heat on the bottom for more cooling air, tap to the right for more air on the left to reduce air. That way the person who is affected by the air controls the atmosphere and the driver isn’t distracted trying to make people happy.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

The Chevy Blazer we rented had vent-based controls, except it was rotating a bezel around the giant circular vents.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

I mean for it to control temp and air volume not just blocking air. I don’t think that has been done. But maybe like many of my brilliant ideas it has.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I meant for temperature control. There are 3 large circular vents, the left and right ones are ringed by the temperature control bezels.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

I got that but I think my idea is original

R Rr
R Rr
1 month ago

Same as an Audi from 20 years ago and some Mustangs from about 10 years ago

Last edited 1 month ago by R Rr
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