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Why VW’s ID.5 GTX is more evolution than revolution

With lots of power and plenty of room, car looks well – but it’s just too pricey

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Volkswagen's new ID.5 GTX

Volkswagen's new ID.5 GTX

Volkswagen's new ID.5 GTX

We’re starting to see electric cars at a juncture now where they are beginning to spawn offshoots. It’s a sure sign there is perceived demand for something a bit different for buyers to spend their money on.

The great thing about electric cars is it doesn’t take much to tweak them into something faster, quicker, more sedate, less costly, different looking – you choose the menu and the chances are something’s cooking or already on the table.

That is certainly the case with Volkswagen, which is pushing new and special editions. The ID.5 GTX is a case in point. With all-wheel drive (AWD) it is one – performance – version of the recently introduced ID.5 line.

That in itself is a Volkswagen take (more spacious thanks to added length) on the ID.4, only it has a sloping roofline more in keeping with what we’ll call an electric SUV/coupe. That sloping roof doesn’t really affect headroom  

The cabin is much the same as the ID.4. Which means there is the counter-intuitive drive selector for reverse and boost, etc. I know I am wasting my time criticising it and I know I’m not the quickest to adapt sometimes but I’ve come to dislike the way it works.

Why can’t they keep it simple like other makes? Why not just press a button and off with you – rather than twisting and turning a knob like you’re playing pinball. I’m not mentioning it any more, so consider the issue closed. 

It’s a cliché, I know, that the large screen dominates the dash but those slide controls for audio volume, etc and the feckity nature of the concept are annoying.

Elsewhere, the large, powerful battery can certainly shift it (as you’d expect from a Volkswagen of any sort with the letters ‘GT’ in its name).

It has a claimed 490km range. I think it is optimistic but as I say every time I drive an EV, it depends so much on the sort of route you take and how you drive.

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Motorways soaked up a lot of energy at 100kmh because I was using its torque to get a bit of rapid acceleration going, for the fun of it, but that didn’t last when I saw the gauge slipping.

Yet I was really impressed with how little it used around town so maybe 430km-450km is achievable if there is a reasonable balance between town and country driving and you curb your enthusiasm. That’s not bad at all.

At maximum DC charging capacity you can add 390 or so kilometres to your journey range in around half an hour or so.

That’s what Volkswagen reckon anyway. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all access that sort of power input?

So it’s a well setup large EV with a lot of new updates – another effect of the digital age where newer tech is easily loaded onto the variants as they come on the market.

The GTX covered a fair amount of ground fairly capably but I wouldn’t say it distinguished itself in any great way in terms of driving verve even though it has so much power at its disposal.

By my reckoning you’d need to be getting a bit more bite for your buck given that the test car will set you back nearly €80,000.

I do think that is a bit steep. There is a delivery and service charge of €1,300 included in the price. I’m sure they have their reasons and fair dues to them for publishing the figures – not everyone does – but it is a fair few euro on top of everything else.

Would I buy it? The question comes early because I have to tell you I never quite got what you might call a ‘buzz’ from it. I think it’s a perfect example of a modern EV in that it holds a high level of proficiency across the board with the possible exception of those sliding controls and the drive selector.

Yet it doesn’t have any great allure or outstanding attribute.

What it does have is plenty of room for a family, a nice turn of pace from that 299PS EV system and I suppose there is the coupe-like roofline that gives it a different profile.

But in hard-cash terms I’d not spend the extra. I’d spend it on the ID.4 which, apart from everything else, drives quite well.

Frankly, I don’t think the ID. 5 GTX does enough to warrant the extra thousands of outlay.

I’m sure it will sell well to those who want to be seen in a larger VW SUV/Coupe with all its badgings and signature touches.

I can see why a family would like it and how practical it would be for them in its spacious interior. Maybe I’m too conservative but I’d take the ID.4 and keep the money saved for when something that really takes my fancy comes along.

As it will because that’s the beauty of the current EV flow: there may not yet be one that fires the imagination, but there will be.

Fact file

Volkswagen ID.5 GTX, 77kWh battery. 

Entry price €77,110. With extras and delivery charges test car: €78,592. 

Standard spec includes 20ins alloys, 12ins Discover Max' nav system, Matrix LED headlights, exterior styling/badging, head-up display, climatronic air con, car-to-car wireless info transfer, adaptive chassis control, overhead, reversing camera, GTX front seats with red stitching, panoramic sunroof, intelligent park assist, wireless charging, 2USB-Cs.


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