The results are in on Tuesday, and the Volkswagen ID.4 has been named 2021 World Car of the Year. A panel of 93 jurors from 28 countries chose VW’s latest electric crossover over the Honda E and Toyota Yaris for the title.
The Audi A6 received the first World Car of the Year award in 2005. Since then, the annual awards show has grown to include five categories: efficiency, design, luxury, urban, and, of course, overall winner. VW bagged the crown this year.
When considering the three finalists for the award, the VeeDub can seem to be the only reasonable option. The Honda E Electric City Car and the new Toyota Yaris, both of which are not available in the United States, were its competitors for 2021.
The ID.4 is now available in dealerships around the world, and our time behind the wheel revealed a crossover that is roomy, comfortable, and capable. While the single-motor variant’s 201 horsepower (150 kilowatts) isn’t especially exciting, its 250-mile range in a large people mover is a bonus.
The German carmaker’s first all-electric SUV
Volkswagen‘s first all-electric SUV, the ID.4, was unveiled in the second half of 2020.
If you’re from Europe and the shape of this thing looks uncannily similar, it’s because the VW shares a lot with Skoda’s Enyaq iV.
The ID.4, like the Skoda and the ID.3, is built on the VW Group’s MEB platform for electric vehicles. It seats five people and is slightly smaller than the Enyaq, measuring 4.584mm long, 1.852mm wide, and 1.612mm high. It’s longer than a Tiguan, about the same width, and a little lower.
The rear wheels are driven by a single 201hp e-motor, which is powered by a 77kWh battery (which weighs nearly half a ton) mounted under the floor.
The range is up to 520 kilometers, the acceleration time is 8.5 seconds, and the maximum speed is 160 kilometers per hour. The maximum charging rate is 125kW, which equates to around 320 kilometers in 30 minutes. A “top-of-the-range model with even more power and all-wheel drive” is expected to arrive later, as well as a less expensive entry-level car with a smaller battery and shorter range.
The interior is very similar to the ID.3’s. It has a small number of buttons (even the steering wheel’s ‘buttons’ are touch-sensitive), a large touchscreen, and the same BMW i3-style gear selector fixed on the steering column.
In terms of other World Car Award winners, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class took first place in the World Luxury Car category, which should come as no surprise. With the new generation, which debuted in September 2020, the flagship sedan’s status as the global benchmark for luxury and technology remains intact.
Another non-surprise is the Porsche 911 Turbo winning the World Performance Car title, with 572 horsepower (427 kW) and a top speed of 2.7 seconds in non-S trim.
The Honda E for World Urban Car, which is available in European and Japanese markets, was also a winner. World Car Design of the Year was awarded to the Land Rover Defender. A World Green Car category for electric and hybrid cars was previously included in the awards. This was phased out in 2020, although a new category dedicated solely to fully electric vehicles will be introduced the following year.
In the awards process, 94 global jurors drive and evaluate a wide variety of vehicles that are either new or substantially revamped for the current model year. Vehicles must be sold in at least two of the seven continents for a minimum of one year, from May to May, to qualify for a World Car Award.