Why I Think the VW ID.2all Previews the New-Age Electric Golf and Why That's a Good Thing

First of all, I want to make it clear I’m not a Volkswagen brand fan or a Golf enthusiast. But I appreciate strategies that are a win-win situation for both the public and the companies. And I think the VW board may have done its smartest move from “Dieselgate” to date.
VW ID.2all could preview a completely new electric VW Golf 6 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
VW Golf 6 (up) was a facelift of VW Golf 5 (bottom)Production version of VW ID.2all should be called TheGolfVW ID.Life was an unfortunate proposalVW ID.2all promise sooooo much space inside!Theoretical range of 450 km will be more like 300-350 km in real life
I remember very well the fight dispute I had with many people, especially VW representatives, when “the new” Golf 6 came to market in 2009. The engineer in me couldn’t believe VW’s marketing stunt that simply promoted a facelift model as a completely new generation.

Exhibit A: the design of the “new” generation was just an upgrade of the Golf 5. The front and the back were redesigned, but 80% of the Golf 6 was the same as its “predecessor”. Of course, there were all kinds of exterior details overhauling, but this is the meaning of a facelift, to enhance details.

Exhibit B: the dimensions and the body of the cars were almost the same. The wheelbase was the same 2,578 mm (101.49 in.), while the difference in length was 5 mm (0.19 in.), due to the redesigned front and back. The Six was 20 mm (0.78 in.) wider and 6 mm (0.23 in.) lower, but these dimensions also vary according to tires and suspension setup for the same generation.

VW Golf 6 \(up\) was a facelift of VW Golf 5 \(bottom\)
Photo: Volkswagen
Of course, the interior had some design changes, notably higher-quality materials, and the engines in the Golf 6 were mostly turbocharged, from the new “downsizing” wave. But it wasn’t a new generation, it was just a facelift. Maybe a little bit more than what the industry was accustomed to, but still a facelift.

Exhibit C: the Golf 5 had an interesting semi-van variant, the Golf Plus. Well, the differences between the Golf 5 Plus and Golf 6 Plus were so few that it was very easy to mistake the “new” model for the “old” one. But, hey, it was the time when “Dieselgate” was cooking, and VW staff was fine with it.

So, you can see I’m not an advocate for Volkswagen. But times have radically changed for the German brand and I kind of like their focus on electromobility. I feared that the “ID.x” was a greenwashing strategy in the beginning, but now I think the new VW staff is committed to its greener future.

So, when I heard they want to ditch the Golf game, I was surprised and even angry. I already spilled my beans on the subject, and then shortly after the ID.2all came. This time I was surprised and even excited. Because the future production model could very well be my new family electric car.

Production version of VW ID\.2all should be called TheGolf
Photo: Volkswagen
Currently, I own a Dacia Spring, the cheapest EV in Europe, and a very good deal for my daily commute. But it’s not suitable for long journeys when we go to my daughter’s grandparents some 600 km (370 miles) away from home. As she’s four years old already, in the next few years we’ll probably do other long journeys in the country and abroad.

But for now, our family car is a compact Golf-sized Korean car, with a downsized turbocharged gasoline engine. Of course, it’s far better the electric Spring for long journeys because it’s more spacious, safer, and has a convenient range for long trips. Oh, and it’s just fine for my wife, who doesn’t like to drive bigger cars.

In our case, two adults and a kid don’t need more than a Golf-sized car, for both everyday commuting and occasionally longer trips. So, a 4-meter-long car is enough for us, and we don’t like SUVs, because they are not better than normal compact cars as marketing is trying to “educate” us.

From my experience with my family, 350 liters (10.5 cu. ft.) boot is ok for packing a lot of things, and compact cars offer a reasonably spacious interior for passengers. When we travel to the grandparents or on vacation, it’s me, my wife, my daughter, and the cat. The bottom line is we’re good with a Golf-sized car.

The ID.3 is not an option for me now, because of the price. So, the rumors in 2021 about an ID.2 made me curious. But the ID.LIFE concept was disappointing for me, as it seemed to preview a small SUV because that’s the trend in the industry. A trend I don’t dig.

VW ID\.Life was an unfortunate proposal
Photo: Volkswagen
They said the production car will cost less than 20,000 euros ($21,500) somewhere in 2025, and the maximum range will be around 400 km. Nice, but the little SUV concept wasn’t previewing the car that I need for my family. So, thank you, but no, thanks.

And then, this year Volkswagen surprised me with the ID.2all, which is simply a Golf. Some say it’s the electric Polo, but I stick to my opinion: it’s a Golf. Polo was always just a shrunk Golf, so I don’t care if it will be gone because of the Euro 7 emissions standard, as the VW boss complains.

Back to ID.2all, when I first saw the photos, my brain was like “this is a nice offspring of the Golf 4!” The fourth generation of Golf made such an impression on me twenty years ago, because it was one of the very first cars that I test-drove. So, yeah, I’m biased, sue me.

The ID.2all is very familiar, with its simple form. The front and the side simply continue the Golf saga, while the back is just a reminder of “less is more”. Overall, I see it as the common family car that Europeans are so used to. It’s an all-rounder with no false claims. And my wife likes it too, which is very important because it would be her daily car.

The interior is also simple, and it’s exactly what I want when I drive a car. Just a few buttons, large and easy-to-understand-and-operate displays, and lots of storage spaces. I think the production model’s cabin will be much simpler than the concept, which will only be better for me. And for my wife, who is also stressed when too many dials are around.

I’m very curious about the space it will provide passengers, I hope the seats in the back will be reasonably spacious. On the other hand, the boot is crazy big with 440 liters (15.5 cu. ft.). It’s even 490 liters (17.3 cu. ft.) when you consider the compartment under the rear seat and can be extended to more than 1,300 liters (46 cu. ft.).

VW ID\.2all promise sooooo much space inside\!
Photo: Volkswagen
That’s a lot of space for a lot of luggage. If the car will also be suitable for a roof box (my Spring is not), then count me and my wife in, we want it! When she’s going to work, she can drive a perfectly sized car in the city. When we’re going on long trips, the roof box and the boot space are the real deal. No SUV for us, thanks, we’ll stick with the ID.2all.

However, there’s the range-anxiety issue that must be overcome. ID.2all is luring the public with up to 450 km (280 miles) range. That “up to” always means the super-optimistic value is going to be much lower in real life. How much lower?

Based on my experience with the Spring, in the worst conditions, when it’s very cold outside and I must intensively use the air conditioner to warm the interior, the range simply cuts in half. Of course, the Spring is a Chinese-built car, and its lithium-ion battery is based on older technology.

So, is it a problem if the future electric Golf previewed by the ID.2all will have a more-than-200-km (around 150 miles) range in the winter? Or more like an average of 300-350 km (180-210 miles) throughout the year? This is concerning only for longer trips, as our gas compact car can easily cover 400-500 km (250-300 miles) when the tank is full.

No, it’s not a problem. After driving a lot in the last two decades, I concluded that I must take a break every 200-250 km (120-150 miles), at most. I can’t afford to drive tired or stressed when my family is in the car. Well, I never drive when I’m tired even if I’m on my own in the car. Safety is too much important.

So, taking breaks for fast charging along the way, when we’re traveling hundreds of kilometers or miles, is just natural. Having a family car that allows a between-charges range of about 250-300 km (150-180 miles) is simple enough for me.

Theoretical range of 450 km will be more like 300\-350 km in real life
Photo: Volkswagen
How about the price? VW says it will cost less than 25,000 euros ($27,000), but a proper trim with a good level of comfort for the family I suspect will be closer to 30,000 euros (over $32,000). If the government subsidies will still be in place in a few years, and I think they will, I will probably pay for the car around 20,000 euros ($21,500).

This is simply very close to “affordable”. And it’s one of the main features that made Golf such a hit after all these years. So, in my opinion, the production model based on the ID.2all should be named VW TheGolf. It’s not a new generation anymore, it simply is a completely new breed of Golf. Shut up and take my money, where do I sign for the pre-order?
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About the author: Oraan Marc
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After graduating college with an automotive degree, Oraan went for a journalism career. 15 years went by and another switch turned him from a petrolhead into an electrohead, so watch his profile for insight into green tech, EVs of all kinds and alternative propulsion systems.
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