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Volkswagen ID.6 X Pure: Spacious seven-seater proves popular

By Ghaith Madadha - Jul 31,2023 - Last updated at Jul 31,2023

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen

Launched in 2021, the Chinese-built Volkswagen ID.6 electric-powered crossover has quickly proved to be an automotive hit in Jordan — especially with larger families — despite not being “officially” available, but rather shipped and sold by independent “grey” market auto importers.

If not quite as popular as its smaller, more affordable ID.4 sister model, uptake of the longer, 7-seat ID.6 nevertheless overshadows the German manufacturer’s “official” local line-up, which reflects a wider GCC-centric Middle East product strategy that overlooks the specificities and demands of smaller regional markets.

 

Two of a kind

Highlighting the different market requirements and import regulations between Jordan and the Gulf region, the Chinese-made ID.6 outsells Volkswagen’s closest officially-imported non-EV Teramont model by a wide margin in Jordan. Offered in two variants, Chinese ID.6s are produced in collaboration with two manufacturing partners, and include the ID.6 X, built by SAIC-Volkswagen — as featured — and the ID.6 Crozz by FAW-Volkswagen. The latter features slightly a more vertically-oriented lower intake style, and almost imperceptibly different bumper, grille and lighting element designs.

A dedicated EV from ground up, the ID.6’s design is taut, sharp and swept, yet incorporates curvy lines and edges. It is nevertheless bulky, with its high flanks necessitated by a large underbody battery pack. Its heft and high bonnet line are, however, visually reduced by the use of lower black cladding and vast alloy wheels offered in between 19-inches and up to 21-inches. Tall faux side intakes and dramatically squinting headlights meanwhile add visual aggression, and compensate for the lack of a functional grille.

 

Battery-powered balance

A modern 7-seat crossover SUV that utilises the original Volkswagen Beetle’s classic rear-engine, rear-drive layout, the ID.6 is essentially a more spacious longer wheelbase sister to the more popular ID.4. Powered by an 83.4kWh battery pack, the more powerful higher spec Pure and Pro versions’ compact electric motor develops 201BHP and 228lb/ft torque. Driving the rear wheels through a single-speed automatic gearbox, the ID.6 X Pure is estimated to carry its hulking, near 2.3-tonne mass through 0-100km/h in approximately 9.1-seconds and onto a 160km/h top speed.

Better balanced in how it serves up its output than most EVs, the ID.6 rides a near instant and muscular torrent of torque from standstill, but without too easily overpowering its driven rear wheels. Producing a proportionate level of power to torque, the ID.6 drives in a more progressive and linear manner. Responsively aggressive at low speed and versatile in building velocity when cruising, the ID.6 is, however, best at moderate speeds, while its acceleration vigour drops off somewhat beyond highway speeds, like most single-speed EVs.

Long range refinement

Delivering a long, claimed 617km single charge driving range, it is safe to assume a somewhat lesser range in “real world” conditions, topography and driving style from the ID.6. Charging time is meanwhile quoted at 40-minutes for an 80 per cent fast charge using a high capacity non-domestic DC charger, where available. Still falling short of the quick convenience of combustion vehicles’ refuelling time, the ID.6’s more conventional AC charging time is meanwhile estimated at up to 12.5-hours, depending on charger type and electricity supply.

A quiet, confident and comfortable motorway cruiser, the ID.6 is however most efficient in stop/start urban driving, where abundant torque usefully negates the need for multiple gear ratios, while regenerative brakes have more opportunity to recoup kinetic energy. A consummate commuter that conveniently recharges between long stops at destination, the ID.6 is very much an on-road vehicle, with little pretension of off-road ability, due to a low and heavy battery pack, two-wheel drive, absence of low-range gears, low front bumper, and little more ground clearance than a car.

 

Generous and grounded

A user-friendly town vehicle with its light electric-powered steering, reversing camera and parking sensors, the ID.6’ rear-motor, rear-drive configuration meanwhile produces a high level of traction when powering aggressively from standstill. Perhaps slightly reminiscent of sportier cars with similar configurations, the ID.6 is tidy on turn-in with its somewhat rear-biased weighting and low centre of gravity, but more susceptible to understeer than the shorter ID.4. With a grounded feel and well-controlling body lean, the ID.6’s big 255/50R20 tyres and longer wheelbase meanwhile help develop road holding when powering out of corners.

Refined inside, the ID.6 well absorbs most road imperfections, but can feel slightly firm over jagged bumps and cracks. Its horizontally-oriented design, digital instrumentation and large tablet-style infotainment screen, meanwhile create a fresh uncluttered and up-market ambiance, and driving position is supportive, well-adjustable comfortable and with commanding front views. Well equipped with safety convenience, assistance and infotainment features, the ID.6’s longer wheelbase over the ID.4 translates in spacious middle row legroom and good third row access. Luggage capacity meanwhile expands from 200-litres to 1,820-litres with rear rows down.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Engine: Rear-mounted permanent magnet synchronous electric motor
  • Battery: Liquid-cooled lithium, 83.4kWh
  • Gearbox: 1-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
  • Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 201 (204) [150]
  • Power-to-weight: 88BHP/tonne*
  • Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 228 (310)
  • Torque-to-weight: 136Nm/tonne*
  • 0-100km/h: 9.1-seconds*
  • Top speed: 160km/h
  • Range, CLTC: 617km**
  • Charging, DC fast charger, 30-80 per cent/AC slow charging: 40-minutes/12.5-hours*
  • Length: 4,876mm
  • Width: 1,848mm
  • Height: 1,680mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,965mm
  • Luggage volume, min/max: 200-/1,820-litres*
  • Kerb weight: 2,280kg*
  • Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion
  • Suspension: MacPherson struts/five-link
  • Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/drums, regenerative
  • Tyres: 235/50R20
  • *Estimate
  • **China light-duty vehicle test cycle
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