What Is Volkswagen's IQ.Drive System?

Like every mainstream automaker, VW is aiming to lure buyers with a bundle of driver-assistance features.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan SELR Line Oryx WhiteVolkswagen

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Volkswagen lumps several driver-assistance features into a safety suite, which it calls IQ.Drive. The German automaker provides this as standard equipment on a couple of its vehicles, but charges extra for it (or relegates it to a high trim level) on most models in its lineup.

What Are the Main Features of Volkswagen IQ.Drive?

IQ.Drive includes collision-avoidance warnings when the vehicle is traveling forward or in reverse, plus automatic emergency braking to help the driver avoid or mitigate an impact. It also provides lane-keeping assist (at speeds above 35 to 37 mph), adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go capability on automatic models), and blind-spot monitoring. The last of those features alerts the driver of vehicles lurking near the VW’s flanks by illuminating lights in the side mirrors. Moreover, should the driver overlook this warning and attempt to make a lane change, the system will tell the car to countersteer, potentially preventing a crash.

Does the Volkswagen IQ.Drive Offer Hands-Free Driving?

It’s important to note that IQ.Drive does not give a vehicle autonomous driving capability, nor can the driver remove their hands from the wheel (as is possible with General Motor’s Super Cruise and Ford’s BlueCruise systems on compatible roads). That said, VW does try to make highway cruising more comfortable with the suite’s Travel Assist feature. Activated by a button on the steering wheel, Travel Assist essentially combines adaptive cruise control with lane keeping and lane centering. If the driver fails to keep both hands on the wheel, however, Emergency Assist will kick in: via visual and audible warnings, the car will implore the driver to take action, followed by a brief brake jolt. Unless the driver responds with a steering input, the vehicle will activate the hazard lights and come to a gradual stop in its lane.

How Much Does Volkswagen IQ.Drive Cost?

The ID.4 electric crossover and the Arteon sedan both come standard with the entire IQ.Drive suite. Other models receive bits and pieces of IQ.Drive, such as blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning, but for the comprehensive feature set, you’ll have to pay extra for it, either by selecting an added-cost package or a high trim level. Even so, it’s not terribly expensive. On the base 2023 VW Tiguan compact crossover, which starts at about $27,000, the IQ.Drive package costs almost $900.

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Jim Koscs
Jim Koscs has been writing about cars for more than 30 years, his byline appearing in national enthusiast and trade publications, newspapers, and websites. He covers a broad spectrum of topics in automotive business, culture, collecting, design, history, racing, and technology. The "car thing" goes way back for Jim. At the 1968 New York Auto Show, he snuck away from his father to get a better look at a Rolls-Royce... from underneath it, to see if it had dual exhausts. (It didn't.)