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Volkswagen ID.4 vs Tesla Model Y: Which One Wins?

Volkswagen ID.4 vs Tesla Model Y

Volkswagen ID.4 vs Tesla Model Y: Which One Wins?

EVs have grown massively in popularity over the last few years. This is thanks in part to maturing tech, easier costs of entry, and a whole host of other factors. The entry into the market from more established manufacturers certainly hasn’t hurt things either. So, do any of these legacy manufacturers stack up against the successful Tesla?

Tesla has made a name for itself by producing commercially viable EVs, but how does their Model Y compare to the Volkswagen ID.4? Let’s take a look at the specs and everything else that makes these two vehicles tick.

Volkswagen ID.4 vs Tesla Model Y: Side-by-Side Comparison

Volkswagen ID.4Tesla Model Y
DrivetrainRear wheel driveAll wheel drive
Wheelbase108.9 inches113.8 inches
Base Curb Weight4568 pounds4555 pounds
Horsepower145 hp384 hp
Battery Capacity62 kWh80.5 kWh
On-Board Charger11 kW11.5 kW
Maximum Range275 miles330 miles
volkswagen id.4 EV electric vehicle car
Volkswagen advertised the ID.4 as a car for “the millions, not the millionaires.”

Volkswagen ID.4 vs Tesla Model Y: What’s the Difference?

The differences between these two vehicles are a little more pronounced than one might think.

Performance

A simple fact is that the Tesla Model Y has more get-up-and-go to its engine. The Model Y has over double the horsepower of the ID.4, which makes for a substantial difference when it comes to torque, acceleration, and overall power. This is coupled with an altogether larger battery, which gives a 55-mile difference between the two in operational range.

While the ID.4 is lacking in power and range, it is very much an entry-level sports utility vehicle. What it lacks in power and range is easily excused by the two operating at different price points. So, while the 145-horsepower engine may seem anemic, it serves as a perfectly adequate vehicle in most driving conditions.

While the optimal range of the VW ID.4 is adequate, it isn’t on the higher end of things like the Tesla Model Y or even the Rivian line of trucks and SUVs. For most city driving, however, it is more than capable of the task. Even when considering highways and rural roads, the ID.4 and the Tesla Model Y do just fine.

hummer ev vs silverado ev
It’s rumored that Tesla will be releasing multiple new EVs at the end of 2023.

Features

When it comes to the interior and actual inner workings of the vehicle, that is where things get a little more pronounced. The gulf in the price is immediately reflected in the fit and finish of the materials inside each vehicle. As one can expect, the fit and finish of the interior of the Model Y is a more premium experience. Materials are more luxurious, and the cabin space itself is more spacious.

Conversely, the ID.4 provides plenty of headroom and legroom for the passengers and driver. There is a proper instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, and there are more physical controls for manipulating the vehicle.

Autonomy is also a stark departure, with the Model Y having more autonomous features present than the ID.4. Volkswagen doesn’t have an equivalent to the Autopilot feature offered by Tesla, which can be a dealbreaker for some.

For those not wanting to enter into automated driving, there is a good deal of parity in driver assistance tech. The Model Y is an overall more mature product and has had time and development to refine its systems. Volkswagen’s ID.4 still fares well, however, and the automated driver assistance functions as intended.

Kia EV9 vs. Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y provides autonomous features such as autopilot.

Charging

Charging is one of the more crucial aspects to consider when purchasing an EV. Tesla has a wider nationwide infrastructure for their Superchargers. These operate quickly, topping off batteries with minimal turnaround time. Tesla vehicles can use other chargers, provided they conform to certain standards, but the official ones are ideal.

The Volkswagen ID.4 can use Level 1, Level 2, DC Fast Chargers, and Tesla Superchargers. Since it uses universal connections, it is simply a matter of purchasing an adapter to take advantage of the wider coverage of the Superchargers.

This gives both vehicles a fair bit of flexibility when it comes to planning trips and the like. Overall, the edge for charging support goes to the ID.4, which doesn’t require standardization from Tesla to actually power your vehicle.

chevy bolt vs tesla model y
The Tesla Model Y shares an estimated 75 percent of its parts with the Tesla Model 3.

Volkswagen ID.4 vs. Tesla Model Y: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. Volkswagen ID.4 is one of IIHS’s top safety picks for 2022.
  2. Volkswagen ID.4 has wireless phone charging.
  3. The ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV.
  4. Tesla Model Y is part of one of the largest charging networks in the United States.
  5. Tesla Model Y has an acclaimed infotainment system built into the vehicle.
  6. All vital operations of the Tesla Model Y are done through the infotainment console.

Volkswagen ID.4 vs Tesla Model Y: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

These two vehicles are comparable in many ways, but they seem to serve different market segments. If price isn’t a consideration and you want the absolute best choice, then the Tesla Model Y presents a rather attractive choice.

The Model Y is filled to the brim with premium features and has been the standard by which other EVs have been judged for years now. For those on a budget or looking to purchase their very first EV, the Volkswagen ID.4 is a great entry-level vehicle.

What it lacks in tech is more than made up for by being similar in operation to Volkswagen’s previous vehicles. While it certainly is missing the autonomous features that premium EVs are shipping with, it makes for a great budget choice that certainly isn’t lacking in terms of performance.

Volkswagen ID.4 vs Chevy Bolt EUV
The Volkswagen ID.4 is a great option for those who are new to electronic vehicles.

Tesla and VW in the News for EVs

There’s been a recent surge in the EV market as consumers rush to make the switch to SUVs. The Model 3 is Tesla’s best-selling vehicle, with a current starting price of $51,990, in competition with Volkswagon’s extremely popular ID.4 which starts at the much cheaper rate of $41,190.

There are a few key factors for the recent increase in SUV purchases, including increased environmental awareness, cost savings for switching to a large-model EV, and government incentives for making the swap to electric. These two EV SUVs, along with their direct competitors linked below, boast longer ranges for EVs, and luxurious interiors to match the increased vehicle size.

Recent Updates to the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID.4

Both Tesla and Volkswagen continue to innovate their products to provide top-quality EVs to consumers. Since February 2023, we have seen several updates for both EVs. Tesla has released a new base model for the Model Y which features rear-wheel drive, a 279 mile range, and a price cut of $10,000. Tesla has also added over-the-air update capabilities to the Model Y, a bonus for consumers who don’t want to go to the dealership for new software updates. When it comes to the Volkswagen ID.4, we have seen software updates for more efficient performance and improved range. Volkswagen has also started releasing the ID.4 in more markets including Canada and Mexico. And, both the Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y have released new color options for their EVs.

The Future of Volkswagen and Tesla EVs

With advancements to EV technology happening every day, we can expect to see even more updates from Tesla and Volkswagen. In the following six to 18 months, we may see Volkswagen update the range of the ID.4, improve the charging speed, and introduce new features like a panoramic sunroof, surround-view camera system, and more. Tesla may continue to improve their autopilot feature, along with introducing new color options and branching out into international markets.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the ID.4 support autonomous driving?

The ID.4 unfortunately has no autonomous driving package by default. Autonomous driving as a whole is still a rather new development in the EV space, and as such adoption isn’t as widespread. You’ll typically see autonomous driving in more premium EVs, like Tesla, Rivian, and so on.

The ID.4 is loaded with lots of great tech features, but Volkswagen has yet to adopt any autonomous driving platform fully into its product line at this time. While they’ve been making EVs since the introduction of the E-Golf.

Autonomous driving is the next wave of tech to get widespread adoption among EVs, so the lower-cost alternatives will likely see implementations of it in the next few years.

Does the Tesla Model Y have physical controls?

The Model Y’s various functions are controlled solely by the infotainment panel. All vital functions like climate control, putting the car into gear, and engaging the locks are all controlled via the central panel.

This is in stark contrast with Volkswagen’s offering which has a smaller infotainment panel but retains the gear shifter and climate controls integrated into the dash.

For those seeking physical controls to use their vehicle, they’d likely be better off looking at other vehicles than a Tesla. While the Tesla is a premium EV, it has very little in the way of physical controls.

Can the Tesla Model Y use any charging station?

Tesla’s EVs are compatible with most charging stations, the caveat being there are certain standards and guidelines which must be adhered to for accessing them.

Compare this to the universal charging stations of other EVs and it can be a dealbreaker for some. The Superchargers provided nationwide by Tesla are a solid option, however, and charge at a far faster rate than any Level 2 charger available.

Conversely, the Volkswagen ID.4 is able to use the Tesla Superchargers as well as any other charging station that might be present. While you might need to use an adapter to fully utilize the Supercharger, that is a minimal investment to get quite a bit more flexibility when topping off your EV on trips.

Are EVs cheaper to use than regular cars?

EVs have quite a few noted differences over their fossil fuel-powered siblings. One of the largest differences is in the cost of maintenance. EVs aren’t driven by combustion engines, which naturally have their own costs and maintenance associated with them.

Standard maintenance on a gasoline-powered car can be a little higher, but the bonus is that most mechanics are qualified to work on the vehicles. With EVs, they need to be certified by the manufacturer and available in your area. They can be cheaper, but there are trade-offs to keep in mind.

Are you able to use the federal tax credit with either of these EVs?

At the time of this writing, the only EV qualified for use with the federal tax credit is the ID.4. Tesla has been a gold standard of sorts for EVs and has a far wider rate of adoption, as such their credits have been depleted until further notice.

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