Hybrids & Electrics

The Tesla Model Y Shouldn’t Cower at the Arrival of the Volkswagen ID.4

If you’re shopping for an electric crossover, you don’t have many options in the U.S. market. For the time being, the most popular model is the Tesla Model Y. Aside from offering great performance, the Model Y has a substantial amount of electric range. Next up to enter the pool of electric crossovers is Volkswagen with the ID.4. According to Volkswagen, the ID.4 is set to arrive as an excellent crossover at a much cheaper starting price.

Is the Volkswagen ID.4 after the Tesla Model Y?

If Volkswagen intends to fight against the Tesla Model Y, the ID.4 needs to impress. In this regard, VW’s newest electric crossover is off to a good start. According to VW, the ID.4 will arrive with a single electric motor mounted in the rear developing 201-hp of rear-wheel drive power. A more powerful all-wheel-drive version with 302 hp is set to join the lineup later in 2021. Additionally, the small Tesla-fighter is set to have an electric range of 250 miles.

To combat the supercharging network available to the Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen partnered up with Electrify America. The result is that the ID.4 will come included with three years of fast charging at Electrify America’s stations. This partnership will allow ID.4 buyers to gain up to 80 percent of the available range in about 38 minutes.

In terms of design, the ID.4 features a sleek exterior aesthetic, largely in place to maximize electric range. The interior is a similar story featuring just two main screens. The first is a 5.3-inch digital instrument cluster that replaces the need for analog gauges. The second is a 10-inch infotainment screen that can be upgraded to a 12-inch option. Cargo space is rated at 64.2 cubic feet with the seats folded.

The Model Y is in a class of its own

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While the Volkswagen offers some significant improvements, the Tesla Model Y has the ID.4 almost completely beat. For starters, the base Long Range trim offers a dual-motor setup developing 384 hp, says MotorTrend. Upgrade to the Performance trim, and that figure grows to 456 hp. Despite the additional horsepower, the Model Y offers significantly more range than the Volkswagen. While the base Performance trim offers 303 miles of electric range, the base Long Range offers up to 326 miles.

In terms of the interior, the Tesla Model Y is, without a doubt, the more minimal of the two. This is because a single 15-inch screen controls the infotainment system and displays all driver data. While the screen is certainly larger, some buyers may prefer the traditional two-screen layout.

When looking at cargo space, the Tesla Model Y still comes on top. This is because the Model Y offers up to 68 cubic feet with the seats folded. However, the largest party piece is the addition of an available third row of seats, which Tesla claims will be available sometime in 2021.

The Volkswagen has an ace up its sleeve

The ID.4 is Volkswagen's newest all-electric crossover. With an affordable starting price and great specs, it should be a best seller for the brand.
Volkswagen ID.4 | Hendrik Schmidt via Getty Images

While the Tesla Model Y is the better crossover on paper, the Volkswagen ID.4 has an ace up its sleeve. While the Model Y starts at $49,990, the ID.4 is set to arrive at a $39,995 starting price. Aside from the $10,000 difference, the ID.4 qualifies for a federal tax credit of $7,500. When we consider these, the ID.4 could start around $32,495 with all discounts considered. This major price difference could be just what an indecisive buyer needs to pick the VW. Since deliveries are set to begin relatively soon, we won’t have to wait long to see this rivalry play out.