2021 Volkswagen ID.4 vs. 2021 Tesla Model 3
Updated on Jun 9, 2022 · 4 min read
So you were about ready to order a Tesla when you found out about the Volkswagen ID.4. Is this German car a better buy? And how does it compare to the best-selling Tesla Model 3?
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 vs. 2021 Tesla Model 3: Range and powertrain
The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 offers 201 hp with a single rear-mounted motor, and 295 hp with the dual-motor all-wheel-drive model. It can also tow up to 2,700 pounds. However, don’t expect one-pedal driving even at its most aggressive regenerative braking mode.
While the ID.4 isn’t considered a slow compact crossover, it also doesn’t provide a thrilling gut-punch acceleration that we often associate with EVs. The vehicle takes about 7.6 seconds to reach 60 mph, and the all-wheel-drive model can hit the same speed in 5.4 seconds.
Handling is sharp, and the cabin is nice and quiet. The ID.4’s battery pack holds 77 kWh and gives drivers a 260-mile range.
According to Car and Driver, “The EPA rates the ID.4 1st Edition and Pro S's fuel economy at 104 MPGe city and 89 MPGe highway and a driving range estimate of 250 miles per charge; the Pro model is slightly more efficient at 107 MPGe city, 91 MPGe highway, and up to 260 miles of driving per charge.”
The smooth Tesla Model 3 provides strong power from a stop. If it’s in your budget, the higher trims are where it's at. The rear-wheel-drive Long Range model can jump to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, and the Model 3 Performance trim can get there in only 3.5 seconds.
The battery is housed under the floor, which gives the EV a lower center of gravity and stability when taking corners. “The ride is firm without being harsh; without the noise of a gas-powered engine, however, you do hear plenty of noise inside the cabin as the tires thwack and thrum over pavement imperfections,” Car and Driver notes.
The most affordable model is the 263-mile Standard Range Plus. The Performance model sports a 315-mile range, while the Long Range model offers 353 miles per charge. And of course, drivers have access to Tesla’s impressive network of fast-charging stations.
The different Model 3 versions are rated between 113 MPGe and 141 MPGe by the EPA. That’s hard to beat.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 vs. 2021 Tesla Model 3: What’s inside?
The ID.4’s interior is not flashy by any means, but still features lots of new technology and ample cargo space. The EV comes with cloth seats, but it’s easy to opt for faux-leather upholstery that adjusts 12 different ways and offers front passengers massage options.
According to Car and Driver, “The interior design is uncluttered and playful, particularly the 1st Edition model, which comes with accelerator and brake pedals with cheeky play and pause symbols.”
The standard infotainment system is a 10.0-inch touchscreen that can also be upgraded to a 12.0-inch display if you so choose. While the interface is a bit fussy, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard as well as built-in navigation. All models also feature voice recognition capability and a 5.3-inch reconfigurable digital gauge display.
It’s hard to ignore the stunning and one-of-a-kind interior of a Tesla Model 3. The monolithic touchscreen in the center of the dash controls the cabin and the low floor makes for an airy feel. While the front seats are comfortable, we can’t say the same about the cramped seats in the rear.
According to Car and Driver, “Folding the 60/40 split-folding rear seats is simple and expands the trunk considerably. The Model 3's seatbacks fold flat, too, providing an uninterrupted cargo floor for hauling larger items.” There are also lots of useable cubbies and large bins sprinkled throughout the cabin.
The price and the verdict
When it comes to the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 vs. 2021 Tesla Model 3, the Volkswagen actually has a higher starting price. The Pro edition starts at $41,190, the 1st Edition at $45,190, and the Pro S at $45,690. You can get your hands on the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus for $38,690, the Long Range for $47,690, or the Performance for $57,190.
Everything about the Tesla Model 3 is high-tech. Its driving range is unmatched, and it’s just plain fun to drive. On the other hand, the ID.4 lacks driving verve, and drivers may find the more basic infotainment system frustrating to use.
While the Volkswagen is practical, the Tesla Model 3 is pretty affordable for the prestige and no doubt delivers on an engaging, playful, and spirited ride.