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VW ID.4 vs. Tesla Model Y: Compact EV Crossover Battle

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by Nick Versaw Updated May 12th, 2022

vw id4 electric crossover

After its wildly successful Model S and Model X, Tesla took on the hot compact crossover market with the introduction of the Model Y. This small, efficient people hauler checks many boxes for today’s average car shopper, all without burning an ounce of gasoline.

Since its arrival, though, the Tesla Model Y has faced a handful of competitors, including the Volkswagen ID family and specifically the VW ID.4. The VW ID.4 may not have the performance or luxury credentials of the Model Y, but it delivers a solid electric vehicle (EV) alternative for folks on a tighter budget.

In this VW ID.4 vs. Tesla Model Y head-to-head comparison, you’ll learn how these compact crossovers stack up against one another and which one is right for you.

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VW ID.4 vs. Tesla Model Y

The VW ID.4 and Tesla Model Y are long-range, efficient electric crossovers with a lot to offer all buyers. Here’s how they compare. 

Exterior Design

vw id4 exterior design

Generally, shoppers expect to see bold designs from an EV, but the VW ID.4 offers a more conservative style. Like most VW models, the ID.4 features a straightforward design created for mass consumption. Its traditional yet handsome design caters to a wide range of buyers and will certainly age gracefully.

vw id4 vs tesla model y

The Tesla Model Y is also far from over-the-top style on the outside, but its sleek and aerodynamic design clues you in on its EV roots. Tesla designed the Model Y with aerodynamics in mind, giving it a sleek and bubble-shaped body that slices through the air for maximum efficiency.

While they compete for similar buyers, the Model Y is larger than the VW ID.4 in many exterior measurements.

Exterior Spec Comparison

Measurement Tesla Model Y VW ID.4
Length 187 in. 180.5 in.
Width (excluding mirrors) 75.6 in. 72.9 in.
Height 64 in. 65.1 in.
Wheelbase 113.8 in. 108.9 in.

Interior Design

vw id4 vs tesla model y: tesla interior

Inside, the Tesla Model Y is relatively simple and clean for an upscale electric vehicle. It has all the amenities buyers will expect, such as synthetic leather and a 15-inch tablet-style infotainment touchscreen, but its cabin is mostly free of clutter. This straightforward design is mostly thanks to the touchscreen replacing many of the controls we’re used to seeing strewn across the dash, like heating and air conditioning controls. There are a few standout design features in the Model Y, though, including its innovative digital gauge cluster and infotainment system.

One big downside to the Model Y is that despite its massive touchscreen, it does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

An added benefit to the Model Y is its flexible seating arrangements. Buyers can choose between a five-passenger or seven-passenger setup.

vw id4 interior setup

Inside, the VW ID.4 has a far more traditional setup than the Model Y. Though it’s still a very clean design, it has many of the buttons buyers expect to see on the dash. The thin dashboard gives the cabin an airy feel and also includes a digital gauge cluster, a 10- or 12-inch touchscreen, and more. The best part is that the ID.4 does include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can connect your device and use its key apps, like navigation, via the infotainment system.

Interior Spec Comparison

Measurement Tesla Model Y (5-seater) Tesla Model Y (7-seater) VW ID.4
Front headroom 41 in. 41 in. 40.6 in.
Front legroom 41.8 in. 41.8 in. 41.1 in.
Front shoulder room 56.4 in. 56.4 in. 57.5 in.
Second-row headroom 39.4 in. 38.7 in. 37.9 in.
Second-row legroom 40.5 in. 41.6 in. 37.6 in.
Second-row shoulder room 54 in. 54 in. 55.9 in.
Third-row headroom N/A 34.6 in. N/A
Third-row legroom N/A 26.5 in. N/A
Third-row shoulder room N/A 41 in. N/A
Cargo space standard 30.2 cu ft. 12.8 cu ft. 30.3 cu ft.
Cargo space (third row folded) N/A 26.6 cu ft. N/A
Cargo space (second row folded) 72.1 cu ft. 67.9 cu ft. 64.2 cu ft.

Inside, the ID.4 and Model Y have similar seating room in their five-passenger setups, but the Model Y’s seven-passenger option gives it a leg up on the ID.4. Plus, for those who travel with a lot of luggage or take big shopping trips, the extra cargo capacity in the Model Y is helpful.

Powertrain

The VW ID.4 and Tesla Model Y electric SUVs have the same basic powertrain ideal: gas-free, efficient transportation. However, the Model Y has a level of performance the ID.4 can’t match.

The VW ID.4 has only two powertrain options, starting with an AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor that delivers 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. The all-wheel drive (AWD) variant boasts two electric motors that combine for 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque.

The latter powertrain helps the ID.4 deliver a 5.4-second 0-to-60 mph time, which is well above average for a crossover.

Tesla doesn’t advertise the Model Y’s horsepower, but it does outline its performance specs. All Model Ys come standard with dual-motor AWD, but their performance varies. The base Long Range model delivers a 4.8-second 0-to-60 mph sprint time, whereas the Performance trim delivers a 3.5-second 0-to-60 mph time, rivaling most muscle cars.

Efficiency

vw id4 vs tesla model y: man plugging car into electric charger

While both the ID.4 and Model Y deliver nice performance for crossovers, their real draw is their efficiency.

The Tesla Model Y Long Range delivers 314 to 330 miles of electric driving range, depending on wheel and seating options. The Performance variant offers 303 miles of all-electric range.

The VW ID.4’s range goes as high as 280 miles in the base model, but moving into the AWD variant drops it to 251 miles in the Pro trim and 245 miles in the better-equipped Pro S trim.

The VW ID.4’s EPA estimates vary by trim and range from 100 to 121 MPGe city, 90 to 102 MPGe highway, and 95 to 112 MPGe combined. The EPA estimates drivers will pay $600 to $700 per year charging the ID.4, depending on the trim level and drivetrain options.

VW ID.4 Efficiency

Fuel economy (MPGe city/highway/combined) Electric driving range Cost to charge for 1 year
VW ID.4 Pro 121/102/112 280 mi. $600
VW ID.4 AWD Pro 106/96/101 251 mi. $650
VW ID.4 AWD Pro S 100/90/95 245 mi. $700

The Tesla Model Y’s efficiency is far superior to the ID.4’s, as its fuel economy ranges are 115 to 127 MPGe city, 106 to 117 MPGe highway, and 111 to 122 MPGe combined. 

The EPA estimates most drivers will spend $550 to $600 per year charging the Model Y. 

Tesla Model Y Efficiency

Fuel economy (MPGe city/highway/combined) Electric driving range Cost to charge for 1 year
Tesla Model Y Long Range (5-passenger) 127/117/122 330 mi. $550
Tesla Model Y Long Range (7-passenger) 127/117/122 326 mi. $550
Tesla Model Y Long Range (5-passenger, 20-in. wheels) 127/117/122 318 mi. $550
Tesla Model Y Long Range (7-passenger, 20-in. wheels) 127/117/122 314 mi. $550
Tesla Model Y Performance 115/106/111 303 mi. $600

Safety Features

As some of the most advanced cars on the road, EVs also have all the latest safety tech. The ID.4 comes standard with a wide range of these features, including IQ.DRIVE hands-on semi-autonomous driving, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and more.

The ID.4 also won the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award — the highest honor for safety — in 2021 and 2022.

The Model Y also comes with a long list of standard safety gear, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and lane-keep assist. There is also the option to upgrade to AutoPilot. This $12,000 option includes self-driving hardware to tackle daily driving stresses like lane changes, parking, and driving without driver intervention. 

AutoPilot’s summon feature further enhances driver convenience by allowing the driver to summon the vehicle to them from a parking space just like a valet.

Pricing

The 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 is hardly cheap, but it’s a far more economical option compared to the Tesla Model Y. Its manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) starts from $41,230 for the base Pro model with rear-wheel drive (RWD) and rises to $47,230 for the Pro S with Gradient trim. The good thing is the ID.4 still qualifies for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, making its effective price range a more affordable $33,730 to $39,730.

VW ID.4 Pricing

  • VW ID.4 Pro: $41,230
  • VW ID.4 Pro S: $45,730
  • VW ID.4 Pro S with Gradient: $47,230

The Tesla Model Y Long Range starts from $58,690, and the Performance trim starts at $63,690. A big negative for the Tesla Model Y is it no longer qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit, putting it at $20,000 to $30,000 more than the ID.4.

Tesla Model Y Pricing

  • Tesla Model Y Long Range: $58,690
  • Tesla Model Y Performance: $63,690

How to Buy

The Tesla Model Y has been on the market since 2020, so you may find a smattering of used models on the market.

If you prefer not to finance the Model Y, you can lease a new one. The 36-month lease on the base Long Range model starts from $766 per month with $4,500 due at signing. The Performance model’s payment jumps to $839 per month with the same amount due at signing.

The VW ID.4 debuted in 2021, so while there may be some entering the used car market, your best bet is to reserve a new one through Volkswagen and get the $7,500 federal tax credit. You can lease the ID.4, but there are no special offers on it now — you’ll simply lease it at the retail rate for the variant you choose. Keep in mind that leases do not qualify for the federal tax credit

Cost to Insure

The Tesla Model Y and VW ID.4 fall in the same vehicle class and have similar safety features and ratings, making them a similar risk to the insurance companies. However, the significantly higher price tag for the Model Y will likely push your insurance premium a bit higher.

Our research indicates the Tesla Model Y will cost $266.55 per month to insure, whereas the ID.4 will cost just $252.56 per month.


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VW ID.4 vs. Tesla Model Y: The Right Model for You

white tesla model y back end

The Tesla Model Y and VW ID.4 are excellent electric SUVs, but they will attract different types of crossover shoppers. The ID.4 is more suited for the typical family with a tight budget and a focus on efficiency over features and performance.

On the other hand, the Model Y is a good option for a buyer who’s willing to spend a little more to get a premium model with additional performance. The Model Y is also a better fit for a large family that needs seven seats, which the ID.4 doesn’t offer.

Let Compare.com Help You Find the Right Electric Crossover

The VW ID.4 and Tesla Model Y are great options in the electric crossover space. Both offer buyers valuable features, efficient electric driving ranges, and stylish looks.

Whichever model you feel is the better option for your next car, Compare.com can help you in your search with our powerful electric car search tool. You can also review our electric car buying guide so you can learn everything you need to know about electric cars before making your decision.


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