We are living through the early days of one of the most innovative periods in auto industry history. The advent and spread of hybrid electric/gas engine technology helped redefine what’s possible for fuel efficiency in cars, SUVs, and trucks. And now, 100 percent pure electric vehicles such as the Volkswagen ID.4, named the 2021 World Car of the Year, and Tesla 3 are vying for the spotlight.
How does the Volkswagen ID.4 compare to the arguably more widely known Tesla 3, closely associated with celebrity CEO Elon Musk? We’ve put together a buying guide to provide some important comparisons and contrasts as you choose the electric vehicle that suits you and your family the best.
Interior Features Upfront
Electric vehicles change the paradigm for what it means to drive a car. But not everything is different. The Volkswagen ID.4 comes with a keyless entry FOB like you have used many times before.
And from the moment you step inside the ID.4, you will notice a comfortable as well as familiar look and feel. The cabin is configured much the same way as any other Volkswagen, with features such as a heads-up style display for instruments, an infotainment screen for music, podcasts, and information, and a standard center console. For comfortable driving during the hot California temperatures, the ID.4 offers a panoramic moon roof with a shade to keep out excess ultraviolet rays while you are heading to work or out on errands.
The Tesla 3 offers a different experience, even before you sit in the vehicle for the first time. Rather than a key or a FOB, you use a key card — similar in form and function to hotel room key cards — to unlock and re-lock the car. Unfortunately, you have to take the card out and manually move it over a specific transmitter on the car; the card will not work if it is inside a wallet or a purse.
The piloting experience is going to feel totally different too, as the controls are unlike anything you might be used to in a typical vehicle. Everything in the car operates from the touch screen in the middle of the dashboard. So, for instance, if you’d like to adjust your mirrors, you first have to navigate through the menus on the touchscreen, and then use the controls on the steering wheel to set them where you would like them. Follow the same process to adjust the steering wheel and other settings in the car. It takes some getting used to.
You may find as we did that the materials in the ID.4 are a bit higher quality than the Tesla 3. The ID.4 has been named as one of the top 10 cars in the country for quality interiors. In contrast to the ID.4, the Tesla 3 has a glass moon roof, with no shade, which can add unwanted heat to the car, making the driving experience a bit on the sweaty side.
Rear Interior Features
The Volkswagen ID.4 is a compact SUV but is very generous with its cargo space. Because the car does not have a traditional gas engine, there is more space in the back for headroom and legroom, and the floor in the back is flat, without the standard bump in the middle to accommodate a standard transmission. Because of the extra space and the boxy shape of the ID.4, you can get away with seating three adults in the rear, though it might get a little uncomfortable over longer trips.
The Tesla Model 3, by contrast, is a compact sedan. While the space in the rear is still generous, it is slightly less than you might experience in the Volkswagen ID.4. The passengers in the rear might feel more of the heat from the moon roof just because of the way the car is designed. Seating in the back of the Tesla 3 is probably going to be most comfortable for two passengers only because, as we’ve pointed out, the Tesla Model 3 is a sedan rather than an SUV.
The ID.4 comes with some innovative features to allow you to stow luggage and other cargo on your trips. You may come to appreciate the hatchback area for its adjustable floor. You can raise the floor to put cargo down below, or you can just remove the upper panel to open things up. The opening to the hatchback is both wide and tall, making it accessible in case you need to move large items such as chairs. Store your charging cables out of sight in the compartment at the front of the cargo area.
The Tesla Model 3 has more of a standard trunk space design, and because the car is a sedan, it carries much less cargo than the ID.4. However, Tesla has added storage space in the front where the traditional combustion engine would go, so you have some added options for carrying your goods. The ID.4 does not have front storage.
|By the Numbers||2021 Volkswagen ID.4||Tesla Model 3|
|Cargo Space Behind Front Seat||62 cubic feet||23 cubic feet|
|Infotainment Screen||12-inch touchscreen||15-inch touchscreen|
|EPA Estimated Range||260 miles||263 miles|
|Estimated Fast Charging Time||62 miles in 10 minutes||200 miles in 15 minutes|
Test Drive the ID.4 Today at Capistrano Volkswagen
For nearly a quarter-century, drivers in San Juan Capistrano and other parts of southern California have trusted Capistrano Volkswagen for all their driving needs. We are a full-service Volkswagen dealership providing sales of new and used cars, service, and certified parts. We have grown over the years to become one of the largest VW dealerships in the nation.
Chose from our selection of new vehicles from the current model year of all Volkswagen cars, crossovers, and SUVs, including Passat, Atlas, Tiguan, Taos, and others. We’re also one of the leading used car dealers in the Volkswagen network, offering cars not just from Volkswagen, but other manufacturers as well, including Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and more.
Our finance center team will work closely with you to build a loan offer that works for your budget, while our service team will help keep your car on the road for as long as possible. Come visit for a test drive and see why we’re considered. “The Biggest Little VW Dealer.”
Image via Flickr by denniselzinga