The Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi e-tron are two luxury electric vehicles with an SUV body and several compelling features. While the ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first attempt at manufacturing an electric SUV, Audi has been working on the production of electric and hybrid vehicles since announcing the first e-tron concept at the International Motor Show in 2009, with a plug-in hybrid version hitting the European auto market in August 2014. Even today, the e-tron is the company’s pioneer all-electric SUV.
Despite being the company’s first electric SUV, the ID.4 benefits from Volkswagen’s innovative design and technology, helping VW to establish itself as a possible contender to challenge Tesla’s current reign as the number one EV maker. Volkswagen first showed a prototype version of the ID.4 during the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019. To avoid overshadowing its initial production EV, the ID.3, Volkswagen opted to present the ID.4 in camouflage. Finally, the production version was revealed in September 2020, targeting the North American auto market. Being a flagship model, the Audi e-tron blends the sporty appearance of an SUV with excellent EV criteria. Although both vehicles come from different companies, the desire to excel in luxury EV production is shared evenly.
While technology, range, and design are worthy factors to consider when purchasing an EV, price always plays a vital role in the decision-making process. When compared, the Volkswagen ID.4’s starting price is considerably lower than what dealerships are charging for the Audi e-tron. Excluding fees like transportation, taxes, and dealer charges, the ID.4 retails for $41,230. This figure could be lowered by as much as $7,500 if qualifying for a federal tax credit, taking the price down to as low as $33,730. In contrast, the Audi e-tron’s pricing starts at $65,900. A potential federal tax credit is also available, although the vehicle must qualify. The e-tron comes with three trims: Premium ($65,900), Premium Plus ($74,800), and Chronos Edition($83,400). Three trim levels are also available for the Volkswagen ID.4 in the form of the Pro ($41,239), Pro S ($45,730), and Pro S with Gradient ($47,230). For buyers on a budget, the ID.4 is a better option since all of the trims remain under $50,000.
Both models are built on electric powertrains, so the real question is how they perform when compared. The ID.4 comes with two engine types. Buyers can opt for the single-motor rear-wheel-drive (RWD) type and get a max power output of 201 hp or settle for the dual-motor all-wheel-drive option which provides 295 hp. Compared to the e-tron’s performance specs, the ID.4 is outmatched. All models are powered by twin electric motors that offer a max power of 402 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque. The e-tron also wins the acceleration challenge as Audi’s EV can reach 60 mph from zero within 5.5 seconds. The ID.4 EV needs around 7.6 seconds to do the same. However, the ID.4 (275 miles) does manage to edge out the e-tron (222 miles) in driving range.
Audi features some stunning driver assist packages like Audi Pre-Sense which examines the road and notifies the driver about a potential collision. There’s also Traffic Relief which offers adaptive cruise assist and lane guidance. This ensures that the vehicle sustains a reasonable distance from the vehicles ahead and behind. Audi’s technology is also worth noting, especially the 12.3-inch display that acts as a virtual cockpit and allows drivers to easily view directions and speed. Volkswagen’s EV comes with a Pro Max touchscreen navigation system alongside a 12-inch color display. Voice control and proximity sensor are also available but exclusive to the premium Pro S trim. The ID.4 EV also only offers basic driver-assist features like Travel Assist, Lane Assist, and Rear Traffic Alert.