I tested Tesla-fighting electric SUVs from Ford and Volkswagen. Here’s why I’d buy the Mach-E over the ID.4.

The Volkswagen ID.4 (left) and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

I tested two of the best-selling non-Tesla electric SUVs: the VW ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. 
Both start a little more than $40,000, can seat five, and offer all-wheel drive. 
I’d pick the Ford for its more striking looks, more exciting driving experience, and longer range. 

More people are buying electric cars than ever. They still account for a puny 3% of vehicle sales in the US, but the number of battery-powered options on the market is multiplying rapidly. 

You don’t have to buy a pricey Tesla to get a roomy SUV that doesn’t spit out Earth-warming emissions. And longtime players like Volkswagen and Ford are diving into the fray with their own battery-powered family-haulers.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.

I recently tested two of the most popular electric SUVs not sold by Elon Musk: the Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. They’re both superb EVs that can carry five people and their stuff, drive a considerable distance on a full charge, and be had for under $45,000.

But if I were in the market for an e-SUV, I’d pick the Ford. Here’s why:


The Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S AWD.

With its jelly-bean shape and familiar proportions, the ID.4 fits right in with the sea of small SUVs out there. The Mach-E, by contrast, looks a bit sleeker and more exciting than your run-of-the-mill crossover. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I prefer the striking look of the Mach-E any day of the week. 

Driving experience

Ford couldn’t call the Mach-E a Mustang and not back that decision up with some serious performance. And it delivered. The all-wheel-drive Mach-E First Edition I tested was quick from a stop, handled great, and was all-around a blast to drive. In its sportiest setting, “unbridled” mode, the Mach-E’s acceleration was downright nauseating. 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.

The ID.4, even the 295-horsepower Pro S AWD model I drove, is considerably tamer. It’s quick enough to have some fun or execute a quick highway merge, but it isn’t as agile and won’t quite get your heart racing like the Mach-E can. 

Ford quotes a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.8 seconds for most extended-range, all-wheel-drive Mach-Es. Volkswagen claims as little as 5.7 seconds for the ID.4. 

The Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV.


The top-trim ID.4 I tested delivers a healthy 240 miles of range, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And the SUV can travel an even more respectable 260 miles if you forgo all-wheel drive. 

Thanks to its larger battery, the Mach-E offers up to 314 miles of range (or 312 miles if you want all-wheel drive). The ID.4 would probably suffice for most trips I take, but an extra 50 miles would go a long way toward combating range anxiety.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.

However, when you compare the cheapest models, the ID.4 wins out on both price and range, offering 260 miles for around $40,000. The bottom-tier Mach-E Select retails for $43,895 and goes an EPA-rated 247 miles. 

Interior and tech

The Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S AWD.

I found both SUVs spacious in front and back, and both offer glass roofs that make their cabins even airier. But the Volkswagen has slightly more cargo space both behind the rear seats and with the seats folded. The Mach-E makes up for that with a bonus storage area under the hood. 

I’m generally more a fan of actual buttons than giant touchscreens that control everything, but the Mach-E’s 15.5-inch display was intuitive. The ID.4’s display wasn’t bad either, but its reliance on touch-sensitive buttons — kind ones you tap rather than push — made things cumbersome.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.

The verdict

With its approachable looks, driving experience, and price, it’s no wonder the ID.4 hasn’t had too much trouble capturing US buyers in the year it’s been on sale. But if you’re looking for an EV that’s quicker, makes more of a statement, and offers more range to boot, the Mach-E is a clear choice.

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Transportation, Tech Insider, Transportation, Tech, Electric Vehicles, Auto Industry, car buying, Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen, Ford, Business Visual Features

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