The Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E are important models for their respective manufacturers, providing a foothold in the growing and increasingly competitive electric SUV market.
The Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge, Audi e-tron, Mercedes EQC and Jaguar I-Pace are already leading the way in the electric SUV sector but they are high-end cars that come with a premium price tag. The ID.4, however, was one of the first mainstream models to hit the market, providing buyers with a more affordable electric alternative to conventional or plug-in hybrid variants.
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The ID.4 shares much of its design with the smaller ID.3 and is one of the cheapest electric SUVs you can buy, starting at £32,150. It sits between the Volkswagen Tiguan and the seven-seat Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace in size and counts the Tesla Model Y and Mustang Mach-E as close rivals.
The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first purpose-built electric car and gives us an insight into how the American auto giant plans to move away from internal combustion engines and into a new electric era. Like the ID.4, the Mustang Mach-E is designed to take on models like the Tesla Model Y and Model 3, along with the Skoda Enyaq iV and Jaguar I-Pace, but is more expensive, with entry-level models available starting at £41,250.
Price and specifications
ID.4 customers can choose from six trim levels called City, Style, 1st Edition, Life, Family, and Max. The City, being the cheapest model in its class, is the only model to qualify for the government’s £32,150 plug-in car grant. The Style variant is priced at £38,150 and comes with more standard equipment.
The mid and range-topping models are significantly more expensive than the newly introduced base model. Edition 1 is available from £40,800, Life £41,570, Family £45,520 and Max £49,990. The range-topping model comes with a higher-spec powertrain, which partly explains the price difference.
Like the ID.3, Volkswagen also offers fixed equipment packages across the range to simplify the ordering process for customers. The Interior Style package adds 30-tone ambient lighting, separate folding rear seats and a ‘play and pause’ pedal. The Infotainment package features a 10-inch Discover Pro touchscreen system with satellite navigation and inductive smartphone charging. Lastly, the Comfort Package features a heated windshield, two front and rear USB ports, two-zone climate control, and heated front seats and steering wheel.
The Mustang Mach-E gets a lot of equipment as standard and its lineup is simpler than the ID.4 lineup. The Mach-E is available in two Standard Range and two Extended Range models. The cheapest of the £41,250 price range, while the most expensive has a price tag of £56,950.
Mach-E Standard Range models feature automatic headlights, all-round parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and steering wheel, and a rear view camera. The Extended Range model, meanwhile, gets a 360-degree camera system, a panoramic sunroof, a B&O stereo system, a powered hands-free tailgate, and automatic parking. There is also a First Edition model, which is available in Grabber Blue, Carbonised Grey, or Rapid Red.
Ford does offer a number of options for the Mustang Mach-E. Buyers can choose to upgrade from the standard Absolute Black body color to a “Premium” paint finish, which starts at around £800, or the “Exclusive” color, which can increase the price by around £1,150. Shoppers can also choose from a variety of other cosmetic and functional upgrades, including a detachable tow bar package, available from £500 and a rear mounted ski carrier for £250.
Reach and performance
Both the ID.4 City and Style variants are available with powertrains called Pure and Pure Performance, both of which use a 52kWh battery. Meanwhile, the rest of the lineup is only available with the Pro Performance powertrain, which uses a larger 77kWh battery. The Pure’s powertrain is matched to a 146bhp electric motor, while the sportier Pure Performance version has 168bhp.
In City guise, the ID.4 offers a range of 213 miles on a full charge, while the Style can go up to 211 miles. The Pro Performance battery powertrain is linked to a single rear-mounted electric motor, which produces a more powerful 201bhp and 310Nm of torque. This setting gives the ID.4 a 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 99mph.
In the Life guise, the ID.4 is capable of 323 miles on a full charge but this figure drops to 318 and 314 miles for the Family and Max variants, respectively. All versions come with 100kW fast charging capability and Volkswagn says the ID.4 can regain up to 199 miles of range from a 125kW fast charger in just 30 minutes. However, when using the 7.2kW home charger, a full charge takes about 11 hours.
Like the ID.4, Ford offers customers a choice of battery sizes to accommodate different lifestyles and budgets. The smallest (usable) 68kWh battery, provides a range of up to 273 miles with two-wheel drive, down to 248 miles with a dual motor, four-wheel drive setup. The pricier version, meanwhile, sports an 88kWh (usable) battery, offering a range of up to 379 miles with rear-wheel drive. This figure drops to 335 miles in a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive setup.
The rear-wheel drive Standard Range Mach-E produces 266bhp, while the Extended Range model produces 290bhp, increasing to 346bhp with the dual motor setup. The most basic rear-wheel drive model, using a single motor, can complete a 0-62mph sprint in 6.9 seconds, while the more powerful range-topper takes a faster 5.1 seconds.
The Mach-E also features three driving modes that the driver can select based on the weather, terrain and driving style. On is the default midway setting, while Whisper supports driving range and softens throttle response. Untamed sharpened throttle response to make acceleration more instant and added a fake V8 engine sound.
Like all pure electric cars, ID.4 and Mach-E are tax-free and owners can enjoy free access to low-emission zones and cities.
The ID.4 gets a bold, more modern look compared to the larger and more conservative Tiguan. It features 20-inch alloy wheels, sleek body lines and full-width front and rear lights. The plastic wheel arches and ID.4 SUV-style side skirts give it a slightly rugged look.
The Mach-E, meanwhile, sparked some backlash thanks to its use of the iconic Mustang badge and unusual appearance. The coupe-like shape combined with the wide hamstrings and Mustang tail lights hint at the performance of this car, and there is no doubt that the Mustang Mach-E is a striking car.
If anything, the Mustang Mach-E’s bold design shows how far Ford is ready to go to ensure the first electric car that’s rightfully wanted – and one that will demand attention.
The ID.4 features a clean minimalist interior, with few physical buttons but some cheaper plastic hints at cutting costs. Nonetheless, ID.4 is clearly meant to feel classier than ID.3. The cabin is dominated by an infotainment setup consisting of a large center touchscreen and a smaller driver display behind the wheel. This is a fairly complex system and even the simplest functions require more effort than would be desirable.
Step inside the Mustang Mach-E and you won’t feel like you’re inside a Ford; the interior is clearly inspired by the ones we’ve seen on Tesla cars. The dashboard is dominated by a large 15.5-inch portrait touchscreen, and there’s also a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster behind the wheel.
The tallest version of the Mach-E costs nearly £60,000, so Ford needed to create a decent interior with a hefty price tag. You’ll see the familiar Ford switch and indicator handles, but the fabric trim and carbon styling for the dashboard gives it a premium and luxurious feel – and is superior to anything else available in the Ford lineup.
The ID.4 is 75mm longer than the Volkswagen Tiguan, helping to make it one of the widest SUVs on the market. Since most of a car’s powertrain is neatly packed on the floor, front and rear passengers benefit from plenty of room, especially head, knee and legroom. It’s much wider than the Kia e-Niro, allowing even tall adults to feel comfortable in the back. It’s the same story for the Mustang Mach-E; even with the panoramic glass roof installed, six-foot-tall passengers may feel comfortable in the back and there are plenty of side-by-side storage trays and cup holders for those in the front seats.
The ID.4 offers a 543 liter boot behind its rear seats but if you fold it up it increases to 1,655 liters. It’s bigger than the 402 liter Mustang Mach-E but the ID.4 doesn’t get the ‘funk’ under the hood, like the additional 81 liters of storage space on the Mach-E, which can increase to 100 liters when the storage divider is REMOVED. Both cars have a special compartment for the charging cable under the trunk floor, so you can store it neatly when not in use.
Neither Volkswagen nor Ford have released exact towing specifications yet, but we estimate that both cars should be capable of towing at least 750kg. It’s important to note that EVs don’t pull as much as conventional electric, gasoline, or hybrid models. If towing a caravan or horsebox is a must for you, then we recommend taking a look at the Ford Kuga PHEV, which can tow up to 1,200kg..
While these two electric SUVs are similar in that they offer a lot of technology, practicality and performance, they are actually quite different. Volkswagen has introduced a major competitor that appeals to a wider customer base, thanks to lower prices and qualification of entry-level models for government plug-in car grants.
Ford, meanwhile, appears to have launched the slightly more upscale Mach-E to target Tesla, and as a result the car is more expensive. The ID.4 may not be that different from the Mach-E but it offers the comfort and equipment we expect from an SUV, is easy to drive, offers competitive range and costs less. For that reason, ID.4 is our choice.
Interested in electric cars? Check out our Best Electric Cars page.