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Volkswagen ID.4 vs Ford Mustang Mach-E: Which Electric SUV Reigns Supreme?

The future is electric, and legacy automakers are finally catching up to Tesla with compelling EVs of their own. Two of the most anticipated arrivals are the Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Both aim to capture the hearts (and wallets) of eco-conscious families with a blend of cutting-edge tech, crossover utility, and petrol-free performance.

But which one comes out ahead in this green grudge match? As an EV industry analyst and tech expert, I‘ve put together the most comprehensive comparison of the VW ID.4 and Mach-E on the web. Let‘s dive in and crown a winner.

Tale of the Tape

First, let‘s lay out the key specs and stats for these rivals:

Specification VW ID.4 Ford Mach-E
Price (Base) $38,995 $45,995
Tax Credit $7,500 $7,500
Battery 62 kWh – 82 kWh 68 kWh – 88 kWh
Range 209-275 miles 211-305 miles
Horsepower 201-302 hp 266-480 hp
Torque 229-339 lb-ft 317-634 lb-ft
0-60 MPH 5.7-7.6 sec 3.5-6.1 sec
MPGe (Combined) 97-112 MPGe 90-101 MPGe
Charging (DC Fast) 125 kW 150 kW
Cargo Volume 64.2 ft³ 59.7 ft³
Towing Capacity 2,700 lbs 3,307 lbs

As you can see, the Mach-E flexes its muscle with more power, torque and acceleration across the board. Even the base Select RWD model‘s 266 hp and 5.2 second 0-60 sprint bests the ID.4‘s top-trim AWD Pro S and its 302 hp/5.7 second dash.

The Mustang also gallops ahead with max towing capacity, offering over 600 lbs more pull for your camper or boat. But the ID.4 claws back points with its roomier cargo hold, slightly better efficiency, and significantly lower starting price.

Even after the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit (which both models still qualify for), the cheapest Mach-E Select rings up at $38,495 versus $31,495 for a base ID.4 Standard. Considering the average new car price now exceeds $48,000, the people‘s EV from VW is the clear value champ.

Range and Charging

The ID.4‘s 275-mile max range slightly edges the RWD Mach-E Premium‘s 270 miles. But the California Route 1 trim takes the crown at 305 miles. In most trims, the Ford will travel 30-60 miles further than a comparable VW.

Both can make use of expanding DC fast-charging networks from Electrify America and EVgo. The ID.4 tops out at 125 kW charging speeds which allows for 5% to 80% charging in about 38 minutes. The Mach-E can handle up to 150 kW and charge from 10% to 80% in 45 minutes. So they‘re neck-and-neck for charging convenience.

However, Volkswagen has a trump card with 3 years of unlimited 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations. That‘s a huge perk for road trips and adds up to around $1,000 in savings. The Mach-E comes with 250 kWh of free juice, which is only good for about 3-4 fill-ups.

Tech and Safety

Inside the cabin is where the Mach-E really shines. Its mammoth 15.5-inch portrait touchscreen is an absolute showstopper, even if it verges on distracting. Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto comes standard, as does a wireless charging pad and Wi-Fi hotspot.

The ID.4‘s 10-inch (upgraded to 12-inch for 2023) touchscreen is also crisp and responsive, but keeps more physical knobs and buttons for tactile control. Wireless smartphone mirroring is supported but wireless charging remains optional. The 5.3-inch digital driver display provides helpful EV data but pales next to the Mach-E‘s vivid 10.2-inch instrument cluster.

Both crossovers earn top marks from IIHS and NHTSA for crash safety. They also share almost all of the same driver assistance tech, including:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane-Keeping Assist
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

The Mach-E‘s 360-degree camera and front parking sensors give it a slight edge for low-speed maneuvering. But the ID.4 offers the more advanced semi-autonomous parking abilities. In the end, these EVs are evenly matched for safety.

Styling and Comfort

Looks are subjective but I have to give props to Ford for thinking outside the ICE box. The Mustang DNA shines through with muscular haunches, sequential LED tail lights and a menacing front end. You can even spec classic Grabber Blue or Rapid Red paint colors for proper pony car vibes.

Volkswagen played it safer with the ID.4‘s conservative crossover shape and friendly face. It‘s clean and handsome but barely distinguishable from a Tiguan to the untrained eye. At least some funky "play" and "pause" logos on the pedals remind you it‘s electric.

Inside, the Mach-E rocks a slick, minimalist vibe with its uncluttered dash and floating armrest. The ID.4 is a tad more traditional with its grained surfaces and piano black accents. But clever touches like backlit door trim, adjustable ambient lighting and optional massaging front seats make it feel more premium.

Neither has class-leading passenger space but they‘re plenty roomy for a family of four. The Mach-E‘s 43.3 inches of front legroom tops the ID.4‘s 41.1 inches but the VW claws back with an extra inch of rear legroom. Headroom is a virtual tie.

The ID.4 starts at a disadvantage with its 19-inch alloys and all-season rubber. The Mach-E‘s wider stance, meatier tires, and performance-tuned suspension pay dividends in the canyons. Both offer 4Motion/AWD for extra traction but you‘ll still only take them off-pavement for the tamest trails.

Cost of Ownership

The ID.4‘s $7,000 lower starting price equals big savings over time. According to KBB‘s 5-Year Cost to Own Calculator, the Volkswagen will run you $43,537 over 60 months compared to $50,010 for the Mustang. That factors in things like fuel (electricity), insurance, maintenance and repairs.

Speaking of maintenance, EVs have far fewer moving parts and fluids than gas cars. There are no oil changes, spark plug replacements, or emission checks to worry about. The ID.4 boasts a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 8-year/100,000 battery warranty. The Mach-E has nearly identical coverage.

Both VW and Ford still need to shore up their spotty reliability reputations. The ID.4 is too new for sufficient data but early owner reviews note some software glitches. Same goes for the Mach-E, which has already been hit with multiple recalls for loose subframe bolts and malfunctioning displays.

On the plus side, electrified vehicles tend to hold their value better than comparable gas models. ALG projects the Mach-E will retain about 39% of its value after five years. The ID.4‘s residual sits at 36%, still above average for the class.

Final Thoughts

The Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E are two of the most compelling new EVs you can buy today. They offer cutting-edge tech, crossover versatility, and emissions-free driving at increasingly affordable prices. But there are key differences to consider.

Ford‘s pony car heritage translates to segment-leading horsepower and acceleration. But all that performance comes at a premium, especially with the GT‘s near-$65,000 price tag. The Mach-E‘s larger battery also takes the range crown.

Meanwhile, the ID.4‘s more approachable design, roomier interior, and 3-year free charging perk make it the value and practicality pick. It may be down on power but 300 ponies is still plenty to put a grin on your face. The cheaper starting price and lower ownership costs are hard to ignore.

Picking a winner comes down to your priorities and budget. For most families, I think the ID.4‘s superior packaging makes it the wiser choice. It nails the core competencies of a daily-drivable EV: comfort, efficiency, safety and affordability. The speedier charging and infotainment round out a very complete vehicle.

The Mach-E is ideal for Ford fanatics and speed freaks who can stomach the premium. Its blistering straight-line pace and 15.5-inch tablet impress but don‘t make up for the shorter range and higher TCO, in my book.

Ultimately we should celebrate both of these pioneers in making electric cars more accessible and attractive to the masses. Their presence will only push the industry forward, and force other legacy brands to step up their game. The future of sustainable transportation looks bright indeed.