Virtually every automaker has a new electric car coming out this year, and most of them check many of the same boxes. They’re midsize SUVs with prices in the mid-$40,000 range and high-tech design themes, available in rear- or all-wheel drive.
But, despite their on-paper similarities, they can be quite different in practice. The 2023 Volkswagen ID.4, for instance, brings a lot of practical traits and a clever user interface. But the 2022 Kia EV6 has it beat in range, power, and excitement.
Let’s take a closer look at these electric SUVs and find the right one for you. Note that this comparison pits the 2022 EV6 against the 2023 ID.4 because Volkswagen dealers have already switched over to the new model year.
2022 Kia EV6
The new-for-2022 Kia EV6 is an electric vehicle that blends aspects of a crossover and a hatchback, combining them into one of the most attractive bodies to debut this year. It boasts a range of up to 310 miles and will be offered in a high-performance GT edition with a white-knuckle 576 horsepower. Pricing starts at $41,400.
Kia EV6 Highlights
Greater range and efficiency: The EV6, in its longest-range form, boasts a driving range of up to 310 miles between charges. That beats the ID.4, which gets up to 275. The EPA estimates that EV6 owners could spend as little as $550 a year on energy, while ID.4 drivers will spend $600 at the least.
Gorgeous inside and out: Kia calls the EV6’s design language “digital tiger.” Call it whatever you want. We’re taken with it. On the outside, it’s sleek and rakish. On the inside, it’s like something from the future. The driver’s instrument panel and the central touchscreen are technically separate screens, but in person, you’d never know it wasn’t one huge, curved screen. Add the aluminum pedals and contrasting-color suede and vegan leather seats of higher trim levels, and you have a cabin that belongs in a luxury sports car.
High-powered options: The base EV6 has an adequate 167 horsepower. But Kia offers options for 225, 320, and an absurd-in-an-affordable-car 576 horses. There’s a trade-off between range and power in electric cars. Buyers have to give away one to get the other. But the EV6, in its most extreme form, can get from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Kia EV6 models for sale near you.
2023 Volkswagen ID.4
The Volkswagen ID.4 is a practical electric SUV with outstanding safety scores and a lower starting price than most rivals. Our test drivers found it pleasant and “a painless transition” from gas-powered driving. It has a range of up to 275 miles between charges. Pricing starts at $37,495.
Volkswagen ID.4 Highlights
Lower price, and possibly much lower price: The ID.4’s starting price is thousands below that of the EV6. But we anticipate a major change soon. The federal government recently changed its electric car tax credit system so that only vehicles built in North America qualify for a $7,500 EV tax rebate. Volkswagen recently began assembling the ID.4 in Tennessee. The U.S. Department of Energy is still updating its list of which vehicles qualify for the tax credit, but we anticipate that the ID.4 will soon be eligible for the full federal discount. The EV6 will not.
Clever ID. Light system: The ID.4 has one of our favorite new technologies. It’s a thin light strip mounted where the windshield meets the dashboard that pulses from side to side to show navigation cues and shows the battery’s charge state. It’s a subtle, unobtrusive way to communicate key information and it’s… well… it’s cute.
More cargo space: EV design keeps all the crucial moving parts under the floor, allowing for more cabin space than gas-powered cars. Volkswagen has made the most of that opportunity with the ID.4. It’s smaller than the EV6 but offers significantly more cargo space.
Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Volkswagen ID.4 models for sale near you.
Either vehicle would make a compelling first electric car. Both offer the brisk acceleration common to EVs, modern styling, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a range of powertrain choices that let you pick a capable commuter or something with some zip.
The Kia EV6 is sexy, available with sports car-like speed, and can go up to 310 miles between charges. The Volkswagen ID.4 is cute, less expensive (soon, probably much less expensive), and earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest possible safety award (the EV6 has not yet been tested). Either one could make a great family car, but they have wildly different personalities. Only your own priorities can tell you which spirit appeals to you.
|2022 Kia EV6||2023 Volkswagen ID.4
|Engine||Electric motor||Electric motor|
|Horsepower||167 hp||201 hp|
|Torque||258 lb-ft||229 lb-ft|
|Transmission||1-speed direct drive||1-speed direct drive|
|Fuel Economy||136 city/100 hwy/117 combined MPGe||116 city/98 hwy/107 combined MPGe|
|Maximum Range||310 miles||275 miles|
|Also Available||Dual-motor, AWD||Dual-motor, AWD|
|Basic Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Battery Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||8 years/100,000 miles|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||114.2 inches||108.9 inches|
|Overall Length||184.3 inches||180.5 inches|
|Width||74.0 inches||72.9 inches|
|Height||60.8 inches||64.4 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.2 feet||33.6 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.0 inches||41.1 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.0 inches||38.4 inches|
|Legroom, Front||42.4 inches||41.1 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||39.0 inches||37.6 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||57.8 inches||57.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.6 inches||55.9 inches|
|Cargo Volume||24.4/50.2 cubic feet||30.3/64.2 cubic feet|