The VW ID.4 Is Cooler Than I Thought — 6 Features My Tesla Doesn’t Have

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My aunt and uncle just bought a Volkswagen ID.4. It’s their first electric car and they are over the moon about it. While they were excited to get it, they’ve come to find that they love it even more than expected, including several features they were initially going to pass up.

The thing that surprised me is that I also like the ID.4 much more than expected. Additionally, it has several features I wish I had in my Tesla Model 3, some of which I didn’t realize it had. Overall, I don’t think the ID.4 gets enough credit for what it gets right, what it has improved on since its launch, and what’s so fun about it. It’s often seen as a “plain” electric vehicle and not up to snuff compared to a Tesla. However, Volkswagen has leapfrogged Tesla on a handful of things, and I think early criticisms of the car are no longer very valid, just like some early issues with the Tesla Model 3 have been worked out or are less prominent. [Disclosure: I own stock in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). I don’t own stock in Volkswagen. Don’t come actin’ stupid at me for saying the ID.4 has features I wish I had in my Tesla.]

My aunt, uncle, and I will create more review articles and videos about the ID.4 in future months and years in a long-term review of the popular electric car for CleanTechnica. In this piece, I’m primarily going to discuss 6 cool features of the ID.4 that my Tesla Model 3 doesn’t have. However, before that, I’d like to note a couple of broader points. First of all, note that the ID.4’s US sales have jumped through the roof. They were up 254% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022. In terms of unit sales, they were up by 7,003 units, going from 2,755 sales in Q1 2022 to 9,758 sales in Q1 2023. The ID.4 is now the 4th best selling electric car in the USA, only trailing the Tesla Model Y, Tesla Model 3, and Chevy Bolt (which is being discontinued at the end of 2023). The second thing I want to highlight is that the ID.4 is currently one of the only affordable electric cars eligible for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit. So, if you want a great electric car at a relatively low price that can net you a $7,500 tax credit, this has to be one of the EV models you consider. Let’s get into the car now.

The video below is a walkthrough of various features in the ID.4 and how you adjust or activate them. I won’t cover them all in text, so watch the video to get the full picture. Below the video, though, I’m highlighting 6 things my Model 3 doesn’t have that I wish it did.

Massage seats: This is one of the top features I wish I had. I tested massage seats out in another EV I recently test drove, and I loved them. That said, for my own body, I still find the Tesla Model 3’s seats are the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced. Different preferences or body types will have different takes on this. And on that topic, some people don’t care for massage seats! I can’t understand that. That’s like not liking chocolate ice cream.

Sunroof shade: If you get an ID.4 with a sunroof, you also get a sunroof shade that you can automagically open or close by saying, “Hello ID, open the sunroof shade.” It’s cool, beautiful, and simply practical — and, in Florida, it’s critical. If you’ve been following my Tesla Model 3 long-term review for long, you know that I stick traditional sunshades under my glass roof for about half of the year because far too much heat comes through if I don’t.  It sure would be nice to have a built-in sunshade that I could automagically open or close as I wished.

VW ID.4 sunroof shade
VW ID.4 sunroof shade opening or closing. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Rear windshield wiper: There have been several days that I’ve wished I had a rear windshield wiper on my Tesla Model 3, so I was thrilled (and envious) to see the ID.4’s got one. Good job, VW. Though, honestly, I think this should be a given on all cars.

VW ID.4 features and benefits vs Tesla
You can spot the VW ID.4’s rear windshield wiper here if you look closely. Photo by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica.

Blind spot warning in side mirrors: Several car models now have this, including other electric cars, but Tesla vehicles still don’t. (You do now have side-view camera feeds that show on your touchscreen when you turn on your blinker, though, and I do use and love those.) If you’re not familiar with this certain safety enhancement, what happens is a yellowish-orangish light illuminates on the bottom of your side mirror when a car slides into your blind spot. (I still think it’s smart to turn your head and check before changing lanes, but this feature should help many a driver avoid an unfortunate accident.) I would love to see Tesla add this sooner than later, but there’s no indication the company plans to do so.

Interior lighting “mood” colors: This mood feature, where you can change the interior lighting color, is a definite fun factor. Some Tesla owners (and I presume shareholders) have been inclined to say that this is just a pointless gimmick. I guarantee that if their Tesla had it and Elon Musk was tweeting about it, they’d think it was super cool. Well, it is cool! It’s a fun feature that allows you to enjoy the car in different ways with different atmospheres. Is it the most important thing? No. But these “little things” enhance the user experience and add to one’s love for their vehicle of transport. (Any Tesla owner should understand this well, given how many Easter eggs and fun features are added to Teslas.)

“Light animation” — headlights “do a little dance” when you walk up to the ID.4. These exterior lighting features on the VW ID.4 Pro S are also fun, enjoyable, and add that perfect extra touch to make you love the car.

Anyone who says they don’t like that is lying or doesn’t have a heart. And I guarantee that if Tesla had it, there’d be 100× more hype about how cool it is.

Volkswagen ID4 ID.4 car of the year winner
The Volkswagen ID.4 was CleanTechnica’s 2021 Car of the Year winner.

We’ll be sure to look out for more cool ID.4 features, as well as any issues, as we explore the electric car further in coming months and years. (Feel free to chime in with your own, as well.) Keep an eye on our VW ID.4 long-term review to catch everything.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7361 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan