Tesla Model Y vs Volkswagen ID.5: What’s The Best EV To Buy Right Now?

Tesla Model Y vs Volkswagen ID.5: What’s The Best EV To Buy Right Now?

Tesla Model Y vs Volkswagen ID.5: What’s The Best EV To Buy Right Now?

In the world of electric SUVs, more and more references are appearing, and today we have chosen to put the Tesla Model Y and the Volkswagen ID.5 face to face. So which one is best for you, the American wagon or the German coupe?

The Tesla Model Y was eagerly awaited in Europe because the electric SUV segment is crucial for the old continent. Since we tested the Model Y in September 2021, many references have appeared, and the competition is more challenging than ever.

That’s why we wanted to confront the latest born of the Volkswagen group, the ID.5, to the American one. With a similarly announced autonomy, and very high-end technological equipment, the ID.5 has no reason to be ashamed of the Tesla Model Y.

We will try to determine which of the two will be the better electric car by comparing them on many points: design, onboard atmosphere, helpful volume, recharging capacity and even prices; everything will be examined.


LaunchVolkswagen ID.5 LaunchTesla Model Y (2021) Specifications
Announced2021, November 032021
StatusAvailable. Released 2022, Q1Available. Released 2021
Base price€47,550$ 65,990 € 56,990 £ 57,090


As a good family car, the VW ID.5 has classic dimensions for this segment: 4.60 meters long, 1.85 meters wide and 1.61 meters high. As a result, the ID.5 will weigh between 2,117 and 2,242 kilograms depending on the configuration, which makes it much heavier than the Tesla Model Y, which manages to stay just under two tons (between 1,979 and 1,995 kilograms).

The ID.5’s lines betray what Volkswagen is trying to achieve, with a plunging rear roof to give it a coupe-like appearance, visible from the side. The front end is quite characteristic of the brand’s SUVs while adopting a sporty style highlighted by the light signature.

With a larger size, the Model Y measuring 4.75 meters long and 1.62 meters high, and 1.92 meters wide, the American won’t be a champion at manoeuvring at low speeds or squeezing into tight parking spaces.

Its design is quite distinctive, with a rather imposing and wide rear, reminding us that we face a family SUV. On the other hand, the front end has the sporty lines of its little sister, the Tesla Model 3, with the long, plunging hood and the characteristic full grille.

BodyVolkswagen ID.5 BodyTesla Model Y (2021) Body
Type5 door SUV, 5 seats5 door, SUV, 5/7 seats
Dimensions181.1 x 72.9 x 63.6 in (4599 x 1852 x 1615 mm)187.0 x 75.6 x 63.9 in (4750 x 1920 x 1624 mm)
Wheelbase109.1 in (2771 mm)113.8 in (2890 mm)
Clearance6.6 in (167 mm)
WeightEU: 4667 lb unladen, 5842 lb grossEU: 4363 lb unladen
SuspensionFront MacPherson struts, rear multi-linkFront double wishbone-type coil spring, rear multi-link
WheelsR19, R20, R21R19, R20, R21
TrunkEU: 19.4 ft³, 55.1 ft³ maxEU: 30.2 ft³, 72.1 ft³ max
FrunkNo4.1 ft³
TowingEU: 1653 lb unbraked, 2646 lb brakedEU: 1653 lb unbraked, 3527 lb braked

INSIDE Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID.5

When you open the door of the VW ID.5, you’ll find all the language of the other vehicles in the ID line, for better or worse. However, ergonomics can still be improved, with many choices that didn’t suit us during our recent test of the ID.5.

The materials used and the assembly of the interior elements are correct, without being excellent. The seats, whether in the first or second row, are entirely satisfactory, and the ideal driving position is relatively easy to find. The dashboard layout features two screens, one behind the steering wheel and one more centrally located, using the group’s Discover Pro Max system.

There’s plenty of room on board the ID.5, and tall people will have no trouble getting into the back seat, as the headroom is well preserved. The rear cargo capacity is 549 litres, enough for comfortable family travel.

However, when it comes to cargo space, the Tesla Model Y will be unbeatable, with a small front trunk (frunk) of 117 litres in which it is possible to fit a backpack easily, and a substantial rear trunk of 854 litres, where family travel will never be a problem.

To see the difference, the Tesla Model Y’s rear trunk space is 55 percent larger than the Volkswagen ID.5’s. With the panoramic glass roof and excellent legroom, getting into the Tesla Model Y is very easy, even for tall people. As for the front seats (heated, just like the rear), they’re pretty enveloping, and they have profile memory for the driver, which is always handy in the case of a vehicle shared by several people.

ComfortVolkswagen ID.5 ComfortTesla Model Y (2021) Comfort
SeatsHeated and ventilated front seats, massageHeated front seats, heated rear seats, heated third row seats
RoofPanoramic glass sunroofAll-glass roof
Parking aids8 front and rear sensors, 360 camera, front and reversing camera6 front and rear sensors, reversing camera, Parking Assist
ConnectivityWireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

As always, minimalism is the order of the day at Tesla, where there is only one 15-inch central screen to control everything related to the vehicle and infotainment.

With a huge trunk and more space on board, the Model Y beats the Volkswagen ID.5 regarding cabin layout and cargo volume.


Volkswagen wanted to show off its ID.5 and offer the best of what is currently available. Therefore, the most advanced driving assistance features are included, including the classic combo of adaptive cruise control and active lane keeping, on the one hand, automatic parking, overtaking assistance and a 360-degree view.

An augmented reality head-up display can complement the two screens on the dashboard, allowing the driver to follow navigation directions effortlessly.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are indeed part of the VW ID.5, which is not the case with the Tesla Model Y. Indeed, while Tesla’s infotainment system is on par with the best on the market, its lack of smartphone compatibility is what makes it lacking.

There’s no 360-degree view or heads-up display on the Tesla Model Y, but the standard Autopilot provides active lane keeping and acts as adaptive cruise control.

Depending on the options chosen, it is possible to add automatic parking, semi-automatic overtaking on the highway, or even recognition and reaction to traffic lights and stop signs.

While Tesla offers software with advanced features and a satisfactory Autopilot, Volkswagen offers many technologies with its ID.5 that are not found on the American car, which is why it won this round.

DisplaysVolkswagen ID.5 DisplaysTesla Model Y (2021) Displays
Center12″ touchscreeen15″ touchscreeen
Head-upYes, with augmented realityNo

Tesla Model Y vs Volkswagen ID.5, ON THE ROAD

With nearly 2.2 tons to move, even the sportiest versions of the ID.5 won’t hold a candle to the Model Y on the road in terms of driving engagement, which is far superior in performance.

Comfort is not the ID.5’s strong point, which left us with a bitter taste in our recent test drive. Finally, the regenerative braking system does not allow you to come to a complete stop, which is unfortunate in urban environments.

As for the Tesla Model Y, even the base version displays sporty performance, with a 0 to 100 km/h time of 5 seconds (3.7 seconds for the Performance version), the tone is set.

The suspensions are pretty firm, and the emphasis is not on comfort, despite a quieter interior than Tesla has ever offered.

PerformanceVolkswagen ID.5 PerformanceTesla Model Y (2021) Performance
PowerRWD 204 hp (150 kW)AWD 351 hp (258 kW)
Torque229 lb-ft (310 Nm)389 lb-ft (527 Nm)
Acceleration8.4 sec 0-62 mph4.8 sec 0-60 mph (5 sec 0-62 mph)
Max speed99 mph (160 km/h)135 mph (217 km/h)

In terms of fuel consumption, the Model Y does much better than the VW ID.5 on an equivalent route, thanks to a better air penetration coefficient and a more contained weight. So, it is quite natural that the point goes to the Tesla Model Y regarding road behaviour.


Volkswagen ID.5 is available in three different engine options:

ID.5 Pro, rear-wheel drive with 77 kWh battery: rear engine only (174 hp), 0 to 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds, top speed 160 km/h ;

ID.5 Pro Performance, rear-wheel drive with 77 kWh battery: rear engine only (204 hp), 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds, top speed 160 km/h ;

ID.5 GTX, all-wheel drive with 77 kWh battery: front and rear engine (299 hp), 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, top speed 180 km/h.

The Tesla Model Y is now offered in two versions:

Long Range: front and rear engine, all-wheel drive, 0 to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds, top speed 217 km/h.

Performance: front and rear engine, all-wheel drive, 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, top speed of 241 km/h.


The different versions of the ID.5 in the French catalogue are equipped with a 77 kWh battery, ranging between 511 and 533 kilometres in the WLTP cycle, depending on the options.

In concrete terms, our consumption reaching 21 kWh per 100 kilometres during our test corresponds to 350 to 370 kilometres of genuine autonomy.

Fast charging is limited to 135 kW or 150 kW in the case of the GTX version, and it takes 29 minutes in ideal conditions to go from 5 to 80 per cent battery, according to Volkswagen.

The 11 kW on-board charger will ensure a complete filling of the battery in about 7.5 hours, compared to about 40 hours on a domestic socket, on the Tesla Model Y, as on the VW ID.5.

The Model Y offers a WLTP range of between 514 and 565 km, which, of course, must be reduced in real-life conditions. However, the reference consumption we have on a mixed route is under 18 kWh per 100 kilometres, which allows for more than 400 kilometres of autonomy thanks to the 75 kWh helpful battery.

The maximum charge power accepted in direct current peaks at 250 kW on the brand’s Superchargers and ensures you can go from 10 to 80% of battery in less than 30 minutes.

BatteryVW ID.5 BatteryTesla Model Y (2021) Battery
Capacity77 kWh usable, 82 kWh total75 kWh usable, 82 kWh total
TechLiquid-cooled Li-ion 400VLiquid-cooled Li-ion 360V
Range325 mi WLTP, 325 mi NEDC330 mi EPA (331 mi WLTP)
Consumption3.7 mi/kWh WLTP, 3.8 mi/kWh NEDC3.6 mi/kWh EPA (3.7 mi/kWh WLTP)
RecuperationYes, via driving modes and driving profiles2 levels, via driving modes, no regen when pedal braking
Heat pumpYesYes
AC ChargingType 2 11 kW, 0-100% in 7 hours 30 minType 2 11 kW, 0-100% in 7 hours 31 min
DC ChargingCCS 135 kW, 5-80% in 29 minSupercharger V3 250 kW max, 10-80% in 30 min CCS 250 kW max, 10-80% in 30 min


Today, the price of an entry-level VW ID.5 is no less than $54,700 (excluding the environmental bonus) and $61,600 for the top-of-the-line GTX version.

If you play with the options list, you’ll end up with over $69,000, which is close to the price of a Tesla Model Y Performance.

The Tesla Model Y is available in a Long Range version for $64,990 as a starting price and $69,990 in a Performance version. Unfortunately, neither model is eligible for the ecological bonus, limited to vehicles under $60,000.

Tesla’s $12,000 worth of options allows the price of a Model Y Performance to exceed $80,000, reaching $82,130.

Tesla Model Y vs VW ID.5: Safety

SafetyVW ID.5 SafetyTesla Model Y (2021) Safety
Airbags6 airbags: front, side, rear, including head airbag system8 airbags: front, side, rear, head airbag system, front seats knee airbags
Driving aidsFront radar, 2 rear corner radars, front camera. Lane Assist, Dynamic Road Sign Display, Light Assist, Emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist monitoring, Travel Assist with swarm data, Side Assist, Oncoming vehicle braking when turning and swerve support3 front, 2 side and 3 rear cameras, 6 front and 6 rear sensors (up to 250m object detection). Automatic Emergency Braking, Dynamic Brake Lights, Lane Assist, Collision Avoidance Assist, Speed Assist, Lane Departure Avoidance, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control
Self drivingAutopilot with full Self-Driving capability
Crash testsNCAP 2022: 5 stars, NHTSA 2020-2022: 5 stars


With a starting price of around 65,000 euros, the entry-level Tesla Model Y is well above the VW ID.5, which is over 10,000 euros cheaper. However, the performance of the Tesla Model Y makes it hard to compare with anything other than the Volkswagen ID.5 GTX.

And so, with a price starting at 61,600 euros, the gap with what Tesla offers is not so significant anymore. It will then be up to you to define what is most important to you between the cargo space, one-pedal driving and acceleration of the Model Y, or the Volkswagen ID.5’s exclusive features (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, head-up display in particular).

In the end, the real competitor to the Volkswagen ID.5 might be the Volkswagen ID.4