Volkswagen ID Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

· Registered User
2,578 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

2021 VW ID4 vs. Honda CR-V Hybrid Comparison Test: Close Fight
Volkswagen’s electric SUV is already equipped to take on gasoline-powered rivals.
2021 VW ID4 vs 2021 Honda CR V Hybrid 13

Aaron GoldAuthorMotorTrend StaffPhotographerDarren MartinPhotographer, Apr 29, 2021

Our choice of vehicles for this SUV comparison test is bound to raise eyebrows. Shouldn't we compare the new battery-powered 2021 Volkswagen ID4 with another electric car? That's how our industry has been doing things, but the time is rapidly approaching when Jane and John Consumer will routinely consider electric as an alternative to internal combustion power. It's time to start treating electric vehicles like mainstream cars, so let's compare the ID4 with one of the best eco-friendly crossovers on the market, the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid.

Why the Honda? Well, the ID4 is nearly identical to the CR-V Hybrid in dimensions, performance, and—for the moment, at least—price. The limited-run ID4 1st Edition trim is basically the top-of-the-line Pro S with the optional Gradient package, plus some unique trim and a $2,000 discount. Factor in the $7,500 federal tax credit, and our tester prices out to $37,960—just $40 more than the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring with optional Platinum White Pearl paint.

Besides, the ID4 might not compare well against some of the flashier EVs on the market because it doesn't have the spleen-flattening acceleration, bladder-busting range, or reimagined interior of a dual-motor Tesla. (That stuff is coming.) Yes, the ID4 is futuristic, but it's not just an expensive toy for well-heeled techno-mavens. The ID4 is meant to be a day-in-day-out eco-friendly utility vehicle, just like the CR-V Hybrid.

Electric VW Vs. Electrified Honda
2021 VW ID4 vs 2021 Honda CR V Hybrid 1

As we write this, only 2 percent of Americans drive electric cars, so we're going to ask the remaining 98 percent to take a couple of things as read. First, let's pretend range anxiety doesn't exist. The ID4's 250-mile range (its EPA-rated figure and, based on our experience, a reliable real-world number) is barely half of what the Honda can do, but remember EV owners can plug in at night and have a full "tank" every morning. Long-distance travel in an electric car is now a possibility, if an inconvenient one.

Once you get over that one basic difference—plug versus pump—the ID4 and CR-V start to overlap in more ways than you might imagine. And picking the best between them proved difficult. Executive summary: The Honda is a bit more utilitarian and practical, and the Volkswagen is a bit more futuristic and fun.

Styling, Outside And In
Kudos to VW for designing its vehicle of the future accordingly. The ID4's clean styling, with its flush door handles and low stance, makes the CR-V look downright dowdy. Inside, the ID4 doubles down on its car-of-the-future vibe. In place of the staid and sensible gauges VW has used for years, the ID4 has a small pod attached to its steering wheel that houses a minimalist instrument panel, with speed, range, adaptive cruise status, and next-turn directions displayed on a small screen. Attached to it like Van Gogh's remaining ear is the shifter: Twist for drive or reverse, press the button for park. At center-dash is the infotainment and climate screen. There's a small button on the steering column marked "Engine Start" (old habits die hard, apparently), but in normal operation you'll never use it; with the key fob on your person, you unlock the ID4 by squeezing the door handle and start it by getting in and stepping on the brake. Putting the car in park and getting out shuts it off.
By comparison, the CR-V's interior seems almost quaint, its faux wood trim a throwback to the 2020s. The Honda's digital instrument cluster looks massive compared to the VW's. Not that we disliked it; after the VW's sci-fi interior, it was nice to get back to the period-piece Honda and find all the controls more or less where we expect them. Aside from its perennially annoying touchscreen stereo, the CR-V is as user-friendly as can be.

Powertrains Compared
The driving experience is remarkably similar. EVs feel very different to drive than typical internal combustion vehicles, but the CR-V Hybrid is not typical. Honda's EarthDreams hybrid system uses an engine to generate electricity (with a small battery buffer) and an electric motor to drive the wheels. The engine seamlessly connects to drive the wheels directly under certain steady-state or light acceleration conditions above 40 mph. This all means the CR-V Hybrid delivers the same smooth, linear, shift-free acceleration as the ID4.
Regenerative braking is another interesting similarity. The Honda uses steering wheel paddles to select up to four levels of regen, making it easy to control your speed (and juice up the battery) on long downhill drives. The ID4 has a single "B" mode that, despite our predictions of inadequacy, was the Goldilocks setting, slowing the car significantly but never jarringly. In fact, it required barely any conscious adaptation on our part.
You won't feel the Honda's engine, but you'll sure as hell hear it. The engine either drones or moans, and if you should ask the CR-V Hybrid to do anything extraordinarily challenging—like, say, drive up a hill—the 2.0-liter screams as if it's being tortured. A fast run through curvy roads had us clamoring for the ID4's relative silence. We say "relative" because the ID4, like the Honda, admits plenty of wind noise at highway speeds. Stranger still is how much sound the ID4 driver hears from surrounding cars, ambient noise the Honda's shouty engine drowns out.
2021 VW ID4 vs 2021 Honda CR V Hybrid 10

Neither car is particularly quick. The ID4 we drove features a single 201-hp motor mounted to the rear axle, and our test team clocked it to 60 in 7.4 seconds, a perfectly fine performance for an everyday SUV. Despite having slightly more power and 939 fewer pounds to haul around, the CR-V trailed the Volkswagen to 60 by 0.1 second. EVs often feel like they run out of steam at higher speeds, but here it was the CR-V that struggled with top-end acceleration. Passing on a two-laner feels dicier in the CR-V than in the ID4.
Still, both powertrains delivered on their promises: If we kept to the speed limits at all times, the ID4 would exceed its 250-mile range, and the CR-V would come respectably close to its 38-mpg EPA combined rating.

How They Drive
Both crossovers ride relatively comfortably on smooth asphalt but start bouncing around on bumpy roads. The CR-V has a not entirely unpleasant pogo-stick quality while the ID4 jiggles its passengers at an accelerated frequency, which we assume is a result of stiff shocks trying to control the inertia of the heavy battery pack under the car's floor.
That heavy battery proved to be both boon and bane on our twisty mountain test route. The ID4 feels like the sports car of this duo, with strong grip and magnificent stability thanks to its low center of gravity. But with weight comes inertia, and one particularly nasty mid-corner bump sent the ID4 into oscillations its dampers had trouble reining in. The less-capable Honda sailed through the same corner with far less drama.
2021 VW ID4 vs 2021 Honda CR V Hybrid 11

We had hoped that the ID4's rear-drive layout would allow for a little tail-out action (because isn't that what every family wants from their crossover?), and while we could feel the chassis trying to rotate, the stability control wouldn't let it—and there's no way to shut the system off. Still, on broad, fast curves, the ID4 feels steady and confident, just what we expect from a German car.

With notably lower levels of power and grip, the CR-V Hybrid struggled (and ultimately failed) to close the gap between itself and the rapidly disappearing Volkswagen. Though body lean is well controlled, there is quite a bit of vertical body travel, which makes for some rather interesting moments when one side of the road rises and the other falls. Our knuckles may have been a bit paler than usual on some of the trickier bits of road.
That said, despite its bouncy ride and limited grip, the Honda displays an underlying competence. Some CUVs cover their eyes and surrender to understeer when driven too fast, but the CR-V Hybrid tries its hardest with the limited resources it has. Driving it fast was its own perverse sort of pleasure, the kind of rule-breaking satisfaction one gets when cutting class or sneaking into a second movie.

Let's Talk Practicality
We'll assume most sport-utility buyers care more about utility than sport, and here is where the Honda has an edge. Passenger ingress is marginally easier; the VW may look lower to the ground, but that big battery pack raises the floor to a similar height as the CR-V's. Both back seats are comfortable, but the Honda feels a little more spacious, with 2.8 inches more legroom plus toe space under the front seats that the ID4 lacks. But for those who get claustrophobic, the ID4's panoramic glass roof provides more relief than the Honda's small single-pane sunroof.
The CR-V's cargo bay at first glance looks like an airplane hangar compared to the ID4's trunk, but break out the tape measure (which you do all the time, right?), and you'll find the ID4's cargo opening is about the same height and slightly wider. The ID4 conceals some of its cargo space under a removable false floor, which provides a flat surface when the seats are folded down, but the VW's rakish roof is the real problem—the CR-V's closer-to-vertical tailgate provides more space. The Honda's load floor is lower, as well, and we like the handles that let you drop the rear seatbacks from inside the cargo bay.
2021 Honda CR V Hybrid Touring AWD 10

We must talk about stereos. The Volkswagen's infotainment system is designed to work like a tablet, and although it can be confusing at first, it's fairly straightforward to use once you understand its logic. The touchscreen also handles climate controls, adding a layer of complication over the CR-V, but the Honda's stereo and navigation system still frustrates us. It takes several button presses to move between common functions, and the voice recognition system strikes us as both patronizing and deliberately obtuse. Sound quality from the Honda's stereo was better, though, particularly at higher volumes.

The Winner, But Only By A Smidge
The object of our comparison tests is to pick a definitive winner, and here we struggle, not because the Volkswagen ID4 and Honda CR-V Hybrid are so different but because they are so similar. We were surprised to learn these two divergent SUVs have so many strengths (and a few weaknesses) in common.
The ID4 looks better looking and is more fun to drive, but its rear-drive layout is a potential detriment to those who live where it rains and snows. That fact, plus the CR-V's roomier back seat and upright cargo bay—and the fact that it delivers all-wheel drive for the price of the RWD VW—makes the Honda the winner in this comparison test, by the narrowest of margins. VW was able to create an electric SUV nearly as good as, and in many ways better than, one of the best gasoline-fueled SUVs on the market, which is an impressive feat. The ID4 has what it takes to go up against conventional SUVs, right out of the gate.
2021 VW ID4 vs 2021 Honda CR V Hybrid 9

Volkswagen ID4 Pros:
  • Futuristic, functional cabin
  • Everyday practicality
  • Delivers the dynamics we expect from VW
Volkswagen ID4 Cons:
  • Busy ride on rough roads
  • Rear-wheel drive hobbles it in the snow
  • Intimidating stereo
Honda CR-V Pros:
  • Remarkable fuel economy for an SUV
  • Generous back seat and cargo space
  • Enjoyable to drive fast in its own strange way
Honda CR-V Cons:
  • Noisy engine
  • Apathetic acceleration
  • Difficult-to-navigate infotainment system

POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring AWD2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUTFront-engine, AWDRear-motor, RWD
ENGINE TYPEI-4, alum block/head, plus AC permanent-magnet electric motorAC permanent-magnet electric motor
DISPLACEMENT121.6 cu in/1,993 ccNA
POWER (SAE NET)143 hp @ 6,200 rpm (gas)/181 hp (elec)/212 hp (comb)201 hp
TORQUE (SAE NET)129 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm (gas)/232 lb-ft (elec)229 lb-ft
REDLINENot indicatedNot indicated
WEIGHT TO POWER17.5 lb/hp23.2 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION1-speed automatic1-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO3.89:1/9.55:1 (elec), 3.13:1 (gas, 40-45 mph+)4.39:1/12.99:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REARStruts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll barStruts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO12.3:115.9:1
BRAKES, F; R12.6-in vented disc; 12.2-in disc, ABS13.4-in vented disc; 11.0-in drum, ABS
WHEELS7.5 x 19-in cast aluminum8.0 x 20-in; 9.0 x 20-in, cast aluminum
TIRES235/55R19 101H (M+S) Continental CrossContact LX Sport235/50R20 104T; 255/45R20 105T Bridgestone Alenza Sport A/S (M+S)
WHEELBASE104.7 in108.9 in
TRACK, F/R62.9/63.5 in62.5/61.6 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT182.1 x 73.0 x 66.5 in180.5 x 72.9 x 64.4 in
GROUND CLEARANCE8.2 in7.2 in (mfr est)
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE18.9/26.0 deg17.5/21.2 deg
TURNING CIRCLE37.4 ft33.6 ft
CURB WEIGHT3,720 lb4,659 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R58/42%47/53%
TOWING CAPACITYNot recommended2,200 lb
HEADROOM, F/R38.0/39.1 in41.1/38.4 in
LEGROOM, F/R41.3/40.4 in41.4/37.6 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R57.9/55.6 in57.5/55.9 in
CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R68.7/33.2 cu ft64.2/30.3 cu ft
0-302.9 sec2.6 sec
PASSING, 45-65 MPH3.94.0
QUARTER MILE16.0 sec @ 86.3 mph15.9 sec @ 86.3 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH115 ft119 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.81 g (avg)0.83 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT28.0 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)27.4 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
BASE PRICE$37,525$45,190*
PRICE AS TESTED$37,920$45,190*
AIRBAGS6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY3 yrs/36,000 miles4 yrs/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY5 yrs/60,000 miles4 yrs/50,000 miles
BATTERY WARRANTY8 yrs/100,000 miles (includes hybrid sys)8 yrs/100,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE3 yrs/36,000 miles3 yrs/36,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY14.0 gal + 1.4 kWh77 kWh
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON40/35/38 mpg104/89/97 mpg-e
EPA EST RANGE532 miles250 miles
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY84/96 kW-hrs/100 miles32/38 kWh/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB0.52 lb/mile0.00 lb/mile (at vehicle)
RECOMMENDED FUELUnleaded regular240-volt electricity
*Before applicable federal and local tax credits.


· Registered User
2021 ID.4 Pro RWD Black
40 Posts
I came from a CRV and I used the 2021 CRV as my comparison when showing my spouse. With mostly the same features it was nearly the same cost when factoring in the tax credit for the ID.4. When you consider the fuel and yearly maintenance savings, it was a no brainer.

· Registered User
2021 VW ID.4 Pro S Dusk Blue
146 Posts
If the two vehicles are that comparable, I'm surprised that they picked the CRV over the ID.4. Especially considering how much someone would save in fuel and maintenance costs. Add in the free charging at EA stations, and it's almost an automatic decision. The only concern is charging for people who are in more remote areas. (Not to say that there aren't issues with charging elsewhere.)

Here in California, it becomes even more likely to tilt towards EVs with the state rebate and high gasoline prices.

After reading the article, I don't think that they really considered any of this when saying that the CRV was the better vehicle.

· Registered User
4,412 Posts
Anyone who starts with cheap EV for first EV and learn how to live with it would not ever look back on ICE or hybrid.....
You Tubers should change mind set and start accepting EV are completely different from anything that requires Fuel.
If you want to have a lot of hits on your YouTube videos....take EV that have ability to pull trailers and show real world experience and how it is compared to ICE.
EV should coexist with ICE..
I have moved couple years here to US and here YouTubers still are trying to compare EV vs hybrid or ICE....
And for Family transportation and normal trips without trailers EV are better in every way that you will have with ICE.
Hybrid are great in city but on Interstate are less efficient than normal ICE....
I can personally beat MPG with my BMW X5 Diesel on interstate vs Toyota Prius Prime that is considered one of most efficient hybrids.
And drag coefficient is way better on Toyota Prius Prime than BMW X5 diesel...and there is many other things in favor this hybrid but BMW will still beat it easily.
Hybrids are pushed by ICE Companies to meet national fleet MPG to meet government requirements so they don't pay fines. And from engineering standpoint hybrids are way more complex and they will cost more than EV.
Some will point...well battery packs if needed to be replaced after warranty will cost 10-20k .....
So before you jump and make your post...see what would cost to replace ICE engine and battery pack on hybrid.....and most likely transmission will be on last leg if you decide to go with it. Where EV one speed transmission will have no problem to go through 2 or more battery packs before you will need new one speed transmission.
And for reference VW propulsion unit is modular design so you only change what is needed not entire propulsion unit.
VW modular design propulsion unit and easy to rebuild battery pack or replacement of entire battery pack will be well accepted for 2nd hand owner when warranty is gone.
VW ID4 will beat hybrids at this point in future when they get to point for rebuild.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.