the match of electric cars under 25,000 euros

Forget Drive to Survive and Formula 1 with Netflix sauce. The biggest duel to come in the automobile will not oppose Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, but Renault to Volkswagen. This will not take place at more than 300 km / h, but on all that Europe has automotive markets. And it will not see two ultra-luxurious cars compete against each other, but two supposedly affordable electric compacts. The match which will see the future electric Renault 5 face off against the Volkswagen ID.2 promises to spark sparks, and for good reason, the two contenders are targeting a segment in high demand and particularly poor in offers, that of electric cars at less than 25 000 euros.

Admittedly, the official kick-off is not planned for two years, when the ID.2 will join the market with an R5 which will already have a few kilometers on the clock. Therefore, is it reasonable to want to oppose two vehicles that are still not marketed? We do not pretend here to draw definitive conclusions, nor even to designate any winner. It is also impossible to judge a car without having boarded it and having traveled a few tens of kilometres. However, we now have a large amount of information, final or almost finished designs of each of the models and almost all the information concerning their technical basis. Therefore, it is quite possible to oppose the ID.2 to the Renault on all these points in order to identify the first lessons or trends which will be confirmed (or not) when they are marketed. Here is, point by point, the duel between the two most anticipated electric vehicles under 25,000 euros.

Design: poles apart

The first and most visible point of comparison is the appearance of the two cars. In the matter, difficult to say that one and the other manufacturer could have made more opposed choices. And yet, the two compacts drew their inspiration from the same place, in the museum of their respective manufacturer. If the electric R5 completely assumes the relationship with its illustrious elder, it is a little less the case with the ID.2 which nevertheless takes up many aesthetic details of the first version of the Golf. Where the Losange assumes having embraced a neo-retro strategy (which will be continued by the electric 4L), the German is more tempered with a vehicle that subtly combines evocations of a glorious past and a desire to build a new identity.

But more than the exterior lines, it is the visual impression left by the two models that differs. The R5 directly awakens the nostalgic fiber of some of its viewers. For those who have a shorter memory (or a younger age), it still shows more character, evokes a sportier behavior and above all a car that could be fun to drive. Conversely, the all-purpose design of the ID.2 (which could evolve slightly from the current concept) could not be more wise and polished.

Verdict : on the design aspect, probably the most obvious sticking point between the two models, our preference goes to the compact Renault. More assertive, more elaborate, but also more mischievous, it has all the characteristics of a favorite car.

Interior equipment and on-board system: impossible duel

Opposing the ID.2 to the R5 on the passenger compartment will not be as obvious as for the exterior design. The reason ? Only one interior of the two is known, that of Volkswagen. Indeed, while the compact Diamond has been unveiled for more than a year already, its interior remains secret. Some indiscretions point to the presence of a dual screen as well as many nods to the R5 of yesteryear, but for now no image has been shown.

Conversely, the interior of the ID.2 is already known and, unsurprisingly, it is as smooth as its exterior dress. However, the presence of a double screen consisting of a 10.9-inch display for the instrumentation and a 12.9-inch panel for the central part is a sign that VW does not intend to neglect interior quality. of his car.

Finally, we cannot compare the two vehicles without talking about their software environment. On this point, Renault is showing a considerable lead since it already seems certain that the R5 will run on Android, like the current electric Mégane. The adoption of the Google system was particularly well done by the Renault engineers who were able to both rely on an effective application base while taking care of their software overlay.
On the other hand, since the arrival of its latest system on the 8th generation Golf, then the ID.3, Volkswagen has suffered from recurring software problems. The manufacturer has promised to correct certain errors, in particular the use of all-touch without waiting for the ID.2. In fact, the latter should benefit from this review. Moreover, on the image unveiled by VW, it is possible to observe the arrival of a new OS, very different from what the brand currently offers.

Verdict : for lack of available elements, it is impossible to decide between the two competitors on this point. VW’s delay in terms of OS seems considerable at the moment, but the German manufacturer could surprise by bringing into play its recognized know-how in terms of interiors.

Engine and performance: the other big divide

This difference is certainly less visible, but no less important. The two vehicles made radically different choices in terms of development. The electric Renault 5, or Renault 5 E-Tech (the final name is not yet known), will be based on the CMF-B EV platform, in other words a technical base of thermal car adapted to electric. It is she who is at the origin of the Clio, but also of the Zoé and the Twingo ZE.

Volkswagen hasn’t developed a platform for its entry-level electric either. In the same approach of achieving economies of scale and relying on the sharing of components to reduce production costs, VW has brought out its good old MEB. This one was adapted, for the occasion, in MEB Entry, that is to say that it was somewhat shortened and that it transferred the driving part to the front. As a result, the ID.2, but also the ID.1 will be front-drive electric cars, where the R5, like most current zero-emission cars, relies on a rear-drive engine. But the big difference in this a priori similar choice is that MEB is a platform dedicated to electrics and has significant advantages that Renault will find difficult to respond to.

Renault’s CMF-B EV platform

The first concerns the habitability on board. In a platform dedicated to electricity, it is not necessary to allocate space to components essential to a thermal version. As a result, the ID.2 will benefit from an XXL trunk given its small size (440 L), as well as a 50 L hatch located under the bench seat, for storing charging cables. The R5 will be much less spacious on board.

MEB Entry VW
VW’s MEB Entry platform

The other side of the choice of the CMF-B EV platform for Renault is that it limits its choice in terms of engine. Renault’s compact will probably have to take over the 100 kW block of the current Zoé R135 for a power of 136 hp. Another version of the R5 is planned, but its power should not exceed 150 hp. In contrast, the ID.2 seems much more muscular. Its engine may be moved to the front, but it is nonetheless impressive for a small compact. Its 166 kW (or 226 hp) should give it a considerable advantage over its rival when it comes to performance.

Verdict : the first glance at the data sheet is definitely in favor of the German compact. The choice of the MEB Entry platform for the ID.2 should give VW a considerable advantage both from a habitability and performance point of view.

Autonomy: 50 km separate them

The choice of platform defining the maximum capacities of the batteries, Renault finds itself once again limited by the use of its traditional CMF-B EV, initially planned for the thermal Clio, let us remember. The French manufacturer has not yet communicated on the values ​​of its accumulators, but he explained that he will offer two levels of batteries and a maximum autonomy of 400 km, which he considers sufficient for a city car.

On the shortened version of the MEB platform, Volkswagen has a little more room and should approach 50 kWh with its battery. As a result, the range of the ID.2 is estimated at 450 km, which is still quite close to what the R5 will offer. On the other hand, the Wolfsburg manufacturer has already announced that it would be very competitive in terms of fast charging speed. It promises a “full” of 10 to 80% of the battery in about 20 minutes, without further precision.
On the Renault side, we are not yet at this level of detail, but the manufacturer has already made some very curious choices in this area in the past (notably on the Mégane E-Tech), which it will no doubt have to avoid in the future. coming. Nevertheless, the French manufacturer has partnered with the CEA to develop the future charger for its electric cars. This one should be ready for the R5.

Verdict : on autonomy, the initial choice of a platform dedicated to electric gives an interesting advantage to the ID.2, but not prohibitive. If the promise of 400 km is kept by Renault, and if the recharging part follows, this value should be sufficient for the vast majority of uses.

Which version of each car at 25,000 euros?

This is ultimately the central question of this duel. As often, before the official launches of their cars, the manufacturers only give the maximum values ​​of their technical data sheets. In other words, the information we have at the moment, on the power of the engines, on the capacity of the batteries and even on the interior equipment is that which will correspond to the most high-end versions of the two models… and therefore not those under 25,000 euros.

As often, it will be necessary to see what compromises are proposed to lower the price to this level. It seems obvious, for example, that versions under 25,000 euros will have a lower capacity battery and that their range will be more around 300 km. However, the ID.2 like the R5 E-Tech should offer a very rare proposition on the market since there is only one model currently on sale to offer roughly similar characteristics, the MG4 in its Standard version.

Verdict of the duel

Although it is much too early to designate a potential winner, several certainties appear at the end of this first comparison. On the one hand, it seems certain that the match will be hot (not to say electric) between the two rivals and that they have indeed every reason to be opposed. But even more interestingly, what seems to be the strong point of one often appears as a weakness in the second and vice versa. The R5 will bet on its pleasant, original and committed look, but will undoubtedly have to face a technical deficit compared to the ID.2. Conversely, the German compact will try to forget its lack of audacity with a much more ambitious technical sheet. See you in 2025 for a duel in due form.