New Tesla Model Y vs Audi Q4 e-tron vs Kia EV6: costs

Tesla’s new electric SUV gets offto a great start by being based on the excellent Model 3 saloon – but is it good enough to beat its front-running rivals from Audi and Kia...

Tesla Model Y 2022 side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

You’ll struggle to get a discount on any of our contenders if you’re buying outright, but thanks to its slow predicted depreciation, the Tesla Model Y will cost private buyers the least to run over three years. Indeed, the Model Y is predicted to retain about 10% more of its value than the Audi Q4 e-tron and Kia EV6 over that period – a significant difference.

However, many buyers will go down the PCP finance route instead, and it’s here where the Model Y’s higher list price is a disadvantage. On a three-year deal, with a £5500 deposit and a limit of 10,000 miles per year, you’ll pay £895 per month for the Model Y – £50 more than for the Q4 and a hefty £118 more than for the EV6.

Audi Q4 e-tron side

Each of these cars sits in the same 2% benefit-in-kind tax band – which means they’ll be far cheaper to run as company cars than petrol or diesel equivalents. Over three years, the difference between the EV6 (the cheapest) and the Model Y (the dearest) is only around £50, assuming you’re in the 40% tax bracket.

All three come with heated front seats, but only the EV6 and Model Y get a glass roof, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera and wireless phone charging as standard. You’ll need to opt for various equipment packs if you want these things on your Q4.

Kia Ev6 2022 side

One advantage of choosing the Model Y is access to Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger network. There are around 800 charging points at 85 locations throughout the UK, and from one of these you can get a 10-80% top-up in about half an hour. The EV6 is capable of accepting even more power (up to 233kW, versus 210kW), so you can theoretically charge its larger battery from 10-80% in just 16 minutes. The catch is that, at present, there aren’t many public charging points capable of delivering that much power.

The Q4 has the biggest battery, yet it’s the slowest to charge (up to 135kW); getting it from 10-80% will take at least 33 minutes. Charging any of these cars from 0-100% on a typical 7kW home wallbox will take roughly 12 hours.

New Tesla Model Y vs Audi Q4 e-tron vs Kia EV6 costs

All three were too new to appear in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey, but Kia as a brand finished in ninth place out of 30 contenders, with Tesla sitting in a middling 15th place and Audi down in 18th. And if anything goes wrong with your EV6, Kia offers the longest warranty of seven years or 100,000 miles on most components, including the battery. The batteries in the other two are covered for eight years (or 100,000 miles in the Q4 and 120,000 in the Model Y), but there are shorter four-year (Model Y) and three-year (Q4) warranties on other components.

The Q4 is the only one in this group to have been appraised for safety by Euro NCAP; it achieved the full five-star rating in 2021. All come with lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking as standard, but the EV6 adds handy features such as rear cross-traffic alert (which stops you from reversing into the path of approaching cars) and a blindspot camera feed that’s displayed on the instrument panel.

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