Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team

We asked a team of readers to scrutinise the Volkswagen ID 7. Find out what they think of the new rival to the Tesla Model 3...

Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team

Volkswagen’s charge towards an electric future has got off to a strong start with the VW ID 3 family hatchback, the VW ID 4 and VW ID 5 SUVs and, in particular, the VW ID Buzz MPV – our reigning Car of the Year. However, these models by no means represent the end of the brand’s ambitions.

The latest addition to the line-up is the VW ID 7 executive car, which you could think of as the electric version of venerable VW Passat. However, the ID 7 is larger and far more striking looking than that conventional executive model. Although the ID 7 is a rival to the BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3 it's longer than either of them and has an airy interior with limo-like space in the rear seats. 

Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team

When it goes on sale this autumn, two battery sizes will be on offer: 77kWh and 86kWh. The smaller one promises a range of 407 miles and the larger one up to 435 miles between charges. Each model is powered by one 282bhp electric motor that drives the rear wheels. A more powerful dual-motor, four-wheel-drive model is expected later. 

The battery can be fast-charged at rates of up to 200kW, and if you set the sat-nav for a charging point, the car will pre-condition the battery to improve charging speed when you plug in.

The ID 7 will need more than clever tech to succeed in the cut-throat executive car sector. It will also need to possess the quality and practicality buyers expect from these premium machines. To find out how it is likely to stack up against its rivals, we’ve invited six readers to check it out and give us their verdict and a rating out of five stars.

Bob Antrobus

Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team Bob A

Age 77 Job Retired Drives Jaguar XF 

“I am considering going electric to help the environment, and the ID 7 could be a fitting replacement for my XF, because it’s a premium model that fits my budget. The fact that the ID 7 is a hatchback does make it more practical than my Jaguar, yet it still has appealingly sleek styling, even though it’s very large. In fact, it’s slightly longer and just as wide as my XF. 

“I like the design of the interior and think the materials are all high in quality. It also feels well put together, with solid-feeling switches and dials. My background is in engineering, so these things are important to me. 

“Although I’ll be able to charge an electric car up on my driveway at home, it’s reassuring to know that the range is more than 400 miles, because that would also make it a good long-range proposition for driving holidays from our home in North Wales to Cornwall.” 

Star rating 4

Martin Brace

Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team Maartin

Age 62 Job Part-time anaesthetist’s assistant Drives BMW 4 Series and Mazda MX-5

“At present, I drive a 2017 BMW 430i and have an under-used, 17-year-old MX-5, and I’m considering whether I should replace both of these with an electric car. I live in rural Devon, so range could be a concern, but if the ID 7 gets close to its official figure, that wouldn’t be an issue. 

“I was pleasantly surprised to find that the infotainment system seemed more intuitive to use than that in my BMW. I also thought the 3D head-up display was terrific, because it projects a lot of useful information on to the windscreen so it's in the driver’s line of vision. 

“Interior space is another plus point, compared with my BMW. Not only is there plenty of room up front, but there’s also a lot of knee room in the back seats and no floor hump to impede foot space.

“The ID 7 is expensive, with prices set to start at around £55,000, but if I had the money I would consider buying one. However, I am concerned how good the future resale value would be, so I’d be tempted to wait for a year or two to see how the market goes before committing to buying.”

Star rating 4

Peter Hurst

Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team Peter

Age 61 Job Retired Drives Tesla Model 3 Long Range

“I am currently looking for a successor to my Model 3, and I have a soft spot for Volkswagens, having owned several before, including a Golf GTI and Golf R. I think the exterior lines of the ID 7 are lovely. It doesn’t look like a hatchback and it has a really eye-catching shape. I love the chrome detailing around the doors, which contrasts well with the colour of the car we were looking at. 

“The ID 7 has a high-quality interior too – it’s much nicer than that of my Tesla. I like the head-up display, which is a practical feature that isn’t available in my car. The model we saw wasn’t four-wheel drive, and I’d wait for that version to go on sale, because I drive into Europe each winter to go on skiing holidays. 

“Another thing I’d have to consider is losing the use of the Tesla charging network. I use it a lot in the UK, and it enables me to plan all the stops on the way to and from Austria with the utmost precision. I would have to be convinced other networks were as fast and reliable. 

“However, if the ID 7 drives as well as it looks, it will certainly be on my list of potential replacement cars.”

Star rating 5

Bob Jefferies

Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team Bob J

Age 75 Job Retired Drives Kia Niro EV and VW Golf

“I was interested in finding out about the range of the ID 7 and how roomy it is. The last factor is important to me because I have three grandsons, all of whom are more than 6ft tall. Having sat in both the front and back seats, I’m sure it would be roomy enough for them. 

“The technology in the ID 7 is impressive, too. The infotainment system is first class – it looks good and responds quickly when you touch the icons. I usually have to get my grandchildren to help me out with these systems, but I can find my way around this unit without any issues.

“I also love the materials used in the interior. The seat trim feels like good-quality leather, even though it’s actually a vegan alternative, and the suede inserts on the doors and dashboard look and feel very classy.  

“I bought my Niro EV because it was What Car?’s Car of the Year in 2019, and its range of more than 200 miles was about the best you could get then. However, the ID 7 seems like a big step forward in this respect – 400 miles is closer to what you’d expect from a petrol or diesel model.” 

Star rating 5

Andy King 

Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team Andy

Age 58 Job Company director Drives Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupé and VW ID 3 

“The trim and interior fittings of my ID 3 are pretty basic, so I wanted to see if Volkswagen had improved the quality for the ID 7 to make it competitive with premium brands. After spending some time in it, I think the ID 7’s interior is superb. It’s not only miles better than that of the ID 3, but also better than anything Mercedes is producing currently.

“The interior is the best I’ve seen in a Volkswagen model. In fact, I’d say it’s as good as those from Audi, which I think set the benchmark for high-quality interiors. I also think the ambient lighting in the doors is a nice detail that brightens up the inside.

“Range has been a bit of an issue with the ID 3, especially during the winter, so it's good to see the ID 7 has such a high quoted range. That would give more scope for it to cope with any potential reduction in very cold weather.

“The only shortcoming is that the ID 7’s external design is a bit safe. When you compare it with other electric cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 6 the ID 7 won’t get a second look in an executive car park.” 

Star rating 4

Shaun Smith

Volkswagen ID 7 reader test team Shaun

Age 55 Job IT consultant Drives BMW X5 

“I’m interested in the ID 7 because I’m looking for a pure electric model to replace my plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive45e when it’s time to trade it in.

“I love the way the ID 7 looks, and it has a spacious and well-appointed interior. I’m 6ft 4in tall and I could not only easily get comfortable up front, but I could also sit comfortably in the rear behind someone as tall as me. The only slight niggle is that I didn’t have that much room for my feet when I was in the back seat. 

“I was also seriously taken with the infotainment system, which has really been thought through. It’s head and shoulders above other systems I’ve used, including my BMW’s iDrive, because it responds quickly and you can get to where you want to go in two or three moves instead of six or seven. 

“There were only a couple of shortcomings: it’s a shame the load bay isn’t flat when the rear seats are folded, and it would be useful to have a rear windscreen wiper. However, I think it's a great car with a reasonable price for a pure electric model. I’ll definitely consider it when it’s time to replace my car.” 

Star rating 4

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Next: Read our full preview of the Volkswagen ID 7 >>

Also consider