2023 Volkswagen ID 7 revealed
New Volkswagen ID 7 electric car gets a range of more than 400 miles, a spacious interior and a plush ride. Here's what you need to know, and our verdict from an early test drive...
On sale Autumn 2023 | Price from £55,000 (est)
From Friends: The Reunion to Still Open All Hours, people love a reboot. The Volkswagen ID 7, then, might well prove popular with buyers, because it too is a reboot of sorts.
You see, the Volkswagen Passat – Volkswagen’s executive car offering for nearly 50 years – went off sale in the UK in 2022, and the all-electric ID 7 now serves as Volkswagen’s flagship executive car.
It’s been given lots of tech, a spacious interior and a predicted range of more than 400 miles, to help it stand out against some of the best electric cars in the business, such as the BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3.
The entry-level ID 7 is fitted with a 77kWh battery, which has an estimated range of 382 miles. This compares well against the i4 eDrive40, which can officially do 367 miles.
However, you’ll also be able to get an ID 7 with a larger, 86kWh battery. Volkswagen predicts that this version will be able to cover up to 435 miles on a charge – enough to get you from London to Edinburgh without stopping. It also puts the ID 7 well ahead of the i4 eDrive40, Model 3 Long Range and Mercedes EQE 350.
Both the 77kWh and 86kWh versions are capable of fast charging, at up to 170kW and 200kW respectively. The ID 7 can also ‘pre-condition’ its battery; if the car’s sat-nav is set for a charging point, it will adjust the battery temperature as you drive along to improve charging speed once you arrive.
All versions of the ID 7 come with a head-up display, which projects key information such as sat-nav directions, current speed limits and more directly into the driver’s line of sight on the windscreen. The digital instrument panel is smaller than in most cars and shows a limited amount of information, including speed, range and battery level.
The ID 7 has been designed to be a bit more luxurious than the rest of Volkswagen’s electric car range, and as such is available with some extra interior goodies to increase its appeal. It’s available with heated and ventilated front seats, which can be set to automatically adjust their level based on the temperature of whoever’s sitting in them. Massaging seats are also available.
You can get the ID 7 with an optional ‘smart glass’ panoramic roof, which, rather than having a traditional retractable sunblind, can turn opaque at the push of a button to keep out unwanted glare.
We’ve already driven a pre-production version of the ID 7; here’s what we found out about how it drives and what it’s like inside.
What’s it like to drive?
Considering the range that the ID 7 is predicted to be capable of, it's a good job that even in pre-production form (VW said our press car was 90-95% finished) the ID 7 is a surprisingly polished long-distance cruiser.
There is virtually no motor whine when accelerating up to motorway speeds and once you’ve reached 70mph both wind and road noise are very well suppressed. Optional adaptive suspension (DCC) also lets you soften the suspension at a touch of a button with the result being a ride that is noticeably plusher than a Model 3 if not quite as wafty as an EQE.
With a single electric motor driving the rear wheels, there’s a respectable 282bhp on tap regardless of what battery size you opt for. Of course, compared to the i4 eDrive40 with its 335bhp, you could argue it looks a little underpowered, but in reality, the ID 7 will deliver enough performance for most drivers.
Dynamically, the ID 7 steers with accuracy and grips hard enough to feel relatively agile, but push harder and you’ll find its limits sooner than you would in the sharper i4 and Model 3. VW has yet to confirm if there will be a sportier four-wheel drive GTX, but we suspect this will be inevitable.
What’s it like inside?
One aspect that doesn’t come across until you see it in the metal is just how big the ID 7 is. With a 2966mm wheelbase (the gap between the front and rear wheels) and a length of 4961mm, it’s even larger than the EQE, let alone the i4 and Model 3.
That leads to an interior that feels airy up front and positively limo-like in the rear. A six-footer will easily fit behind a driver of the same height, and three adults can sit comfortably in the back, thanks to a completely flat floor. Meanwhile, the boot is capacious and has good access, with a broad hatchback opening and a handy height-adjustable floor.
Better yet, interior quality is significantly better than that of any other ID model so far. There’s a pleasing variety of materials, ranging from perforated vegan leather on the seats to suede inserts on the doors and soft-touch plastic on the dashboard. The glossy black trim is backlit, adding some welcome visual glamour – as does the new 15.0in infotainment screen, which dominates the interior.
But before you get too excited, it doesn’t fully resolve the issues that other ID models have suffered. True, the touchscreen’s responses are snappier than before, and its huge dimensions allow you to see a lot of information in one go, but software glitches remain. Not only did the sat-nav give up on us halfway around our test route, but the voice control software accidentally triggered on numerous occasions.
Frustratingly, Volkswagen has also taken one step forward and one step back when it comes to usability, by illuminating the touch sliders for the likes of the temperature control (whereas those in its siblings are unlit and therefore invisible at night) but removing physical air vent controls. Instead of manipulating the vents manually, you now have to adjust the airflow via the infotainment screen or by using voice commands – both convoluted methods.
Next: Volkswagen ID 7 verdict and specs >>
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