Quiet and comfortable cruiser, the slider controls are finally backlit!
Not very exciting to look at, infotainment update solves some issues but creates others
What is it?
It’s Volkswagen’s all-electric saloon, which finally arrives several years after the first ID product – the ID.3 hatchback – was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019. Certainly says something about the current state of car buying that the ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs were more of a priority for VW, doesn’t it?
Anyway, the ID.7 is still an important car, not least because it’s here to go up against things like the BMW i4, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and a little-known EV called the Tesla Model 3. Should be a simple task…
Why does it look so… bland?
Yes, the looks are a bit of a let-down, aren’t they? VW has focused on making the saloon as swoopy and aerodynamic as possible, and it managed to get the ID.7’s drag coefficient down to an impressive 0.23Cd. Unfortunately, that comes at the expense of any real styling.
There’s a lightbar across the front and some more LEDs at the rear, but the actual surfacing is pretty plain. Some might like that though, and if you don’t then you’re probably already leaning towards an Ioniq 6. Plus, all ID.7s will get a contrast black roof and aluminium-style strips across the frames to liven things up a little bit, and the wheel designs are snazzy too. In Germany where specs have been confirmed, 19-inch wheels are standard and 20-inchers are an optional extra.
It's worth noting that this is a big car. It’s just under five metres long and almost 1.9m wide without taking into account the side mirrors.
What are the specs?
Like with all of VW’s other ID products, the 7 is built on the group’s MEB platform. The headline figure is 435 miles of range on a single charge. Impressive, but that’s only achieved in the Pro S trim with the larger 86kWh (useable) battery, and that won’t arrive until 2024.
At launch in Europe we’ll get the ID.7 Pro, which still manages a very decent WLTP range of 386 miles thanks to a 77kWh battery and VW’s new APP550 electric motor. That single motor drives the rear wheels with 282bhp and 402lb ft of torque no matter which battery size you select.
Look at the size of that screen inside!
It’s a beast, isn’t it? This is actually the next generation of VW’s previously dreadful infotainment system, and the good news is at first glance they seem to have actually listened to the criticism. The 15-inch central display now features a permanent climate control panel that runs along the bottom of the screen (although we’d still prefer proper physical buttons) and crucially the touch-sensitive slider things underneath are now illuminated so that you can actually see them at night. Hurrah!
Elsewhere there’s another small screen in front of the driver and an augmented reality head-up display that’s standard fit. There are also fancy new seats, the option of a panoramic roof and plenty of tech. Click through to the Interior tab of this review to read our thoughts. Spoiler alert: we wouldn’t get too excited about the infotainment just yet…
How much will I have to pay for one?
The ID.7 begins life with a special 'Pro Launch Edition', which costs £55,570. We’re not sure how much the jump will be to the bigger batteried Pro S, and we also don’t know how much the ID.7 Tourer will be when that arrives next year. Oh, and there’s set to be a hot ID.7 GTX too, although we don’t have any details about that just yet either. Sorry folks.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
In some ways the ID.7 has absolutely nailed the brief. The range and efficiency are impressive, even in the smaller batteried Pro trim that’ll hit European roads first. Heck, 386 miles is more than most of us will ever need in one hit.
It’s practical and remarkably quiet and comfortable too, but while power is sent to the rear wheels there isn’t really any hint of sportiness. The drive almost mirrors the way this thing looks – fine, but not really anything to write home about. And why did VW have to fix its laggy infotainment system, only to go and bury the most important functions deep in the menus. Frustrating.
And with the starting price pushing £60k, you might well decide your pennies are better off spent on any of the ID.7's more affordable rivals.