Review: Volkswagen ID.7 first drive

From £51,550

The Volkswagen ID.7 is the sixth vehicle to be developed on VW’s MEB EV platform, joining the ID.3 hatchback, the ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs, funky ID.Buzz van, plus the China-only ID.6. Later this year the five-door fastback will be joined by a rakish estate version (marketed as a ‘Tourer’). The ID.7’s competitors include the big-selling Tesla Model 3, plus the BMW i4, i5, Hyundai Ioniq 6, Polestar 2, Kia EV6 and Genesis G80 Electrified. According to Volkswagen, it’s “delivering on its promise of long-distance, luxury-class travel with zero tailpipe emissions and next-generation cockpit technology with the arrival of the ID.7”. We took to the roads and motorways of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire on a crisp winter’s day to find out for ourselves.

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Volkswagen ID.7 – Exterior

Other than the genius ID.Buzz people carrier/van, we think the ID.7 is the best-looking member of Volkswagen’s growing ID family of electric vehicles. Sounds like high praise, but the reality is that the ID.3, 4 and 5 are on the bland side.

At 4,961mm long and 1,862mm wide, the ID.7 is the largest electric model yet offered by Volkswagen. Despite that, it’s also the lowest ID model to date, with a height of just 1,536mm.

The ID.7’s flowing, muscular lines result in an impressively low drag coefficient of 0.23 Cd. Naturally, there’s no need for a grille up front, just a bluff, rounded nose with mean-looking LED headlights, connected by a full-width light bar across the bonnet.

> A capable, family-sized SUV: Read our review of Volkswagen ID.4

Its sleek profile with sloping roofline is enhanced by flush-fitting door handles and gloss black side skirts, while the ID.7’s rear is more traditional with another light bar across the tailgate.

The Volkswagen ID.7 has a three-year/60,000-mile mechanical warranty and an eight-year/100,000-mile high-voltage battery warranty (whichever is soonest) on material or manufacturing defects.

Finally, as with most new EVs these days, the ID.7 is packed with safety and driver assistance systems, so gained a maximum of five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. It was labelled an “excellent all-round performer” and given a 95% ‘Adult Protection’ score – one 2023’s best overall scores.

Volkswagen ID.7 interior

Volkswagen ID.7 – Interior

The Volkswagen ID.7 doesn’t just boast kerb appeal, the cabin oozes space and delivers on the kind of quality we’d expect from the more expensive end of the German brand’s range. There are plenty of soft-touch surfaces, while the 14-way adjustable seats (which are heated and cooled and include an optional massage function) are super comfortable, but ultimately it is a bit business-like and lacks the wow factor of some rivals.

The centre console is dominated by a big 15-inch infotainment touchscreen (much improved and with a new menu structure). Ahead of the driver, there’s also a slim digital driver’s display nicely nestled in the dashboard with essential info such as speed, range and road sign recognition. Volkswagen claims it’s also currently the only car in its class to be equipped as standard with an augmented reality (AR) head-up display.

Volkswagen ID.7 rear seats

There’s still far too much functionality accessed via the touchscreen, but the infotainment system does seem more responsive. And even though the touch-sensitive sliders remain, they are now illuminated so that you can see them at night. The latest-generation Volkswagen voice assistant (IDA) is also effective.

The optional panoramic sunroof is worth a mention too. Touch or voice-activated, it features smart glass that is capable of turning opaque in a matter of moments, so there’s no need for a sun blind.

From a practical point of view, the ID.7 scores well too. There’s a huge amount of legroom in the back, and headroom is ample too, despite the sloping roofline.

The boot is on the shallow side, but still a generous 532 litres, expanding to 1,586 litres when the rear seats are folded down.

> Review: Tesla Model 3

Volkswagen ID.7 – Performance and economy

At launch, the ID.7 is only available with one battery option (with 77kWh of usable capacity) plus a new, improved electric motor, resulting in a claimed 383 miles of range. A larger 86kWh battery offering a range of up to 430 miles is coming soon.

It’s no slouch either, with a swift 0-62mph time of just 6.5 seconds, and a top speed of 112mph. The single motor drives the rear wheels and develops 282bhp with 402 lb-ft of torque. In short, the ID.7 offers more than enough performance for most buyers.

Volkswagen claimed the ID.7 has an energy efficiency of 4.7 miles/kWh. We’d have to drive the car for longer, but based on our limited experience 3 to 3.5 miles/kWh is closer to the mark – more if you drive very sensibly. So the real-world range is probably closer to 300 miles, which is still impressive.

> Volkswagen’s new electric ID.7 expected to have 700km range

With a charging capacity of up to 175kW (fairly quick, but by no means class-leading), VW reckons the ID.7 can be charged from as low as 5% to 80% in about 28 minutes. Or to put it another way, 126 miles of driving range can be added in just 10 minutes. It will also charge overnight if you have a home wall box.

Volkswagen ID.7 – Handling

The ID.7’s ride is on the soft side, making it a refined and comfortable cruiser. It’s relaxed on regular roads too, but it would be an exaggeration to call it a magic carpet ride because it does tend to crash over the worst of potholes – especially in Sport mode. That said, the suspension setup feels way more sophisticated than a Tesla Model Y, for instance.

As long as you don’t expect it to handle like an i4, you won’t be disappointed with the ID.7. At nearly five metres long and weighing in at more than two tonnes, it could have ended up all floaty. Instead, it feels composed, unless pushed in more challenging corners. Even then, body lean is kept in check.

Despite being rear-wheel drive, our test cars seemed to have plenty of traction and grip, and it seemed pretty agile for a big car. Additionally, the ID.7 steers with accuracy.

> One of the coolest EVs? Read our review of the Polestar 2

Volkswagen ID.7 boot

As well as the three drive modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport – you can select ‘B’ rather than ‘D’ for increased brake regeneration.

In versions with optional adaptive dampers, you can go to the Individual drive mode and make changes to the setup, and it’s here that more enthusiastic drivers will enjoy tinkering. You really can feel the difference when the most sporty settings are selected, for instance, but at the end of the day, the ID.7 is just a bit too substantial to rival a proper sports saloon.

As ever, our advice would be to leave it in Comfort mode and enjoy the ride.

Volkswagen ID.7 – Verdict

Comfortable, spacious, refined and packed with tech, the Volkswagen ID.7 fastback is a class act and one of the best long-distance electric cruisers on the market. At launch, it’s a tad expensive, so maybe it’s worth waiting for cheaper versions to come along. Or how about hanging on for the rakish ‘Tourer’ estate version with the bigger battery?

Volkswagen ID.7 – Tech specs

Price: £51,550
On sale: Now
Engine: 77kWh battery
Power: 282bhp
Transmission: Single-speed
Performance: 0-62mph in 6.5s
Top speed: 112mph
Weight: 2,172kg
Dimensions: L/W/H 4,961/2,141/1,536

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Comfortable, spacious, refined and packed with tech, the Volkswagen ID.7 fastback is a class act and one of the best long-distance electric cruisers on the market. At launch it’s a tad expensive, so maybe it’s worth waiting for cheaper versions to come along. Or how about hanging on for the rakish ‘Tourer’ estate version with the bigger battery?
Show More

Quality

4.00/5

Performance

4.00/5

Range

4.50/5

Comfort

4.50/5

Dynamics

3.50/5

Fast Facts

Price

£51,550

Battery Capacity

77-
kWh

WLTP Range

383-
miles

Maximum Power

282-
bhp

Torque

402-
lb-ft

0-60

6.3-
secs

Top Speed

112 mph

Boot Capacity

532-
1586 litres

Pros and Cons

Long range
Comfortable cruiser
Spacious cabin
Solid build quality
Tad expensive
Some infotainment frustrations remain
Not the most dynamic drive
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