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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID.7 review - long range, but expensive

“With a long range and good drive, the Volkswagen ID.7 could be the brand’s best EV yet, but its high price holds it back”

Carbuyer Rating

3.9 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Pros

  • Good to drive
  • Comfortable
  • Impressive range

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Too few physical switches
  • Dull interior

Verdict - Is the Volkswagen ID.7 a good car?

We think the Volkswagen ID.7 is the best car from the electric ID. lineup so far, so as a flagship saloon it certainly fulfils the brief. It boasts a very competitive range and it drives pretty well, especially for a car of its size. That said, it falls behind in some areas, with an uninspired interior and notably steep price tag. Hopefully, attractive finance and leasing deals will arrive to help in the latter department. 

Volkswagen ID.7 models, specs and alternatives

Rather than Volkswagen’s other ID. models, which have so far been more SUV-like in style, its latest flagship electric model, the ID.7, is more akin to a saloon in its design. There’s also an estate ‘Tourer’ model on the way, which will aim to up the ante for practicality.

Best electric carsTop 10 best electric cars 2024

With the EV market diversifying more than ever before, the ID.7 has a few rivals which all differ in terms of size and bodystyle. It’s slightly larger than the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, but it’s hard not to compare it with these well-established models. It’s comparable in size to a BMW i5, Mercedes EQE or Tesla Model S, though these offer a much more premium package than the ID.7. 

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Without beating around the bush, the Volkswagen ID.7 is quite expensive, starting from just under £56,000 in Pro Launch Edition trim. For that you won’t get the car’s headline 435-mile range either – that belongs to the Pro S model with an 82kWh battery that will arrive later. Instead, the entry-level car gets a 77kWh battery that’s good for up to 382 miles of range from a charge. To put that into perspective, a top-spec Tesla Model 3 Long Range will cost less and boasts up to 421 miles to a charge, so if you don’t need the extra space and practicality, you might not see the benefit.

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The Volkswagen ID.7 doesn’t feel overly premium in its sole Pro Launch Edition trim, though as you’d expect from the German manufacturer, its fit and finish feel sturdy enough, and there are soft-touch materials on the doors and dash as well as supportive seats.

Its tech offering doesn’t reinvent the rulebook, either, but the iD.7 does get the brand’s latest infotainment system which is easier to use and more responsive than ever. Although the brand has improved the user experience compared to that of earlier ID. cars, there are still too few physical buttons. At least one main niggle – the lack of backlit touch controls making them hard to use in the dark – has been addressed for the ID.7, but like other ID. models the interior could still frustrate you if you’re less enthusiastic about virtual controls.

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We have been impressed with how the ID.7 drives, though, and while it’s not as quick as some alternatives, it handles well and you quickly forget how big it is thanks to its around-town nimbleness.

Trim levels

Power options

  • Pro Launch Edition
  • Pro S (arriving later)
  • Single 277bhp rear-mounted electric motor

Volkswagen ID.7 alternatives

The ID.7’s large size and high price, but lack of premium feel means it currently sits in a somewhat confusing area of the market with mostly indirect rivals, but it could have its work cut out if it’s to pull buyers away from higher up (BMW i5, Mercedes EQE) or lower down (Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2 or Hyundai Ioniq 6). 

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Executive EVs

Large premium EVs

  • BMW i5
  • Mercedes EQE
  • Tesla Model S

Range, charging & running costs

“The ID.7 is expensive to buy and likely to cost a lot to insure, but higher-spec models boast a competitive range”

The Volkswagen ID.7 is quite an expensive car to buy outright, starting from more than £55,000 for the entry-level Pro Launch Edition model. While the ID.7’s class-leading 435 miles to a charge might appear to soften the blow somewhat, that’s a figure available only on the even more expensive 82kWh battery Pro S version.

The entry-level 77kWh battery gives the ID.7 a 382-mile range – at this price range that’s a little less impressive, considering you can get a Long Range Tesla Model 3 that goes even further on a charge (421 miles) for £6,000 less.

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Perhaps it’s unfair in some ways to compare the ID.7 to the Model 3, as it’s a closer match to cars such as the BMW i5 in size, and much cheaper – the i5 starts from £74,000 and manages up to just 362 miles to a charge, but is a much more premium vehicle.

Another thing to bear in mind is that when we drive the 77kWh ID.7 in real-world conditions, it failed to get even 300 miles to a charge, so it’s worth adjusting your expectations if you’re drawn in by the impressive on-paper figure. It’s worth noting that a heat pump can be fitted, helping to preserve range in colder weather conditions, although it’s a shame this is a £1,000 extra.

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The 77kWh model has peak 170kW charging speeds, however, so it should take just under half an hour to achieve a 10 to 80% top-up. Those speeds increase to 200kW for the Pro S, but its larger battery capacity means it should take roughly the same amount of time to recharge.
 

Model 

Battery size

Range

Pro

77kWh

382 miles

Pro S

82kWh

435 miles

Insurance

We’re yet to get confirmation on the ID.7’s insurance groups, but as with many of the latest pricey electric cars, we’d expect it to be quite costly to insure. For context, a Standard Range Tesla Model 3 sits in group 48, and Long Range versions sit in the highest group 50. We’d expect similar groupings for the Volkswagen ID.7.

Electric motor, drive & performance

“Rivals are quicker and more powerful, but the Volkswagen ID.7 shines in the handling department”

Volkswagen says the ID.7’s single electric motor is the most powerful ever used in one of its ID. cars. Despite the car’s heavy weight and large size, its 282bhp motor feels powerful enough, and if you put your foot down it’ll pin you to the back of your seat. Put your foot down from any speed and the ID.7 feels urgent, making it a confident car for overtaking slower traffic. As with most electric cars, the ID.7 delivers power smoothly, with the lack of gears meaning you won't get the intermittent jolts associated with conventionally powered cars as they change.

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It’s not as exciting or quick as the more powerful Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, even in their respective entry-level guises, but the ID.7 will feel adequately powered for most drivers. Like those cars, it’s driven from the rear wheels, which helps make it feel nimble for a model of its size.

One of the ID.7’s notably strong points is how well it handles, and the takeaway from our drive was that its chassis helps disguise its large size and weight well, so it feels just as agile as the smaller Tesla Model 3. The steering is well-weighted and quick to respond, if a little unnatural and lacking in feel. The ID.7 comes with various driving modes, and in Sport, it can feel even more fun to drive – push it to its limit, though, and it can feel a little skittish. The ID.7’s suspension has clearly been set up to cope with the car’s heavy weight. 

We’ve now driven the Volkswagen ID.7 on UK roads, and our experience largely reaffirmed it as a refined and comfortable car. The ID.7’s excellent damping means it’s comfortable and yet composed at all times, even in wet weather. There are various drive modes including Comfort, Eco and Individual, with the latter allowing the driver to configure their own settings.

Previous drives of the ID.7 abroad proved that it was even capable of putting a smile on your face at times – bearing that in mind, we’ll be very interested to drive the upcoming GTX model with its higher performance figures and sportier setup.

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The ID.7 has a surprisingly tight turning circle for such a large car, which means it’s easier to manoeuvre than you might expect around town; on a previous test in France, we were taken through some tight back roads in Marseille which it handled surprisingly well.

The brake regeneration settings don’t allow for a great deal of customisation, and can simply be toggled on or off via a stalk on the steering column. When it’s switched on, the regen is quite strong, almost allowing for full one-pedal driving, but it won’t be to all tastes and could do with a greater degree of configuration.

0-62mph and top speed

With its 277bhp single electric motor, the Volkswagen ID.7 in Pro Launch Edition is capable of a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds, with a top speed of 112mph. As previously mentioned, this is slower than rivals such as the Tesla Model 3 in base spec, which can do the same sprint in 5.8 seconds, and the Polestar 2, which is 0.1 of a second faster than the ID.7. 

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

Volkswagen ID.7 Pro (77kWh)

277bhp

6.5s

112mph

Volkswagen ID.5 Pro S (82kWh)

277bhp

N/A

N/A

Interior & comfort

“The Volkswagen ID.7’s interior is a little clinical and dull, but feels well-built”

The standout impression of the Volkswagen ID.7’s interior is one of good build quality. Everything feels very well put together, although it does feel a little clinical and uninteresting to spend time in. While both are fairly minimalist, the dash feels conservative compared to the Tesla Model 3, while the Hyundai Ioniq 6 has more going on, if that’s more to your taste.

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The ID.7 gets two displays: one 15-inch touchscreen sitting in the middle of the dash through which most of the car’s functionality can be accessed, and a small digital gauge cluster ahead of the driver. The digital display is fairly simple and shows the most important information to the driver. There’s also a head-up display, but it can be quite distracting unless the virtual reality feature is turned off.

The climate control can be controlled via a horizontal strip that sits below the screen. After many drivers’ gripes about the lack of backlighting on this panel in the ID.3, Volkswagen has rectified this issue, so now it’s visible even in the dark. The ID.7 still has frustrating touch controls on the steering wheel as in previous ID. cars, but with Volkswagen having pledged to back-track on some of these less-than-intuitive features, we hope they might get replaced with real buttons in future.

The ID.7 is a comfortable car to ride in, with the brand’s latest ‘ergoPremium’ seats coming with functions such as a massage feature, ventilation and heating, all of which can be operated via the infotainment screen – though naturally we’d rather this be controlled via physical buttons.

Infotainment and navigation

As with other ID. cars, Volkswagen forgoes many physical switches in favour of virtual controls through the infotainment system – even the direction of airflow from the climate control is adjusted through this system, and can even be tweaked via the Volkswagen IDA voice control assistant. 

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The infotainment system is at least fairly easy to use, with intuitive submenus which make it easy to access most features. A minor complaint is the way the strip of shortcuts for maps, entertainment and drive modes has them all arranged close together at the top of the screen – it means you have to take your eye off the road and concentrate too hard while driving to access them. These could do with physical shortcut buttons you could feel for, rather than having to prod blindly at the screen.

Key features

Pro Launch Edition

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • 15-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • LED headlights
  • Faux leather heated steering wheel
  • 30-colour interior ambient lighting
  • Digital gauge cluster
  • Sat Nav system
  • IDA voice control system
  • Wireless device charging
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rear-view camera
  • Augmented reality head-up display
  • High beam assist
  • Lane change and keep

 

Pro S 

(Pro plus…)

  • TBC

Practicality & boot space

“The Volkswagen ID.7 is a large car, with a big boot and plenty of interior space”

The Volkswagen ID.7 is a fairly large car that’s closer to the BMW i5 and Mercedes EQE in size than it is to the Tesla Model 3 or Polestar 2. It gets a handy hatchback tailgate that makes it easier to load items in and out of, rather than the saloon boot of the Model 3, so it pips that car in terms of practicality. Soon it will be available in an estate ‘Tourer’ bodystyle, increasing practicality with even more boot space.

One of Volkswagen’s priorities when designing the ID.7 was interior space, and there’s lots of legroom not only for front passengers, but back-seat passengers too. The panoramic roof increases the sense of space and also improves headroom for occupants – the ‘Smart Glass’ option also allows for this toggle between opaque and transparent at the touch of a button.

There are plenty of storage solutions on the inside of the ID.7, too. There’s a large compartment with two sliding lids in between the front seats, as well as split folding armrests with integrated storage.

Size comparison

Model 

Length

Width

Height

Volkswagen ID.7

4,961mm

1,862mm

1,536mm

Polestar 2 hatchback

4,606mm

1,859mm

1,473mm

Tesla Model 3

4,720mm

1,850mm

1,441mm

Hyundai Ioniq 6

4,855mm

1,880mm

1,495mm

Boot space

The Volkswagen ID.7’s boot space is generous at 532 litres with the seats up – unsurprisingly given the car’s large proportions, that beats the Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Polestar 2, as well as the BMW i5. Annoyingly, although the boot features a more practical hatchback style, it’s awkwardly shaped and narrow. There’s also no dedicated area for the charging cables up front. 

Boot space comparison

Model 

Boot space

Tesla Model 3

542 litres

Volkswagen ID.7

532 litres

Polestar 2

440 litres

Hyundai Ioniq 6

401 litres

Reliability & safety

“Volkswagen’s lacklustre performance in recent Driver Power surveys isn’t encouraging, though safety is expected to be a strong point”

As the ID.7 has only just been launched, it’s very early days to make a judgement on its reliability. Volkswagen as a brand has fared poorly in recent Driver Power owner satisfaction surveys, with the brand placing in 27th place out of 32 brands in 2023, and a worse-than-average 26% of owners reporting a fault with their Volkswagen in the first year of ownership, though this doesn’t pertain just to the electric ID. models. 

Safety

The Volkswagen ID.7 is yet to be tested by Euro NCAP, so it’s not yet confirmed how well it will fare in terms of safety. Other ID. cars with which the ID.7 shares a platform, such as the ID.4 performed well, with a five-star rating – a high score of 85% in the safety assist category should be mirrored in the ID.7, given it will share much of the same safety tech.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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