What is it?
Volkswagen isn’t wasting any time when it comes to expanding its line-up of electric vehicles. We’ve already got the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and now this - the range-topping ID.7. It’s an electric saloon which takes the place of Volkswagen’s flagship, bringing all of the firm’s latest technology and features.
But it’s also designed to be as efficient as possible to deliver the best possible range from its battery. Clever packaging also aims to make the ID.7 a comfortable cruiser, just like a ‘regular’ saloon car. We’ve been trying it out.
There’s quite a lot that’s new with the ID.7, but its underpinnings are quite well tried-and-tested. It’s the same MEB platform that you’ll find underneath the rest of the ID range - as well as in cars like the Cupra Born - but the electric motor has been made more efficient as possible.
It does, however, bring some big changes when it comes to infotainment. Volkswagen has taken criticism on board and tweaked the ID.7’s design inside compared with other ID models, adding in backlit touch sliders for the heating - a much-needed upgrade over the unlit versions on other ID models which were impossible to see at night.
What’s under the bonnet?
As we’ve touched upon, the ID.7 doesn’t break new ground when it comes to the electric motor and battery it uses - they’re adopted throughout the wider Volkswagen Group - but efficiency gains have been made to extract every mile possible from the system. The 77kWh battery can return up to 384 miles from a charge, while an upcoming version with a larger battery - due in 2024 - has a claimed range of up to 430 miles.
A maximum charging rate of 175kW means that a 10 to 80 per cent charge could be sorted in 28 minutes, with Volkswagen stating that 127 miles of range could be added in just 10 minutes when connected to an ultra-rapid charger.
What’s it like to drive?
The ID.7 has a lot of those classic driving traits that you’re after from a saloon car. It’s comfortable and effortless at speed, while the quiet that you get within the cabin is really impressive. Both wind and road noise are kept to a minimum, resulting in a very relaxing environment overall.
It’s not the quickest electric vehicle available at the moment, but it’s got more than enough in the tank to get it up to speed in a brisk fashion. Our car came with adaptive suspension - which allows you to soften or firm the ride up via the screen - and it’s definitely best left in its squidgiest setting where the ID.7 deals with poor surfaces and potholes well.
How does it look?
Volkswagen has given the ID.7 a sleek, aerodynamic appearance. It’s not all about looks, either, as the ID.7’s slippery design helps it to cut through the air as effectively as possible, lowering drag and improving the range as a result. There are some cool touches here and there, such as the ultra-sleek headlights and the equally sharp rear lights.
If you don’t fancy the saloon car look then fear not, as Volkswagen is also introducing a Tourer version shortly. Not only does it bring a slightly different design, but it’ll also add to the practicality levels on offer with the ID.7.
One standout feature of the new ID.7 is its sunroof. Optionally available with smart glass, the sunroof can be made opaque or transparent at the touch of a button thanks to glass layers which can be electronically controlled. Press a button and the light is blocked, press it again and the sun comes through!
What’s it like inside?
The classic saloon car shape is all about space and there’s plenty to find inside the new ID.7. Because of the electric platform underneath, this car has been designed to maximise interior room, which is why those in the back of the car can stretch out with a completely flat floor. That also means if you’re sitting three abreast there’s more space than you’d find in a conventional diesel or petrol model.
There’s also plenty of boot space on offer, with 532 litres there to play with. It’s deep and easy to access as well. Plus, an under-floor section means there’s a handy space to store the charging cables when they’re not in use.
What’s the spec like?
Volkswagen has kitted out its ID.7 with plenty of equipment. There’s a brand new screen which is running the firm’s latest software and it represents a big step forward compared with the rest of the ID range. It’s far more responsive than before, while the menus are a little easier to navigate through.
As mentioned, the backlit sliders make a big difference, while the vast majority of other controls - including the direction of the fans - are controlled either via the screen or through voice activation. In truth, it would be nice to have just a couple of physical buttons instead.
Technology is central to all Volkswagen models, but especially the new ID.7. That’s because the model uses a new 15-inch touchscreen, which is running on new software that promises some big improvements over the outgoing system.
There’s also an augmented reality head-up display that’s able to relay ‘live information’ using a 3D effect, while the panoramic sunroof can automatically shut the light out without the need for a conventional blind.
The ID.7 takes a fitting spot at the top of Volkswagen’s EV range. It’s comfortable, refined and has a really impressive range while the level of technology on offer is really good - particularly for those who like their screens and futuristic features.
But it’s also the space inside - and boot capacity - which really helps the ID.7 to shine, making this a very competitive option in what is a very busy segment.