Early predictions that the move to electrification would be delivered exclusively by tall, lumpy crossovers and SUVs are being confounded—happily—by the laws of aerodynamics. EV buyers will still have plenty of tall vehicles from which to choose, but the desire to maximize range means there will also be plenty of lower, sleeker models to carry us into the new era. Cars like Volkswagen’s new electric flagship, the ID.7.
The ID.7 isn’t actually a sedan, as its cargo hold is accessed via a liftgate rather than a trunk lid. But it looks like a low, coupe-ish three-box, in the manner of the Audi A7. And it passes through the air more efficiently than the ID.4 crossover. Volkswagen quotes an impressively slick drag coefficient as low as 0.23 Cd.
Underneath, the ID.7 uses the same MEB platform that underpins its smaller sibling while getting various technical upgrades, including Volkswagen’s new, more powerful APP550 motor. This is the same unit that will be in the range-topping ID.4 next year. In the rear-drive ID.7 we drove in France, the single motor makes 282 horsepower and 402 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain will be sold alongside a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive version (with a still undisclosed power output) when the ID.7 goes on sale stateside in the second half of 2024.
The ID.7 is taller and longer than the outgoing Arteon, but we can still see a family resemblance thanks to the new car’s coupe-ish roofline and broad-shouldered stance. At 195.3 inches in length, the ID.7 is 3.8 inches longer than the old sedan, and the exterior dimensions have translated into an impressively spacious cabin both front and rear. Full-size adults can sit fore and aft without either row needing to compromise on kneeroom. Kids may be less happy, with the high beltline denying smaller occupants a view out. They can gaze skyward, though, thanks to an optional panoramic glass roof, which can be electronically changed from opaque to clear.
Not that the ID.7 interior feels limo-luxurious. As with the ID.4, there are lots of dark plastics and some hard, scratchy surfaces low down, although the materials grow plusher in areas that are likely to be frequently touched. Our Euro-market car also had a strange pattern on the plastic trim of the doors that made them look badly scratched, although when the car is running, they illuminate from the inside with switchable colors.
The ID.7 takes the same minimalist approach to switchgear as other recent Volkswagens, using a touch-sensitive control ledge beneath the central screen for HVAC and audio functions instead of physical controls. (At least it’s now illuminated in the dark.) It also persists with the ID.4’s penny-pinching electric window switches on the driver’s door—there is only one for each side, meaning you have to separately select the rear windows if you want the switch to operate them.
Volkswagen hasn’t totally ignored criticism of its user interface system, with the ID.7 pioneering a new 15.0-inch touchscreen and a revised system to make operation more instinctive. There’s now a row of shortcut icons at the top of the display to simplify the transition between different functions, and seat heating and ventilation also get permanent spots at the base of the screen, making them nearly as easy to operate as they would be with one of those old-fashioned buttons.
Sadly, the ID.7’s Travel Assist enhanced cruise control was short on smarts. It now incorporates an active lane-change function, allowing a driver to order the car to pass on the highway by activating the appropriate turn signal. On a French autoroute, this function was more miss than hit, the system sometimes working as intended but frequently just braking to lumber along behind the slower vehicle with its blinker on, even when the next lane was completely clear.
Some new tech did impress. The ID.7 we drove boasted an augmented-reality system, in effect an extra-large head-up display capable of projecting directional arrows at intersections or at freeway splits with the ability to give advance warning of speed-limit changes. This did work well.
The basics seem well sorted, and the ID.7 rides and handles well. The steering has an artificial weight and an absence of true feedback in all of the different drive modes, but it delivers proportionate responses, and the ID.7 feels stable when asked to change direction at highway speeds.
Pushed harder in tight corners, the car’s weight becomes obvious—the single-motor version is 4788 pounds, according to VW—but grip fades progressively, and the cornering line can be tightened using the accelerator, although the stability control prevents outright oversteer. At lower speeds, the ID.7 is impressively maneuverable for something so long, with an excellent 35.8-foot turning circle despite the lack of rear-wheel steering.
Comfort is another virtue. Ride quality and body control both feel good, although the car we drove had adaptive dampers that will be an option in the U.S. In addition to the regular Comfort and Sport modes, these allow for no fewer than 15 stages of stiffness in the Individual setting, which surely seems like overkill.
Cruising refinement is excellent, the cabin quiet all the way to the 112-mph speed limiter that we suspect few buyers will ever reach. Like in most EVs, acceleration is strong low down but fades as the car reaches highway speeds. Volkswagen claims a 6.5-second 62-mph time, and we anticipate the dual-motor version taking at least a second off that.
At launch, all versions of the ID.7 will come with a 77.0-kWh battery pack, which supports DC fast-charging at rates of up to 175 kilowatts. This gives the rear-drive version 386 miles of range under Europe’s WLTP testing protocol—meaning it should be around 300 miles via EPA methodology. A larger 86.0-kWh pack will be offered later. There is no official word on U.S. pricing yet, but we expect the rear-drive version to start around $50,000.
The ID.7 is as much a Volkswagen as it is an EV. That is to say, it’s refined and rational rather than replete with emotional appeal. Some of the tech could use some fine-tuning, but VW has time to make some tweaks before the ID.7 reaches our shores next year.
2025 Volkswagen ID.7
Vehicle Type: rear-motor, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE (C/D EST)
Motor: permanent-magnet AC
Power: 282 hp
Torque: 402 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 77.0 kWh
Onboard Charger: 11.0 kW
Peak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 175 kW
Wheelbase: 117.0 in
Length: 195.3 in
Width: 73.3 in
Height: 60.5 in
CargoVolume, Behind F/R: 56/19 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 4800 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 6.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.5 sec
Top Speed: 112 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 113/120/105 MPGe
Range: 300 mi
Senior European Correspondent
Our man on the other side of the pond, Mike Duff lives in Britain but reports from across Europe, sometimes beyond. He has previously held staff roles on U.K. titles including CAR, Autocar, and evo, but his own automotive tastes tend toward the Germanic: he owns both a troublesome 987-generation Porsche Cayman S and a Mercedes 190E 2.5-16.
Source: Reviews - aranddriver.com