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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID.7 review: a practical EV with a good range

The Volkswagen ID.7 is the brand’s best EV to date, offering plenty of range and tonnes of practicality

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
from £50,670
  • Practicality
  • Refinement
  • Safety
  • Heat pump still an option
  • Pricier than rivals
  • Fiddly touch-sensitive infotainment
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Quick verdict

People will quite rightly cross-shop the Volkswagen ID.7 with the all-conquering Tesla Model 3, though in reality, the Volkswagen is a much larger car. The maker has worked hard to right its early-EV wrongs, and the cabin, technology and general driving experience in the ID.7 easily justify this model’s £50k-plus price tag. The ID.7 has every right to be considered in the same sentence as cars from industry leaders like Tesla – as well as bigger, more practical rivals costing considerably more.

 

Key specs

Fuel type

Electric

Body style

Five-door hatchback

Powertrain

77kWh (useable) battery, 1x e-motor  (Pro Match) rear-wheel drive

Safety

5-Star EuroNCAP (2023)

Warranty

3yrs/60,000 miles

Volkswagen ID.7: price, specs and rivals

Even if the reaction to Volkswagen’s early EV efforts was a little lukewarm, you could hardly accuse the car maker of resting on its laurels. Following limp launches for the ID.3ID.4 and ID.5, the bold-looking ID. Buzz won hearts for its charming personality and practical interior.

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Next came the turn of VW’s EV range flagship. The Volkswagen ID.7 may look sleeker than its bus-bodied sibling, but this saloon-cum-hatchback is a full 249mm longer than the Buzz. That means, despite the 7’s circa-£50k price, it’s more closely aligned with the Tesla Model S in terms of size, than a Model 3.

Whereas it merely matches the Tesla from a handling perspective, it punts it into next week when it comes to practicality, and there will even be an estate version to really ramp up the versatility of the ID.7. While the Volkswagen wins points for practicality, it still sits in second spot with regard to its electric range and charging speeds when compared to the Model 3, which is a shame considering the ID.7 is more expensive. 

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For all intents and purposes, there’s just one ID.7 available to buy right now. Every car comes with a 282bhp electric motor powering the rear wheels, and uses a 77kWh (useable) battery pack. It’s the same set-up you’ll find in ‘Pro’ versions of ID.4 and ID.5, but the slippery shape of the ID.7 means it offers better efficiency and range (up to 383 miles) compared with its bulkier SUV-style siblings. Further versions will be offered in time, including one with an even bigger battery for greater range.

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Every ID.7 comes in well-equipped Match trim, featuring matrix-LED lights, 19-inch wheels, plus three-zone climate control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 15-inch Discover Pro infotainment system, and an augmented-reality head-up display. Frustratingly, a range-preserving ‘energy efficient’ heat pump is a £1,050 option, which is something offered as standard on both the cheaper BYD Seal and Model 3.

Electric motor, performance & drive

The ID.7 specialises in comfort and refinement over outright handling prowess and power

Model 

Power

0-62mph

Top speed

ID.7 Pro Match

282 bhp

6.5 seconds

112 mph

The ID.7 is definitely the most grown-up of Volkswagen’s all-encompassing electric-car range – a feeling that continues as soon as you set off. Laminated side windows make this an almost eerily quiet car at low speeds, but even on the motorway, this 4.96-metre-long five-door remains impressively refined – despite our test model being fitted with the largest 20-inch wheels.

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Yet that sense of being isolated from the outside world doesn’t come at the expense of body control. The ID.7 has an inherently wide track which aids stability, but we also found the optional adaptive suspension (which comes as part of the £1,000 Exterior Pack) provides excellent damping. Even with those larger wheels and in the firmest of its sliding scale settings, the ID.7 is remarkably comfortable and feels resolutely tied down at all times. In its softest setting, it feels positively serene, floating over the uneven surfaces that rivals like the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Polestar 2 would fidget over. As you’d expect, this makes the ID.7 an incredibly refined long-distance cruiser.

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Even in the pouring rain and in single-motor guise, the ID.7 provides all the traction you’d need. For those after something even more surefooted, a dual-motor GTX with the additional traction benefits of four-wheel drive is due before the end of the year.

Performance is sufficient, if some way off the class best. Getting from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds isn’t anything to be sniffed at, though, with a linear power delivery that still manages to pin you in your seat if you request all 282bhp in a single hit. That said, it’s probably the 545Nm of torque that better tells the story here; put your foot down at almost any speed, and the ID.7 picks up with urgency, never struggling to transfer its grunt to the ground. A top speed of 112mph is more than enough in the UK, and would only be important in countries with an unlimited top speed on their motorways.

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In short, the ID.7 does a good job of hiding its size, but it just lacks the agility of a Model 3 point-to-point, tending to lean over more in bends and feeling lazier to respond to quick changes of direction. 

Range, charging & running costs

Residual values are among the best in class, even if range and charging speed aren’t

The Volkswagen ID.7 should perform typically well for company car drivers because its low emissions benefit anyone paying benefit in kind (BIK) tax. Its residual values are better than some of its main rivals, no doubt helped by the power of the VW brand. Its slippery shape means the ID.7 has an efficiency boost over some of its rivals, too, while a sizable battery allows for a decent range. It can’t go quite as far as the best in class, but blame that on missing certain efficiency-improving technology, such as a standard heat pump. Read more about the VW ID.7's range, charging and running costs…

Design, interior & technology

The design is hardly dearing, but the slippery shape boosts efficiency, and there are ergonomic improvements over past VW EVs

Let’s first address the elephant(s) in the room. Volkswagen’s ID cars came under heavy criticism for their lacklustre interior quality, plus fundamental technology and infotainment failings. With the ID.7, the maker is looking to right those wrongs.

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Indeed, from the driver’s seat, all appears well. The general cabin ambience has been lifted to a level that easily competes with cars in this class; there are soft-touch materials on the doors and dash, and the seats offer plenty of support. The main controls are a little confusing at first – the wipers are embedded on a stalk to the left of the steering wheel, rather than the right, for example – but at least they’re not buried within the touchscreen like on the Tesla.

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One thing that is now lost within the screen is the adjustment of the central air-vent controls. As has been the case for decades now, you had simple manual controls to direct where the air flow went, but VW has followed Tesla's example of automating this adjustment and sticking it within the screen. In our view, it just makes what was once an easy adjustment needlessly complicated.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The ID.7’s big, bright, 15-inch central display instantly feels more responsive than in the maker’s previous electric offerings. The menu layouts aren’t the most intuitive, with some controls still buried deep within sub-menus. Overall, a BMW i4’s click wheel is easier to use while on the move, but at least the screen in the ID.7 demonstrates some steps are being taken to improve the user experience, such as permanently displaying the climate controls at the bottom of the screen.

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And finally Volkswagen has deemed it appropriate to fit backlit climate controls, which means you can now find and adjust the temperature at night. They’re still touch-sensitive, which means they’re not as easy to adjust on the move as the physical climate controls of the Hyundai Ioniq 6.

Wireless smartphone connectivity and a wireless phone charging pad are standard. All ID.7s come with a nine-speaker audio system with DAB radio, but you’ll need to pay for the pricey £2,000 Interior Pack to get the upgraded 12-speaker, 700-watt Harman Kardon sound system.

Boot space, comfort & practicality

Those after comfort and practicality won’t be disappointed by the highly practical ID.7

The hatchback rear body style of the ID.7 puts it ahead of its less versatile saloon rivals when it comes to loading taller items into the boot. The ID.7 also has a number of well-thought-out details, such as a place to store the luggage cover when it isn’t needed, a standard fit adjustable height boot floor, plus rear seats that almost lay down flat. There’s also much more space inside for taller adults than in many of its rivals, marking the ID.7 out as a true family-orientated EV. Read more about the VW ID.7's boot space, comfort and practicality…

Safety & reliability

The ID.7 gets a maximum five-star Euro NCAP result and lots of standard safety technology

Key standard safety features

Euro NCAP ratings

  • 5 out of 5 stars (tested 2023)
  • Adult occupant protection - 95%
  • Child occupant protection - 88%
  • Vulnerable road user protection - 83% 
  • Safety assist - 80%

The Volkswagen ID.7 is too new to have appeared in our most recent Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. However, the Volkswagen brand has its work cut out because it finished in a disappointing 27th position out of 32 manufacturers in the best brands poll in 2023, falling well behind fellow electric car makers Hyundai, Kia, and even Tesla.

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The standard three-year/60,000-mile manufacturer warranty might reassure you, although it is shorter than Hyundai's five-year/100,000-mile warranty and Kia's seven-year/100,000-mile warranty. Even the Volkswagen group’s own Cupra brand now offers a longer five-year/90,000-mile warranty, so we hope that VW looks to extend the length of cover it offers.

At least the ID.7 should be a very safe place to put you and your loved ones if you do end up in a collision. It received the maximum five-star rating from safety experts Euro NCAP in 2023, with higher scores in all areas compared with the BYD Seal. 

As you’d expect with such a high score, the ID.7 comes loaded with safety features and assistance technology. There’s autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to help mitigate or prevent low-speed collisions with other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. You also get adaptive cruise control to keep you a safe distance from the vehicle in front on the motorway, as well as lane keep assistance to help maintain your positioning within the lane. 

Blind spot monitoring alerts you to vehicles approaching alongside you when you change lanes. It also works while you're parked at the side of the road to prevent you from opening a car door and stepping out into the path of a vehicle approaching you. The ID.7 comes with a rear cross-traffic alert system to let you know of vehicles crossing your path as you go to reverse onto a busy main road.

Should you buy a Volkswagen ID.7?

As we already mentioned, people looking at the Volkswagen ID.7 are likely to be comparing it with the Tesla Model 3, and if ease of charging away from home and overall efficiency are of your major concerns, then the ID.7, unfortunately, comes up a little short. That’s not to say it can’t handle a long trip because its sizeable 77kWh battery pack and relatively fast charging speed can make that happen, but the Model 3 is just that little bit further ahead in terms of getting the most from your volts, and its infrastructure is second to none.

However, the ID.7 is leagues ahead of the Model 3 (and many of its other rivals) when it comes to practicality. It’s significantly bigger, meaning it can cope with family life much better, especially if you have older (and taller) children. Comfort is also a major plus point, especially if you can run to one with adaptive suspension. True, it can’t out handle a Model 3 or BMW i4, but to the sort of people who just want something cossetting and refined, that won’t matter very much.

Frequently Asked Questions

Volkswagen states that its ID range of electric cars only require servicing every two years, with no specified mileage limits.

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Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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