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Should BMW Fear New Volkswagen ID.7?

flags of German concern BMW Group

Already there with the ID. Buzz MPV and Touareg SUV, Volkswagen now expands its presence in the £50,000+ segments with the ID.7

4,961 mm long, 1,862 mm wide and 1,536 mm high ID.7 is the largest electric VW yet
4,961 mm long, 1,862 mm wide and 1,536 mm high ID.7 is the largest electric VW yet

Considering the vertiginous pricing of the i4 and i5, should we think of the fifty thousand pound VW ID.7 as a bargain-priced rival for these BMWs? Particularly as size-wise it sits between that pair of 4.8- and 5.1-m long models.

Two cars for China and three plants worldwide

Anyone thinking that the comparison isn’t really valid might dwell for a moment on this fact: high trim level versions of the new Volkswagen hatchback are yet to come. And whilst there will not be a long-wheelbase car to undercut the i5 L, each of VW’s Chinese partners is already building a bespoke model: SAIC has the ID.7 with FAW manufacturing an altered version called ID.7 Vizzion.

Aside from build in and for the PRC, the big new EV is manufactured in Germany too, the Emden factory supplying all of Europe and, eventually, North America. Most other smaller global markets will source their cars from the Lower Saxony plant and this is also likely to be the sole location for a future wagon.

Replaces Arteon, sort-of, but not quite yet

Taking into account the eventual dual body choices, Britain should be one of the best European markets. German buyers also tend to prefer estates. With that in mind, the ID.7 may take until at least mid-year before production properly ramps up at Emden. Further, the model it replaces remains in production for another eight weeks, although the final orders for the Arteon hatchback and shooting brake have now been taken by UK dealerships.

Volkswagen is rolling the new car out in single-spec GBP51,550 Pro Match form, with only a limited amount of options, most of which are bundled into two packs. These initial examples are rear-wheel drive – the platform is MEB – with a 210 kW (286 PS) motor on the back axle. The only battery has a 77 kWh net capacity. An 86 kWh alternative comes later in 2024 linked to dearer model grades, one of which will be called Pro S. Still with just the one motor and 2WD though.

Most buyers to be business user-choosers

The UK market’s number one brand – for the third year in succession in 2023 – reckons it might sell some 2,000 examples of the ID.7 annually, the car being mainly a fleets-play here. Margins will likely be very good when you consider that VW has a strong track record of commanding high pricing. The future sports trim, which could be called GTX, will be far from cheap too, and it may find particular favour with British buyers (official details TBC).

Are buttons back?

Forecasts are all well and good but the proof is in the driving, and in the sitting. On these fronts, the ID.7 performs well, with the disclaimer that not everybody will immediately fall in love with the usual everything-on-a-screen approach for ID. model vehicles.

In this new one, the 15-inch display is fixed and has landscape orientation. I myself found it fine but only if all preferences were selected before driving off. Having lost count at fifty icons in HVAC mode (including volume sliders at the base), you do not want to risk trying something as seemingly simple as changing airflow speed on the move.

Pressing issue

So. This is the bit where I am trying my very best not to say yet again that I wish Volkswagen would remember that it once was the global standard for dashboard switches, dials and buttons. Back in those now longed-for years before What Would Mister Musk Do? became a thing. Remember, the ID.7 will have been signed off on the watch of now departed Elon fanboy Herbert Diess.

Here we are now in 2024 and this car, even with the delays to its S.O.P. date, was too far down the pipeline to benefit from Volkswagen’s promised interiors rethink. Some will insist that what VW itself terms the HMI (Human and Machine Interface) is state of the art. There are certainly many fantastic features in the touchscreen system – as with those overwhelming-to-me pretend buttons, way too many to list. Yes, it is an impressive system. Just know that it throws a lot of stuff at you.

Feels like it was fettled by Ford of Europe

Better to concentrate on something which everybody will agree on: this car is terrific fun to drive. No really. If the updated ID.3 (read about it here soon) was a strong hint at how good electric RWD VeeDubs could be, and the ID. Buzz hammered the looks contest too, the ID.7 is the new Volkswagen EV standard. Well, the steering isn’t quite at the Ford or BMW level but it is very good.

We journalists got lucky on the media preview, which was held close to the company’s UK headquarters. I don’t know why people mock Milton Keynes – well yes I do, as an import I am the opposite of sniffy about new-ish versus crumbly-cramped houses, shopping centres with lots of parking and so on. MK is to me like Canberra minus the freezing winters and stifling summers. Roads are wide, extremely safe and on a wet day, the roundabouts – yes, at legal speeds – were joyous. Does the ID.7 drift? I couldn’t possibly say. But I did return to base with a large grin.

Lozenge looks?

If only the thing looked more memorable. Yes I get that it is a global model designed for all manner of tastes. It also needs to cleave the air to help get the range number as high as possible. Perhaps it is the fault of the Arteon which was an especially beautiful design: am I allowed to say the replacement is a bit lozenge-like in profile? So what though: a lot of people purchase the smaller yet similarly-styled Model 3 and Model Y.

Lots of things to love…

Some of the things we all love Volkswagens for remain in this new car: weighty doors and bonnet, the latter held up by a rod rather than gas struts; a substantial-feeling false floor for the boot which lifts with zero wobble to reveal a cables-storage place; and lovely-soft felt-lined door bins. They will take big bottles too. The centre console cubby is even more commodious while the amount of space for five even XL-sized people verges on the ridiculous. Impressive.

…and features which provoke other emotions

A few things I would tweak: please EuroNCAP let cars keep their five-star rating should any OEM dare to allow an owner to permanently deactivate Lane Assist. Yes, this is yet another Volkswagen Group model where it resets itself after you switch off. Is there anybody in the world who actually likes a steering wheel being (sometimes dangerously) jerked or wrenched out of their hands? In the Touareg, Lane Assist also resets but if you tell the separately listed steering yanking to cease and desist, it remains off. So why not also in this new EV?

Much-missed marvels

One other strange change I have noticed with not only this but other recently arrived VWs is the disappearance of the auto-tilting tailgate badge. Even the noise made by the circular logo as it revealed the camera when R was selected sounded like German precision. Back into N then D and quicksmart the lens flipped flush, protected from road grime and splashes. Now it is the same uncovered transparent circle front and rear which most other OEMs specify: you need to regularly wipe both with a damp tissue. Forgive the mocking of iconic media buzzwords but if only Volkswagen had taken a pivot and curated a return to this and all the other once-great features for its new flagship.


As it is, the electric-only ID.7 has the makings of an excellent successor to the ICE-only Arteon. It is a very good car already, and I was not expecting it to be so dynamically delightful. Imagine how good the faster ones will be. I already almost want a GTX Tourer. Just reinvent Saab’s long-ago Night Panel button to switch off all that look-at-me tech. Not always; just for times when I want to be left alone to drive this almost-excellent alternative to big electric BMWs and Benzes.

What comes next?

Might we see a production version of the ID.X Performance? That was a concept revealed at a special event in Switzerland held a mere few days after the Munich IAA last September.

Boasting a look that would likely mean an R badge if it had IC-power, the all-wheel drive ID.X Performance was said by its maker to sport a second motor, mounted on the front axle. Combined power of the pair was a claimed 411 kW and the prototype had a large rear wing plus a body kit.

Unlike any potential R-style variant, there is confirmation of another ID.7, this being the Tourer, which means estate or shooting brake. A camouflaged car has already been exhibited and a production model will come soon. It should be available in UK dealerships by mid-year and will almost certainly become the best selling body style at a Europe-wide level.

The new Volkswagen ID.7 is in UK dealerships now. Its WLTP range is a stated 383 miles, with 0-62 mph taking a claimed 6.5 seconds.

Source from Just Auto

Disclaimer: The information set forth above is provided by just-auto.com independently of Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com makes no representation and warranties as to the quality and reliability of the seller and products.

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