And, at first glance, we can’t help but feel a little disappointed. But while the ID.7 might not look exciting, but it could be very good news for fans of electric VWs. Why? Because as well as not being yet another electric SUV, it has a big battery, big range and the next-generation of infotainment in there - which is probably the biggest weak spot of any VW ID car.
The ID.7 is something of a traditionalist - it’s what we used to call in the old days ‘a saloon car’ – although, like the Polestar 2 and BMW i4, it actually has a hatchback. But a lower car with a long wheelbase makes sense for electric cars. The big gap between the wheels means more passenger leg space, and a lower roofline and smaller frontal area makes it more aerodynamic. That slipperiness means more efficiency. VW are saying that the ID.7 with the biggest 86kWh battery should manage 435 miles of WLTP range. So easily 300-plus of real-world ability.
At nearly 5-metres long, it’s the same size as a Mercedes EQE or Nio ET7, but with a basic price of around £55,000 will be significantly cheaper. Its size lifts it above rivals such as the Tesla Model 3 too.
The problem with that is that the ID.7 looks a little bit .. normal. Now not everyone wants to be driving around in a spaceship - but we can’t help feeling that it looks a bit like a squashed ID.4. Which it kind of is, as it’s based on the same bits underneath.
In the ID.7's case, it means you get a more aerodynamic body. There’s a smaller, more slippery front end with a wide light across the front and shapes that ape all the ID cars we’ve already seen, and there are vents at the front that push air down the sides of the car and past the aero wheels rather than swirling around. Again, good for overall efficiency - unlike a bluff SUV which basically smashes through the air.
Volkswagen ID.7 Interior and technology
The big news is really about what’s going on inside. The most dominant part of the interior is the 15-inch portrait display in the middle here, with a nicer driver’s display right in front of the driver. But there have been changes to answer the criticism of VW’s infotainment systems.
There is a new augmented-reality head-up display and air-conditioning controls which are now integrated into the screen so you don’t have to go digging around for them in the menus. It’s still not perfect, but is much better.
And the air-con is quite clever, apparently. It’ll sense when the driver is approaching via the key and automatically start to cool or heat the interior, and it’ll direct air to passengers automatically when seats are filled.
There seems to be a bit more quality generally, which there needs to be at this price level, but there are still howlers, like the rubbish penny-pinching shared window controls. It’s better than the early ID cars, but feels like it’s only gone halfway.
But like all ID models, there is plenty of space. The room in the back is pretty generous, with decent headroom. The long wheelbase, the space-saving ‘skateboard’ architecture (with the batteries positioned under the floor) and the slim seats create impressive legroom too. Tell me why we need an SUV again?
If you need even more, there are also plans for an estate version - which is actually the really appealing one. More practical AND better looking.
Volkswagen ID.7 Range and charging
With a predicted official (WLTP) range of 435 miles, the ID.7 is going to be the longest-range VW out there - and will comfortably do more than 300 miles in the real-world. That’s thanks to an 86kWh battery in the biggest version - the Pro S, with the lesser variant, the Pro, getting the familiar 77kWh pack and 388 miles of range.
As for charging speeds, it's slightly quicker than other VWs in order to keep up with rivals. So the bigger-batteried Pro S will be capable of taking 200kW DC for the Pro S, with standard 11kW AC. The Pro has to make do with 170Kw DC. That will mean a 30 minutes 10-80% top-up for both.
Volkswagen ID.7 Performance and driving
Just looking at this car, you can almost predict how it is going to drive – and you’d be right. This is meant to be a refined cruiser and luxury flagship, so the ID.7 drives calmly and solidly. It's fast and whisper-quiet and doesn't let anything or anyone upset it.
The power is provided by a new motor, more powerful than any single electric unit VW has ever produced. This new generation pushes out 283bhp - so even the basic, rear-wheel drive ID.7 is the fastest ID car to date.
But despite the performance and brisk acceleration, it won’t get your heart racing. The steering and chassis lack the bite even with Sport mode selected. But perhaps no one would expect that from a limousine. Instead, the ID.7 gives you a big, relaxed saloon that you can waft around in.
The fact that the ID.7 drives with such grace is partly down to the generous size and a wheelbase of just under three metres, partly thanks to the general hush of electric drive and a lot to do with slippery aerodynamics. But the sophisticated system of variable dampers has a part to play too, allowing this two-tonne electric car to soften itself at the push of a button.
There are plans for a ‘GTX’ ID.7 with a second motor in the front, giving all-wheel drive. At that point, a few more thrills might be available.
Volkswagen ID.7 Verdict
After an admittedly limited amount of time behind the wheel, the ID.7 seems like a very solid effort from VW. The range and efficiency are impressive and it feels like a lovely fast limo, if not particularly sporty.
If our guesses on pricing are correct, most models will break the £60,000 barrier - so not cheap, and positioning it in the uncomfortable position of sitting above Hyundai Ioniq 6, Model 3 and even the BMW i4. The BYD Han saloon is on the way too, which looks good.
So is the VW ID.7 good enough to tempt you? We want to try it in the UK first, but it’s not striking us as a game changer. Not yet anyway – but the planned estate version could be a different story.