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2025 VW ID.7 First Drive Evaluate: One other electrical sedan in a sea of SUVs

MANE, France – Volkswagen’s flagships have traditionally are available in many various styles and sizes.

Within the early Sixties, the model experimented with an enormous, boxy sedan powered by a rear-mounted flat-six engine intently associated to the unit that powered the unique Porsche 911. Often called the EA 128 internally, the mannequin remained on the prototype stage however set a ball rolling that the stately Phaeton caught in 2002. The second-generation Phaeton was developed, examined, and in the end canned. Volkswagen returned to the drafting board armed with a modular platform designed for electrical vehicles to create a brand new flagship.

Unveiled earlier in 2023, the 2025 Volkswagen ID.7 isn’t a flagship within the Phaeton sense of the time period. Its mission isn’t to ruffle BMW- and Mercedes-colored feathers; that’s nonetheless Audi’s job. It’s a Volkswagen flagship reasonably than a flagship Volkswagen. Coincidentally, it’s additionally the Wolfsburg-based firm’s first electrical sedan.

Including a sedan to the vary of ID-branded EVs unlocks two key benefits. First, prospects in international markets now have a battery-powered different to the Passat (which lately went wagon-only in Europe) and, to some extent, the Arteon. Second, in comparison with a crossover, a sedan usually weighs much less and has a decrease drag coefficient, so it delivers extra driving vary. Engineers put an enormous give attention to extending the time between charging stops through the growth course of. The ID.7 consequently boasts a drag coefficient of 0.23, a determine that locations it between the BMW i4 (0.24) and the Porsche Taycan (0.22).

Visually, the ID.7 falls consistent with present members of Volkswagen’s EV line-up but it surely’s not a Xerox copy of, say, the ID.4. It’s additionally not retro like the ID.Buzz; it’s its personal factor. It’s characterised by sharp-looking headlights linked by a light-weight bar, a particular arch-shaped roof line with a strip of grey trim, and a rear mild bar. It’s not fairly a scaled-down Audi A7, but it surely’s extra attention-grabbing trying than the final Passat.

One element that you could be not absolutely grasp till you see the ID.7 on the highway is its dimension. It’s not a small automobile. It measures 195.3 inches lengthy, 73.3 inches extensive and 60.5 inches tall. It’s greater in each path than the now-retired American-market Passat, itself a really massive sedan, and it’s about the identical dimension as the brand new Mercedes-Benz E-Class. As with different EVs, the wheelbase stretches additional than these ICE-powered sedans of comparable general size – it’s truly an inch longer than a last-generation Chevy Tahoe.

Stretching the wheelbase to SUV-like proportions provides the ID.7 an inside that’s extra spacious than you would possibly assume, even bearing in mind its not-so-nimble exterior dimensions. There’s loads of house in each path, no matter whether or not you’re sitting within the entrance or within the again, and you may carry 18.8 cubic ft of stuff within the massive trunk accessed by a large hatch. That’s a better quantity than within the Passat. Folding down the rear bench yields 56 cubes. There isn’t a frunk, however then comparatively few EVs even have a helpful frunk at this level.

Sandwiched inside that wheelbase is the lone battery selection: an 82-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion pack. The vary quantity for the U.S. market gained’t be printed till nearer to the ID.7’s on-sale date, however the European determine checks in at 386 miles. Ours shall be decrease, as European numbers lean towards the optimistic facet of the dimensions. Volkswagen claims zapping the battery pack with about 127 miles of vary takes roughly 10 minutes at a 175-kilowatt charging station, although I wasn’t capable of put this declare to the check.

Underpinning the ID.7 is identical MEB platform that underpins different ID Volkswagens, albeit with a brand new, oil-and water-cooled electrical motor known as AP550 that’s rated at 282 horsepower and 402 pound-feet of torque. These figures make it essentially the most highly effective motor within the Volkswagen arsenal. Rear-mounted, it spins the rear wheels by way of a one-speed transmission, delivers a zero-to-62-mph time of about 6.5 seconds, and unlocks a high pace of 112 mph. An all-wheel-drive variant with two electrical motors shall be obtainable when the ID.7 goes on sale in 2024 (doubtless as a 2025 mannequin). We’d additionally see a 91-kilowatt-hour battery pack added ultimately.

Driving the ID.7 within the south of France, on a diverse assortment of roads together with some that I take frequently, confirmed my preliminary impressions: there’s no want for a Sport drive mode. It’s there, and it does make the throttle response sharper, however this isn’t a automobile that wishes to be hustled. There’s a Jetta GLI for that. No, the ID.7’s greatest attribute is consolation. Like just about each electrical automobile, it delivers fast, linear acceleration off the road, and even at freeway speeds it’s moderately quiet – there’s not loads of wind noise, which is partially as a result of low drag coefficient mentioned earlier. The seats are comfy and supportive, and there’s one hell of a sound system; chances are you’ll as properly be touring in your lounge.

Surprisingly, Volkswagen achieved this journey utilizing an ordinary metal suspension system. There’s a strut-type setup within the entrance and a five-link structure within the again. Whilst you gained’t discover air springs, you’ll discover an excessive amount of {hardware} and software program filtering out highway imperfections. Volkswagen notably redesigned its adaptive damping expertise (DCC) with a brand new controller, and the system constantly adjusts the damping pressure on every wheel to provide the ID.7 a easy journey. This large sedan is glad to glide alongside for miles on finish.

That’s to not say the ID.7 can’t take a nook. It ideas the dimensions at 4,788 kilos, so it’s not mild, however the battery is the heaviest a part of the automobile by an extended shot and it’s mounted instantly below the cabin, the place it lowers the middle of gravity and evens out the load distribution. This packaging provides the ID.7 comparatively flat cornering on the expense of the rear-biased dealing with you’d anticipate given the drivetrain configuration.

Volkswagen dialed in a brake vitality recuperation perform but it surely’s both on or off; you possibly can’t select from completely different ranges of regeneration like in some electrical vehicles. Off, with the gear selector set to the “D” mode, the ID.7 coasts if you raise your foot off the throttle. On, with the gear selector set to the “B” mode, it slows down sooner than a comparable gasoline-powered automobile if you raise off the accelerator. One-pedal driving is feasible when you’re not driving aggressively, and I discovered that regen is the rationale why the ID.7 can make the most of old-school rear drum brakes, however the skill to dial in numerous regen ranges (even simply “low” and “excessive”) would nonetheless be appreciated. Regen additionally provides the ID.7 the marginally odd and nearly online game controller-like brake pedal really feel you discover in lots of plug-in hybrid and electrical vehicles.

Normal on the American-market mannequin, the head-up show gives an augmented actuality (AR) perform that builds on the fundamental set of data you usually discover in these techniques with interactive navigation instructions. This isn’t new, BMW gives an analogous expertise on lots of its vehicles (akin to the iX), however take into accout we’re speaking a few Volkswagen. That is how the model defines “flagship” this time round: upmarket options and luxury in a extra attainable package deal. Higher but, the head-up show works stunningly properly. It exhibits information akin to the present pace and the pace restrict comparatively near the motive force and shows navigation instructions a little bit additional away. It’s intuitive and simple to make use of, to the purpose the place I hardly appeared on the instrument cluster (a small digital rectangle) throughout my time behind the wheel.

The sensible air vents, that are managed by way of a menu within the infotainment system’s 15-inch touchscreen, are usually not as intuitive and simple to make use of. On one hand, I get the “new tech” facet – I can already hear future ID.7 house owners asking a neighbor “can your [insert make and model] do that?!” Alternatively, it’s tech for tech’s sake, and I’ve by no means thought “rattling, I want these air vents have been digital” whereas driving. Your mileage could differ, however Porsche has already moved away from comparable screen-controlled airvents after attempting them out within the Panamera and assembly buyer distaste. It’s onerous to see Volkswagen house owners feeling in another way.  

Past the air vents, the ID.7’s new infotainment system represents a large step ahead in comparison with the software program present in the ID.4 and GTI. Its house display options tiles that correspond to a menu, permitting it to concurrently show navigation, music and battery state of cost. It’s pretty straight-forward to make use of, however the touch-operated sliders for quantity and temperature stay. Even when they’re now illuminated, they’re nonetheless inferior to bodily controls extra simply discovered with out trying. It may be too late to #savethemanuals (though, there’s an uptick within the take charge!) however is it too late to #savetheknobs?

With a usable quantity of vary, a cushty inside, and a big serving of expertise, the ID.7 makes a superb case for itself as Volkswagen’s flagship. Paradoxically, it would land as a rational selection within the electrical section: there aren’t many battery-powered sedans available on the market, and most come from luxurious manufacturers.

Volkswagen sellers throughout the nation will start receiving the ID.7 through the second half of 2024. Patrons will initially have two trim ranges known as Professional and Professional S, respectively, to select from. Pricing hasn’t been introduced but, but it surely’s affordable to imagine the most cost effective variant will begin at roughly $50,000 excluding incentives. That may make it the model’s costliest mannequin on our shores. Flagship, certainly.


I was born on March 15, 1980, in Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in the heart of Motor City, surrounded by the culture of automobiles. I had a close-knit family, including my parents, two older siblings, and a younger brother. I attended Roosevelt High School in Detroit, where my love for cars began to flourish. From a young age, I showed an early interest in automobiles. I would spend hours tinkering with my bicycle and helping my father fix up our family car. It was clear that I had a natural affinity for all things mechanical. This passion for cars led me to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

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