Home » The Volkswagen ID.7 Electric Sedan Promises Tesla-Beating Range And A Fix For VW’s Infotainment Disaster

The Volkswagen ID.7 Electric Sedan Promises Tesla-Beating Range And A Fix For VW’s Infotainment Disaster

Volkswagen Id 7 Topshot

The Passat is dead, long live the Volkswagen ID.7. While Volkswagen fans have lamented for years that America got a different, downmarket Passat compared to the European model, the Passat’s effective replacement in North America is a true world car that goes back upmarket on the inside. While the ID.7 debuting at CES is clad in electroluminescent camouflage, there’s still plenty to see. Without further ado, let’s dive in to the latest mainstream electric sedan set for American showrooms.

Volkswagen ID.7 profile

So what makes the ID.7 a Passat replacement? Well, while Volkswagen is keeping most dimensions under wraps, the ID.7’s 2.97-meter (117-inch) wheelbase is only 20 mm (0.787 inches) longer than that of the Hyundai Ioniq 6’s and roughly 167 mm (6.57 inches) longer than that of the outgoing Passat. That puts the ID.7 firmly in large family sedan territory, which should give Volkswagen an early EV entry into America’s favorite segment of passenger car.

Volkswagen ID.7 rear three quarters

So what details can we pick out through the camouflage? Well, the lamp silhouettes look largely unchanged from the ID.AERO concept we saw last year, but the front bumper seems to ditch the LED daytime running lights in favor of aero-friendly air curtains. The rear bumper’s also different from the concept car, featuring a taller diffuser-style trim piece. Production-spec door handles look identical to the recessed electronic latches of the ID.4, while the mirrors also look like ID.4 bits. Overall, the ID.7 looks faithful to the concept and should be a fairly handsome sight on the roads.

Volkswagen ID.7 infotainment

The really big news is on the inside of the ID.7, where Volkswagen seems to have fixed some of the infotainment clusterfuck affecting models like the ID.4 and GTI. While temperature and volume are still controlled by capacitive-touch sliders, said sliders are now illuminated so they can actually be used in the dark. What’s more, climate controls including heated seats are now a static top-level bar in the infotainment, a massive improvement over being buried in a sub-menu. That’s not to say things are perfect, but it’s good to see workarounds for existing gripes. Unfortunately, Volkswagen hasn’t addressed the stupid capacitive-touch button for the rear windows, but the infotainment and climate control upgrades are a good start.

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Speaking of climate control, the ID.7 inherits power-adjustable air vents from models higher in the Volkswagen Group food chain. While this sounds like a pain in the ass, it does come with one massive benefit fans of ‘90s Japanese luxury cars will know and love – the vents can oscillate. Not just side-to-side, but also up-and-down to send air everywhere, plus said vents can auto-adjust for special voice-activated climate programs. If your hands get cold, the ID.7 can flip on the heated steering wheel and direct hot air to blow on your hands, which sounds excellent for anyone with arthritis or Raynaud syndrome.

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The reasonably tight frontal area of a sedan often benefits range, and the Volkswagen ID.7 is targeting around 435 miles (700 km) of range on the optimistic WLTP cycle, or around 56 miles (90 km) longer than the longest-range Hyundai Ioniq 6. That should also blow the Tesla Model 3 out of the water, as its longest-range configuration is rated for 382 miles (614 km) of range on the WLTP cycle. It also surpasses the Tesla Model S, which gets a WLTP range rating of 634 km in its longest-range configuration. While WLTP figures can’t be directly translated to EPA figures, achieving this 435-mile target should make range anxiety virtually nonexistent. Volkswagen hasn’t yet divulged how it plans to pull such range out of the ID.7, but it’s reasonable to assume that a combination of battery tech and aerodynamics may have something to do with it.

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Expect the ID.7 to go on sale in America in 2024, which means that we’ll probably see it with the camo off sometime in the next year and a half or so. I’m incredibly excited for more options in the mainstream electric sedan market as not only do their profiles and frontal areas benefit range, typical sedan-like hip points really highlight the low centers of gravity that EV platforms have to offer.

(Photo credits: Volkswagen)

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2023 VW ID.Buzz First Drive: Why This Electric Van Is So Important For Volkswagen And For EVs Overall

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47 Responses

  1. Let’s not miss the big picture here. VW is making a RWD sedan (assuming these will not all be dual motor) since the ID platform is technically a RWD-biased vehicle.

  2. Is it confirmed to be a sedan and not a hatchback? Only offering a trunk lid on that body is a crime. Maybe they could do a dual solution like that one Skoda you could open as a trunk or hatch.

          1. People love to mock me for saying this, but that tells me that they are either:

            -Extremely weather-privileged to not experience winter or

            -Don’t care that they lose ~30% of their range in conditions that millions of people experience for 3 months a year, including the most-travelled holidays.

            I can promise that a lot of the same folks would be screaming bloody murder if their ICE car went from 50 to 38 mpg or from 25 to 19 mpg every winter.

            1. Cold weather range is a reasonable concern. I’m not sure why anyone would mock you for bringing it up. I live in a winter-free zone so it isn’t a problem for my Leaf, but my brother in the frozen hellscape of Minnesota wants a Tesla. He is not a car guy so he thinks he will will get the range Tesla advertises. I keep telling him that range could vary considerably, particularly in a Minnesota winter (he doesn’t seem to believe me for some reason). It would be nice to have some real world data to see how his hypothetical Tesla would perform in the conditions he intends to drive it.

              1. I’m not sure why it’s such a joke either, but a few people in every comment thread apparently think it’s ridiculous to expect good performance 12 months a year instead of just 8-9.

                As for thorough cold weather testing, Scandinavian sources have done some, but despite their reputations, the populated parts of Norway and Sweden don’t have anything like the climate of the US Midwest. Knowing range loss at 0 deg C is helpful, but not sufficient for those of us who regularly see below 0 F.

  3. Genuine question, this and other US websites often state that the WLTP range is optimistic and looking it up it seems many EV’s have a higher quoted WLTP range than EPA range but not all (notably Tesla’s are the other way around). I’ve also seen many reports that say the Porsche Taycan can fairly easily beat the quoted EPA range, so as a potential consumer what gives? Is there some politicking going on that WLTP favours non-American EV”S and vice versa for US EV’s, or is it a case that WLTP is better suited to typical European/ Japanese driving and EPA is better suited to American typical driving?

    1. I heard the Taycan and many of the Mercedes electrics can go farther than quoted. As a consumer, how do we judge these claims? I think a deep dive on WLTP vs EPA ratings is called for here.

      1. EVs are optimized for testing protocols (some EVs are more optimized for range ratings than others), so consumers need to find real-world results. A few websites have tests at highway speeds (insideevs has a chart of various EVs at 70 mph), various car magazines publish their observed results when they review EVs, and I’ve come across a few websites where consumers can report their range in specific driving situations. At this time, I don’t think either protocol (EPA or WTLP) is particularly representative, so you have to look at other sources to see how much range the vehicle will have with how (and where) you intend to use it.

        It would be interesting to see how EPA and WLTP ratings work, though. If nothing else, it would help us understand why those ratings are often very optimistic.

        1. When you consider how heavy the Lucid Air is, it is telling that it is the most efficient of the entries tested on insideevs, including the fact that it goes roughly 50% farther per kWh than the much smaller and much lighter Smart Electric Drive. That is the impact of aerodynamic drag, and the Lucid is the slipperiest of the bunch.

          A car with half the mass and 3/4 the frontal area with a slightly lower Cd value than the Lucid Air should get 7 miles/kWh in the same 70 mph cruising speed conditions, which means you can now get an acceptable real-world 200 mile highway range with a sub-30 kWh battery pack, which would allow the cost to be kept low enough that the car could be in the sub-$25k price range.

          The Mercedes Vision EQXX concept car demonstrates similar efficiency to what I propose, while being much heavier than what I propose due to its 100 kWh battery pack size to get a claimed 620 miles range at 70 mph. Its drag coefficient is 0.17, the same value as the 1996 Solectria Sunrise, a car that had a real-world 200 mile range on a 26 kWh pack of NiMH batteries.

    2. EPA ranges are all over the place because there are multiple ways to test. A 5-cycle test gives the highest number which is what Tesla uses. OEMs that opt for another kind of test can get lower numbers. They also have an option to reduce the range number voluntarily which Porsche does IIRC. So yeah not sure why there are multiple ways of taking a “standardized” test. Makes no sense to me.

      WLTP test on the other hand is the same for all OEMs. Even though the range may not be realistic, you can at least use it to compare between models.

      1. Fun fact: That voluntary range reduction is why the Smart Fortwo EQ has such a terrible official range. MB’s logic was that range gets worse as the car gets some miles under its wheels and the battery ages, so the range rating should be something that a car with some miles can still achieve.

    3. How important is range to you? It makes a lot of headlines, but for most drivers the 100-200km/60-120ml is enough for their daily drive. The idea that the average buyer needs 600km/370ml or more in range is just based on the outdated notion of refuelling somewhere far from your home or workplace, whereas most EV users can comfortably charge at home (cheaply and often for free), provided they don’t live in an apartment with no off-street parking of course.

  4. Few notes:
    1. Enough with these bloody ID:s. Passat&Golf are way better names and the idea behind the original naming for the ID3 is no longer valid for the rest (3rd big thing for VW).
    2. I don’t really care if they had marginally better layout for the stupid touch screen. I want buttons for most things I use, like seat heaters, radio, climate control and windows. And none of that capacitive shit in the steering wheel. I already used my money to vote for this as I got Skoda Enyaq 4×4 coming instead of ID4 as it’s got more buttons (and bigger trunk).
    3. Where’s the bloody wagon already.

    1. I agree the ID label was out of date even before it’s been released I thought the Golf, Polo names were from sports but it turns out we were mistaken:

      https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a24487598/volkswagen-golf-jetta-passat-polo-name-origin/#:~:text=The%20Golf%20refers%20to%20the,named%20after%20the%20sports.%20.%20.

      VW should find some fresh inspiration for naming, it helps with marketing for sure, and following Tesla’s lead on everything is questionable.
      Skoda’s Enyaq is not a particularly great option FWIW but Skoda never was good at naming TBH.

  5. Not a VW fan but I dig the car but would only buy it if I could get it adorned in the camouflage shown. I just dig it. If you Can’t get colour get freaky.

  6. Couldn’t care less about this for the most part, but I can confirm that the oscillating vents are amazing. I thought they were a dumb gimmick when I first got my car with them, but absolutely love them now and do not understand why that tech did not stick around.

  7. The one issue with long range achieved through aero and efficiency is that range suddenly becomes an issue during inclement weather. Rain chops 10% or more off an ICE car’s range. Snow even more. That energy that went to moving the car has to pump water away from the treads or compact snow to roll on and then move the car. It’s endemic to every highly efficient car. It’ll be more noticeable with an EV since batteries aren’t as energy dense as fossil fuels.

    This isn’t a knock against the IDwhatever. Just be prepared when physics does its thing.

  8. VW’s infotainment hell world won’t be “fixed” until the haptic bullshit on the steering wheel is returned to regular old buttons, you don’t have to interact with a screen to adjust the climate controls, and you get to use a knob for volume. I’d maybe consider an electric VW (I won’t touch an ICE one again after my and my sister’s experiences with ours) but as long as they’re still pushing this garbage Im firmly no dice.

    One of the hidden benefits of Tesla’s impending doom is the fact that other manufacturers might finally stop copying their more ridiculous features. Their interiors are like a corporate office park and literally no one outside of a few tech bros wants their entire vehicle to be controlled by a damn tablet. It’s not THE FUTURE, it’s a fad.

  9. stupid ID names.

    ID.10T (turbo model LOL, no really Porsche has a Taycan turbo)
    ID.10M
    ID.HO (High Output for ludicrous mode but the backup camera is a potato)
    ID.Clare
    ID.Check

    They should just make it the next gen Passat, or at least use a real name instead of just ID.numbers

    1. ID.ea for concepts that will never get made.
      ID.Struct comes with an included wrecking ball and battering ram.
      ID.Zert for cake deliveries.
      ID.Cline for folks who just don’t want an EV.

    2. I don’t see the point in doing electric sub-brands when literally every single car is going to be electric in about 10 years, very soon, everything Volkswagen sells will be an IDsomething, the subbrand will just be the entire brand

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