Volkswagen ID 7

vw id7 review 2024 01 tracking front
Volkswagen gears up to finally go Tesla-hunting with its first all-electric saloon, the ID 7

Car makers have typically deployed big and expensive saloons in order to make a statement, and this is no different in the case of the new, five-metre-long Volkswagen ID 7.However, the longest executive car conceived in Wolfsburg since the magnificent but unloved Phaeton of 2003 is less about technological one-upmanship and conspicuous luxury than your typical range-topping German limo, and more about simply saying: ‘Look, here at VW we can in fact build you a truly great electric car.’The fact that such a statement still needs to be made when the ID 7 is not the first or second but – if you include all available bodystyles (plus the VW ID Buzz MPV) – fifth bespoke electric VW tells you much about the firm’s ambitious but thus far stuttering switch away from combustion engines.The Golf-style ID 3 hatchback and the ID 4 crossover (plus its sportier, slope-backed ID 5 sibling) aren’t bad cars. But obvious weaknesses mean each has lacked the effortless competence that in the past often made a VW the best option.Competition from far outside Europe hasn’t helped, either. Cars as good as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 have made life tough for the ID 4, while the stellar MG 4 EV continues to show the ID 3 up in certain respects.So the ID 7 is here as much to reset the tone and settle the troops as it is to steal sales from the likes of the BMW i5 and Mercedes-Benz EQE – cars that this flagship ID product either matches or exceeds in size but usefully undercuts in terms of cost. More direct rivals include the Tesla Model 3 and the Ioniq 6, not to mention the BMW i4 – plenty of talent to highlight any deficiencies.Yet with strong on-paper credentials and the firm being on a mission to make a point, there are, as one tester observed, shades of VW in its late-1990s pomp here. Who would bet against that?The range at a glanceModelsPowerFromPro Match 77kWh282bhp£51,550Pro S 86kWh282bhptbcGTX 77kWh335bhptbcFor now, the ID 7 range in the UK is limited to the 77kWh battery car in Pro Match trim, though the 86kWh Pro S is on the way and should take real-world touring beyond 300 miles.The eventual range-topper will take the form of the GTX – the moniker VW gives its GTI-spirited EVs. Don’t expect the ID 7 to be transformed into a BMW M5 chaser, but it should be pretty sprightly.VW also recently revealed the ID 7 Tourer – a good old-fashioned estate that will take on the BMW i5 Touring and the upcoming Audi A6 E-tron. Expect it to pack plenty of everyday EV appeal.

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