5 aspects that I feel could be improved in the VW ID.7

This article has inputs from our reader.

The impression that I got after my first-hand experience with the VW ID.7 at the LA Auto Show is that it’s a no-nonsense electric sedan that will be considered by many prospective shoppers of the Tesla Model 3. After spending a while with the car, I’m certain that the German engineers and designers benchmarked many aspects of the Model 3 while hammering out the VW ID.7, which is overall a great package.

While I love the design, build, and cabin quality, there are at least 5 areas or aspects where the ID.7 could use a little more work when the electric sedan moves to future model years.

‘Smart’ air vents on the dashboard

VW ID.7 dashboard
I’m all for digital dashboards, but I prefer physical controls when interfacing with audio volume and the air conditioning. Screens tend to get a bit greasy and laggy with time, and are prone to software glitches.

You can call me old school but I like a combination of physical and digital controls in my electric car. I consider the air conditioning buttons and the volume knob like the steering wheel or the gas pedal – you’d never want to ‘swipe’ at them. I’d like to see a small panel of physical controls on the lower dash of the ID.7 that lets me to move the temperature and fan speed up or down, as large touchscreens, in my experience, get a bit greasy and the lag is perceptible after a few years on the road.

It seems even Volkswagen might share this sentiment, as their ID.2all concept featured a row of physical buttons for the temperature and seat ventilation. The concept, revealed in early 2023, previews the company’s future design.

Touch-sensitive controls on the steering

VW ID.7 steering wheel
I felt that the type of controls like on the VW ID.7’s steering wheel generally aren’t tactile and intuitive as ‘physical’ push-buttons.

Thomas Schäfer, the CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, has confirmed that haptic controls on the steering wheel would be replaced with physical buttons in the future VW car launches. He says this was an important customer feedback, and while I’m glad that is so, the VW ID.7 will sport touch-sensitive controls, which, in my experience, isn’t ideal, and invites unintentional adjustments and inputs.

Rear headroom

VW ID.7 rear seat
The ID.7 has acres of shoulder and knee room, and has supportive rear seats, but I feel that rear headroom, when I (a six-footer) sit upright, is a bit short in supply. Given that this is a tourer, I also missed the seat recline function.

The VW ID.7 is one of the roomiest sedans that I’ve sat in. I would think eight out of ten people won’t have complaints in the rear seat, but as a six-footer, I felt that rear headroom could have been better. The ID.7 is a low-roof model, and I can’t expect the same traits as that of an SUV, but I guess the trade-off is for the aerodynamics, with the liftback design that brings in the tapering roofline.

I can’t help but imagine that the ID.7’s rear seat comfort would have been truly outstanding had designers adopted a traditional sedan bodystyle.

400V electrical architecture

Hyundai Motor Group electric sedan
Competitors have shifted out to 800V architectures which can make the powertrain lighter, more responsive, less prone to heating during charging, and importantly offer a shorter charging time.

The VW ID.7 is a step up from the ID.4 in charging power, accepting 175 kW at the DC charging station. Volkswagen says that the DC Charging Time (10-80%) is 28 minutes. Competitors (like the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and the Kia EV6) have upgraded to an 800V system, which offer faster charging. For instance, the Ioniq 6 does the same in 18 minutes. Though the ID.7’s MEB platform is a dedicated EV architecture, it misses out on the higher system voltage and a front storage (frunk), which is a head-scratcher!

No ID.7 AWD/Performance variant at launch

VW ID.7 wheel
Considering that the VW ID.7 is the current ID flagship model, a dual-motor version would have added a new dimension to this nameplate.

The ID.7 is no slouch, cranking out 282 hp and 402 lb.-ft. of torque from its rear-mounted ‘MEB Performance’ electric motor. However, those who wish to have the added assurance of all-wheel drive, either because of their terrain or weather demands, or the exhilaration of a dual-motor setup, will have to wait. I hear that Volkswagen will not import the performance-focused ID.7 GTX version, but is developing a dual-motor configuration for the U.S., which could land here by 2025.