Volkswagen has finally solved the problem of air conditioning in its electric cars with the ID.7

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The new Volkswagen ID.7, presented at CES in Las Vegas 2023, but still under a slight camouflage, corrects some ergonomic problems in the ID range, starting with the ventilation controls. A revolution, or almost.

During our tests of the Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 or, more recently, the ID. Buzz, we weren’t necessarily thrilled with the build quality of the new 100% electric Volkswagens.

To make matters worse, these models also suffer from complicated ergonomics (this also applies to thermal models, such as the Volkswagen Golf 8) with many commands integrated directly into the touch screen and often hidden under a multitude of menus and submenus.

A “new” generation of electric at Volkswagen

Among the main complaints about these interiors at Volkswagen: the ventilation controls. Embedded directly into a menu, then even into a sub-menu, they were complicated first to find and then to order. Even if there was a touch shortcut under the screen (but no haptic feedback) for temperature, it was also a real hell to operate: the absence of a backlight made it impossible to use at night.

This system made us miss the old physical controls with the old knobs to adjust the temperature. It is true that it is not the most aesthetic, but it was much more practical and also avoided taking your eyes off the road for a long time.

A few days ago, during the CES in Las Vegas 2023, Volkswagen presented its ID.7a model that should mark a small turning point for the brand’s electric car, in particular with the integration of the MEB Evo platform and a new battery that allows a range of more than 700 km.

The still camouflaged Volkswagen ID.7 presented at CES in Las Vegas // Source: Volkswagen

The “revolution” also for ventilation

Among the interesting novelties of this ID.7 and that should reconcile us with the interiors of Volkswagen there is an “intelligent” air conditioning system and quite interesting on paper. In fact, there is nothing really revolutionary technically speaking, but it could correct many ergonomic problems.

On one side, weather controls are now permanently displayed at the bottom of the screen, that is, they are no longer hidden in countless submenus. And they are backlit!

On the other hand, Volkswagen has integrated the “Smart Air Vents” function to control the ventilation flows in the passenger compartment. dynamically to ensure faster diffusion of hot or cold air. Through the key, the car can also anticipate the driver’s arrival in the passenger compartment and directly turn on the ventilation before the driver enters the car.

The touch cursors are finally backlit // Source: Volkswagen

As you can see in the photos, Volkswagen stopped short of reintegrating the physical controls, but the arrival of permanent air conditioning controls on the big 15-inch screen is already a step forward. Another positive point, the touch sliders and the one to manage the sound of the car are finally backlit.

The ventilation system is also combined with voice control. This one is advertised as more accurate and equipped with artificial intelligence to learn driver habits. For example, the voice command reacts to “Hello Volkswagen, my hands are cold! » turning on the heated steering wheel directly and diverting the flow of warm air towards the hands.

In automatic operation, there is a sensor in the windshield area that detects the angle of incidence of sunlight in conditions of high outside temperature and high solar intensity. If the sun shines strongly on one side of the vehicle, the ventilation adapts the air conditioning to the hottest areas.

European customers will be able to take advantage of this new ventilation (but not only!) this year, as the commercial launch of the Volkswagen ID.7 is planned. the next fall. In a few weeks we should also discover the final design and all the technical characteristics of the saloon.

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