VW to bring back buttons after complaints about its touchscreen

In a strange reversal of plan, it looks like Volkswagen is revising its interior design. After a slew of complaints about its touchscreen-heavy interiors, the German brand is bringing back more good, old-fashioned physical buttons, according to Autocar.

Autocar spotted the concept for the upcoming compact ID.2all – the brand’s latest and smallest EV offering – at the Volkswagen City Studio in Copenhagen – and it was sporting a lot more physical buttons than before. According to VW interior designer Darius Watola, the company is giving the people what they want, as “feedback from customers,” especially in Europe, asking for more physical buttons. 

Back in June, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer previously told Autocar that customers weren’t loving the touchscreen-heavy design, especially in the Golf Mk8 and ID.3, and that the new touchscreen design endorsed by former CEO Herbert Diess “definitely did a lot of damage” in terms of customer loyalty.

Now, according to the report, the interior of the ID.2all features has a row of backlit buttons (real ones, not touchscreen ones) for both climate and rotary dial to control the screen, similar to BMW’s iDrive, all sitting below the touchscreen. Infotainment will stick with touchscreen controls, as well as accessing driving info.

An earlier version of the ID.2all interior

Volkswagen is also looking to phase out hard plastic, leather, chrome, and glue from its interior design as part of a sustainability shift. But the company aims to keep the ID.2all priced below €25,000 ($27K) price, so the interior materials won’t likely get too posh. 

Based on a new entry-level version of its MEB platform, the upcoming ID.2all features a 223HP motor capable of 62 mph in seven seconds and an estimated 280-mile range. The exterior design takes a nod from the Beetle and Golf, but with a modern twist.

The ID.2all is expected to debut in Europe in 2025, to compete with a host of small, cheap-ish EVs on the docket, including a slew of models from Renault. North America won’t likely see the ID.2all, as compact cars are losing ground in the US in favor of SUVs and larger vehicles. 

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