The most practical electric car on the road
Personal fulfillment. The Buzz is arguably the most exciting model from VW’s ID line launched to date. Certainly, as a car it doesn’t have as much market appeal as the ID. It may be the number 3, but Volkswagen’s new Love Bus turns heads like no other model. That’s quite an achievement when VW Transporters are everywhere. But identity. Buzz is an all-rounder like no other: he could be a camper van, a minivan or a delivery truck among his many forms. That’s the appeal of Volkswagen trucks, and the thing about them. Buzz wants to take advantage of him.
Then there is the name. On the one hand, it created a sensation, but it also retained its understandable name. We do not see identity. Vizzion or identity. Roomzz is talked about, but Buzz is about as close to a bus as you can get vocally – and everyone loves a VW bus. It turns out there’s a lot to love about this electric version.
Volkswagen ID. buzz
Volkswagen ID. Buzz is the most versatile electric vehicle on the road, from cargo version to passenger vehicle, it’s the base for campers and perfect for adventure. The range isn’t huge, and the price is high compared to the Burner, but there’s nothing else like this on the market, with this much space and this much awesomeness.
- Retro charm of design
- Great for driving
- Space and practicality
- The infotainment technology isn’t great
- Expensive compared to ICE
- The range can be limited
Design and build
The original Volkswagen Bus was a symbol of flower power, synonymous with the hippie movement, peace, love and all the rest. It has retained the cult of its followers. The first time I laid eyes on an ID card. Buzz concept in Cargo form, I loved the design. The T7 Transporter looks understated next to the tag. Buzz, while this electric model features a more slender design.
There are a lot of retro cues, but VW is also adopting aftermarket styling which is very common on the Transporter. That front bumper suggests it’s designed for a more sporty life, and the spoiler on the trailing edge and the option of a two-tone finish enhance its style credentials. The windshield also moves forward, more integrated into the front of the truck, just like older Volkswagen bus designs. It feels like you’re sitting right above your nose – but it’s a distance away from you when you’re in the driver’s seat.
Personal fulfillment. The Buzz feels like a Transporter (and its derivatives) and although the interior is smarter than you’ll get in many trucks, there’s still that slightly hollow sound. The ride is quiet, but there’s still some vibration from the rear when you hit speed bumps or potholes.
At the same time, this is a largely defined model. The nose carries that badge and subtle design that we saw across the ID. 3 and others, while the elegant design around the dark pillared windows makes it appear as if the roof is floating, supported only by that rear pillar. It looks great from the side, but that wider rear pillar can sometimes obstruct your view if you peek into the rear quarter, when changing lanes, for example.
But overall, I can’t help but like how it’s defined. Buzz has evolved the familiar, somewhat boxy design into something more attractive as standard. But starting at just under £59,000 in the UK for this five-seat version, it should be an eye-catcher. Personal fulfillment. Initially launched as a five-seater, the Buzz will be available on a long-wheelbase 7-seater in 2024. ID. Buzz Cargo starts at just over £43,000.
Personal fulfillment. The Buzz is 4712mm long, but 1985mm wide and 1927mm high, so in the short wheelbase option shown here, it’s not very large. It can still be placed in multi-storey car parks and other areas with limited height, and it fits into regular parking spaces as well.
Interior space and style
Identity call. However, the buzz depends on the interior space. This moves at a high altitude, with great visibility, both inside and outside the car. You’ll have no problem being seen as a Range Rover driver, but with that comes the need to apply for an ID card. Buzz – It’s not the comfortable side seating you get from an SUV like the ID. 4, everything is a little higher.
What you really want to know is that the rear load space offers 1,121 litres, and if you fold the seat down, that becomes 2,232 litres. The depth of the rear seat pitch is 1,330mm, which is essential to know if you plan to carry anything large. It can also be fitted with a tow bar or the roof can hold 100kg too, so there are plenty of options.
For the version under review here, you’re looking at a traditional five-seat arrangement, with two up front and three in the second row. This second row can be folded down, using a multi-fold panel that raises the level of the trunk floor so you can have a flat space from the tailgate directly to behind the front seats when the second row is folded flat. It’s large enough to put a mattress on so you can sleep in the back. Rock and Roll Music.
But the inner quality of identity. Buzz’s style shown here is also great. It’s finished to a decent standard, so it’s a nice place to be. It’s certainly not as comfortable as some larger SUVs, but there are nice details everywhere, from the icons in the trim to the available color options. USB-C ports are scattered around, but up front in a slightly awkward place next to the steering wheel. It’s nice to power a device like a sat-nav or windshield-mounted phone, but if you’re just charging the phone, there’s nowhere to put it, because the tray it’s in is too small.
Some of this becomes more apparent due to another internal quirk. The center console can be removed. You push a button and you can literally lift it up, creating a flat piece of floor between the two front seats. This is convenient for access if you use your ID. It looks more like a pickup truck or moving in the back, but that means the center console is basically just internal storage space.
The fold-down cupholder shelf is neatly integrated into the dashboard, but above all, there’s the feeling of space. There’s plenty of headroom, more than you get in an SUV, while rear passengers have plenty of room too. There are also really neat trays at the back of the seats that can be used to prop up a tablet or phone for watching movies on long journeys, while they can also be folded down to become a convenient tray table.
As with all minivans, you don’t feel comfortable in the back, nor do you sink into the luxury of the interior, it’s a very large practical space and although space is great, as I mentioned earlier, there are times when it’s just a little noisy like a van.
Planning internal technology in the identity. Google’s post mirrors previous ID models. This gives you a central touchscreen designed to do it all, with an integrated driver display that only gives you the basics and offers very little information. Meanwhile, previous ID models placed the drive controller at the edge of the driver’s display: on the ID. The buzz moves into a stalk, but retains the twisting motion. This is perhaps less practical than the up-and-down drive and reverse options common in American cars, but it’s easy enough to adapt to.
However, what that means is that there is only one function leg on the steering column which has to do everything – indicators, lights, wipers, the lot. Again, it’s a little different than most other cars on the road, but you soon get used to it. This is aided by steering wheel controls that put some options at your fingertips, but then you’ll reach the center screen.
VW hasn’t had the best reception with the move to this current system and that’s actually set to change with the launch of VW ID. 7 in the near future. It’s designed to give you a tablet-like experience with large icons, but there seems to be a heavy reliance on using the screen, with few direct buttons – parking, climate, driver assistance and drive mode all get buttons, but apart from climate, it’s unlikely To actually use it. Likewise, volume and climate adjustments are just vague touch areas, so it’s not immediately clear what they’re supposed to do.
All of this is compounded by the proximity sensor, which changes screen elements as you move towards them, so you’re never sure what you’re touching. However, you’ll be able to get by with it, as it feels like it never reached its potential as a useful infotainment system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both supported wirelessly and that’s likely what you’re using.
With all that said, the mapping and navigation are simple enough to use, it’s very easy to find a charger and you can access things like basic driving stats. Everything can be colored to match the interior lighting to make it look more personalized. The driver display offers very little customisation, letting you cycle between three display options, one of which is the driver assistance display which only shows a graph of the road and doesn’t deserve its place on the screen.
There’s also a voice control option which is good, but only good. Few in-car audio systems manage to live up to the skills of Alexa or Google Assistant. Of course, if you’re using a connected smartphone, a long press on the voice assistant button will access your smartphone-based system instead, which is generally better for speaking navigation requests or making calls.
Battery, range and driving experience
As I mentioned several times, I.D. Buzz drives like a bus. Coming from the car, it feels as if it’s turning sharply (because there’s nothing visible from the windshield to give you a sense of perspective), although the 11-metre turning circle isn’t particularly tight. The driving position is a little more upright than the slouchy saloon, but it’s a lot like sitting behind the wheel of a camper van, as you’d expect.
Personal fulfillment. The Buzz is located on the VW Group’s MEB platform, and the battery is on the floor. The SWB version under review here has a net 77 kWh battery. The LWB version will have an 85 kWh battery option. Personal fulfillment. The Buzz is a single-motor, rear-wheel drive car. There’s no dual-motor version yet, but you can expect it to arrive as a GTX model in 2024. This may also have greater appeal not as a performance model, but to ensure all-wheel drive in difficult conditions.
Returning to the model under review here, this 150kW rear-engine produces 204bhp, and will push the i.d. It accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 10.2 seconds. That’s not terribly quick, and the T7 Transporter with the same powered 2-litre petrol engine is a bit quicker. Off-the-line speed is unlikely to be a major concern; Equally, the top speed is 90 mph. But it feels quick enough when at cruising speed.
There’s 170kW fast charging, which the ID will show you. The Buzz charges from 5 to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Said range is 255 miles on the combined WLTP cycle. The rates you obtained from the ID. Buzz came out at 3.3 miles per kilowatt hour, or about 254 miles. However, this is average without a load, with driving in urban conditions, so you can expect highway driving to take up a larger portion of the range.
This is a fairly respectable public domain, but keep in mind that the .id. 3 with the same battery and motor will give you a range closer to 320 miles than the real world and you can see the difference the increased size, weight and drag makes.
One has to admire VW’s ambition with the ID. buzz. On the one hand, it is the basis for last-mile deliveries, and on the other hand, it is a passenger minibus; It will be the foundation for camper conversions, the workhorse for vocations, or just the roomiest family car on the road. It’s the natural choice for a surf van, allowing space to live inside, and it’s a great choice for long days out.
Is it the most comfortable electric car on the road? No. Is it the most versatile electric car? Yes, maybe it is. Sure, the range can’t match the more widely available petrol versions, and the Multivan is £15k cheaper, but I.D. Buzz is undeniably cool and practical. It sparks the spirit of adventure: Sure, it’s expensive, but don’t think of it as your car, think of it as a platform for your next adventure.