Volkswagen ID. Buzz gets a lot of attention wherever he goes. This is because the design of this fully electric people carrier is eye-catching; With its two-tone paint and rounded, insect-like features, it looks very much like the original VW Type 2 trucks of the 1960s. However, there is also something very modern about the design.
It’s a design technique that Volkswagen implemented very successfully with the New Beetle when it was launched in 1997 – modern but still maintaining its classic look. I was really excited when I saw the original concept of ID. Buzz, and although the design has been normalized a bit from the first prototype, it looks great in real life.
This isn’t an EV for everyone though. It’s larger than most SUVs to begin with, and it has a fairly hefty price tag to match. However, as electric minibuses advance, they don’t get any cooler than an ID card. buzz. I spent a week behind the wheel to see what it was like to live with him.
Price and availability VW ID. buzz
The first Volkswagen identifier. Buzz pre-sales were released to customers in October 2022, with full availability in early 2023. The van is available in two models, the Buzz Life which starts at £58,915 and the premium Buzz Style which starts at £63,715.
That’s significantly cheaper than a 7-seat Mercedes EQV van, but a step up from mid-sized SUVs like the Skoda Enyaq iV 80 and Volkswagen’s own van. 5 electric SUVs. So electrically speaking, it’s probably true. It seems like a lot to spend on a truck. Especially when the VW Multivan, which also comes in plug-in hybrid form, starts at just £43,720 (£49,345 for the eHybrid).
This isn’t just an engine swap from a VW Multivan, ID. Buzz is a completely new vehicle and is much better in many ways.
Design and features
Volkswagen ID. Buzz manages to look very modern, while also following the designs of that original 1960s wagon. This is especially true when finished in two-tone paint, as this dividing line and its swoop under the hood reflect the original. With a plain, single-color look, the truck looks much more ordinary.
The model I tested is finished in Candy White and Starlight Blue, although the two colors are also available in green, orange or yellow. Personal fulfillment. Buzz attracts people’s attention wherever she goes, and it’s not unusual to see people smiling and waving at the car as you pass by. Anything that has this effect on people must be a good thing.
This is a big vehicle, something you notice as soon as you open the door and have to climb into the cabin. While it’s long (1,936mm), it’s actually shorter than most large SUVs at 4,712mm, thanks to the short front. This can be seen when placed in regular UK parking spaces, and thanks to the convenient turning circle, it is easy to manoeuvre. The back has sliding doors on both sides, giving it a truck feel, even though there is only one row of rear seats.
In the cabin, the Buzz looks very modern and very simple. There is a 10-inch screen behind the steering wheel and a 12-inch screen in the middle. There are a pair of touch sliders below the central screen for temperature and music volume, as well as buttons for parking, climate, hazards, assistance and drive mode. The drive selector, as with other ID models, is located on the right stalk of the steering wheel, leaving the area between the seats free. In effect, a merchandise version of ID. The Buzz comes with a 2+1 bench-like seat in the front.
Here in regular ID. However, you do get two very comfortable chairs, with armrests and plenty of electric adjustments. This, combined with the high driving position and large windshield, gives you a clear view of the road or any obstacles.
The rear seats are a little more basic, offering a 2+1 folding split, and with such a large boot space, it’s a shame there’s no option for another row of seats to make it a 7-seater. I’m sure there will be more variations to come, but I would love to see a version with two armchairs at the back like some of the cooler people carriers.
As you might expect from a new electric car, there’s a lot of technology in the ID. buzz. The infotainment system is VW’s own corporate identifier. The software is 3.0 and includes everything from the steering wheel heater to the navigation system. It’s highly visual and icon-based, making it easy to navigate, although you can also connect your phone to use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay instead.
There’s a data chip built into the system (part of the Discover Pro package) to provide over-the-air updates and navigation data. Advanced driving features include Park Assist Plus, which can find spaces and parallel park for you – and get you out again. There is autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist monitoring, and a speed limiter.
Adaptive cruise control may be a fairly standard feature on modern cars but I really like the way the ID system works. In addition to setting the maximum speed for your travel, which automatically adjusts based on road data, it will also slow you down when there is a big bend in the road. This means that through winding country roads, the Buzz’s speed will often drop from the speed limit of 50 or 60 mph to something safer on tight turns. This meant I rarely had to take the car out of cruise control at all.
Performance and leadership
Personal fulfillment. The Buzz certainly feels more comfortable on the open road and is the type of car I like to take a long road trip in. However, the WLTP range for combined use is 251 miles. For highway driving alone, that would be about 180 miles, less in cold weather. This is because the Buzz features the same 77 kWh battery as the ID. 3 and id. 5, despite being a bigger beast. I’d like to see a long-term version of ID. Enjoy a larger battery to push this combined range to over 300 miles and make it suitable for those longer trips.
For city driving, the Buzz is incredibly nice and cool. I think other drivers seemed a little shocked at how quickly this thing would go from a cold start, and would really fly when you put your foot to the ground. The official figures are 204 metric horsepower (PS) and 310 Nm of torque. That means 0-62 in 10.2 seconds – in a truck!
The battery will charge at up to 170kW DC, which means a quick charge in about 30 minutes from 50 to 80%, which isn’t bad. However, this involves finding a charger that can provide those speeds. For 11kW home charging, it takes about 7.5 hours from 0-100%.
Overall, the Buzz is a very easy and fun vehicle to drive wherever you go. Despite being large, it was easy to maneuver around town. I also got to experience from the passenger seat of the ID. Big buzz in Germany this week, and the experience was just as positive. Even when sitting in the back seat, the higher position and large windows make driving enjoyable.
Should I buy a VW ID. buzz?
This type of vehicle – call it a microbus, people carrier or van – isn’t for everyone but if you’re looking for something of this size, you’ll find the ID. Buzz is an incredibly fun option. The large boot space means there’s plenty of luggage space, making it ideal for families, but I think this could also be a great alternative for a band on the road, cyclists or anyone carrying a lot of sports equipment.
I really can’t wait to see the camper version of the ID. Buzz, which should be in progress. As I mentioned before, a 7-seater version with a long-range battery would also be on my wish list.
Right now, there’s no denying that this is the best looking electric van/microbus on the market. It will make you smile while you drive it, and make others smile when they see it. If you mostly drive in the city or urban areas, range won’t be an issue for you, and the power it delivers when you put your foot down makes it very responsive.
Also consider these cars
If you’re looking for an electric vehicle with a little more space, there are a number of large SUV models that might suit you. Skoda’s Enyaq iV 80 is a relatively affordable option, starting at just over £42,000, while the Audi Q4 e-tron starts at £50,625 and the BMW iX starts at £69,905. Volkswagen also has its own ID. 7 coming soon. This large SUV was partially revealed at CES last January, and more details are expected soon.
Of course, there’s also the VW Multivan, which in hybrid form starts from £49,345. That gives you the advantage of up to 37 miles of electric range for city driving and then the 1.4-liter engine for longer trips.