Volkswagen ID. Dajeej – Long Term Review – Report No.: 3 2023
Top Gear Garage: The VW ID Buzz has finally arrived in right-hand drive
“Um, I’m not quite sure how to tell you this, but…”
As opening maneuvers go, this is rarely a good idea. These are usually followed by phrases like “…your cat has gone hunting in the food mixer” or “…looks like triplets to me.” It precedes something improbable. Which, thinking about it, was this.
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But first I need to rewind. My order for ID.Buzz is in, the merchant has two deposits of £1,000 – one made in March last year, and one in July. With the second came the specs we chose: First Edition, a yellow and white ice cream truck. Then, you’re on hold, waiting for your new car to be delivered. No one knows when this might be.
This is when the rumor mill gets going. On forums, social media, from the dealership, whispers from VW UK, friends in the trade – I get it from every angle. And what it says is mostly two things: Right-hand drive orders have been delayed so the production line can focus on left-hand drive hookers. Volkswagen is having problems painting two-tone cars.
During September and October, I get updates from the dealership, Marshall Truck Center in Redding. Their best guidance is for delivery around Easter/Spring 2023. But outside of these other things happen. The global media finally drove the Buzz in August (ahem, five months after TopGear’s global exclusivity), meaning the hype train is leaving the station, which means a destination sales frenzy.
The agent has reliably informed me that the waiting list now extends for approximately two years. They told me that, because as you may recall, I’m not entirely convinced that the ID.Buzz is the car my family needs.
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My plan was originally to trade my five-year-old VW T6 Cali Beach for a Buzz, but now I’m less convinced. Here’s why: During the heady days of 2021, Volkswagen camper vans were all the rage. When my company went for an MOT, the salesman attacked me. Will I sell it? I replied, it depends. Then he mentioned a higher number than what I paid when it was 6 months old, more than 4 years and 40,000 miles ago.
Bloody hell. I didn’t sell it then because all I wanted was something else. But I expect similar good news now. The offer dropped eight thousand. Oh. Travel has returned after Covid-19, and demand has subsided. He apologizes, but even after “the phone call to his manager”, £34,000 is the best he can do. In practical terms, this is still a great proposition. Five years and 50,000 miles of use and only five thousand lost. I’ve said this before when people have asked why we have a VW as a family car rather than an SUV or estate car, but it holds its value like anything else. And they are more fun to use. But I know I can do better in private. And because I’m still not sure Buzz is right for us, I want T6 to stick around.
The question is: for how long. Which brings me back to where we are. It’s December 19, 2022. The phone rings. It’s Marshall Center: “Well, I’m not quite sure how to tell you this, but… your pulse will be here next week.”
Unlikely news, but certainly good news. It turns out that a few transport loads of Buzz versions at RHD have crept in much earlier than expected, and my copy – despite the two-tone paint – is one of them.
So, on 28 December, we excitedly set off for Reading and head home with our new beats. Quite a Christmas gift. It’s not exactly ordinary sailing. I don’t know if you’re aware of why car companies produce these first edition batches, but it’s not just that early adopters get something special. It also helps the production line achieve speed by building nearly identical cars. They will have some choices, but equally they will have no other choices. And you failed to notice that early Buzz versions didn’t have power sliding side doors or a power tailgate. How did I miss that? It’s not that I mind manual labor, it’s just that I wanted this to have all the fancy parts and it doesn’t.
It’s a little bit of gravel in the clamshell of a car that looks absolutely fantastic. Sure, it’s saddled with VW’s sluggish infotainment system, and that will likely cause problems in the future, but for now it’s the brightest and most cheerful form of transportation.