Excellent design, interior space, how it drives
New Car Reviews
New Car Review: Volkswagen ID. Buzz
Good Stuff 👍
Bad Stuff 👎
No seven-seat yet, higher specs are costly
What is the Volkswagen ID. Buzz?
The ultimate throwback vehicle?
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is the modern-day take on the iconic T1 Microbus from the 1950s, featuring a similar electric powertrain to the German marque’s other EVs. It shares the same core architecture as the other ID. models, with a 77kWh battery located within its floor and a 204hp electric motor driving the rear wheels.
Besides delivering a generous dollop of nostalgia, Volkswagen’s designers have penned a car that is a sort of antithesis to aggressively styled SUVs. Available initially in this five-seat format, the ID. Buzz range will expand to include a longer seven-seat model and a California camper further down the line. Despite the presence of a commercial panel van version, Volkswagen is marketing the ID. Buzz as a spacious family car.
How about the looks of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz?
Will melt any heart
You’d have to have a heart of stone not to crack a smile when you see the Volkswagen ID. Buzz for the first time. A friendliness and simplicity to its exterior design puts it in good company with other cars such as the Honda e, and the vibrant colour palette Volkswagen offers will ensure they stand out even more on the roads. The two-tone paint is a costly option at €2,060, but it has such a finishing touch to the ID. Buzz that it will be something of an essential for those that are more image conscious.
It is a reasonably large car, slightly shorter than a Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace but wider and taller. With short overhangs due to the wheels being pushed out to the corners, it has a great stance and makes quite a first impression when you see it in the metal. The big VW logo on the front nods to the original T1 and the slim LED headlights include an illuminated bar across the front. Key to the appeal of the Volkswagen’s design is its simplicity; there are no fussy creases and lines on the bodywork. Yes, there are only so many ways you can shape a van, but the ID. Buzz is more iPod Classic than bulky Walkman.
“You'd have to have a heart of stone not to crack a smile when you see the Volkswagen ID. Buzz for the first time”
What is the inside of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz like?
Clever use of space
Space is one thing you’re unlikely to be short of inside the Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Without the need for a combustion engine up front, the upright bonnet brings the whole cab further forward, though it is surprising how far back from the windscreen you sit. The layout of the driving position looks similar to the other Volkswagen ID. models, with a small digital instrument display fixed atop the steering column. We’re not big fans of the touch-sensitive multifunction controls on the three-spoke steering wheel as they can be fiddly to use. The drive selector moves to a stalk setup on the right of the steering wheel and is pleasingly simple to use.
Touchscreen displays are available in 10- or 12-inch sizes, depending on specification. With almost everything controlled via the screen, there is open space between the front seats, which can be heated and electrically adjusted. In an attempt to be slightly kinder to the planet, on all but the base model Volkswagen uses seat upholstery from a company called Seaqual. The yarn is produced uses a mixture of plastics reclaimed from the sea and recycled bottles. It looks and feels no different and is available in colours to match the exterior paint. Material quality throughout the interior is better than we’ve seen in more recent Volkswagen models.
Seating in the rear is quite spacious, especially if you’re going to be putting smaller kids in there. There’s a small step up into the rear via the sliding door and the seat bench has a 60/40 split with reclining seat backs and it can slide forward and back by up to 150mm. There is loads of boot space too, easily enough to swallow up some kids bikes or a big weekly shop. A raised boot floor unit can also create a fully flat load area when the rear seats are folded down for carrying bulkier items.
What is the Volkswagen ID. Buzz like to drive?
Unlike a van
Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of the ID. Buzz is how unlike a van it is to drive. Passenger versions of such vehicles can often seem a bit utilitarian, whereas the ID. Buzz has a much higher quality feel to how it moves. That is, unsurprisingly, helped by the electric motor, which delivers power smoothly and in a very controllable way. A good level of regenerative braking makes driving in traffic light work as the ID. Buzz slows predictably while recuperating energy back into the battery.
You’re presented with a great field of visibility when driving thanks to the elevated seating position, and split A-pillars with generous front quarter light windows reduce the risk of blind spots. Despite its size, the ID. Buzz is a very easy car to manoeuvre — good front and rear cameras also help when parking.
Beyond town driving, the Volkswagen’s multilink rear suspension setup provides a surefooted and comfortable ride. It does a decent job of soaking up bumps and divots on the road surface and remains stable at higher speeds. More impressive is how it is one the move, despite the capacious cabin having the potential for sound to boom inside. Steering is nicely judged; neither too light nor is there any attempt to add an artificial layer of sportiness by adding a weighted feel to it. Having the motor propelling the rear wheels makes it quite enjoyable to drive, especially in the bends.
Which Volkswagen ID. Buzz should I buy?
Get the Tech version
With only one battery and motor version available at launch, the decision on which ID. Buzz to drive comes down to what equipment appeals most to you. Striking the best balance between price and what you get is the ID. Buzz Tech, which is the second model from the top of the range. Its larger wheels look good without impacting ride quality and the large tailgate being electrically operated makes life easier. This version of the ID. Buzz also gets the larger touchscreen inside and has more driver assistance too.
Is the Volkswagen ID. Buzz safe?
Yet to be tested, but laden with safety kit
Although the ID. Buzz has yet to go through the widely recognised Euro NCAP crash test, it should perform well given that it shares much of the same architecture with the ID. 4 — a car that received a five-star rating in the test. Numerous driver assistance systems are also available to help mitigate the risk of an accident.
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz will earn a degree of success on looks alone, but this family-orientated car has plenty more substance. A versatile interior with an upswing in material quality mixed with lots of passenger and luggage space makes this ideal for everyday life and longer journeys.
Spec Check ⚙️
Volkswagen ID. Buzz
150kW electric motor with 77kWh battery
1,121 litres with the seat up, which can extend out to 2,205 litres with the rear seats folded
Price as tested