Volkswagen ID.Buzz overview – Automotive Weblog

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

If the success of a brand new car might be judged purely on kerb attraction and cult standing, then the Volkswagen ID.Buzz is a winner.

This retro-cool reboot of the enduring VW camper generated extra curiosity and constructive feedback from full strangers throughout my road-test week than absolutely anything else I’ve pushed over the previous few years.

However right here’s the factor – the 100% electrical ID.Buzz isn’t simply eye sweet. Beneath that fascinating exterior is a sensible folks service that’s simple and enjoyable to drive.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

At launch, this eco minibus has 5 seats and encompasses a 150kW electrical motor powered by a 77kWh battery pack that delivers its energy to the rear wheels. There’s additionally a less expensive industrial model (marketed because the ID.Buzz Cargo Van).

Sharing its underpinnings with the smaller ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 and 5 crossovers, it has a claimed vary of as much as 258 miles (nearer to 200 miles in real-world driving).

With a charging energy of as much as 170kW, it’s doable to replenish the battery from 5-80% in as little as half-hour (utilizing a fast 150kw connection), and you probably have a house wallbox it should cost in a single day.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

In case you’re aware of Volkswagen’s ID household of EVs, you’ll recognise the minimalist entrance cabin which options a big central touchscreen and a ‘twisty knob’ gear selector positioned behind the steering wheel.

Sadly, this infotainment system isn’t with out its critics. Too lots of the car’s important performance is accessed by way of the touchscreen (together with local weather management), whereas the contact delicate sliders under and on the steering wheel are fiddly.

Fortunately, the electrically adjustable driver’s seat is comfy with a commanding driving place, providing an expansive view of the highway forward. There’s loads of glass round the remainder of the ID.Buzz too, so with the assistance of the reversing digital camera, manoeuvring isn’t as difficult as you would possibly assume. What’s extra, it has a turning circle of simply 11.1 metres.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

My take a look at automotive additionally got here with Park Help Plus which may memorise as much as 5 particular person parking manoeuvres – similar to you backing into your storage. All you do is park up, save the spot, and it’ll park itself routinely subsequent time.

On the highway, the ID.Buzz is amazingly nimble for its dimension (L= 4,712mm, W= 2,211mm x H= 1,937mm) and weight (as much as 3 tonnes).

There’s one thing uncanny about driving a van-sized car with instantaneous torque that may speed up from 0-62mph in simply 10.2 seconds. The look on different drivers’ faces as you ground it to overhaul is priceless – and it feels swifter than the official acceleration determine suggests.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

There are numerous drive modes (eg Eco, Consolation and Sport). Inevitably, Consolation is simply positive for on a regular basis motoring, as a result of Eco dulls the driving expertise and Sport is simply positive for energy-sapping brief bursts of enjoyable. In truth, the one noticeable distinction between the settings is the responsiveness and output of the throttle pedal.

Oh, and don’t overlook the ‘B’ setting on the gear selector which can be utilized for greater ranges of brake regeneration whilst you’re driving (particularly helpful on downhill stretches or when braking from pace for junctions).

Nevertheless it’s not nearly straight-line pace, the ID.Buzz is remarkably agile on twisty nation roads, solely let down by the brakes which appear to have plenty of journey earlier than they interact, which means that slowing down requires just a little extra anticipation and isn’t as easy because it might be.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

As you’d count on with an EV, it’s easy and refined. Sure, the experience is on the stiff facet, so it’s not so forgiving on poorer surfaces, however general it has extra in frequent with a big automotive than a van.

Add direct and properly weighted steering and it appears to defy physics and positively places a smile in your face.

To this point so good, however maybe the most important shock is that the ID.Buzz is so costly at launch. There’s at the moment simply the one mannequin obtainable with two trims.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Beginning at an eye-watering £58,915 for the entry-level Life spec, subsequent up is the Model trim for £63,715. A flagship GTX will be part of the vary quickly, and it’ll have a twin motor four-wheel drive system.

An extended wheelbase model and camper van are additionally coming, and the latter will deal with the opposite present annoyance, which is the MPV cabin’s lack of flexibility.

At current, the rear seats can recline and slide to both enhance the cavernous boot or improve legroom if pulled ahead.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

Ideally, ID.Buzz house owners need to have the ability to swivel the entrance seats spherical and have the power to take away the rear seats altogether.

That stated, boot capability is among the its greatest strengths. Even with 5 passengers on board, there’s 1,121 litres of cargo house. With the rear seats folded and pushed ahead there’s a van-like 2,123-litre capability.

And a particular point out for the intelligent ‘Buzz Field’ – a detachable storage compartment between the driving force’s seat and entrance passenger seat.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

So, it isn’t good and there’s positively room for enchancment which future variations will deal with, however general VW has completed an important job with the ID.Buzz, which oozes model and character.

Awards for the ID.Buzz to date embrace Automotive of the Yr and Finest Massive Electrical Automotive on the What Automotive? Awards 2023, plus Finest MPV and Electrical Automotive of the Yr on the 2022 Prime Gear Awards. It’s additionally full of security and driver help tech, reaching a most five-star Euro NCAP score.

Verdict: Funky, useful, enjoyable to drive, comfy and secure, the retro-cool Volkswagen ID.Buzz has room for enchancment, however such is its character, all is forgiven.

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