Volkswagen ID. Buzz 150kW Style Pro 77kWh 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Electric
  • 5 door mpv
  • 10.2 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 204 bhp Engine power
  • 251 mi Combined range
  • 77 kWh Battery capacity
  • 8 yrs Battery warranty

Ten Second Review

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz trendily redefines what a large family MPV can be for the new EV era. Practicality is sacrificed on the altar of fashion but hey, this EV's fun but sensible, enviro-conscious but desirable. Which makes it very unusual indeed.

Background

With the ID. Buzz, one of motoring's most iconic models, the Volkswagen Bus, has finally been reinvented. The old Type 2 model it references, in production for a quarter of a century between 1950 and 1975, is still (after the Beetle) Volkswagen's second most recognisable vehicle, variously known as the 'Camper', the 'Bulli' and the 'Hippie van' but most commonly called the 'Microbus' or more usually, just the 'Bus'. The Wolfsburg maker's been promising to recreate it since the turn of the century, first with the 'Microbus concept' of 2001, then with the 'Bulli concept' of 2011, followed by the 'BUDD-e' of 2015 and most recently the 'ID. Buzz Cargo concept' in 2018. That's quite a gestation period, but Volkswagen's been waiting for the technology to properly recreate this vehicle for a new electrified era and needed to launch its ID. series of electric hatch models first. This ID. Buzz becomes the fourth of them, a trend-setting People Carrier that's quickly become the Internet's favourite MPV. Sold both in passenger-carrying MPV and commercial 'ID. Buzz Cargo' van forms, it's built in Hanover alongside the brand's more conventional Multivan MPV. And it's like no other model of its kind.

Driving Experience

Silent running was never a feature of the old chugging rear-engined, rear-driven Volkswagen Type 2 but of course the all-electric ID. Buzz is very different. Its mainstream powerplant, a 204PS electric motor borrowed from the ID.4, is still rear-mounted though, here developing far more grunt than drivers of the old 'Bus could ever dream about, 310Nm of it. Though if you regularly exercise all of that, you won't of course get anywhere near the 77kWh battery's quoted EV driving range of 258 miles. As usual with an electric vehicle, torque feels instant and drive comes via the usual EV fixed-ratio single-speed auto gearbox, going on the standard models to the rear wheels. With the 204PS motor, 62mph from rest occupies 10.2s, en route to the very modest top speed of 90mph - at last, something Type 2 owners of the Sixties will properly recognise. If you can spend more on your Buzz, there's a long wheelbase version that gets a 286PS motor and a larger 86kWh battery boosting range to 286 miles. If you're happy to stick with the normal wheelbase but want more power, then you'll be directed to the top GTX version. This has two electric motors providing four-wheel drive and a combined output of 340PS. 62mph takes just 6.1s. In any Buzz, you sit commandingly, using a drive selector stalk on the right of the steering wheel. On the move, surprisingly, at least to some degree, the Buzz can deliver both comfort and a little sportiness. It feels like the premium product its price point demands, and in fact is one of the best-riding electric cars we've driven. Body roll is kept tight through corners, and the level of refinement is excellent, not just for the MPV class, but any class. We're not so impressed by the lack of brake energy recuperation options: there just an extra 'B' gear selector function to heighten energy harvesting off-throttle. But in every other way, the ID. Buzz is a revelation to drive. There's a tight 11-metres turning circle (a metre better than the Multivan), which along with the glassy cabin should make the Buzz feel very manoevreable in town. All the usual VW drive assist features are available - Matrix headlights, 'car2x' swarm informational technology and the 'Travel Assist' semi-autonomous drive system.

Design and Build

If you like retro looks, you'll get the Buzz, which references its 1960's Type 2 Volkswagen Bus predecessor with an uncluttered look, distinctive 2-tone paintwork and super-short overhangs front and rear. The 3-bar motif on the D-pillar is supposed to recall the cooling louvres for the old Type 2's rear-mounted air-cooled engine. And under the skin, the Buzz sits on the rear-propelled MEB platform used by smaller ID. series hatchbacks. Size-wise, at 4,712mm in length, the short wheelbase version is a touch shorter than the brand's Multivan MPV. There's also a long wheelbase model that increases body length to 4,962mm and allows for three seating rows. Up front, you sit quite high with a wide view through the vast windscreen. The high-mounted minimalist dashboard is unique and houses a 5.3-inch digital instrument display and a centre touchscreen that's either of 10 or 12-inches, depending on chosen spec. The auto gear lever is on the steering column. A compartment called the 'Buzz Box' hinges down from the base of the dash, revealing a couple of cup holders, a bottle opener and an ice scraper. Rear seat space is generous but you don't get individual chairs. The bench you do get slides and reclines, but can't be removed. Out back in the short wheelbase model, there's a 1,121-litre boot up to window level, extendable to 2,205-litres with the 60:40-split backrest folded. What about the longer wheelbase version? Well in its five-seater configuration, ID. Buzz LWB offers luggage compartment volume of 1,340 litres, compared to 1,121 litres in the normal wheelbase model. With the second and third row seats folded, ID. Buzz LWB provides a cavernous 2,469 litres of carrying capacity, perfect for carrying paragliders, bikes and surfboards. Even with seven people on board, the ID. Buzz LWB has a generous 306 litres of space behind the third seat row.

Market and Model

The model is available with two main trim levels: 'Life' and 'Style'. In 77kWh SWB form, the entry-level Life starts at just over £59,000 and offers LED headlights, a heated windscreen, the Buzz box removable storage, Discover Pro navigation and infotainment with a 10-inch colour touchscreen, plus wireless charging. 'Style' trim (priced from around £64,000 in 77kWh SWB form) adds larger 20-inch wheels, the 'IQ. Light' LED matrix headlights and tailgate surround lighting. Inside with 'Style'-spec, there's much nicer 'Miwi' part-vegan-leather upholstery, a 'silver birch'-trimmed dash panel, a 30-colour adaptive ambient lighting system and a 'Multi-flex' cargo area loading base with a detachable net. We'd want to stretch to the Long Wheelbase 86kWh version. this starts at just under £60,000 in 'Life' form - or just over £64,000 in plusher 'Style'-spec. All ID. Buzz variants feature a digital cockpit and are available with the brand's iconic two-tone paint option. With up to nine USB-C 45-watt ports, 'Hello ID.' voice control and online functionality via We Connect and We Connect Plus, the ID. Buzz is well connected. The ID. Buzz Cargo van version is quite a lot cheaper, with ex-VAT prices starting from just over £43,000, though that could reduce if the government decides that this model is eligible for a Plug-in grant. There are two trim levels - 'Commerce' and 'Commerce Plus'. Eventually, expect an ID.Buzz California camper version too. This is theoretically one of Volkswagen's Commercial Vehicles, which means that all the brand's van dealers will stock it, but not all of the company's car dealerships will. If you want to try an ID.Buzz, it's best to go to the Volkswagen website, find this model, click on the 'test drive' option, then enter your post code, at which point the page should give you the Volkswagen van or car stockist with Buzz availability nearest to you.

Cost of Ownership

As we told you in our 'Driving' section, the EV range is 258 miles from the 77kWh battery (gross capacity 82kWh). The ID. Buzz Cargo has an EV range of 256 miles. The 86kWh Long Wheelbase version boosts range to 286 miles. You'll want to know about charging, which with either variant takes place using a Type 2 connector and works via an on-board charger with a maximum power of 11kW. This replenishes the battery from empty to full in about twelve and a quarter hours from a normal 7.4kW garage wall box. You can reduce that to about eight and a quarter hours if you happen to have a three-phase grid connection. But if you simply plug-in using a regular domestic plug, you're looking at charging taking 39 hours and 30 minutes. If you're out and about and find a rapid charger, you can use that thanks to the provided CCS connection. The maximum rapid charge power is rated at 175kW, but in an average charging session, the charging power will be at about 115kW, which replenishes the battery from 10 to 80% in about half an hour. Such a rapid charge will give you about 140 miles of driving range. Finally, there's the warranty. Volkswagens of any kind are limited to three years of cover, but with a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle (which is what the ID. Buzz is classed as), the mileage limit in this period is raised from 60,000 to 100,000 miles. There's also three years of pan-European Roadside Assistance also included with no mileage restriction. The paintwork warranty lasts for three years and the ID. Buzz is protected by a 12-year anti-corrosion body warranty.

Summary

Was it worth the wait? Fashionista families will think so because there's really nothing else quite like an ID. Buzz. Overnight, it's made the idea of an MPV potentially fashionable again, just like its Type 2 predecessor did half a century ago. Unfortunately, it's not affordable to ordinary folk in the way that model was, but the children of the hippies who rumbled about in the Type 2 back in the '60s may not mind that. And trendy businesses wanting to make a green-minded statement will flock to the Cargo version. In reality of course, the Buzz shares virtually nothing but a few styling cues with the design that inspired it. Here in reality is an ID.4 hatch with an airier body and an MEV platform stretched as far as it can go. Not far enough, inevitably perhaps, to make it as practical for families as a Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle or even a Multivan. But the Buzz will raise a smile wherever it goes. And for that, you can't help liking it.

  • Car2X technology
  • Tailgate latching without unlatching function front inside
  • Tailgate with window aperture and with power latching
  • 9 speakers
  • DAB Digital radio receiver
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Body coloured door handles
  • D pillar styling badges
  • Sliding door on the left and right
  • 2 waste bins for door pockets
  • Airbag label on sun visor and B-pillar
  • Heated leatherette wrapped and multifunction steering wheel with touch control
  • Lockable glovebox with illumination
  • Luggage compartment cover
  • Operating voltage 12V
  • Pedals in stainless steel with play and pause symbols
  • Silver birch decorative trims
  • Comfort package plus - ID.Buzz
  • 3-point rear outer seat belts with ECE label
  • 3-point seat belts with seat belt and lap belt pretensioner in front and height adjustment
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Electric child locks
  • First aid kit with warning triangle and safety vest
  • Front and rear seatbelt audible and visual warning indicator
  • Front curtain and side airbags with center airbag
  • Proactive passenger protection system
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 77
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 2100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 450
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 11
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 29
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 5-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 170
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: N
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Right Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 170
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 160000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 77
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 21.6
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 21.6
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 21.2
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 2.93
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 2.88
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 2.93
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City: 558
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 404
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEH: 404
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEL: 410
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City: 346
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 251
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEH: 251
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEL: 255
  • CO: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • CC: 1
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Badge Power: 204
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: Pro
  • Coin Series: Style
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 33E
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 92
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 87
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 60
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 90
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18600
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 10.2
  • Engine Power - BHP: 204
  • Engine Power - KW: 150
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 229
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 31.6
  • Engine Torque - NM: 310
  • Top Speed: 90
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A
  • Alloys: True
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/50 R20
  • Tyre Size Rear: 265/45 R20
  • Tyre Size Spare: SELF-SEALING TYRES
  • Wheel Style: SOLNA
  • Wheel Type: 20" ALLOY
  • Height: 1937
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4712
  • Wheelbase: 2989
  • Width: 2211
  • Width (including mirrors): 1985
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 3000
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 1121
  • Max. Loading Weight: 573
  • Max. Roof Load: 150
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2427
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.1