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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID. Buzz review

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is arguably the most convincing electric car from the company yet

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

  • Head-turning looks
  • Practical five-seater
  • Quiet and refined
  • Expensive to buy
  • Frustrating infotainment
  • No seven seater yet
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Few electric cars have had as much anticipation about them as the Volkswagen ID. Buzz, however the long-awaited all-electric MPV does more than simply revive the spirit of the original Type 2 microbus. It’s a genuinely practical, comfortable and characterful family car that will have potential SUV buyers thinking twice – if they can get past the price tag that is.

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All things considered, the ID. Buzz sets a new benchmark for VW's path to electrification, putting the firm's latest EV technology in a package that's more user-friendly and potentially more desirable than any other member of the ID electric car family that came before it.

About the Volkswagen ID. Buzz

A modern, all-electric interpretation of Volkswagen’s iconic Type 2 microbus from the 1950s and 60s was a long time coming. VW used the Bulli and Budd-e electric MPV studies to test the waters, before unveiling the ID Buzz concept in 2017. Despite the overwhelmingly positive response from the public, it took another five years and the introduction of several other VW EVs for the production version you see here to land in showrooms.

Underneath, the ID. Buzz uses the Volkswagen Group’s familiar MEB electric-car platform that also serves as the underpinnings for its ID.3 hatchback, ID.4 SUV and ID.5 coupe-SUV, plus the Cupra Born, Skoda Enyaq iV and Audi Q4 e-tron. There is also a panel van version of the ID. Buzz, simply called the ID. Buzz Cargo – which we’ve reviewed separately.

Compared to its sister cars, and the many other blob-like EVs being introduced right now, the ID. Buzz stands out thanks to its retro-inspired looks inside and out. The one-box body maximises space within the car's footprint, while the long wheelbase means there's space for the largest 77kWh battery that's currently offered with any MEB-based machine. That means the ID. Buzz has a WLTP-tested range of up to 258 miles, while the charging technology on board allows it to reach 170kW, so a five to 80 per cent top-up can take as little as half an hour.

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There's just one bodystyle available for the ID. Buzz right now, which features twin sliding side doors to access the back seats and a top-hinged tailgate. Similarly, the ID. Bizz is just a five-seater at launch, but a longer wheelbase seven-seater is arriving in mid-2023. The cabin features a conventional seat layout with two captain’s chairs up front and a three-seat bench across the rear, but it's finished in light-coloured materials to give it the feel of a Type 2 bus, and has touches that give it an upmarket and user-friendly feel.

The model line-up is simple enough, with just a 201bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels, powered by that 77kWh battery. There are just two trim levels to choose from, both of which offer plenty of equipment, though VW does offer a variety of options for owners to personalise their cars further. Of course, these aren’t cheap, with the two-tone paint scheme alone costing more than £2,500. Four-wheel drive versions are due later in 2023, and there’s a sportier ID. Buzz GTX also in the pipeline.

With prices starting north of £57,000, the VW ID. Buzz is an expensive option when compared with other electric MPV rivals. We say rivals, but really there's just one alternative that's offered under a variety of different badges. The Stellantis Group offers the Citroen e-SpaceTourer, Peugeot e-Traveller and Vauxhall Vivaro Life Electric, all of which can be had for around £20k less than the ID. Buzz. They're more spacious, with seven-seat layouts already available, but you only get a 50kWh battery, so their range is significantly shorter and their van-based roots are a lot more obvious than the ID. Buzz's.

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Look at the ID. Buzz as a desirable family car, and its price puts it up against some of the best electric SUVs on the market, including the BMW iX3, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y, not to mention its mechanically identical sister cars from Skoda, Audi and VW. However, the ID. Buzz is more practical than any of these, thanks to its fold-flat back seats and vast cargo area, and its ability to turn heads wherever it goes will be appealing to more than a few potential buyers we reckon.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Shine long-term review

Steve Fowler has taken delivery of a Volkswagen ID. Buzz in Shine trim and has been living with this funky electric car as part of our long-term test fleet. He’s quickly become a huge fan of the VW’s charming retro styling and bright, eye-catching colours, while the amount of space inside this van-based family MPV has been excellent for transporting his family around, too. 

One of Steve’s key concerns about the ID. Buzz is the price, though. Our test car costs over £63,000, which is a huge amount for anyone to fork out. You can read the full long term test here...

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