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Long-term tests

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Style long-term test: plenty of smiles but pricey

First report: it’s smiles all round as our family ‘summer-fun bus’ arrives

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Verdict

First impressions of the Fowler family summer-fun bus are good. This is a well thought-out vehicle that’s ideal for carting a family around and making everyone happy. It’s comfortable and easy to drive, has all the kit you need, and the 250-ish-mile range should be good enough for me. It’s not cheap, but what price can you put on a smile?

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  • Efficiency: 2.6 miles/kWh
  • Mileage: 442

I have history with the Volkswagen ID. Buzz. As a judge on sister title Auto Bild’s Golden Steering Wheel awards, I totally fell for Volkswagen’s ‘happy bus’. It was love at first drive and I said so on video, admitting that I wanted to marry the ID. Buzz. The video was played out to the great and good of the car industry at the awards ceremony, including VW’s top bosses, who’ve never let me forget.

And now the ID. Buzz and I are at the start of a six-month relationship, which began at the Citygate Volkswagen Van Centre in Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire.

Van Centre? Yes, the ID. Buzz comes out of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle team and is also available as a van – the ID. Buzz Cargo, winner of our Best Electric Van Award last year. In fact, the ID. Buzz’s van links are one of the things that I love most about the car, but more of that in a bit.

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If you were expecting a different experience at a van centre than your usual car showroom, you’d be wrong. The Citygate Van Centre was as slick, smart and professional as any other place you’d take delivery of a car.

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Similarly, sales executive Tom Lodge was brilliant in showing me around my car, introducing me to some of the surprise- and-delight features of the ID. Buzz and, importantly, helping me set up the Volkswagen app and understand the touchscreen infotainment system.

A bit of theatre always helps when you pick up a new car and having my sizeable Buzz covered by a silk when I arrived – complete with personal welcome board alongside – was a lovely touch. And it was clear that there was nothing Tom didn’t know about the car, although he was as surprised as I was that my car came without a reversing camera, which is apparently a delete option. Let’s hope the parking sensors do their job.

I did choose the colour of my car – a two-tone arrangement of Candy White on the top and Lime Yellow; ideal for the summer sun if and when it arrives. I’m not normally one for car names, but this is my second consecutive car that I’ve given a name to – so say hello to Daisy, a nod to the colour scheme and the DSY registration number.

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In for a penny and all that, I decided on the Lime Yellow-Mistral interior, too – it just seemed the right thing to do, and a couple of weeks on I have no regrets. Let’s see how it stands up to usage. I also specified the Styling Seat Package with a white steering wheel.

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Other options included the sleek 21-inch alloys, the Assistance Package Plus, which adds driving and parking tech, the Open and Close Package Plus to get powered rear doors and tailgate, a retractable towbar and charging cable that must be paid for – £190.

The Infotainment Package Plus upped the size of the touchscreen and number of speakers, and it’s the same system that has come in for constant criticism across the VW Group. I’ll see how I get on with it, but Apple CarPlay connects wirelessly and that’s what I’ll rely on most – although that’s failed to pair a few times so far.

One way around using the touchscreen is with voice control and Tom taught me how to command it with a ‘hello ID’ wake-up phrase. I’ve only used it to turn on the heated seats so far, but it does have a habit of randomly speaking out – maybe my singing sounds like ‘hello ID’ sometimes.

You do step up into the Buzz, van-style, but the driving position is comfy – a bit Range Rover-like – and it’s easy to drive, thanks to its decent ride and excellent visibility. And while the amount of storage spaces and USB charging points around may point to my car’s van origins, that’s fine by me; why more van thinking doesn’t go into cars is beyond me – it’s all so useful.

However, the one thing I’ve noticed more than anything else is the reaction I’m getting from both passengers and other people; this is a car that just seems to make everyone smile – I’m not used to that! Let’s see if I’m still smiling and whether the wedding is still on after six months of living with the ID. Buzz.

Model:Volkswagen ID. Buzz Style SWB 77kWh Pro 204 PS
On fleet since:March 2024
Price new:£63,835
Engine:1x e-motor, 201bhp, 77kWh battery
CO2/tax:0g/km/2%
Options:21-inch ‘Bromberg’ bi-colour alloy wheels (£515), Assistance Package Plus (£1,425), Open & Close Package Plus (£1,055), Infotainment Package Plus (£130), Styling Seat Package with white steering wheel (£0), Retractable towbar, with electric release (£980), Charging cable Mode 2 Type 2/G (10A) (£190)
Insurance:Group: 33 Quote: £1,438
Mileage:442
Efficiency:2.6 miles/kWh
Any problems?None so far

*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points. 

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Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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