Volkswagen ID. Buzz review - Interior, design and technology
While the ID. Buzz is a fairly ordinary one-box MPV shape, its retro-inspired looks mean it's a car that will turn heads wherever it goes
The ID. Buzz shares some design cues with the rest of VW’s ID electric car range, namely its slender headlights and perforated front bumper, but the large VW badge front and V-shaped bonnet harks back to the iconic Type 2 microbus. The raked windscreen boosts the car's aerodynamics, and it wraps around the front end and black pillars merge it with the side windows. The sliding side doors feature discreet rails in the sides of the body, while at the back the vertical rear end is similar to that of the larger Multivan.
There are single body colours as standard, while the two-tone paint option combines a Candy White roof and bonnet with either Lime Yellow, Starlight Blue, Energetic Orange or Bay Leaf Green for the rest of the bodywork. They certainly emphasise the ID. Buzz’s hippy van heritage, but they also add more than £2,500 to the price tag.
Choose Life trim, and there are 19-inch alloy wheels only, while the Style version comes with 20-inch wheels and an optional 21-inch set. The latter boosts the ID. Buzz's concept car looks, and in our opinion doesn't spoil the car's ride too much, either.
It’s not perfect, especially where material quality is concerned, but the cabin of the ID. Buzz is certainly a cut above the rest of VW’s ID electric car family, including the ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 SUV. As standard there's black plastic dashboard trim and dark fabric upholstery for the seats. There are no leather upgrade options, but VW offers a range of brightly coloured seat fabrics and light plastic trim for around £1,000 extra, which complements the vivid exterior colours that are available. How the light plastics will stand up to family life remains to be seen, but they do have a matte finish that means scratches don't show up as easily, while the bright colours give the cabin a lift. VW takes great pride in the fact that these fabrics are made from recycled materials, just one of the aspects that makes the ID. Buzz a more sustainable new car than many others.
Car group tests
Surprisingly for an EV that costs this much, kit like a heated steering wheel and seats is optional. What’s more, the array of touch-sensitive buttons and frustrating sliders present in VW’s latest models have unfortunately been carried to the ID. Buzz. We’ve frequently criticised these things, and will continue to do so, especially because these controls aren’t backlit, making it difficult to adjust the cabin temperature at night – a glaring oversight by VW.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The ID. Buzz gets the same touchscreen infotainment system as the rest of VW's electric models, but unfortunately that's a bit of an Achilles Heel. VW's 10-inch Discover Pro system is fitted as standard, however the model we tested came with the optional Infotainment Package Plus. This increases the display size to 12 inches, and adds an upgraded sound system and wireless charging for your smartphone.
Regardless of the screen size, the unit is located front and centre on the relatively simple dashboard, with nearly every function operated via the touchscreen. The user interface is logical, but there are some frustratingly unnecessary menus. Load up the driver assist page, for example, and you’re presented with a screen which shows an image of a car, with another shortcut to the required functions. Then there are the climate controls. These are operated via the touchscreen – but if the ventilation system is deactivated, you need to go into the sub-menu to turn it on. In almost any other rival, adjusting the temperature or fan would wake the system automatically.
The set-up is made more frustrating by the touch-sensitive controls for the audio volume and temperature. These are located across the bottom of the touchscreen where you might rest your hand when using the screen, and it's all too easy to adjust them inadvertently.
All models feature navigation and connected services, while an on-board SIM allows you to connect to the ID. Buzz using a smartphone app. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included, so you can bypass VW's own software and use your own mapping.
In this review
- 1Volkswagen ID. Buzz reviewThe Volkswagen ID. Buzz is arguably the most convincing electric car from the company yet
- 2Electric motor, drive and performanceThe ID. Buzz majors on comfort and refinement, but it's still pretty nimble for its size
- 3Range, charging and running costsThe VW ID. Buzz can’t match its electric SUV rivals for range, but speedy rapid charging and reasonable insurance ratings redeem it
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingWhile the ID. Buzz is a fairly ordinary one-box MPV shape, its retro-inspired looks mean it's a car that will turn heads wherever it goes
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWhere the ID. Buzz steals a march over VW's other ID models is the versatility of its body and interior
- 6Reliability and safetyBuyers will appreciate the generous level of standard safety kit included with the ID. Buzz, although warranty cover is only average