Volkswagen ID. Buzz review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Where the ID. Buzz steals a march over VW's other ID models is the versatility of its body and interior
The van-derived shell of the ID. Buzz comes with sliding side doors which make access to the back seats really easy. They're not the widest-opening doors in van terms, but access to the back seats is far easier here than in any car with hinged back doors. The tall roof means reaching in to seat children is easy, too.
Space up front is also great, with the supportive captain’s chairs and fold-down armrests proving very comfortable on the long journeys we took. With no central tunnel to separate the front seats, the flat floor provides heaps of space between the driver and front passengers. The tall driving position gives a clear view out, although the split A-pillars might cause issues with visibility at roundabouts or oddly shaped junctions.
There’s no shortage of cubbies or storage spaces about the cabin, such as the central compartment below the air vents opens to reveal cup holders and storage for smartphones.
Another useful addition to the front cabin is the ‘Buzz Box’. This is a removable centre console that's situated between the front seats and comes with deep storage compartments. It latches securely to mounting points in the floor between front seats, or you can remove it completely if you want.
The ID. Buzz is 4,712mm long and 1,985mm wide, making it the largest of VW's ID models so far. However, it's roughly the same length as a VW Tiguan Allspace, so it doesn't take up as much room on the road as a large SUV. What makes the ID. Buzz seem so large is its height, but at 1,985mm tall, the roof height is still low enough for it to fit into most multi-storey car parks.
Car group tests
Thanks to the car's rear-wheel drive layout, VW has been able to boost the ID. Buzz's turning circle, which at 11.1 metres is tight enough to help with manoeuvres in tight spots. You're also helped by the tall seating position that gives you a good view of your immediate surroundings, and the standard-fit Park Assist Plus with self-parking function. This can manoeuvre the ID. Buzz in and out of spaces automatically, thanks to front and rear sensors, while a reversing camera is also included.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
That tall body creates lots of space inside the ID. Buzz, although at launch it was only sold as a five-seater, with a longer seven-seat version arriving later. There's just over one metre of height from floor to ceiling, so small kids can stand up straight when getting in and out, which is sure to help getting them on board. That said the floor is a little high when compared with rival van-based MPVs, but it's completely flat at least and the big windows mean it feels just as spacious in the rear as it does up front.
There's no issue with leg or headroom inside, courtesy of the ID. Buzz's 2,989mm wheelbase, but if you do have to ferry three adults in the back you might find them rubbing shoulders. The middle seat isn't as sculpted as the outer pair either, so won't it be as comfortable.
Another minor issue we noticed is that the ID. Buzz only comes with two sets of Isofix child seat attachments for the rear bench, with no option to add another set to the front passenger seat. It’s slightly bizarre there are no air vents for back-seat passengers either, while the back seat pockets feature a smaller compartment for phones with USB-C sockets for charging in the sliding side doors – so it’ll be worth checking if devices are plugged in before opening the doors.
As is typical of VW's medium-sized vans, the ID. Buzz comes with a large top-hinged tailgate at the back, which opens to reveal a wide opening with a low loading sill. The tailgate door is massive, so gaining access in a tight parking spot can be difficult and shorter users might struggle to close it again. VW does offer a power-operated tailgate as a reasonably priced option, which solves the latter issue, but we still think a split tailgate or a separately opening rear window would be a great addition for an updated model.
There's 1,121 litres of space behind the back seats, which is an enormous amount especially when compared to the electric SUVs the ID. Buzz competes with. The cargo area is square with flat sides, and there's a distance of 1,204mm between the wheelarches and a maximum of 1,330mm from the seat backs to the tailgate. An extending load cover is fitted as standard.
Folding the back seats creates a load area that's 2,232mm long, although you need to add the optional Multiflex floor to get a completely flat space. It also creates some extra storage ideal for keeping the charging cable out of sight. As standard the seat backs simply collapse on top of the seat cushions, leaving a large step from the low boot floor and seat backs, although a 60:40 split gives you options in terms of layout.
The rear seats can be folded via levers on the sides, or there are red fabric handles accessed from the rear, but these require a bit of a reach to get to. The back seats are also fixed in the ID. Buzz, so they can't be completely removed.
One feature of the ID. Buzz Cargo van we'd liked to have seen carried over to the MPV is the hidden storage compartment for the three-metre charging cable. This is located on the nearside behind the sliding door on the Cargo model, but the location of the back seats precludes its inclusion in the MPV model. Instead the charging cable just sits in the boot, because there's no ‘frunk’ or extra storage in the ID. Buzz's nose.
If you want to use the ID. Buzz to tow, you can haul up to 750kg if you use an unbraked trailer or a whole tonne if it’s braked. VW offers a retractable tow bar with electric release as an option for around £1,000.
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 technologyWhile 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 space - currently readingWhere 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