Volkswagen ID. Buzz review - Range, charging and running costs
The VW ID. Buzz can’t match its electric SUV rivals for range, but speedy rapid charging and reasonable insurance ratings redeem it
With prices starting from north of £57,000, the ID. Buzz isn't cheap to buy, while adding extra kit such as two-tone paint, larger 21-inch alloy wheels and some other options packages will bump up the price further.
The ID. Buzz is currently offered with just one powertrain which uses a 77kWh battery to power a single 201bhp electric motor that drives the rear wheels. According to VW, the ‘Pro’ powertrain as it’s called should be good for a range of up to 258 miles.
During our first time out in the ID. Buzz on a typical autumn day in the UK, which included a variety of driving situations, the electric MPV displayed an indicated range of 230 miles – just 28 miles short of the WLTP claimed figure, which isn’t too bad.
However, like the vast majority of electric cars, range and efficiency in the ID. Buzz takes a big hit in the colder months. When we drove the ID. Buzz again in just above freezing temperatures it managed 2.7mi/kWh, which translates to a real-world range of 208 miles.
When it comes to time to ‘fill up’ the ID. Buzz, it can reach a maximum charging speed of 170kW if you find a suitably fast DC rapid charger. Do so, and you can take the battery from 5-80 per cent capacity in exactly half an hour.
Car group tests
Of course, when you’re not out and about, and just want to charge up at home overnight, it’ll take more than 12 hours for a standard 7.4kW home wallbox to fully replenish the 77kWh battery in the ID. Buzz. If you’re considering an untethered wallbox (one without a cable built-in), the ID. Buzz comes with a three-metre long Type 2 charging cable. VW also offers remote services that allow you to schedule charging and monitor battery capacity from afar.
One benefit of running an electric vehicle is that there are less moving parts to maintain, and as a result Volkswagen offers two-year service intervals on its electric cars, including the ID. Buzz, and there's no mileage limit. The ID. Buzz is also exempt from road taxt (VED) and the London Congestion Charge, all while attracting a 2 per cent Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company car tax rate.
The ID. Buzz sits in insurance group 33, regardless of which trim level you go for, which is pretty reasonable for an EV at this price point. It also means the VW significantly undercuts the Tesla Model Y we recently pitted it against, as it lands in groups 46-49. That explains why our representative insurance quote for a ID. Buzz in flashy Style trim was £618 a year, compared to £1,370 for the Model Y Long Range we were testing.
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Strong demand and long waiting lists mean that the ID. Buzz is currently a rock-solid choice for buyers keen on saving as much as they can on depreciation. Figures of around 70 per cent are among the best of any new car currently available, beaten only by cars such as the Porsche 911 and Taycan, the Land Rover Defender and Range Rover Evoque.
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 costs - currently readingThe 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 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