We jump into a Volkswagen ID.4 at Copenhagen Airport. Drive 2 km, around the corner and here they are: a long row of VW ID. Painted what might best be called white and lemon yellow. It’s an amazing sight – something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.
For ID.Buzz, we really had to wait! It’s been more than 20 years since Volkswagen first showed us the Microbus/Poly concept car. Here, the legendary Hippie Bus was due to get a modern sequel and the interest was massive. However, the project was eventually postponed. But Volkswagen’s heavy investment in electric cars gave the model a second chance. In 2017, we saw the ID.Buzz concept car for the first time.
Much of the reason for his coming now is economies of scale. VW has developed an entirely new platform for electric vehicles, called MEB. Thus, they can reuse a great deal of what we find, for example, ID.4 here. Helps keep costs down. The starting price for ID.Buzz Pro, which is the first model, is NOK 484,400.
But enough about boring things like costs and prices. Now we’ll go in first and get a quick briefing about the car. Then finally it’s time to drive!
How is the driving?
The question many will ask themselves here is: Does ID.Buzz feel like a passenger car? Or is it the bus/truck operator who can’t be hidden?
The answer becomes clear after just a few minutes behind the wheel. This definitely looks like a passenger car. We are sitting high and the dashboard on several “floors” shows that this is a properly built car. But beyond that, there is not much gossip about the fact that the ID card. Buzz also has a nearly identical van brother called Cargo.
Height is noticeable naturally during cornering, but we’re not talking about annoying heels. Volkswagen engineers have done a good job here.
Noise reduction against the wheels is good, but at highway speeds there is little wind noise. Naturally, the absence of engine noise also plays here.
The electric motor, which is located at the rear and drives the rear wheels, provides 204 horsepower. The battery pack is 77 kWh net. This is the same powertrain we know from cars like the VW ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq. There it gives a nice excess of strength. to obtain an identity. The buzz is not more than it should be.
The car is fast at first, but drops a bit after that. The Bånn gas on a country road outside Copenhagen doesn’t give an effect close to the one we know from many other electric cars. Then it also uses 10.2 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. In an electric car in 2022, there is a staggering amount.
Range 418 km. Nor is it close to leading in class. We didn’t manage to measure consumption on this fast test ride, but on country roads. And driving on the highway and without any thought of saving electricity, we’re at about 21 kWh/100 km. It’s the same as the official consumption figure, and in that sense, not bad.
In winter, the large coupe will probably affect the range number a little. There is a lot of air to heat here. As temperatures drop outside the car, the electricity pulls. It is worth considering if you have a hut in the mountains and some distance there.
The maximum charging speed is 170 kW. It must be said that it is good.
Finally, we must mention the turning radius. The figure of 11.1 meters may not tell you much, but this is very good and makes the car much easier to maneuver, for example, on narrow city streets.
Space and Practical Solutions:
In case you were wondering: ID.Buzz is a very spacious car. Body shape is worth its weight in gold in this regard. At 4.71 meters in length, it is shorter than most conventional station wagons. But it takes the identifier, and returns the width (1.98m) and height (1.92m).
The 1,121-liter boot space is twice that of the station wagons mentioned above. And if you’re packing for a hike, you’re seriously going to have a lot more with you here. With the rear seats lower, the space increases to 2,205 liters. You get the car with a trailer hitch and can tow up to 1,000 kilograms. But with such interior space, you are unlikely to need a trailer often. Roof loads of up to 100 kg are also stiff.
There’s good storage space at the front, there’s also space for cups/bottles between the front seats and two clever cup holders that fold out from the center console. But we’re missing that little extra, which would have given the feel of a real smart, innovative SUV. Oddly enough, Volkswagen didn’t prioritize a car with great personality.
Life in the back seat:
Volkswagen set the bar high for itself with the interior design it showed off in the concept version of ID.Buzz. Here there are separate back seats, a sliding table and plenty of clever solutions.
Therefore, the test car’s back seat solution is immediately a disappointment. Where did the great interior design go? Well, it might eventually come back, when Volkswagen releases six and seven seats. But initially there are five seats with a fairly traditional rear seat.
The fact that Volkswagen didn’t go for three separate seats can hardly be due to anything other than cost savings, because the offering should hold up pretty well.
Instead, it’s a two-pronged solution. Fortunately, both sections of the rear seat can be pushed in lengthwise, and you can also slide the back farther back. Even in the forward position there is good legroom.
Each of the rear seat passengers has its own electrical outlet, which is located on either side of the door. There are two pockets on each back of the front seat as well as two foldable tables. Admittedly, they are a bit skinny and squishy, but they are there anyway and are welcome especially for families with children.
There’s also space, for example, for bottles in the sides of the door, but we’re missing cup holders and more clever storage.
Another detail: it’s not actually possible to open the windows in the back seat. Anyone who’s been on a trip with car sick kids knows it can be important sometimes.
Watch the video from the back seat of the ID card.
behind the wheel:
High seating and a good overview characterize the driving environment. The front seats look very simple, but provide good support and good comfort. Plus a seat cushion extender.
We learn about the device screen above the steering wheel from other ID models. We do the same with the infotainment screen in the middle. With 12 inches, it’s not huge. It’s easy to maneuver around the menu, but that’s not a great user experience. Here, Volkswagen positions itself very much in the middle of the tree.
Then there are the tactile buttons…somehow we don’t quite recognize them, even after I’ve run into them a few times now.
Design – inside and out:
Externally, this sits like a snapshot. When we take Buzz to a rather posh place south of Malmö and turn outside of a couple of sidewalk restaurants, it’s easy to see that he’s getting attention. A mature woman films the session, others point and take pictures. Then Volkswagen hit something!
It is clear that the car depends on the color. Some new colors and preferably two of them – will do. At the launch event, Volkswagen has, among other things, a white/orange car. It looks good!
You can see that the Hippie Bus has been an important source of inspiration here. Nothing is planned, but Volkswagen designers managed to give it a modernized version. The relatively compact dimensions also mean we avoid the truck factor that is too high here.
Then there was the inside: for many, it would likely be an immediate disappointment. Because where is the reactionary factor? And where are all the smart and cool solutions from the concept car?
Here, Volkswagen made a choice and decided clearly that it could stick with the old design on the outside. We expect there will be more creative interior solutions when they are ready for the six- or seven-seater versions. As it stands now, it looks very traditional.
The screen solution from the other auto identifier works fine, but that’s also pretty normal. We think a car like ID.Buzz deserves a little better.
Volkswagen has done a lot right with this car. Then they did a number of things that disappointed us a little bit. The biggest attraction is the interior and especially the rear seat solution. It feels a little awkward, compared to what we saw in the concept model.
It also seems almost pointless with such a large luggage compartment. Few people will use it often, so you had better have the option of more seats, right away.
We also miss more retro factors and more clever solutions inside. But for all intents and purposes: it works just fine. It can only be better.
Rear-wheel drive and a range of 418 kilometers will also be an attraction for many, perhaps especially in winter. Accessibility can be a challenge. Driving on the highway in a lot of temperatures takes a lot of power on tall cars like this.
It’s no secret that there will be a longer version of ID.Buzz. It gets more seats and also gets the option of a larger battery pack and therefore better range. Not least, it also gets 4×4’s. But in return, you have to live with a car that, for many, is unnecessarily large.
In that sense, we hope VW can get a bigger battery pack and a 4×4 in the 4.71m that our test car measures. Whether it is realistic or not is still unclear.
Were there too many negatives? Then we have to hurry to add that there is also a lot of good here.
In our opinion, the exterior design is a success. The car has charm and character and will attract attention, at least until there are plenty of them on Norwegian roads. How fast you go hardly depends on the customers. They will be there – the question is how quickly the importer will bring a large number of cars into the country.
And if you’re coming from an SUV or a traditional wagon, you might not want to miss the multifunctional utility vehicle missing in the back seat. It works well and, as mentioned, offers plenty of space, just like the luggage compartment.
Therefore, we have no doubt that this will be a sales success in Norway. Then the question is how many people are drowning and buying now – and how many are sitting on the fence to wait for more range, 4×4’s and more seating.
You can watch a VW ID.Buzz ID video at the top of this article
Volkswagen ID.Buzz Pro 77 kWt
- Electric, single motor
- Power: 204 HP
- Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h: 10.2 seconds
- Top speed: 145 km/h
- Consumption (WLTP): 21 kWh / 100 km
The battery is charging:
- Battery pack: 77 kWh net
- Range: 418 km (WLTP)
- Fast charging: 170 kW
- Internal charger: 11 kW
Measurements, weight and size:
- Length x width x height: 471 x 198 x 192 cm.
- Rear trunk: 1121 liters
- Weight: 2416 kg
- Trailer weight: 1000kg
- Ceiling load: 100 kg
- Starting price: 484.400 NOK
Video: Here are the first cars out of the factory
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