Volkswagen ID Buzz long-term test: report 3

We're finding out if the Volkswagen ID Buzz can really be the model car that its styling suggests...

Volkswagen ID Buzz with toy car

The car Volkswagen ID Buzz Style SWB 77kWh Pro Run by Stuart Milne, digital editor

Why it’s here We want to find out if a more traditional MPV format can still make for an appealing and practical family car. And more importantly, if the funky styling can win over diehard petrolheads.

Needs to Offer effortless practicality to families, yet be the consummate commuter car

Mileage 8957 Price £63,715 Target price £63,715 Price as tested £68,255 Official range 255 miles Test range 260 miles

9 November 2023 – Charging ahead

You know you’re behind the wheel of a design classic when you spot your car on a toy shop’s shelf. That’s precisely what happened recently when I stumbled across a Hot Wheels Volkswagen ID Buzz when out shopping with my kids.

Okay, the Lime Yellow and black paint of the dinky model doesn’t match the Candy White and Energetic Orange of my Buzz, and the toy car’s wheels aren’t a bit like the 20in Solna wheels fitted to the full-sized model, but it’s close enough. The novelty of ‘my’ electric car immortalised in 1:64-scale still hasn’t worn off.

Hot Wheels has a proud tradition of recreating slightly left-field cars in miniature, but the models it chooses are always quirky or pretty – and in the case of the ID Buzz, I’d argue both.

The design of the ID Buzz hasn’t changed all that much from the first concept way back in 2011. It was called the Bulli back then, and I was immediately smitten. The production car is dimensionally larger than the 2011 Bulli, but also has a bigger battery and a more powerful motor.

I’m delighted that it’s retained its concept-car looks because the complex, often expensive, styling of these kinds of motor show stars is usually watered down. What’s most pleasing is the nod to the original Type 2 transporter of 1950 without it being some retro pastiche.

The two-tone paint helps of course, and despite it being a £2790 option, helps keep the Buzz in step with the classic original. That extends to the car’s nose, which – also like the original – wears its VW logo with pride. Is it the largest badge fitted to any car? Quite possibly.

Volkwagen ID Buzz windscreen repair

It’s a similar story with the ID Buzz’s windscreen – which is vast. Three things to note here: firstly, the combination of fierce air-conditioning and heated elements means it’s quick to clear early-morning condensation. The rain-sensing wipers can’t seem to correlate their speed with the amount of rainfall. And unlike the original Type 2, the glass is in one piece – which was a real worry when it picked up a stone chip recently. Fortunately, it was repaired in half an hour by Autoglass, and didn’t require a replacement.

I like the way the ID Buzz head and taillights softly illuminate to greet you as you walk towards it, and the way you can hear a gentle whirr as if the car is waking up. Although I’m less fond of the Windows 95-like chimes, which sound when you enter and exit the car because they’re just that bit too loud.

Volkwagen ID Buzz cupholders

Volkswagen has a long history of making van-based models feel desirable. Yes, there are hard plastics which you’d criticise in a VW Golf but through clever design and smart use of colours, you don’t really notice. In fact, the focus is less on materials and more on clever storage such as the removable ‘Buzz Box’ centre console and massive drop-down cupholders.

Practicality has never before been as appealing.

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