Volkswagen ID Buzz long-term test: report 5

Back in 2023 we named this electric people carrier as our Car of the Year, but does it continue to impress when you live with it?...

Volkswagen ID Buzz cracked windscreen

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 10,940 Price £63,835 Target price £63,835 Price as tested £68,255 Official range 255 miles Test range 240 miles

19 December 2023 –  Heading west

When a car finally clicks over 10,000 miles, it’s often a bit of a landmark occasion, and for me, one that usually involves pulling over and taking a quick snap of the odometer – which is never usually looked at again.

Volkswagen ID Buzz 10000 miles

For the 10,000th mile in my Volkswagen ID Buzz, the occasion was marked by a very special journey indeed. In fact, it was my longest to date, driving from Essex to Somerset in torrential rain. According to weather reports, on that day, Somerset had deluged a month’s worth of rain in a single day; some roads were impassable to all but the Land Rover Defender I was there to drive, and countless cars were left stranded. 

There were some hairy moments along the way, but the Buzz kept going, even with its more eco-minded tyres. But I was grateful for the high driving position which made it a little easier to judge the depth of some of the puddles.

The journey was about 168 miles, so I ensured the car was toasty warm while still plugged in at home using the pre-conditioning function on Volkswagen’s smartphone app, which is very straightforward. The trip computer said I would arrive with 40 miles spare – in fact I arrived just outside Wincanton with an estimate-beating 45 miles of range.

Volkswagen ID Buzz road sign

Yes, I stuck to 60mph on the motorway, but I was also enjoying the air-con set to a pleasant 22 degrees and the occasional bit of heated seat and steering wheel action. Yes, the estimated range has taken a tumble of around 20-30 miles since the late summer, but the notion of cold, wet wintry weather playing havoc with EV usability simply hasn't happened.

The car’s range estimates have been pretty steadfast so far; only when the cruise control is set to 70mph for long distances does the range begin to fall away – and even then, only by a little. That definitely gives confidence.

What’s giving me slightly less confidence are a couple of rattles which I simply can’t trace. One was my son’s child seat, but it sounds like there’s something lurking in the front passenger door and at least one of the rear doors. At the moment, it’s a case of turning up the car’s audio system, but when the weather improves, some exploratory work is certainly required.

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