Volkswagen ID Buzz long-term test: report 6

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 cold hands in winter

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 12,284 Price £63,835 Target price £63,335 Price as tested £66,945 Official range 255 miles Test range 250 miles

15 January 2024 – Heating up

Preparing to drive in winter usually means spending several minutes in the bitter cold, rubbing your hands to keep warm while the air-conditioning properly kicks in. It’s rarely a nice time waiting for the heat to permeate your car's interior. And that’s assuming you don’t need to jump out to clear the windows of frost, ice or condensation.

Like many other electric cars, the Volkswagen ID Buzz has a solution: pre-heating. As long as the car is plugged in – and due to a depleted range now the temperature has plummeted, it usually is – I can feed off my home’s electricity supply to crank up the heating, clearing the windows and ensuring the Buzz is toasty warm for early-morning departures.

This is done via a smartphone app, but unlike some I’ve encountered, VW’s is slick and easy to use. Simply tap the Departure Times option to tell the car when you’re leaving, and it’ll do the rest by itself. You can schedule heating for multiple days, set recurring events, or even command it to start warming immediately. It’s also possible to set the car to cool itself in the height of the summer, but those days feel like a long way off right now

Volkswagen pre-conditioning app

Pre-heating whilst plugged in also means the heater isn’t drawing power from the battery, which improves range. Even so, consistent temperatures little more than freezing means the Buzz has shed around 50 miles of range from the peak of 250 miles in the summer. It certainly requires more charging, but is still more than up to the job of my 130-mile daily commute.

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