Volkswagen ID Buzz long-term test: report 7

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 parking front

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 13,432 Price £63,835 Target price £60,335 Price as tested £66,945 Official range 255 miles Test range 219 miles

5 February 2024 – Parklife

Look, no hands! That’s the dream of autonomous driving for some people. Not me, though; I’ve tried hands-off driving, and it feels unnatural. Similarly, I’ve never really gelled with self-parking systems, because usually I can park just as well in a fraction of the time.

But while my Volkswagen ID Buzz is basically a box, it’s a huge one. That means judging whether it’ll squeeze into a parking spot takes can be a challenge, so using its self-parking feature is often handy.

It does the job well, spinning the steering wheel and shuffling between forwards and backwards perfectly. The process is fairly quick, too, although parallel parking isn’t something to be rushed.

Volkswagen ID Buzz infotainment screen

Priming the self-parking system is a bit fiddly, though. You press a touch-sensitive (and not very well lit) button to bring up the relevant menu on the infotainment screen,  and rather than being alerted to a space, you need to tell the car when you think you’ve found one.

That’s a metaphor for much of the ID Buzz’s tech, really. While Volkswagen’s infotainment software has come in for a lot of flak, I tend to work around it by using Apple CarPlay. The screen itself is responsive, and there are plenty of features. But VW's sat-nav isn’t all that intuitive, and while I can live without the temperature and volume controls being lit, it seems like a very odd decision.

Still, the larger screen that comes as part of the Infotainment Package Plus costs only £130 now – more than £1400 less than it would’ve cost early Buzz buyers.

Volkswagen ID Buzz light switch panel

I prefer using a speed limiter to adaptive cruise control, so it irks that the car defaults to cruise each time, and the haptic switches on the steering wheel are easy to knock by accident.

Despite this, I’m still pretty upbeat overall. I like that there are USB-C charging ports within reach of the driver and four passengers, that the heated steering wheel turns on automatically when the car is cold, and that over-the-air software updates happen unobtrusively. I’m also grateful for the fact that the foglight switches are labelled using text – in a stroke eliminating my eternal confusion over whether I’m turning on the front or back ones.

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