Written by CJ HubbardPublished: 16 February 2023Updated: 16 February 2023
The Volkswagen ID.Buzz might just make people carriers cool again. While other car makers are abandoning this sector in favour of SUVs or explicitly van-based models, VW has launched a large, ultra-modern electric vehicle and cranked the style up to 11.
Harking back to the original Volkswagen Microbus with its retro-modern design and optional two-tone paint schemes, the ID.Buzz offers seating for five (a longer seven-seater version is set to follow in time), an enormous boot, generous passenger space and a lot of technology. If it’s unashamedly going after the ‘vanlife’ lifestyle audience, well, what’s wrong with that?
But it is also expensive and has limited practicality in certain areas, which will leave some potential buyers scratching their heads.
The ID.Buzz is based on the Volkswagen Group’s dedicated electric car platform. The architecture is called MEB – and it’s the same technology that underpins the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5. This gives the Buzz the notable characteristics of having a long wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels), short overhangs and rear-wheel drive. Volkswagen also sells a conventional van variant, which you can read about in our separate VW ID.Buzz Cargo review.
The stretched out, wheel-at-each-corner design gives it a roomy interior and a comfortable ride – and it has similarly nimble handling to the rest of Volkswagen MEB-based vehicles. A 204hp motor and reasonably large 77kWh battery pack provide plenty of EV performance, too.
But is something that is – as one member of the Parkers team put it – effectively an ID.4 wearing the box it came in really worth nearly twice the cost of a Citroen e-Berlingo or Peugeot e-Rifter?
In this review we’ll take you through all the pros and cons following our extensive tests of this exciting EV both in Europe and the UK. While there are practicality limitations that may disappoint some buyers – especially those also considering a Volkswagen Multivan, which has a much more flexible interior – this is still a very attractive vehicle in many respects, and should certainly appeal to active families and represents an interesting alternative to even the best SUVs.
And if this versions doesn’t quite meet your practicality expectations, as well as the long-wheelbase seven-seater model coming in 2023 and an all-wheel drive ID.Buzz coming in 2024, VW has confirmed an ID.California campervan will join the line-up in 2025.
Keep reading for the full Parkers VW ID.Buzz review, covering everything from the driving experience to the interior and five-star Euro NCAP rating.