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To get in the mood, we like to get the Volkswagen ID in Hawaiian shirts, shorts and flip-flops. buzz. But Portuguese weather is a bit too fickle to let go like this. That didn’t stop us from launching our “Woodstock 69” playlist on Spotify. Jimi Hendrix was on board and it didn’t take hallucinogenic mushrooms at the time to make him think what he thinks in this modern day. If he’s dismissive, he’ll surely tell us that the Buzz almost looks like a Multivan, with some funnier shapes. Right, especially in the back.

Aesthetics – details that change everything

But a few details changed everything: the rounded front face stamped with the largest Volkswagen logo of the modern era. But above all the glass surfaces with reduced dimensions that this time immediately evoke the Combi and certainly not a Multivan. So yes, peripheral vision is not as clear as it used to be, but a lot of effort has been made to keep it as much as possible, while taking into account today’s safety standards. There is no question about the positioning of the driving position on the front axle, not to mention the overhang. So this windshield is even further back and it’s a huge contrast to its predecessor here.

Playing with colors is another way of evoking a successful legacy. The ID. The Buzz takes a color chart that shines as at the time (green, orange, yellow, blue) but as an option (1,030 euros), otherwise it will be necessary to be satisfied with the series with simple gray. To stay a little more in the combi atmosphere of the 40’s, exotic colors can be combined with a roof and a Candy white grille smile, for 1,790 euros.

Dimensions – the longer and wider VW van electric generation

It’s a big supplement but it must be said that there is more to paint on the ID. Buzz than the Combi, the first is about twenty cm longer and wider than the second (4.71 m long against 4.46 m, 1.98 m wide against 1.72 m). The Multivan is approximately thirty centimeters long (4.97 m). Remembering, if necessary, that today’s templates have nothing to do with the standards of the past. Finally, 3 types of rims are offered, no longer 14 inches but directly 19, 20 or 21 inches (from 55 to 980 euros).

Inside – quite combi, Skoda, Jeep and Opel

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Volkswagen ID test drive. buzz | Our pictures of the electric combi
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Volkswagen ID. Buzz (2022)Credit Photo – Autonews

Although the clear roof lining brings the same light as the combi, it will again be necessary to check the options to benefit from the two-tone interior which is just as light and in the combi spirit. The colors (blue, yellow, orange, green) correspond to the exterior color but are not mandatory. This interior, called Premium Style, which also receives a multifunction steering wheel with touch control or the 30-color ambient lighting, still requires an additional 1,300 euros. And even 3,150 euros to install advanced seats with electric adjustments, for example. Inspired by the Jeep, the ID. The buzz also has cosmetic details moldings or serigraphs in the shape of the combi scattered everywhere, which can be seen with children (spoiler: seat trim, side panels, rear window, etc.).

The same sensations as in the Combi wheel

Installed well up high, no doubt, the feelings of the van are there even if it is more reassuring in this driving position moved further back than the Combi (but good luck to clean the inside of the windshield). There is the small digital handset of other IDs. and two sizes of central touch screen (10 inches as standard, 12 inches at 130 euros as an option). The whole is responsive, even if some touch keys under the screen or on the steering wheel are sometimes not very or very sensitive.

5 real seats

The great strength of this cabin outweighs all its space with 5 really comfortable seats, very little space under the feet and lots of storage and very useful equipment, which seems to have come from the brain of cousin Skoda and its Simply Clever concept. USB-C ports on the door panels, for example, with space provided for the smartphone to avoid having long cables lying everywhere in the middle of the cabin. The bench seat slides and reclines but has no central armrest. And then there’s ID. Buzz Box, in the series once, taking the Opel FlexRail concept of the Meriva 2 in its time. It is a large removable box, full of compartments, the main one is modular thanks to two separators that, by themselves, can be used as a frost scraper or a bottle opener. Jimi even used it as a pick.

A very large volume for the trunk

The trunk space is huge with 1,121 liters, sectionable thanks to the Multiflex panel (670 euros) which also makes it possible to get a flat floor with the seats folded and thus increase the loading space to 2,205 liters. All you need is a mattress to consider spending the night on board, especially since the cup holders and storage space already provided for the 6 and 7-seater versions will help prevent your little one from spreading clutter

Power, battery and range – an ID is an ID

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Volkswagen ID test drive. buzz | Our pictures of the electric combi
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Volkswagen ID. Buzz (2022)Credit Photo – Autonews

The MEB platform common to ID models. allowing the Buzz to offer both electrical and mechanical typing. Propulsion (like the Combi), here with a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor and a battery positioned under the floor, between the axles, of 77 kWh. A set that allows a range of 419 km (WLTP) and recharge times from 7h30 (0 to 100% at 11kw), to over 30 min (5 to 80% at 135 kW, knowing the battery receives up to 170 kW charging power).

Pleasant driving, reasonable fuel consumption

At 2,407 kg on the scale, it goes without saying that 204 hp is not too much to provide the dynamism expected of a modern car. It’s funny to think that almost a ton and 150 hp made a difference to the Combi of the last century. 0 to 100 km / h still takes 10.2 seconds for a top speed that does not exceed 145 km / h. It doesn’t matter, the ID. Buzz moves quietly to allow time to count all the thumbs up from passersby. What also limits consumption, which always hovers between 18 and 21 kwh / 100km. A reasonable mark given the weight of the engine and suggests that 400 km is possible (except in winter). Good soundproofing even on the highway and a satisfactory turning radius are also characteristics of the ID. buzz.

The difference is clear from the original Combi

In this test, we had the opportunity to test this famous original Combi, a “must do” to do at least once in your life. But the return to reality is difficult: the behavior of this machine and especially its course keeping is closer to the Zodiac than the car. 72 years later, the ID. Buzz is an Audi R8 next door. In what is the strength of contemporary Volkswagen models: stiffness, precision and a certain stability all the same. Admittedly, the 21 inches fitted to our model didn’t help the smoothness. So favoring 20 inches, especially with the somewhat retro Bromberg rims, would be recommended in our eyes.

Finally, away from the Volkswagen Combi, the ID. Buzz by checking the right packs (from 890 to 1,930 euros) benefits from electric sliding doors but also from the most advanced driving aids in Volkswagen. Semi-autonomous driving with lane change assistance (if the conditions are ideal and there is not too much traffic) but also Park Assist Plus which records the 50 meter distance to the slot maneuver. For example, almost past the gate or the entrance of the car park, the Buzz will guide itself to the pre-recorded space. Up to 5 slots can be programmed and, having tried it on the ID 5, once the somewhat obscure procedure was assimilated, the system is frankly very good and will be a great help for parking a large electric combi.

Price – elitist at the moment

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Volkswagen ID test drive. buzz | Our pictures of the electric combi
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Volkswagen ID. Buzz (2022)Credit Photo – Autonews

These technologies have a cost, electrification has a cost, even originality has a cost. The ID. Buzz combines a number of expensive factors that seriously heat up the final bill. First prize, at least 56,990 euros.

An anecdotal ecological bonus

Where 1,000 euros in bonuses are deductible but almost negligible at the same time. And that’s not counting all the options mentioned above, which greatly influence the combi experience. But looking at the competition, there are other electric vans (for example the Peugeot Rifter or Mercedes EQV) but they are more complex and above all do not evoke much admiration. Certainly an irrational factor, but in any case this state of mind is necessary to invest heavily. Unless you wait a little longer.

Good deal on rental and later on second-hand?

Because, if at the moment, even in LLD, the rents start at 700 euros / month, Volkswagen wants to keep a maximum of models in the network to then provide them in the 2nd and th -3 hands, on more affordable used car rentals. There may be something to play for more modest wallets who dream of reaching this model which, at base, wants to be popular and therefore accessible as Jimi reminds us.

In short

Heading to Portugal for our first test of the electric successor to the Volswagen Combi, the Volkswagen ID. buzz. Design, interior, driving sensation, autonomy, engine power, our journalist-tester evaluates this modern van.

Florian Duchiron

MenLife: network of everyday people

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