TEST – If the time of “peace and love” and the hippie movement seems far away, to take the wheel of the electric Combi, however, we can believe that we are back. Or almost.
In these uncertain times, we need to hold on to the happy days. So how can one not remember the sixties, the carelessness and the sense of freedom that accompanied them, without thinking that it was good.
Not hesitating to dive into the neo-retro current, Volkswagen was one of the first manufacturers to understand this. After the New Beetle, listen to the new Beetle, here comes the reissue of the famous Combi, or rather the ID. buzz. Some will just see it as a great marketing stunt; others are likely to be attracted by the evocation of a time when everything seemed easier. The Combi dreams of long trips, outings with friends, even a traveling home for itinerant surfers.
With its radius of action of almost 400 km, however it is not sure if the ID Buzz can track the road like its predecessor. As it should, it has indeed lost power. With all the constraints it implies in terms of autonomy and recharge time.
So, let’s forget about long distance travel and get the ID. Buzz for what it is: a family van endowed, it is true, with strong alluring powers. We could judge from the number of happy faces that greeted our path along the entire test route between Denmark and Sweden.
Reinterpreting ancestral codes and silhouettes through a modern and dynamic line, the ID. The buzz definitely has an effect. Provided, however, that you are not afraid to raise a salty invoice. With two-tone paint and interior, essential but offered as an option for €1,790 and €1,100 respectively, it is close to 60,000 euros. And it’s even easy to exceed them if you choose from the list of options: €1,939 to take advantage of a tailgate and electric sliding side doors, €1,420 for the Assistance Pack (adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, etc.) or even €2,170 to benefit from semi-autonomous driving. And don’t rely too much on the bonus to make the pill go down; it will be reduced from €2,000 to €1,000 in 1eh next January.
Kathmandu, far away!
At 4.71 m long, the ID. The Buzz is almost bigger than a Peugeot 5008. Thanks to a generous wheelbase and its electric motor placed on the rear axle, it nevertheless offers, and this is one of its main characteristics, a particular which is a spacious passenger compartment. Five adults travel comfortably there, with up to 1,121 liters of luggage. Sliding about fifteen centimeters, the split rear bench seat can also be folded down to double the loading capacity or to offer, thanks to the absence of the transmission tunnel, a perfectly flat floor of 2.23 m in length. It is enough to install a good mattress for wild camping. If Volkswagen is talking about an extended version coming, offered in a 6 or 7-seater configuration, there are absolutely no plans, at this stage, for a motorhome version. From the market, next October, an ID panel version of the van. However, the Buzz Cargo will be available for professionals, starting at €47,990.
At the wheel, driving position has nothing to do with utility. With a vertical steering wheel adjustable in height and depth, and a clear dominant view, it is even more pleasant. Taking advantage of a front overhang and a reduced turning radius, we therefore move around town quietly, enjoying the silence and smoothness of the electric motor. On the road, its 204 hp should be used to effectively move 2.5 tons. But, we do not appreciate their docility, which contributes to an overall impression of comfort and well-being. Despite our test model’s optional 20-inch wheels (€460) (19-inch original), the suspension remains considerate and effectively controls body movements.
A central 10-inch screen manages most functions. It can be increased to 12 inches for a slightly small supplement of €130. The instrumentation is integrated into a small digital panel placed behind the steering wheel. As with any electric vehicle, the rest of the range is carefully monitored. On undemanding Scandinavian roads, our average consumption came out to 19.6 kWh/100 km, which theoretically allowed us to travel 390 km with a full battery. In practice, it gives no hope of traveling more than 350 km before finding a charging station. If we are lucky enough to find one that accepts a quick charge of 170 kWh in direct current, we can expect to recover 80% in just half an hour. With a classic 11 kWh terminal, on the other hand, it takes at least 7.5 hours to recover a full charge. Suffice to say we haven’t made it to Kathmandu yet.
Marketing product scientist, the ID. Buzz, with his retro face, will certainly be able to win over more than one ex-baba who, now an idiot, will not hesitate to write a check for 60,000 euros for a small dose of well – felt nostalgia. The fact remains, limited in practice by the reduced autonomy of its electric motorization that prohibits long trips, it is presented above all as a family car, spacious and comfortable. In short, he changed, without saying, the concept of the minivan.
Power: 204 hp
Transmission: Propulsion, 1-speed gearbox with reducer
Dimensions (L/W/H): 4712/1985/1927mm
Boot: 1,121 (5 pl.) to 2,205 (2 pl.) liters
Weight: 2,471 kg
Performance (0-100 km/h): 10.2 seconds
Speed: 145 km/h
Consumption (EU Mix): 20.8 kWh/100 km
Autonomy: 419 km