Volkswagen ID test drive. Buzz: praise for the cold

Few recent cars are really exciting. But sometimes all it takes is an evocation mixed with a good dose of knowledge to transform the most sacred of propositions into an object of desire.

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I’m not 30 years old, nor have an extended family, nor am I a surfer or surrounded by animals. There is absolutely nothing in my lifestyle or my travels that would justify me buying a van for my personal use. However, I’m having trouble getting my ID keys back. Buzz in the Volkswagen when it’s time to go home. It’s stronger than me, I like it! This electric van with 5 seats and a huge trunk (1,121 l, more than a cubic meter!) I want to speak Franglais, make neologisms and show my thumb and little finger while waving my wrist like Brice de Nice. Never had a machine with a practical vocation had this effect on me, except for a crazy adventure in the middle of Paris traffic at the wheel of a 1945 Renault 1,000 kg, in my very young years as a car journalist.

Also note that the ID Buzz also gets his inspiration from a model not too far back, because he is worthy successor to the Volkswagen Combi launched in 1950. So there are many nods to the different generations of the Combi in the ID.Buzz, starting with a two-tone paint (optional) with a Candy White roof, or the three stripes on the rear pillar, reminiscent of Combi T2 air intakes appeared at the end of the 60s.

Adequate performance

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Another similarity between the past and the present, the newcomer started with him electric motor on the rear axle, thus making him a propulsion. It uses exactly the same units as 204 hp and 310 Nm of torque powered by both useful 77 kWh battery than all other vehicles in Volkswagen’s ID electric range, the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5. But here it is or nothing, because there is no modest battery or dual-motor all-wheel-drive versions are available yet. Presentations ? I can tell you that 0 to 100 km/h takes just over 10 seconds or that ID. Buzz trips over his electronic bridle at 151 km/h, but who cares? There’s more than enough to ensure for a vehicle of this type (it can also tow up to 750 kg of unbraked load) and that’s all that matters. Volkswagen announced 419 km of autonomy in WLTP, therefore, expect around 300 to 350 km in real-world use between two charges.

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Closer to an SUV than a van

On the behavioral side, It’s more like driving a large SUV that isn’t very nimble (understeer) than a pickup truck, and this is where VW’s expertise comes into play. A bit like riding in a Multivan, you quickly forget you’re driving a minibus and the good rear view helps not to be confused by traffic. The the suspensions are quite accommodating, although it is necessary to remember a certain stability in the back on speed bumps and other irregularities, which will not fail to remember your passengers. But we are far from a simple propositionwhich is the main thing for a family-oriented car.

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Good news, the direction is for its part a good consistency (a VW habit) and does not show caricature in its reduction. We can also put this good homogeneity to the account of a platform that is 100% dedicated to an electrical architecture, unlike the competition (Citroën SpaceTourer Business, Peugeot e-Traveller, etc.) which is based on modified thermal platforms.

Giant ride but poor ergonomics

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The ID. Buzz currently exists in the passenger car version (as tested here) or Cargo, a panel van intended for professionals. A the long version with a 6 or 7-seater configuration will arrive at the end of 2023but until then, it is necessary to enjoy a classic interior layout with 5 seats with 2/3 – 1/3 bench seats in second place. Apart from that, the interior has no surprises, on all levels. Understand that the habitability is enormous, the modularity is extensive and the manufacturing quality in line with an ID.4: correct but not transcendentespecially in terms of the materials used.

Complete equipment, whether at the level of driving aids or on-board technology, makes up for the relative lightness of plastics, even if we cannot escape funny ergonomics in all senses (even with steering wheel buttons) or even Volkswagen infotainment system whose bugs are countless, or the dreaded untimely triggering of the voice command, which gets excited over nothing and believes that it is called every two minutes. Apart from this pitfall, the only thing missing is a big sunroof to make you ride comfortably, which should happen next year according to our information.

I want one…

An unusual thing to like the look of, the ID. The Buzz attracts enthusiasts as well as neophytes, which I was able to verify throughout the test on the coasts of southern Portugal. I just want to wax my board to play leapfrog in the waves and do my best take off. All this while I’ve never laid a finger on a board… That’s how VW hit the nail on the head in terms of marketing and brand image with ID. Buzz! I don’t need it but I want it, and I thought it was just that 4.71 m long (but 1.99 m wide without glass and 1.94 m high) would not be embarrassing in Paris. One last detail remains to be settled: the bill. Which amount to €56,990 minimum (before bonus), to which should be added €1,790 for the two-tone paint, €980 for the 21-inch rims, €1,760 for the Design pack for the efficient Matrix LED headlights, €1,420 for the Assistance pack for the reversing camera and the keyless start, as well as €1,930 for an Open & Close pack to make the tailgate and two sliding doors electric. Or, I’ll spare you the maths, €64,870 (goodbye bonus) to walk around in one of the most stylish vans currently on the market. I love to joke, but chill man, we’re here to enjoy, not to square our heads with low financial considerations!

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A big thanks to the incomparable partner Pierrick aka Volcano (Le Blog Auto), as well as Valentino for their valuable help with the dynamic images.

Jalil Chaouite

Jalil Chaouite

Just roll, I like… Or almost. Anyway, I’m always curious to try everything I can, to multiply the points of comparison. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t prefer a sports car to an ordinary city car, but I make it a point of honor to approach each new test with the same neutrality. My opinions are generally very clear, but I am not closed to discussion! Good reading 🙂

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