Volkswagen ID Buzz, the return of the Combi

Volkswagen begins to market its ID Buzz, presented as a worthy successor, modern and 100% electric, of the mythical Combi. Is the promise there?

ID Buzz is the funny name chosen by Volkswagen to designate the rebirth of a legend: the Combi. This van alone symbolizes the hippie culture, its desire to travel and escape, or even the perfect vessel for surfers to reach the nearest beach, in California or in the southwest of France.

Why a new Combi?

Small point in history to start and understand how his successor is positioned. The 20th century Combi went through three generations from 1950: the first two, which retained a rounded part and produced a certain recklessness at a glance, and the third, more square, like the models born in the 1980s. But the Combi above all has been the subject of many variations and customizations, the Westfalia versions for example, named after the German coachbuilder who made it possible to have a seat at roof level, or with the bodywork repainted with a very “flower power ” and other “peace & love.” “motifs.

The first generation of the VW Bus
The first generation of the VW Bus © JB

It is certainly in a recent change in its history that Volkswagen realized the interest to revive the cult Combi by offering it a modern and 100% electric version. In 2015, the year of Dieselgate, the German brand realized that it was losing all the positives its brand could convey in a market that mattered most, the United States.

Two prototypes followed, the Budd-e from 2016 and a specific “ID Buzz concept” in 2017, both of which should prepare people for the big electric shift the brand intends to make. And the choice of support for this manifesto is no less important: California, the promised land of the Combi, is also the state where the Volkswagen fake emissions scandal broke out.

What is Serial Buzz ID Worth?

More than seven years after the start of Dieselgate, here we are facing the ID Buzz series, which will start its marketing at the end of 2022. In terms of appearance, Volkswagen has done a lot by offering a modern Combi along its lines. , but where the two-tone body pays obvious homage to its distant ancestor.

So we see large glass surfaces, the large VW logo on the front and rear or even on its side sliding doors.

Volkswagen ID Buzz
Volkswagen ID Buzz © JB

Inside, we’re still moving a lot away from the spirit of the Combi. For the better – with very modern comfort, a warm cabin with the same exterior color that is present and practical, with a lot of storage – but for the worse – with a digital interface that often lacks ergonomics , even logic. This defect should one day be corrected by an update, but the difficulties of the interface remain one of the recurring weak points of the Volkswagen ID range.

Inside Buzz ID
Inside ID Buzz © JB

We can also be disappointed that we are finally riding in a very modern and 100% electric minivan, instead of a Combi of the 21st century. The front seats, which can be fully turned towards the rear passengers in the ID Buzz concept car, have disappeared to make way for the most classic seats. Too bad: the “living room” mode will bring a touch of originality and a family side to this modern ship and maybe a little sanitized.

To see if companies specializing in the modification of vehicles can give the “Spirit of the Combi” to this Buzz. In any case it is enough to do with the space in the trunk of more than 1000 liters and more than 2000 liters if the seats are lowered in the back. The imminent arrival of the panoramic and opening roof as an option and the 6 or 7-seater version should bring a significant plus. For the time being, we’re content with a removable central console, but it’s hard to see real use for this function as the reduced drawer volume doesn’t make a perfect picnic basket either.

From 56,990 euros

At the wheel, modern comfort is still good. The ID Buzz develops quietly and has a certain dynamism despite its 2.4 tons in size. The single engine, with an output of 150 kW, or just over 200 horsepower, seems well suited to its role as a zero-emission frequent flyer. To see however what it has to offer, with a family on board and a full trunk.

The Buzz ID
The Buzz ID © JB

Same comment on the autonomy, revealed in a little more than 400 kilometers: the 77 Kwh battery seems well cut for the exercise of transporting a small troop on a subsequent adventure, without having to go through the recharge box of too much. In this regard, the Buzz can collect up to 170kW of power in direct current at a fast terminal, and 11 kW in alternating current for charging at home.

On the price side: this ID Buzz starts at 56,990 euros, enough to benefit from a bonus of 2000 euros. But with some options, you can easily cross the ceiling of 60,000 euros, which no longer allows you to benefit from an aid. A price that may seem high, but this ID Buzz remains one of the rare offers of a (very) family car in 100% electric.

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