the electric Combi of the pros

Like its famous “Bulli” T1 ancestor, Volkswagen aims to make the ID Buzz an all-purpose van. The electric Combi is thus available in the utility called Cargo, which was discovered at the same time as the classic passenger version. Its attractive appearance and good approval rating earned it the title of van of the year… Does it owe its title to simple favoritism because it’s electric, or to its real tool qualities? work? ?

We recognize that testing begins in a good mood. Rarely have we had so many thumbs up and sympathy scores sent our way during a utility van test! Several Transporter T5 or T6 drivers, flashing their headlights, passed us waving. Not to warn us of possible radars, just to approve a large dose of style of the revisited “Combi”! A Volkswagen ID Buzz is noticeable from a distance, and obviously has nothing to do with the very anonymous white cubes that look more like rolling fridges. When it comes to utilities, enthusiasm is not usually the first thing that springs to mind.

The ID Buzz Cargo therefore retains the silhouette and gimmicks of the VP version. From the T1-style front panel flanked by the large logo, to the three T3-style dummy gills, it’s all there! The size remains the same (4.71 m long), placing it in the category of intermediate vans: smaller than the H1 L1 (about 5 m long) such as the Renault Trafic, Peugeot Expert or its cousin the Transporter T6, which still remains in the catalog with its classic heat engines. Remember, however, it is as tall as the latter (1.93 m) and very wide: 2.21 m with mirrors! The direct rivals of the ID Buzz are instead found on the side of the Nissan NV200 (however shorter), also offered in 100% electric.

Le Cargo se place is therefore aimed at professionals (deliverymen, craftsmen) leading most peri-urban areas. Possibly, surfers or adventurers (well-to-do) in search of a good electric van to look at… A suitable place, for the latter.

The cargo is logically punished by the heavy battery: the ID.Buzz Cargo can carry 648 kg. The Volkswagen Transporter T6, which remains in the catalog, offers between 800 kg and just over 1 ton depending on the version.

Good to know: expect buying and reselling.

It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the auto Turbo rating of your Volkswagen ID.BUZZ, the alternative to the Argus rating.

Volume, but preferably not too heavy

Cargo is available in several configurations: with a panel on the driver’s side, fitted with a sliding door on the passenger side, or on both sides as an option (€460). At the rear, the choice remains between hinged doors or an electric tailgate, all charged 1,000 €. The question does not arise, in any case, if someone wants to access it with a telescopic loader (mandatory hinged door, required). Regarding loading, The total capacity is quite interesting with a total of 3.9 m3 despite the relatively high floor, requiring batteries. The overall surface (2.23 mx 1.23 m between the wheel arches, 1.79 m above) can also accommodate stack two standard European pallets. On the sides, there are mounting rails for attaching rings for straps or various accessories. One can think of storage bins for tools, for example.

But be careful not to overload the mule: the ID Buzz is heavy, unsurprisingly, and still weighs 2,352 kg. The weight of the batteries inevitably compensates for the relatively modest payload: 648 kg. For antique dealers or craftsmen who don’t need to move pallets of bricks, this does the trick… For an electrician in any case, in terms of image, it fits perfectly! If necessary, it is also possible to tow a maximum of 1 ton (braked trailer).

Test – Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo (2023): the electric Combi of the pros

Volkswagen hits the price edge hard! Almost 48,000 € HT (more than 57,000 € including VAT) in the base price, and the appearance is paid for at a high price: 2,660 € for 20-inch rims, 1,520 € for two-tone paint, 1,000 € for electric tailgate.

On the driving side, here too, the practical aspects are pretty well studied. Plenty of storage space: a large bin in front of the dashboard (at the foot of the windshield), a space above the glove box or even a console between the seats (sorry optional, €155). The environment is similar to that of ID. “Civilian” buzz, but the presentation is logically simplified. No color finishes or other funny details, we’re here to work! Cargo therefore prefers hard and dark, durable plastic. On the other hand, it inherited from the VP version of both instrumentation and media interface screens… shared with all electric Volkswagens designed on the MEB platform. Too small and minimalist for the first, not very practical for the second question of ergonomics. Finally, remember the impossibility, even at launch, of having an open shiny surface behind the head: visibility will benefit. Instead, only a paneled separation between the passenger compartment and cargo space is offered.

On the road: the funniest van?

Cargo has no particular technical differences from the family ID Buzz, except for the reinforced rear suspension to collect any load. The calibration also made us stronger, surprisingly. The difference is especially noticeable at low speeds and, fortunately, does not spoil the overall excellent level of comfort. Road feel is appropriately filtered, body movements are well contained, and the car is literally riveted to the ground. The architecture is special: the wheels at the four corners, a large wheelbase, the batteries in the underbody… all in propulsion, with rear engine! This translates into a reassuring stability and a relatively nimble behavior. Especially in town, where the the turning diameter (11.1 m) makes it possible to penetrate. In a van of this size, this is rare. It remains wide, problematic in a narrow city center.

Test – Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo (2023): the electric Combi of the pros

Mode B provides strong recovery when decelerating. We were driving with almost one foot, without touching the brakes. Good in town, but distracting on the road. In any case, we forget the 416 km of autonomy promised if we venture on the expressway.

Regarding performance, here too the numbers match: as in the ID Buzz VP, the electric motor delivers 204 hp and an instant torque of 310 Nm. Durable, allowing hot starts at red lights… and a little more (10.2 s from 0 to 100 km/h). Then less shiny. The very high weight makes the climbs punishing, linear when approaching 100 km/h. Anyway, the Cargo tops out at 145 km/h and doesn’t really want to drag in the fast lane.

Like all electrics, the highway is deadly for autonomy. The grievance is accentuated in a heavy vehicle whose aerodynamics are not commendable! Result, 19 kWh on a mixed route mixing city and road (a pretty good figure, in itself), a motorway pass at 130 km/ha increases the average consumption of our test to almost 24 kWh / 100 km. As an indication, our route consists of 120 km of moderate hilly roads, 20 km of peri-urban and city center routes, and 40 km of expressway. Under these conditions, the 77 kWh battery (present in other models in the ID range) does not allow more than 300 km of autonomy. By staying away from the expressways, however, you can consider traveling 400 km on a single charge. If the use is suitable here, the radius of action is constant.

Test – Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo (2023): the electric Combi of the pros

The driving position continues with the ID Buzz VP, but the presentation and the materials are simpler. On the other hand, we found the (too) small instrumentation screen, and the same media interface (not very practical).

There are no surprises or revolutions regarding recharging, the services of the electric “Combi” are at the root of what Volkswagen offers (therefore, without standing out from the crowd): with Combo CCS fast charging, it receives up to 170 kW, which allows to go from 5 to 80% in about 30 min. The charge in a classic terminal is limited to 11 kW, as for most current electrics (7h30 for a complete cycle).

Rate: make friends with your accountant…

It is recommended. Also arrange with his banker. Because the very sympathetic image of the Buzz Cargo ID is invoiced at a high price: 47,990 € excluding taxes (€57,588 including tax), and the €5,000 bonus is small consolation. Be careful, the price increases even more by drawing from many options! In contrast, a Peugeot e-Expert is cheaper (€37,000 excluding VAT), bigger and offers a higher payload (just over 1 ton). But not as efficient at DC charging, and otherwise less stylish.

The TVS exemption can come into play, however, as well as the fuel budget that can be changed to €0.17 kWh… For now, and on the condition of recharging only at the 220 V socket in the garage! With DC fast chargers, it’s not the same story and varies between operators.

Technical characteristics of the Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo (2023)

Technical sheet Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo
Model tested: Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo
Dimensions L x W x H 4.71 / 1.99 / 1.93m
Wheelbase 2.99m
Maximum volume / payload 3,900 liters / 648 kg
Unloaded weight 2.352 kg
Motorization Simultaneous electric motor, propulsion – Useful 77 kWh lithium ion battery
Maximum power 204 hp
Maximum torque 310Nm
0 to 100 km/h 10.2s
fastest 145 km/h
Autonomy revealed – raised 416km (WLTP) – 320km
Consumption declared – recorded 21kWh/100km – 24kWh/100km
Refill DC 170kW – AC 11kW
Bonuses 2022 5.000 €
Prices from €47,990 (€57,588 including VAT)

Good to know: expect buying and reselling.

Whether it’s for buying a new or used car, it’s important to plan all the costs by comparing different car insurance offers.

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