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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen ID. Buzz review – retro surfer bus reinvented as an EV

“The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is a funky, practical, 250-mile nostalgia trip… unfortunately, nostalgia costs money”

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Verdict – is the Volkswagen ID. Buzz a good car?

When it first launched, the ID. Buzz MPV impressed us with its retro charm and spacious interior but it was let down by sluggish performance and the lack of a seven-seater option. Now that’s changed and the Volkswagen ID. Buzz is the car we think it should have been from the outset, with punchy power, a versatile long-wheelbase version that costs just a tiny bit more but adds a six and seven-seater layout, and even a hot GTX model for added excitement.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz models, specs and alternatives

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is an MPV that draws on the brand’s iconic Type 2 van from the 1960s, but reinvented for the electric car age. Nine million examples of the original surfer’s favourite were produced and it’s become one of the most recognisable cars ever, so the ID. Buzz has some pretty big shoes to fill.

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The ID. Buzz launched as one of the first of Volkswagen’s line of ID. electric vehicles, and its exciting retro-futuristic concept-car-like design was chosen as a way of spearheading the brand’s move to an all-electric future. From launch, it came in five-seater guise or a load-lugging cargo van but 2024 sees the launch of a long-wheelbase seven-seater version which, to put it bluntly, makes the most sense, given it costs just over £500 more than the original at the time of writing. A hot GTX model was also introduced, hoping to appeal to buyers after more performance.

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While its name may elicit groans (electric + bus = Buzz), the ‘ID.’ prefix ties the ID. Buzz in with the rest of Volkswagen’s electric car lineup. Yet, a name isn’t the only thing the ID. Buzz shares with VW’s other electric cars – the plug-in MPV sits on a modified version of the ID.3 and ID.4’s underpinnings, too.

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The Volkswagen ID. Buzz launched with just one electric motor option: a 201bhp unit mounted near the rear wheels, paired with a 77kWh battery. Revisions in 2024 bring a new electric motor with a peppier 282bhp and larger 79kWh battery. The newer long wheel-base seven-seater model will be offered with that motor alongside a larger 86kWh battery thanks to the extra room freed up by its longer dimensions. 

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Also arriving in 2024 is the Volkswagen ID. Buzz GTX model, which brings a spicy spin to the electric MPV formula. This version gets a dual-motor setup – the same one found in the Volkswagen ID.3 GTX – with a combined output of 335bhp. It also gets some sporty visual enhancements to help it stand out, such as a unique front bumper, gloss black trim and 21-inch alloy wheels.

Charging up the 79kWh battery version from 10-80% can take as little as 30 minutes thanks the ID. Buzz’s 185kW speeds, while charging of the 86kWh battery is rated at up to 200kW, making for a top-up that takes around the same time to complete.

After a full charge, Volkswagen claims the standard ID. Buzz should be able to manage up to 291 miles before needing to be plugged in again. The long-wheelbase 86kWh battery model isn’t far behind at up to 283 miles to a charge.

Speaking of size, the ID. Buzz feels incredibly spacious on the inside. The VW’s boxy shape means there is plenty of headroom and a multitude of clever storage solutions means that there is always somewhere to place your valuables. While there isn’t quite as much space as some van-based MPVs, the Buzz still packs a cavernous boot – almost double the size you’d expect in an equivalent electric SUV.

All versions of the ID. Buzz come well equipped as standard; there are two trim levels to choose from: Life and Style. Starting at just under £60,000, the entry-level Life trim gets things like LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel and a reversing camera. For around £4,000 more, ID. Buzz Style models benefit from neat visual touches such as larger alloys and a front light bar.

While it may be expensive to buy outright, the ID. Buzz will appeal to company car drivers thanks to low Benefit-in-Kind company car tax bills. The ID. Buzz isn’t liable for annual VED road tax until 2025, thanks to its zero-emissions electric powertrain, which will help keep running costs low.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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