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Driven: 2023 VW ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.

Driven: 2023 VW ID. Buzz
VW has reinvented the ‘Bulli’ bus for the 21st Century, creating the all-electric ID. Buzz.


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2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Plenty of car makers are building on retro designs these days. Mini and Fiat have made fortunes out of it, and though VW killed off the Beetle (again) a few years ago, it's back with something slightly bigger. The ID. Buzz is a modern interpretation of the Type 2 van, taking cues from the '50s van while adding a modern twist, not least with its ID.3-derived powertrain. But will the ID. Buzz become as iconic as its relative?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz Style SWB 77kWh Pro 204PS
Price: £68,500 (as tested)
Motor: 150kW electric motor
Battery: 77kWh lithium-ion
Transmission: single-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power: 204hp
Torque: 310Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Range: 255 miles
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Top speed: 90mph
Boot space: 1,121 litres


As with the modern Minis and the new Fiat 500s, it's easy to see where the ID. Buzz got its inspiration. From the massive badge at the front to the vent-aping stripes at the rear, this is clearly part of the same lineage. But of course, it's much more modern, with a honeycomb grille low down and a cleaner, more modern body shape designed to make the vehicle as aerodynamic as possible. It even has lights that look vaguely like those on the latest-generation Golf. Perhaps surprisingly, the combination works, and though the ID. Buzz is essentially a dirty great box, it's a good-looking box.


Volkswagen’s ID. models have copped some flak for their cabins, and rightly so. Quality hasn’t been what it once was, and the tech has become way too clever for its own good. But while the ID. Buzz retains some of those issues, it has also fixed some. For the first time in an ID. car, the cabin feels stylish and welcoming, rather than Spartan. There’s a handy shelf for storage and a neat cupholder solution lower down on the dash. There’s a removable centre console, too, and some fake wood trim to add a bit of interest. It’s stylish and cool in a way the ID.3 and ID.4 really should have been, but weren’t.

Sadly, the improvements are limited to the styling. The tech is still as needlessly complicated and confusing as before, and it still has the touch-sensitive sliders for adjusting the temperature and volume. They really don’t work – particularly at night, when they don’t even light up to show you where they are. How VW managed that is anyone’s guess. Irritating tech aside, though, the ID. Buzz’s cabin is a nice and airy place to sit, with comfortable seats and a good view out.


The ID. Buzz manages to be both very practical and surprisingly impractical all at once. For starters, there's plenty of space in the front and lots of storage, as well as an absolutely massive 1,121-litre boot. It's huge, and it feels it. But then there are only five seats, and no seven-seat option is currently available. Surely, there must be one in the pipeline, but it isn't here yet. So although the ID. Buzz is adaptable and spacious, it isn't much better at carrying people than, say, a Skoda Superb. And a Skoda Kodiaq is even better.


Under the skin, the ID. Buzz shares plenty with the ID.4 electric SUV, so you get the same rear-drive layout with the same 77kWh battery and the same 204hp electric motor. While performance is hardly the order of the day, it does give the ID. Buzz ample punch, taking it from 0-62mph in around 10 seconds and on to a top speed of 90mph. That means it feels nippy around town and quick enough on the motorway, although range is arguably the more important factor there. On a run, you're looking at roughly 180-200 miles from a single charge, even if you don't use any hypermiling techniques. Of course, that isn't brilliant, but it's as good as some much more aerodynamic cars and enough for most to be getting on with. Around town, where the car can make better use of the regenerative braking, it'll crack 200 miles without too much trouble.

Ride & Handling

By rights, the ID. Buzz ought to handle like, well, a bus. But it doesn't. Of course, it's no go-kart, but the weight is mostly low down in the vehicle so it doesn't roll as much as you might expect and the steering feels much more car-like than most van drivers will be used to. As a result, it can be quite good fun to drive, if not as enjoyable as something smaller, like a Cupra Born. For a minivan, though, it's really rather good, and the ride isn't bad either. Sure, it gets caught out now and then, but it doesn't seem to founder as much as some electric vehicles around town and it feels remarkably smooth at speed.


With prices starting at almost £60,000, the ID. Buzz is not what you'd call cheap, particularly when it doesn't even come with seven seats. And at almost £70,000, our test car was definitely a costly bit of kit. When the VW Multivan, the conventionally powered MPV, costs a little over £40,000, it's difficult to see the ID. Buzz as a value proposition. Admittedly, though, standard equipment is reasonable, with the touchscreen infotainment system and digital instrument cluster all featured as standard, along with two-zone climate control, a heated windscreen and a reversing camera.


While the ID. Buzz's ludicrous price tag makes it difficult to recommend, it's an undeniably cheery and likeable vehicle. It has its issues, including the so-so range and the irritating touchscreen common to most modern VWs, but it brings with it a sense of joy that's missing from most other cars. It's a happy thing, and for all its foibles, you can't help but warm to it.

James Fossdyke - 7 Feb 2023    - Volkswagen road tests
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- ID. Buzz images

2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.

2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.2023 Volkswagen ID. Buzz. Image by Volkswagen.


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