One of the most eagerly anticipated cars of the last few years, if not the entire millennium, is the Volkswagen ID Buzz. Because the first concept of the Microbus debuted in 2001, we've been waiting for VW to successfully launch a rebirth of the vehicle, especially since the company hasn't had a major product that has captured popular culture since the introduction of the New Beetle in 1998. Now that the ID Buzz is finally here, VW needs it more than ever. The company is still recovering from the Dieselgate scandal, and its transition to an all-electric future has been complicated by software problems, changes in leadership, and, well, lackluster products. Thankfully, the ID Buzz has a lot of personality and more than enough good qualities to support its adorable look.
Volkswagen did an outstanding job with the Buzz's design. It has the ideal amount of amusing design elements to be cheeky without being cheesy and the ideal balance of retro and modern. The general population also seems to like it. My Bay Leaf Green Buzz is drawing more admiring glances than any other vehicle I've ever owned as I travel through Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmö, Sweden, including pricey luxury vehicles and uncommon hypercars. At stoplights, people grin and point while also rushing to take pictures on their phones and asking several questions. In the same way as the original Microbus, it is a vehicle that makes people happy.
In Europe, the ID Buzz is currently offered with a single powertrain configuration that is the same as the ID 4 crossover. It includes a single engine driving the rear axle that produces 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, as well as an 82-kilowatt-hour battery pack with 77 kWh of usable energy. The ID Buzz accelerates smoothly and linearly instead than instantly, like most EVs do. While it takes around 10 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph, it doesn't feel that slow, and there is plenty of passing power available on the highway. Next year, a more potent dual-motor all-wheel-drive model is anticipated and should be much faster.
The ride quality of my Buzz is excellent because to the 20-inch wheels and efficiency-focused Continental EcoContact 6Q tires. The Buzz easily absorbs the cobblestone streets and potholes of Copenhagen, and even on the highway, there is little wind and traffic noise. Its steering is light and direct, and even though there is quite a bit of body roll, the Buzz is actually quite enjoyable to throw into a corner or roundabout (although with the front windows down I do experience a strange, loud buffeting from the headliner, which hopefully is just a preproduction issue.) Additionally, the Buzz features a very small turning circle. The Buzz's regenerative braking should be more effective, as it frequently fails to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
The ID Buzz's interior is a fantastic location to hang out, which helps. The arrangement of the door panels allows me two alternative places to conveniently rest my elbow in addition to the front captain's chairs' supportive and adjustable side armrests. The dash has a ton of clever storage compartments, USB-C ports, a stylish faux wood panel, and a fold-out pair of cup holders. The middle console's pop-out dividers may serve as both an ice scraper and a bottle opener, and it is completely detachable. The interior of the car acquires matching highlights on the seats, door panels, and dashboard when you choose the two-tone paint, which furthers the distinctive appearance of the vehicle. The Buzz's interior is made up of many eco-friendly materials, including the gorgeous fabric seat upholstery and plastic parts with fascinating textures like the door panels.
The view outside, though, is what I like best about the ID Buzz. It takes a lot of clever design to make the panoramic vision that the huge windshield and tall quarter windows provide possible. Despite the Buzz's cab-forward appearance, the driver and front passenger sit entirely rearward of the front axle, which results in a huge plastic cowl in the interior that is located in front of the dashboard, much like the original VW New Beetle. However, the shape of the cowl gives it the appearance of being much smaller, and I can't even see it completely from where I'm standing. The Buzz is incredibly simple to operate around a city or a small parking lot thanks to tiny overhangs and a 360-degree camera.
The infotainment system of the ID Buzz is the proverbial "elephant in the room." The arrangement is the same as that of the ID 4, coupling a sizable central touchscreen that sits on top of the dash with a small digital gauge cluster that only displays speed and trip information. Although the size and arrangement of the 12-inch screen on this Buzz are excellent, the program itself is poor. While many of the graphics are attractive, the menus and layouts sometimes hide important information. The steering wheel still has the same unpleasant capacitive buttons as other VWs, and the temperature and volume are still controlled by non-illuminated capacitive touch controls. But unlike many of the firm's other products, I believe the ID Buzz is more than adequate to make up for its software flaws. Ideally, the company will make significant improvements to the system before the van reaches our shores.
The US-spec ID Buzz won't make its debut until sometime in 2023, and it won't go on sale until sometime in 2024. The US variant will feature a wider wheelbase and three rows of seats as standard, but the general design will essentially be the same as the Euro-spec Buzz. It should also have a bigger battery pack, possibly even a 100-kWh one, which should give the Buzz a longer range than the Euro model's estimated 260 miles (from what I've heard, it'll be approximately 10 inches longer overall). The best part is that the US-spec ID Buzz will reportedly only be available with two-tone paint, featuring a ton of new color combinations. Fortunately, the modifications made to the US model ought to improve it. The Euro-spec Buzz lacks rear-seat passenger-accessible windows due to the form of the doors. The second row seats are only available as benches, not captain's chairs as the US model is anticipated to offer, and the rear passengers in the Euro model lack their own climate vents or controls. Even while the short-wheelbase model looks fantastic, at around a Tiguan's length, it is actually quite modest for a contemporary minivan.
Volkswagen only offers the well-equipped Pro model of the ID Buzz in Germany; lower-end trim levels have not yet been introduced in Europe. The Buzz starts at around $55,000 before taxes and goes up to almost $70,000 when fully loaded. Although VW hasn't provided any pricing information for the Buzz in America, you may anticipate similar or even higher initial prices. Even while it may seem expensive for a van, especially one that represents the return of the "people's automobile," I believe the Buzz is well worth the cost. Finally, the perfect thing is happening at the right time.