It's taken years and a number of teaser images and videos, but Volkswagen has finally revealed the ID.Buzz after a long wait. Not only does it look good from the outside, but it has a pretty attractive cabin too. Constructed on the Volkswagen Group's Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), the ID.Buzz utilizes the same sort of electric drive system as the Volkswagen ID.4, but because there are no real direct competitors in this electric van segment, Volkswagen has a headstart on its rivals. On the downside, that means that people will be comparing it with traditional, combustion-powered buses. So can the new Volkswagen ID.Buzz hold its own? Let's see what's on offer.
See trim levels and configurations:
The vehicle you see in these photographs is the European-spec model, which sees advance sales begin in May. Here in the US, we're getting a long-wheelbase version, and this will be revealed in 2023 with sales to begin the following year. Exactly when is still to be determined, but we do have a long wait ahead of us still.
At this point, we're still too far away from the reveal to know what sort of pricing structure to expect, but in the UK, the ID.Buzz Pro vehicle you see here won't be cheap. The entry-level ID.Buzz Pure (not yet revealed) will start at around £50,000 (approximately $65,800), which means that we should expect our bigger and more powerful model to launch at well over $70,000. As for rivals, none yet exist, but Mercedes-EQ is working on its own electric family van, albeit with a longer and narrower footprint. Called the EQT, the family van is expected to be revealed in production form this year, so it may arrive on the market locally at the same time as the new Volkswagen.
Fitted with IQ.Light technology, the ID.Buzz Pro boasts a set of LED Matrix headlights, but cheaper models will surely get less impressive headlights. The rear also gets LED lighting technology, with a full-width accent lighting strip connecting the two rear clusters just as seen in front. Both ends of the bus also get an oversized VW badge each, as an homage to the original T1 Microbus. That vehicle also inspired the V-shaped hood design. Wheels arrive in 18-inch flavor as standard, but passenger models will get access to aluminum alloys ranging in size from 18-20 inches.
The Volkswagen ID.Buzz colors are once again a bit retro, with two-tone themes available for maximum nostalgia. In total, 11 combinations are offered, starting with seven monotone finishes: Candy White, Mono Silver, Lime Yellow, Starlight Blue, Energetic Orange, Bay Leaf Green, and Deep Black. The four two-tone finishes all get the upper section and hood in Candy White, with contrasting paint available for the lower half in Lime Yellow, Starlight Blue, Energetic Orange, and Bay Leaf Green.
Both the Cargo and the regular variants of the short-wheelbase ID.Buzz are 185.5 inches long with a width of 78.1 inches and a wheelbase of 117.6 inches. Height is rated at 76.3 inches on the regular bus, while the ID.Buzz Cargo is a single millimeter taller due to slight differences in the chassis. Of course, all of these details will change slightly with the US-spec model, as we're getting a longer and more powerful version. As for curb weights, we're expecting a rating of over two tons, but exact figures are yet to be revealed by Volkswagen.
The exact details of the electric drive unit have also not been fully unpacked yet, but we do know that this, as an MEB-based vehicle, shares similar components to the Volkswagen ID.4. For the ID.Buzz Pro being sold in Europe this year, power comes from a floor-mounted, high-voltage, lithium-ion battery that has a gross energy rating of 820 kilowatt-hours (77 kWh net). This 12-module battery pack produces a total of 201 horsepower with 220 lb-ft of torque, which powers the rear axle. 0-60 mph is expected to take around eight seconds, and top speed is electronically limited to 90 mph. That's plenty for the purposes of a vehicle like this.
Dual-motor AWD versions are certain to be introduced eventually, and with them, greater acceleration and more torque will be offered.
Official range estimates are yet to be released, but we're expecting around 250 miles from this 77-kWh model. Naturally, we'll want more since we're getting a longer vehicle with more power, but this isn't a bad rating as it is. When the juice eventually runs out, you can charge the vehicle with up 11 kW on alternating current and as much as 170 kW via a CCS plug connector and a DC fast-charging connection. With the fast-charging system, the battery can be refilled from 5-80% in as little as 30 minutes.
Plug & Charge as seen on the Porsche Taycan will eventually offer automatic charging capabilities, with this feature to arrive via an over-the-air (OTA) software update. European cars will also have access to bi-directional charging, allowing you to play Call of Duty even when you're out camping. Just don't let the kids play all night or you may struggle to get home.
This is a five-seater model, but six- and seven-seater variants are coming. In the US, we may not even get the five-seater, but whichever layout becomes most popular, some funky color schemes are being offered. In Europe, the entry-level color scheme is called Soul, while four Mistral interior trim options are available for the five-seater. These are two-tone designs with Candy White on the instrument panel, the door trim accents, the outer panels and backs of the seats, and, optionally, the steering wheel. Contrasting colors can be X Blue, Orange, Yellow, or Green, with these adorning the dash, the upper door insert sections, and the inner seat panels.
Ten-color ambient lighting is standard with 30-color lighting an option. The more diverse varieties will also illuminate strips in the instrument panel, doors, and storage bins in the doors and footwell. A ten-inch Digital Cockpit is standard with a ten-inch infotainment screen, but the driver display can be upgraded to a 12-inch unit with navigation. These screens will match the ambient lighting, or you can create various combinations through the Mood Menu. Dual-zone climate control and front inner armrests are also included, with memory and massage seats and adjustable outer armrest optional.
With all five seats in place, the Volkswagen ID.Buzz cargo rating is listed as 39.6 cubic feet of volume. An optional height-adjustable trunk floor is also on offer. Passengers are well cared for too, with the front seats able to move 9.6 inches forward and back, and 2.4 inches high. In the rear, the three-person bench can be folded down in a 40:60 split or moved lengthways up to 5.9 inches. The workhorse Cargo variant offers 137.7 cubic feet, with lashings along the walls and floor helping keep things in place.
As for safety, Euro models will get Front Assist, Lane Assist, and Dynamic Road Sign Display as standard, Optionally, Side Assist, Travel Assist, Emergency Assist, Park Assist, Light Assist, Area View, and adaptive cruise control can be added.
US-specific details will arrive closer to launch.