It's not about the size, it's about how you use it, Volkswagen.
At the New York International Auto Show this year, CarBuzz received a tour of the upcoming ID. Buzz electric minivan with the man in charge of development, Jeffrey Lear. He confirmed to us then that the US would not get the version we were looking at but would have to instead wait for the long-wheelbase version in 2024. The main reason behind the delay is that the research shows that Americans use a large vehicle's third row more than Europeans, so VW designed a long-wheelbase version specifically for the States.
Lear could not confirm exact dimensions at the time, but sources within VW have now confirmed America's ID.Buzz will pack a whole 10.6 inches more than its European counterparts.
Speaking to The Drive, a Volkswagen of America spokesperson refused to comment on an exact dimension but wouldn't deny the rumored 10.6-inch figure.
Importantly, the USDM version will retain the shorter front and rear overhangs. Jeffrey Lear confirmed to CarBuzz at the NYIAS that, "All the additional length will come from the wheelbase."
The European version rides on a 117.6-inch wheelbase long. Factoring in the 10.6-inch increase, the American version's wheelbase will be 128.2 inches long, while the overall length will increase to 196.1 inches.
Adding to the wheelbase makes more sense if you keep VW's primary goal in mind. The idea was not to simply add a third bench but rather a third row large enough to accommodate fully-grown adults. This is something seven, and eight-seater SUVs fail at all the time.
For proof, look no further than the Ford Explorer. It will be more or less the same size as the ID. Buzz, but it has a 119.1-inch wheelbase. It's a sublime product, but the third-row seats are only suitable for kids. Instead of more trunk room, almost all of the VW's extra length will go toward enhancing the third-row experience. After all, it's not about how much length you've got, it's about how you use it.
Having experienced the ID. Buzz's interior for ourselves, we can tell you that it's cavernous. The flat floor makes a massive difference, and the large windows allow a lot of light to enter the cabin. Since VW is adding to the wheelbase, the American model will likely inherit the standard cargo space, which, as you can see below, is already quite massive.
Our only concern is the touchscreen interface, which is the same annoying system currently used in the Golf GTI. Unlike the ID. 4, the bus's gear selector is a touch-activated pad next to the digital instrument cluster. We prefer the ID.4's toggle, neatly integrated into the instrumentation.
The ID. Buzz will only arrive in the USA in 2024, so VW still has time to make a few upgrades before it gets here.