The Volkswagen Microbus is probably the most versatile vehicle in automotive history. It’s considered the original people carrier and now, there’s a new version remodelled for the all-electric age. Here are five things you need to know about the Volkswagen ID.Buzz.
1. The styling is retro-modernist perfection
The ID.Buzz looks remarkably similar to the original concept car that was spinning on a plinth in 2017 and that doesn’t happen very often. Hats doffed, Volkswagen. The silhouette has so clearly been inspired by its great ancestor, the Beetle-based T1 microbus, and yet it doesn’t feel like a pastiche. Even the rear-engined, rear-wheel drive mechanical layout has been mirrored, although the ID.Buzz now substitutes petrol power for a very 21st Century battery and 201bhp electric motor.
Short of spending your money on a supercar, we’re not quite sure what other vehicle could garner this much positive attention or traffic-stopping moments, regardless of whether you choose this sunshine-yellow-over-white colour scheme.
2. It’s definitely a vibe
Driving an ID.Buzz will be an experience you will savour, because it’s one of those rare moments you immediately get a sense of the car’s character. The sense of space, height, calmness, comfort, and all through that big bay window which frames the world beautifully.
Comfort is key here. Up front are two large lounge seats complete with armrests, and there are three seats on the bench across the back in a 60/40 split, accessed by sliding rear doors. It’s brisk, yet there’s no real hurry to go anywhere because driving the ID.Buzz calms you. It’s a bit like a mobile living room with changeable views.
3. It's very practical
We like SUVs but we’re not entirely sure why they’re flavour of the decade for so many drivers when cars like the ID.Buzz are less pretentious, less aggressive and better at delivering the greatest luxury you can possibly have in a family car - space.
Not just the IKEA load-carrying capacity that a big electric box on wheels affords, but the fact the cabin is full of clever little cubbyholes to store your phone, tablet, emergency snacks and water bottles. There are also eight USB-C ports in here, so your electronic devices will never be without power.
4. It's very car-like to drive
The ID.Buzz is a very simple car to drive and become instantly familiar with. As you’d expect from all that glazing, the visibility is excellent and there are only a couple of drive modes to decipher that tweak the level of regenerative braking. Because there are no mechanical gubbins up front, the ID.Buzz is able to boast an 11.9m turning circle, making it commendably manoeuvrable around town and in multi-storey car parks. Photos may deceive but the ID.Buzz isn’t actually as mahoosive as it may first appear. At 4.7m long, it’s a little shorter than a Volkswagen Passat Estate.
5. Other versions of the ID.Buzz are on their way
Volkswagen has said this five-seat version of the ID.Buzz is just the start of things to come. Next year, the company will launch a longer wheelbase version of the ID.Buzz with a bigger battery and seven seats. There are also plans for a more rugged all-wheel drive version and a faster GTX version.
Unfortunately, those of you thinking about hitting up a festival next summer are going to have to wait a little longer for the infamous camper van version known as the California. Volkswagen reckons this version won’t go on sale before 2025.
Volkswagen ID.Buzz First Edition
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Range: 255 miles
Max charging speed: 170kW
Boot space: 1,121 litres
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