New kind of Buzz! VW manages to blend free-spirited feel of original hippy campervan with electric zero emissions, green high-tech, says RAY MASSEY
Even while scraping ice off its frozen windows, I had warm summer sun, sea and surf in my heart as I climbed aboard Volkswagen’s new ID Buzz.
For as deliveries start this week, VW has managed to blend the free-spirited feel of the original 60s and 70s hippy campervan with 21st-century electric zero emissions, green high-tech. And it really is fun.
But it’s certainly not cheap. A 1st Edition model launched in June costing £62,995 sold out in a thrice.
Re-generation: The VW ID Buzz is an electric version of its hippy era Camper
There are now two launch models — Life, which runs on 19in wheels and costs from £57,111, and the fully-stocked, higher-spec Style, which runs on 20 in wheels and is priced from £61,915, though with extras mine cost £65,465 on the road as tested with an orange and white interior.
The rear-wheel drive ‘bus’ has a 204 hp (150 kW) electric motor powered by a 77 kWh lithium-ion battery and linked to a direct drive single-speed automatic gearbox that delivers rest to 62 mph in 10.2seconds up to a top speed of 90mph, and with a decent range of 255 miles.
It has two conventional doors at the front, two van-like sliders behind, and a big lift-up power-hatch at the rear. There’s a vast, flat raised boot with ample room below and the rear 60:40 split bench seats fold down.
The interior is smart, bright and clutter free with soft-touch trim and a contemporary ‘Silver Birch’ veneer.
It has two conventional doors at the front, two van-like sliders behind, and a big lift-up power-hatch at the rear
For its size the Buzz nippy and highly manoeuvrable with a taxi-like tight turning circle
The biggest gripe is with VW trying to be too clever with the smart tech
Sit in the seat, touch the brake and everything powers up
The interior is smart, bright and clutter free with soft-touch trim and a contemporary ‘Silver Birch’ veneer
VW has managed to blend the free-spirited feel of the original 60s and 70s hippy campervan with 21st-century electric zero emissions
There are three drive modes: eco, comfort and sport – which is pretty feisty
There’s a vast, flat raised boot with ample room below and the rear 60:40 split bench seats fold down
Mastering the basics is a doddle. The key fob alerts the car of your approach. Sit in the seat, touch the brake and everything powers up. Twist the controller by the steering wheel forward and you’re off. Back for reverse. Press to park.
Then it get more complicated. My biggest gripe is with VW trying to be too clever with the smart tech (a fault I first encountered with the VW Golf and its slider). It’s fine having 1001 brilliant functions, but if accessing them via overly complex screen menus does your head in (as it did mine), it’s failed. Some simple, human-friendly knobs for basic functions would be helpful.
In desperation I resorted to voice-control to access some functions after scrolling endlessly in circles through dead-end screen options. It’s distracting and potentially dangerous. Fix it!
For its size the Buzz nippy and highly manoeuvrable with a taxi-like tight turning circle and this month it achieved a top five-star EuroNCAP crash test safety rating.
There are three drive modes: eco, comfort and sport – which is pretty feisty.
It’s nimble, does a decent lick down the motorway. You can increase the resistance for one-pedal driving and to generate more on-board charge.
There’s already a commercial VAT-free version of the Buzz priced from £38,125 and eligible for a £5,000 grant. Also in the pipeline is a seven-seater long wheel-base version, a 4X4, and a properly kitted out camper-van including ‘California’ variant for new and reborn 21st century hippies, adventurers, and surf-bums.
Will it fit in my garage? Volkswagen ID Buzz
Model: Style – SWB 77kWh Pro 204 PS 1-spd Automatic
Total price: £61,915.00
Price as tested with extras (OTR incl. VAT): £65,465
Safety: Top 5-star EuroNCAP rating
Length: 4,712 mm
Width (inc mirrors): 2,211 mm
Width: (body only): 1985mm
Height: 1,937 mm
Wheelbase: 2,989 mm
Gross weight: 3,000 kg
Unladen weight: 2,502 kg
Powertrain: electric motor
Drive: rear-wheel drive
Battery: 77 kWh Lithium-ion battery
Transmission: direct drive single speed gearbox
Maximum power: 204 Horse-power / 150 kW
0-62 mph: 10.2 seconds
Top speed: 90 mph
Range: 255 miles
CO2 emissions: 0 g/km
Energy Consumption: 2.93 miles/kWh, 21.2 kWh/62 miles
Turning circle: 11.1 m
Charging time (DC): 170kW rapid charge TO 80%: 30 minutes
Charging Time (AC): 11 kW 3-phase: 7hr, 30 min (to 100%)
Rear seats up: 1.121 liters
Rear seats down: 2,123litres
Trailer weight: up to 1,000 kg
Additional optional equipment
Infotainment Package Plus: £1,560
Charging cable Mode 2 Type 2/G: £190
Colour and trim: Candy White/Energetic Orange (£1,800)/Saffron Orange-Mistral/Soul
Warranty: 3 years / 100,000 miles
Battery Warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles
5-star EuroNCAP rating:
92% for adult occupant protection
87% for child occupants
90% for safety assistance
60% for vulnerable road users.
- Swerve support and oncoming vehicle braking when turning
- Pedestrian and cyclist monitoring
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) stop & go with speed limiter
- Autonomous Emergency Braking Front Assist
- Tyre pressure monitoring system
- Lane Assist
- Car2X – intelligent vehicle networking
- Dynamic road sign display
- eCall emergency system
- Electric childproof lock
COMFORT AND ASSISTANCE
- Electronic engine sound
- Park Assist Plus including park distance control
- Rear-view camera
- Anti-theft alarm system
- Heated front seats with manual height adjustment and armrests
- Heated, leatherette wrapped multifunction steering wheel with touch control
- Steering wheel, dashboard and central controls in Electric White
- Buzz box – removable centre console with storage
- Stainless steel pedals
- 30-colour ambient lighting
- Compartments and mounting points in vehicle floor between front seats
- 2 waste bins in door storage compartment
TECH AND CONNECTIVITY
- Voice control
- Discover Pro navigation and infotainment system including ‘Streaming & Internet’
- 10-inch colour touch-screen display, including 9 loudspeakers
- Wireless charging for mobile device
- USB-C ports: 2 in dashboard, 1 in front passenger area, and 4 in rear
- App-Connect Wireless for Apple CarPlay and ‘Android Auto’
- Sliding doors left and right
- Power tailgate with easy open
- Surround lighting with logo projector
- ‘Gloss Black’ power adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors
- ‘Solna’ bi-colour alloy wheels
- Advanced high-beam control Dynamic Light Assist for LED matrix headlights
- Dynamic headlight range control with dynamic cornering light
- 2-zone Climatronic with enhanced air filter and stationary air conditioning
- LED matrix headlights with automatic headlight control
- Illuminated door handle recesses
Vauxhall beefs up zero-emissions Mokka
Vauxhall has beefed up its zero-emissions Mokka Electric with a new 54kWh battery which increases its range by around 20 per cent compared to the outgoing 50kWh version, to 252 miles.
It also gets a more powerful 156hp electric motor (an increase of 20hp) which allows it to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in less than 10 seconds, with its top speed electronically limited to 93mph.
Vauxhall has beefed up its zero-emissions Mokka Electric with a new 54kWh battery
Orders open in March with deliveries later in the spring.
It features as standard an 11kW on-board charger suitable for home charging via a wallbox, and supports up to 100 kW rapid charging and can be charged to 80 per cent in 30 minutes. The upgraded battery is also more efficient, requiring 15.2kWh of electricity to cover 62 miles (100km).
The Mokka was the first Vauxhall available with a fully electric powertrain.