Future classic: Volkswagen ID. Buzz

| 4 May 2023
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Volkswagen ID. Buzz

Do you struggle to make friends easily? Or find it difficult to strike up a conversation with strangers?

If so, then this is the car for you. Or is it a van? Or a minibus?

That’s just one of the endless questions you’ll find yourself being asked, as well as – for the umpteenth time – “Where’s your surfboard?”

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Volkswagen ID. Buzz

Thanks to its low-slung batteries, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz handles surprisingly well despite tipping the scales at 2.5 tonnes

Because, while not everyone knows what the ID. Buzz is, they sure as hell recognise its inspiration, the enduring VW Type 2 ‘Bulli’.

And they all want to talk about it, with none of the malice reserved for other attention-grabbing vehicles (the type with multi-cylindered engines and multi-vowelled names).

This car/van/whatever has been a very long time coming, the idea having been first mooted as far back as 2001 as the Microbus Concept, building on the late-’90s success of the New Beetle.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Volkswagen ID. Buzz
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Volkswagen ID. Buzz

Airy cabin in the Volkswagen ID. Buzz (left); ‘pause’ and ‘play’ symbols on the pedals are a nice touch

Even this latest incarnation has taken five years to get from motor show dream car to roadgoing reality, but it has been well worth the wait.

The looks are clearly the major draw, and are enough to make you smile every time you catch sight of it – particularly in an eye-catching two-tone colour scheme such as our test car’s Candy White over Energetic Orange with Saffron interior (an £1800 option).

The visual link to its ancestor is obvious in the cheeky face; unlike its forebear, however, this is a smooth, swift and refined machine, effortlessly swept along by its 201bhp electric motor.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Volkswagen ID. Buzz

Currently only available as a five-seater, more ID. Buzz variants are on the way

It’s even got a decent range (we found VW’s 255-mile claims entirely believable) and a hugely spacious interior – not for nothing was it voted Car of the Year by the What Car? test team, a notoriously straight-laced crew not known for being swayed by style statements.

So it’s flexible and practical, but oddly not a seven-seater (yet).

That will follow, as will long-wheelbase and camper versions, but for now think of it as a more pragmatic, retro-styled Renault Avantime.

The only drawback is its size – 4.7m long, 2.2m wide and 1.9m high – but fantastic vision helps, with extensive glazing and an imperious driving position.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Volkswagen ID. Buzz

The forward-thinking VW ID. Buzz takes inspiration from the Type 2 ‘Bulli’

Bizarrely, though, despite its ungainly appearance and 2.5-tonne kerbweight, siting the batteries in the floor gives the Buzz an unusually low centre of gravity and this rear-drive über-EV handles far better than it has any right to.

Hustling it along country lanes from your driving armchair adds yet further to the sense of fun, and inside there are constant little delights such as the camper-style Formica dash inlays, or the brake and throttle pedals branded with ‘pause’ and ‘play’ symbols.

It’s enough to leave you in such a good mood that you don’t even mind making new friends every time you stop. Just don’t ask me about surfboards…

Images: John Bradshaw


  • Engine permanent-magnet electric motor, 77kWh lithium-ion battery; 201bhp; 229lb ft
  • Transmission single-speed auto, RWD
  • 0-60mph 10.2 secs
  • Top speed 90mph
  • Economy 2.9mpkWh
  • Price £63,715

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