TG's electric car of the year: the Volkswagen ID. Buzz | Top Gear
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Saturday 10th June
Electric Awards 2022

TG's electric car of the year: the Volkswagen ID. Buzz

There's a real *cough* buzz around VW's EV comeback kid. Here's why it's our overall winner

Published: 05 Apr 2022

What is it?

The second coming of the VW bus. Or the eighth, depending on how you count. The aim is definitely to hark back to the 1950 original, the Type 2 (the Type 1 was the Beetle), but of course the VW van has never gone away. But don’t think of the ID. Buzz as a van. Yes, you can have a Cargo version with three seats up front and a cavern behind, but the one we’re awarding is the five-seater with a sliding door on each side, a boot measured in cubic metres and possibly the most feelgood driving environment of any car on sale today.

Give me some details about the VW ID Buzz.

It might not sound that alluring. The Buzz is based on the same platform as the ID.3 hatch and ID.4 crossover, so uses the same 77kWh battery and single rear 201bhp e-motor. There’s no radical tech or cutting edge solutions at work under the skin, but cabin space is as absurdly generous as you’d expect, VW’s troublesome screen software has been updated, and it has a ridiculously tight turning circle. Expect a WLTP range of around 280 miles, which means 200 real world miles, but also the ability to run your house electrics from the car battery thanks to bi-directional charging.

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Why should I care about the VW ID Buzz?

The Buzz has the ability to rewrite the rules around family cars. To move the game on from SUVs and crossovers into something more versatile, better packaged, more desirable, less controversial and more in step with our modern lives. It’s basically an MPV. But cooler. Way, way cooler. Further down the line other versions will come, with longer wheelbases, bigger batteries, more range, more motors, more seats that do cleverer things, even a California camper version. VW is going to be pushing the Buzz hard. It goes on sale this summer, starting at around £50,000. A lot, but if it proves to hold its value as well as VW's other vans, it’ll be a good investment.

Why did you give the VW ID Buzz an award?

Because this is VW being bold, brave and beautiful again. It looks corking on the road, rides the cusp of retro-futurism perfectly, drives cleanly and lightly and is electric motoring at its most upbeat and positive. That’s worth rewarding. With electric sports cars there’s a discernible downside, but here there isn’t – silence, smoothness and simplicity is precisely what you want. It drives better than any van, is swift enough, has winning cabin design and packaging, but mostly is a brighter, more engaging way for a family to travel. It’s our Electric Car of the Year.

For the full story pick up the Electric Awards issue of Top Gear magazine

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