Volkswagen ID. Buzz - long term review - Report No:4 2023 | Top Gear
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Long-term review

Volkswagen ID. Buzz - long term review

Price: £62,995/£66,607/£680pcm
Published: 20 Nov 2023

Life with the VW ID.Buzz: it makes travel happy

Life with the ID.Buzz has its ups and… no, it mainly just has its ups. We’ll leave the downs for next time because right now it’s early days and my family and I are fully in the honeymoon period. Every day we walk downstairs, open the curtains and are greeted by an acid yellow and white slab of sunshine. It makes us smile.  

There was an all black Buzz in the dealership when we collected ours. I get that black is cool and mean, but a Buzz is a bright, happy car – painted black it looked like a pup with its tail between its legs. Ours gets to bound around. Mainly short local trips because we’re in that early stage of worrying about mileage and damage that sees us park it in the furthest corners of supermarket car parks. Even out there, it gets noticed and papped. This doesn’t happen to other vans.  

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Speaking of vans, I drove the Buzz Cargo as well. It doesn’t have the same vibe as the passenger version. Outwardly it still looks decent (again, bright two-tone is the way to go), but inside it gets a much plainer, cheaper and more basic cabin and that, as I realised when I first drove one, is the Buzz’s real strength. The Cargo’s cabin is grey and scratchy, ours is light, soft and playfully styled. The driving environment is just better than other cars. It’s cheery, and makes you cheery. Tesla set new standards with their pared back single screen and fart modes, the Buzz shows that almost all other cars are too serious-minded. It’s this that distinguishes the Buzz, makes travel happy and shows that a serious, sporty SUV ain’t actually the answer to everything.  

Especially as far as load space goes. I’ve said I’m going to keep this positive, so I’ll dodge a few things here and concentrate on sheer litreage. Compared to any SUV it’s a cavern back there. And when I eventually summon up the courage to do tip runs in it, well, I won’t need to do them very often. The family pooch would have space for walkies. And the sliding doors for the rear seats? Passenger loading done better.  

Concerned about VW's notoriously flakey and convoluted infotainment system I spent ages one morning setting it up so my wife would find it as painless as possible. This included discovering I could change the homescreen button to a Welsh flag. Marital harmony, you understand. So the family hops in (I’m not quite insisting they take their shoes off, but it’s close) and off we trot: to see friends, go for walks, shop – find excuses to travel in it, essentially. It’s the very opposite of a Sunday morning driving experience, but in its own way appeals to exactly the same pleasure centres. And, crucially, to more than one member of the family.  

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