Test – Volkswagen ID.Buzz (2022): the iconoclastic heir

Essai - Volkswagen ID.Buzz (2022) : l’héritier iconoclaste

SOON

Modern version of the Combi

100% electric

€56,990

Twenty-one years is the time it took Volkswagen to make its dream of giving a successor to the mythical Combi of 1947 a reality. It is true that the lineage has never completely disappeared since its successor, the Transporter, has always had family and motorhome versions in its spectrum. But none of these descendants had the charm of the original model. With the ID.Buzz, the German brand hopes to rekindle the flame among Combi fans. However, if the form is inevitably reminiscent of its ancestor, the background is totally new.

Test – Volkswagen ID.Buzz (2022): the iconoclastic heir

Despite its cubic profile, the ID.Buzz shows a very good Cx of 0.285.
Despite its cubic profile, the ID.Buzz shows a very good Cx of 0.285.

The idea of ​​giving a successor to the Combi dates back to the beginning of the 21st century. At the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen introduced the Microbus. However promised as close to serial step, this concept will remain in the state. It will take 10 years for the project to take shape. The Geneva exhibition then serves as a framework for the presentation of the Bulli. If this name resonates little in our French ears, it is familiar to the Germans. Across the Rhine, Bulli is, in fact, the nickname given to the first Combi. Another highlight of this concept car is its engine. Thermal output, the Bulli is 100% electric. And the brand’s oils confirm that, if there is marketing, it will necessarily be with this type of engine. But the Bulli also remains a dead letter and gives way, in 2016, to the Budd-e concept. Also electric, this prototype is based on the MEB platform, which is now used for ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and of course ID.Buzz. But the Budd-e’s design is too big and it strays too far from the Combi. Therefore, the project is abandoned.

Volkswagen Minibus Concept (2001)
Volkswagen Minibus Concept (2001)
Volkswagen Bulli Concept (2011)
Volkswagen Bulli Concept (2011)
Volkswagen Budd-e Concept (2016)
Volkswagen Budd-e Concept (2016)

But on the Wolfsburg side, we are stubborn. In 2017, the fourth electric minivan concept, called the ID.Buzz, is the star of the Detroit show. Launching a massive electrification program for its range, following the Dieselgate, Volkswagen says this time it’s the right one. Today, the ID.Buzz has been slightly toned down aesthetically. But finally it is a commercial reality.

Volkswagen ID Buzz Concept (2017)
Volkswagen ID Buzz Concept (2017)

With its cubic profile, its front quarter panels that are positioned upstream of the doors or its false air intakes in the tailgate pillar, the standard version, however, recovers most of the styling effects of its predecessor. predecessor. But you must also prove that you belong to the ID family. The round headlamps give way to elongated headlamps which, on versions equipped with matrix headlamps, resemble a pair of eyes. They extend in a luminous band that comes to die on the imposing logo, also inherited from the original model.

Volkswagen Bus T1
Volkswagen Bus T1

Aft, the optics also yield to modernism. Sophisticated, they span the full width of the tailgate. Here too, the manufacturer’s coat of arms is imposing. If the family resemblance to the Combi is, in general, very present, the ID.Buzz lacks, however, a more marked neo-retro touch, like the one that the New Beetle had managed to do so well. However, to accentuate the line, it is possible to opt for a two-tone body. But then it will be necessary to download an additional €1,790.

Matrix projectors are included in the Design package, priced at €1,700.
Matrix projectors are included in the Design package, priced at €1,700.

On board we also find this mix of references to the past and modernism. On the one hand, the dashboard is as sober and slim in its design as that of the T2. Originally delivered in black, you can, for a minimum of €1,100, switch to beige with blue, yellow, green or orange inserts. On the other hand, we find the touch panel, now essential and imposing, in which all the infotainment functions are grouped, but also the tiny instrument panel common to all ID.

For an additional charge, the passenger compartment can be painted the same color as the bodywork.
For an additional charge, the passenger compartment can be painted the same color as the bodywork.

If the general presentation is pleasant, the finish is still not at the level of the thermal Volkswagen. However, the manufacturer has made some efforts, in particular, with upholstery with a very qualitative appearance. The ergonomics, meanwhile, are excellent with respect to the main functions, such as air conditioning, GPS or radio, but the secondary functions are more difficult for the neophyte to rinse.

If the ID.Buzz is intended to be descended from the Combi, it must also be from the Touran, near the end of its career. Therefore, there is a lot of space on board and the large glass surfaces will be very popular with passengers. Instead, the rear seats are entrusted to a simple three-seater bench, and there is no possibility of opting for a third row of seats. Patience, yes, because large families are not forgotten: a long version is promised for 2023-2024, and it should be equipped with these 7 seats.

In the rear, neither separate seats nor sliding bench.
In the rear, neither separate seats nor sliding bench.

The luggage will be more than comfortable since more than 1m3 is reserved for them. This gigantic volume can also be compartmentalized thanks to various accessories, such as a double trunk board. The location of the engine on the rear axle, therefore, does not penalize the space dedicated to cargo.

Below the luggage cover, the boot holds 1,121 liters of sundries.  Its cubic shape and flat bottom make it easy to load.
Below the luggage cover, the boot holds 1,121 liters of sundries. Its cubic shape and flat bottom make it easy to load.

Mechanically, it’s not surprising, since the ID.Buzz uses the platform of all IDs. The motor, currently only available in its 204-hp configuration, draws its power from a 77-kWh battery. The ID.Buzz thus promises 419 km of autonomy and shorter recharging times thanks to the acceptance of powers of up to 170 kW. This torque, imposed for the launch, however, turns out to be, on paper, the minimum required for this imposing baby, 4.71 m long and weighing more than 2.2 tons on the scale.

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