Volkswagen ID. Buzz review: interior, dashboard & infotainment
Fit and finish are a step up from the rest of VW’s current EVs, but the sub-par infotainment stands out is one of the Buzz’s few weak points
If there’s one area where Volkswagen’s ID family has always failed to impress it’s cabin quality, but a few unique touches set the ID. Buzz’s interior apart from that of the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5, not to mention its van-derived rivals. That said, the ID. Buzz has still inherited buggy infotainment and infuriating slider controls from its hatchback and SUV siblings, which we’re still waiting for Volkswagen to address.
Volkswagen ID. Buzz dashboard
VW says sustainability is a “core part” of the ID. Buzz. You won’t find any leather in the cabin, as the firm has chosen to use several recycled or vegan materials for the upholstery and other finishes. One of these, called Seaqual yarn, consists of 10% collected ocean plastics and roughly 90% recycled plastic bottles. The higher-spec Style comes with bright two-colour schemes to help set them apart from the entry-level cars, too.
Clever touches like the USB slot in the passenger door, the hidden wireless phone charging pocket on the dash and the totally flat floor really make the ID. Buzz feel like a vehicle that has been designed with careful thought about how it will be used – unlike, in many places, the ID.3 and ID.4. Owners can even specify a three-pin plug underneath the front passenger seat. The electric MPV also gets ambient lighting and the interactive ID.Light across the dash, which changes colour in certain situations, turning red when warning of a possible hazard, for example.
Equipment, options & accessories
The ID. Buzz minibus is currently offered in two specifications: the entry-level Life model starts from £57,115, while those in the more generously equipped Style trim, like the one we drove, comes in at £61,915. There was a flashy 1st Edition model, too, which cost £62,995, however, that particular model is now sold out.
So what do you get for your money? Standard kit on the ID. Buzz Life includes LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, sliding rear doors, a 40:60 split-folding rear bench, armrests for the front seats, a 5.3-inch digital driver’s display, a 10-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, keyless start, reversing camera, traffic-sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking (AEB), among other safety systems.
Style adds 20-inch alloys, ambient lighting, stainless steel 'Play' and 'Pause' pedals, a powered tailgate, matrix LED headlights and two-tone cloth upholstery. If you manage to get your hands on a 1st Edition Buzz which features a 12-inch touchscreen, 21-inch alloys and upgraded seats for the driver and front passenger, plus some other goodies.
Customers also get a choice of four two-tone paint finishes, which combine a Candy White roof and bonnet with either Lime Yellow, Starlight Blue, Energetic Orange or Bay Leaf Green for the rest of the bodywork.
Of course, a fair few people will opt to finance their Buzz through Volkswagen Financial Services. Though even with a £4k initial rental, you’re looking at a hefty £679 per month on a three-year PCH deal (PCP costs aren’t available yet) for a car much like the one we drove. That might sound a lot, but a diesel Land Rover Discovery with a similar list price is almost £200 more per month on near-identical terms.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The fully digital instrument panel in the ID. Buzz is an evolution of the ID.3’s unit, and offers more information than before. For example, you can now display navigation instructions alongside key information like speed and range. The gear selector is no longer attached to the binnacle, either, and moved to where the wiper stalk would usually sit – but it’s still intuitive to use.
However, the ID. Buzz is still plagued by the same glitchy and slow-to-respond infotainment system as its ID. brethren, and the touch-sensitive climate control sliders remain a nightmare to use on the move. They’re still not backlit either, making them impossible to operate accurately at night.
At least the ID. Buzz comes with an array of driver-assistance technology and can even be equipped with the latest version of the brand’s ‘Travel Assist’ semi-autonomous system. In fact, top-spec versions of the ID. Buzz feature more than 30 such systems and can receive over-the-air (OTA) software updates from VW as well.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe ID. Buzz combines funky styling, a functional cabin and refinement to create a unique electric family car – and a particularly pricey one at that
- 2Range, battery & chargingA solid range of over 250 miles for all ID. Buzz models is paired with 170kW rapid charging speeds that top anything VW has offered before
- 3Running costs & insurancePrices may be high but zero road tax and a decent length warranty are always appealing
- 4Performance, motor & driveIt’s not quick, but a comfortable ride and good refinement are exactly what you want from an electric family car
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainment - currently readingFit and finish are a step up from the rest of VW’s current EVs, but the sub-par infotainment stands out is one of the Buzz’s few weak points
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityIt’s not the largest MPV on sale, but the ID. Buzz is still a very family-friendly machine
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Volkswagen ID. Buzz scored the full five out of five in Euro NCAP's crash testing