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Volkswagen ID.Buzz engines, driving and performance

How does the Volkswagen ID.Buzz drive?

Obviously, the ID.Buzz’s main job is to be a practical family transporter – something it excels at. As a result, it’s no surprise that Volkswagen hasn’t set the car up to feel exciting behind the wheel.


Nevertheless, it’s very easy to place on the road. The steering is light and accurate, and the instant response from the electric motor makes it very easy to nip into traffic gaps and pull away serenely from traffic lights.


The handling is safe and secure and, if you simply drive around at normal cruising speeds, you’ll never have reason to complain about it. You only start to notice the ID.Buzz’s limits as the speeds increase. Push harder and the car responds admirably, clinging onto the road surface and never feeling like it’ll get bounced off-line by an errant bump. What you will feel, however, is masses of G-force pulling you out of your seat if you go round a corner a little too fast. This is simply the result of the car’s vast weight, with most models tipping the scales at three tonnes.


Some electric cars offer a fine degree of control over their regenerative braking system. That’s not the case with the ID.Buzz, which simply offers a petrol-like level of ‘engine’ braking in ‘D’ mode, or a single more powerful level of regenerative braking in ‘B’ mode – selected via the steering-wheel mounted stalk. It’s a bit of a shame that the setup always defaults to ‘D’ so you have to manually select the ‘B’ option if you want more regen every time you start the car. That said, you might appreciate the simplicity of just a two-way choice.

Is the Volkswagen ID.Buzz comfortable?

The significant weight might slightly dull the handling but it hasn’t had an impact on the ID.Buzz’s comfort – something that’s not usually true of other heavy EVs.


Volkswagen’s big bus rides over bumps with an impressive amount of grace, softening their impact dramatically before they make it to your posterior. Plus, it achieves this level of composure without opting for suspension that’s so soft you’ll be falling out the windows while cornering.


Similarly, it dampens sounds from the tyres, suspension and motor fantastically, so you can waft nearly silently through picturesque locations without disturbing anyone, either inside or outside the car. Only when you get up to fast motorway speeds do you begin to hear a bit of wind noise around the windscreen, although this is only noticeable because the rest of the experience is so quiet already.

What’s the best Volkswagen ID.Buzz engine to get?

ID.Buzz models before the 2024 update came with a single 204hp electric motor on the rear axle. This is a respectable amount of power and means you won’t struggle to make it up to faster motorway speeds.


However, LWB models from 2024 and NWB models from 2025 get an upgraded 286hp motor as standard. This is a fairly sizeable jump in power and results in a car that feels much more immediate and eager to accelerate. You couldn’t quite call it ‘fast’, but it certainly feels powerful enough to make light work of the ID.Buzz’s hefty weight, plus whatever passengers and cargo you’ve loaded it with.


Range-topping bragging rights now belong to the GTX model – again, part of the 2024 update. It gets a second motor on the front axle, which means four-wheel drive and a grand total of 340hp. Around town, it feels even more muscular than the standard model and will violently throw your head back into the headrest if you stamp on the throttle. At higher speeds, the difference between the GTX and standard car becomes a bit less obvious, and both share the same 99mph top speed.


ID.Buzz NWB models before the 2024 update all used the same 77kWh battery. This means an advertised range of 258 miles, which should translate to more than 200 in most real-world scenarios. It can fast charge at up to 170kW, so you can get from 5-80% in a little over half an hour.


Following the 2024 update, the ID.Buzz NWB’s pack grew to 79kWh thanks to updated battery chemistry, bringing a small jump in advertised range to 263 miles. The ID.Buzz LWB takes advantage of its longer length with a larger 86kWh battery pack, and achieves an impressive 281-mile claimed range. Both updated models can now charge at 200kW – regaining an 80% charge in around half an hour.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz performance

Like most electric cars, the ID.Buzz’s performance is fairly respectable. This is aided by the fact that most of the motor’s best work is done at low speeds, where it makes light work of the bus’s substantial weight.


Pre-update models with the 204hp electric motor cover the 0-62mph run in a hair over 10 seconds. That’s nothing special but is orders of magnitude quicker than the old Type 2 buses the ID.Buzz draws inspiration from, which were so slow they were almost dangerous.


The 2024 update brings a 286hp electric motor, which makes the whole vehicle feel much more alert to prods of the throttle. It shaves a substantial two seconds off the 0-62mph time, helping the car feel that much more effortless during day-to-day driving.


If you really need the most amount of performance possible from your spacious family car, however, then only the GTX will do. With two electric motors, 340hp and four-wheel drive, this version sprints from 0-62mph in around six seconds. That means you could give several hot hatches the shock of their lives in a straight-line drag race. You might also spot, if you pin the GTX’s throttle while exiting a corner, a more insistent pull from the front axle as the motor tugs the car closer to its intended line.

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