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The Volkswagen Car Creating Buzz In The Electric Van Sector


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By The Sybarite Team on 29th May 2024

To quote from the opening titles of Monty Python, 'and now for something completely different', I have been testing the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo; a fully electric van with the classic look of the iconic Camper but state-of-the-art technology, writes Jeremy Webb.

It may be my age, but I have been considering owning a van as both a vehicle for work and a practical option for family transportation. The more I drive them, the more appealing they become, and I want one rather than most cars I have driven recently. Practicality is becoming more important than performance. Testing the VW ID. Buzz Cargo has reinforced this desire, and I will explain why.

For many self-employed workers who need a load carrier, it is not viable for them to own a car to perform non-work-related tasks, such as taking the children to school, sports events, or even shopping. I have seen many tradespeople having to use their work vehicle for multi-tasking, often with one child seat permanently occupying one of the two positions on the bench seat. I have also seen a marked increase in workers buying twin-cab vans to get an even better work/life balance, allowing all types of cargo to be carried but also up to six occupants. To me, it makes perfect sense to utilise a van for family and work

Back to the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo.

Power comes from a 201bhp electric motor that drives the rear wheels. This features a single-speed transmission operated via a drive selector on the right-hand steering column stalk.

A high driving position gives plenty of benefits, especially the superb field of vision. You also sit upright, looking directly ahead and feeling comfortable on any journey length with your back straight. Climbing into the cab rather than stepping down into a vehicle pleases me because my aligning joints don't get a painful workout on entry or exit.

The cargo area is substantive in width and length and benefits from three access points, with a door on either side and a giant boot opening that is nice and high for unobstructed loading and unloading.

On some occasions, I have had to sleep in the back of a car or van and the VW ID. Buzz Cargo would be perfect for this with the wide, uncluttered and flat flooring.

There's a big battery on board, but VW has provided the ID. Buzz Cargo has fast-charging capability, too. You can use chargers of 170kW, so the charging rate means the battery can be charged up from five to 80 per cent capacity in around half an hour. Using an AC wallbox, a full charge takes 7.5 hrs from an 11kW source or 11 hrs from a 7kW supply. VW's combustion-engined commercial vehicles as a reference, you might expect the ID. Buzz Cargo to command a higher price over the competition. It comes in lower than the 75kWh versions of the Stellantis group commercial equivalents.

The VW ID. Buzz Cargo has a load volume of 3.9 cubic metres, equal to the maxi versions of vans in the small class. The Renault Kangoo e-Tech and Citroen e-Berlingo have similar spaces but come in less expensive.

To get into the load area, you have two sliding side doors, which are not always standard fit on vans of this size. The openings are 756mm wide, slightly narrower than rivals. The rear allows you to specify a top-hinged tailgate or twin doors with a 50:50 split.

The floor is set high, so there are two steps into the cargo area, and on the offside, behind a panel, you can place the charging cables, keeping them clear from the load area. The load area has six lashing eyes on the floor, two more on either side of the rear wheel arches, LED interior lighting and a 12-volt charging socket.

VW's development of electric vehicles means you get the latest safety tech, too. Twin front airbags, which are not all vans, come with a passenger airbag as standard, and side and curtain airbags are fitted, too. All three seats have full three-point seatbelts; a belt reminder emits a beeping if the belts are not

buckled. Autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection is needed in all vehicles, so I am delighted to see it on the VW ID. Buzz Cargo. A driver tiredness monitor is great for commercial users, and you get a tyre pressure monitor and VW's Car2X system, allowing the vehicle to network with other compatible vehicles to offer real-time traffic information via a subscription service. Dynamic road sign display and lane keeping are standard, as are eCall and front and rear parking sensors. You can choose an optional park assist that can be programmed to remember up to five automated parking manoeuvres.

Power for the ID. Buzz Cargo comes from a 201bhp electric motor mounted at the back of the van and drives the rear wheels. It produces 310Nm of torque when you press the accelerator and the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo is rapid when pulling away from a standstill, more vigorous than its group rivals.

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo is silky for a van, a pleasant crossover from the car-derived platform. The suspension dampens Road bumps exceptionally well, giving a tranquil journey, at least from the road surfaces. The vehicle has no turbulence from wind noise, and you don't get that diesel engine hum, just peace from the electric motor. The power unit allows for impressive performance even when the VW ID. Buzz Cargo is fully laden, and an additional benefit is that it can tow one tonne.

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo rises above its competition with a premium interior and technology. You get a small digital instrument pod that moves with the steering wheel when you adjust it, and a broad 10-inch colour touchscreen houses all the critical functions. The vehicle has three seats, which can take three adults comfortably, and the driver's seat is heated, a real plus when driving on a cold morning or as I enjoyed after swimming in the sea.

Double-door bins and a long storage tray on top of the dashboard are convenient for bits and bobs, which always amass when a van is used for multiple functions. There is a second shelf above the glovebox, cup holders at either end and a practical shelf below the central air vents with USB-C sockets.

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo has a decent number of features for a commercial vehicle. You get heated electric door mirrors, parking sensors front and rear, climate control and a multifunction steering wheel, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with online connectivity, and a first aid kit.

A plethora of safety kits is standard in the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo has tyre pressure monitors, autonomous emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, driver and passenger airbags, and cruise control with intelligent speed assistance.

Volkswagen quotes a range of up to 256 miles on the combined WLTP test, around 50 miles ahead of the Stellantis group vans. It means the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo is the electric van with the greatest range on the market. I was blown away by the fabulous urban range, which is 356 miles, far above the average commute, and I can vouch for this, using the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo everyday for seven days, I didn't have to charge it and left 90 mile range on the battery for the collection driver.

You get driving modes on the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo that regenerates energy back into the battery when slowing down. Two settings, with the 'D' mode offering regular coasting when lifting off the pedal while the 'B' mode offers more vigorous regeneration. It provides decent energy recovery, the equivalent of engine braking when coasting downhill.

In the past, many VW Transporters were owned by surfers and free spirits; the vehicles functioned as a home, changing room, and refuge from the weather and were the equivalent of a Swiss Army knife. Today, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo allows you to do the same, and during the week, I had a superb vehicle which excelled in practicality and performance. I changed the back to go sea swimming and babysat, so I had a child's seat in the front, did some shopping, and loaded up the Titanic cargo space.

I volunteer with the Gosport Rotary Club, doing charity work within the borough and internationally. Whilst I had the VW ID. Buzz Cargo, I collected donations for the food banks and boxes with resources ready for Christmas 2024; we plan well in advance. I utilised the cavernous load space to move equipment that would not fit in conventional vehicles, such as large metal stakes and safety arena fencing. I would love one for the Gosport Rotary Shoebox collections and delivery in December. Father Christmas could also change in the back.

VW, please build a Twin-cab version.

Fact Box

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo.

Price: £59,035 to £63,835

Competition comes from the Stellantis group electric van line-up, comprising the Citroen e-Dispatch, Peugeot e-Expert, Vauxhall Vivaro Electric, Toyota Proace Electric and Fiat e-Scudo.

Jeremy Webb has a website,, where you can read reviews on cars, motorcycles, travel and much more.

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