opinion at the wheel of the new electric Combi

The ID Buzz intends to embody the spirit of the Combi in today’s world. Successful conversion?

What Happened to the Hippies? If some are still raising goats in the Larzac (our apologies for this cliché), others have cut their hair to make a good career in boards of directors (bis). We could compare the trajectory of the latter to that of the Volkswagen Combi, van fetish of the counter-culture of the 1960s. Il reborn today in electric form. This chubby but clean-lined heir to the plump Bully – its nickname in Germany – intends to entice adventurous families, active retired couples and even companies supplementing their fleet with a zero-emission compact van in its utility version called Cargo. The maxi VW logo, the two-tone paint and the “V” signature on the front face play the nostalgic card; with success in view of the interest generated at the service areas where we made stops.

A well-thought-out interior

Like his ancestor, the ID. Buzz places his motor near the rear wheelsreleasing a record space considering its length (4.71 m), located between that of a Tesla Model 3 and one Peugeot 508. In the absence of a third row – it should arrive in the coming months on an XXL version – the hold offers 1,121 liters, i.e. the capacity of four Peugeot 208 trunks. The three rear passengers rest on a 2/3-1/3 split bench seat, for lack of individual seats. Nevertheless, it slides over 20 centimeters and even in the forward position, this row offers knee space worthy of the great plains of northern Germany. By lowering it with a simple gesture, you have a flat floor 2.32 meters long by 1.20 meters wide. By sliding a mattress, this tray becomes an excellent bed for two adults, even if it is a little high. Otherwise, you have 2 cubic meters of storage.

No specific space, however, for charging cables. Another (small) chagrin: if the simple and pleasant presentation seduces, the quality of the materials leaves something to be desired. All plastics sound hollow and most are hard. Wolfsburg has nevertheless provided some nice tips: outbound docking system with a touch of a button, removable center console and dividers fitted with bottle openers… Sodas or beers naturally find their place in the numerous storage compartments. However, you will need to provide your own cooler. Although they do not feature leather, the two front seats are wide, welcoming and equipped with armrests. Their firmness does not tire over hours of driving. The dominant position recalls the world of minivans and those who drive near the steering wheel (not adjustable in depth) will unfortunately have their knees in the plastic. A traditional strength of Volkswagen, fishing ergonomics : the brand reinvents the wheel with a gear control (P, N, B, D, R) whose handling requires time to adapt. The central 12-inch infotainment screen is about average in terms of execution speed, even if the abundance of menus hinders its use.

Master key

From the first maneuver, we note a turning circle reduced to 11.10 meterswhich is barely more than one Peugeot 3008 yet more compact. Above all, the very short overhangs and the excellent panoramic view offered to the driver make it possible to reach the tightest camping pitches. The 360° camera (optional) clearly assists maneuvers. Once installed, we are delighted to have two electric sliding doors (again, optional) and a large motorized tailgate (again).

At the wheel, the ID Buzz is reassuring without being exciting; can a van be? The machine shares its platform and its combined battery-motor with the ID.3 and ID.4. The 204 horses are a bit on the tight side when it comes to driving uphill with several people and their luggage on board. The high mass (nearly 2.5 tonnes) is paid for in cash. The steering is quite precise, slightly firm damping – this is an electric car – on black currants. The roll is pronounced when you shake the ID a little. buzz. We will also notice the choice of the design office to have fitted the van with large tires but with thick sides, to save what could be comfort level. An initiative that should inspire the SUV crowd… The maximum load is set at 630 kg, which risks handicapping the pros. But on the Øresund bridge, the van does not suffer too much from the wind.

After charging, let’s talk about recharging. The 77 kWh battery “collects” powers of up to 170 kW on a fast terminal. The passage from 10 to 80% is therefore carried out in 30 minutes in ideal conditions and on the main roads. On the secondary network or a home wallbox, the maximum threshold is set at 11 kW. So count 7h30 to “fill up”. During our test carried out on billiards from Scania and Seeland, we noted average power consumption of 18.9 kWh/100 km. A value to salute. And to attribute to a very correct penetration in the air for this size (Cx of 0.285… i.e. a figure equivalent to a Hyundai Ioniq 5 !). But this too is a value to be put into perspective. Long periods at 130 km/h on the motorway and trips in the mountains – towards Kathmandu? – will quickly boost the on-board computer to peaks close to 25 kWh/100 km. Logically, under these conditions, the “real” autonomy plummets from 400 to 300 kilometers. To get more, you will probably have to wait for an ID. Buzz has an extended wheelbase: it should offer six or seven seats and a more massive battery pack. This should further increase thehas the bill, already salty, of this Combi of modern times. But what are these financial considerations compared to the spirit of nostalgia?

WE love

  • Look and presentation
  • Record space and well thought out
  • Decent comfort

We love less

  • Disappointing quality
  • High tariffs
  • Limited autonomy

Technical sheet

  • Motor: electric, rear
  • Transmission: to the rear wheels, 1 gear
  • Power: 150 kW or 204 hp
  • 0 to 100 km/h: 10.2 seconds
  • Curb weight: 2,407 kg
  • Vitesse maxi : 145 km/h
  • Price: 56,990 euros (excluding bonus of 2,000 euros)

To read on auto-moto.com:

Volkswagen ID. Buzz: all about prices

Volkswagen ID. Buzz: trial of the pre-series version

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