Testing out the VW ID. Buzz Cargo

Testing out the VW ID. Buzz Cargo

A new van takes its visual cues from a vehicle that’s a been the buzzword for design for many decades 

If there’s one icon of motoring that has consistently reinvented itself for successive generations it’s the VW camper. Now its eternal youth has brought a spark of originality into the electric LCV segment, with the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles ID. Buzz Cargo. 

In bringing the distinctive retro design of the T1 into the modern age the result is undoubtedly the most individual van on the market. It makes for a powerful statement of style and intent but there’s also a healthy streak of practicality.

We should, of course, confess from the outset that there are still some bumps in the road when it comes to the more widespread adoption of EVs, so the first question is whether the VW ID. Buzz Cargo contributes to smoothing the way?

With most lithium-ion powered vehicles range anxiety is your rather unwelcome companion in the cab. Like a hitch hiker you can’t shift, you’re more and more aware of the annoyance the further you’re into your journey. VW’s flagship electric commercial vehicle does, however, score rather well here with a 77kWh battery achieving a substantial 256 miles, putting it firmly amongst the front runners in the field. With most local jobbing builders not accruing big mileage – and with your trusty workhorse parked outside the job for much of the day – that should be ample. The other issue is the purchase price, and it has to be said there are cheaper EVs out there and, of course, as with any battery powered model, an equivalent diesel is considerably less.  

There are two trim levels available – Commerce and Commerce Plus with our test vehicle in the latter, higher spec class. Inside, a 10in. touchscreen is your window onto a Discover Pro Navigation system, rear parking camera (complemented by front and rear parking sensors) and access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

If you happen to put your footdown whilst listening to your favourite sounds via the Ready 2 Discover infotainment systemand gripping the leatherette, multi-function steering wheelyou’ll no doubt be pleasedand even surprisedby the level of acceleration. The weight of the ID. Buzz Cargo has been deliberately kept low, which means that the maximum torque from a standing start that EVs in general will deliver translates into an unusually sprightly van-driving experience.

At the same time, a firm suspension can make it a little bumpy when unloaded but that should settle down with tools and materials on onboard. What those compact dimensions do mean is a relatively limited load carrying ability and if you’re in the market for a cargo carrier in the heavyweight division then look away now. At its maximum there’s a loadspace of 3.9m3, and a modest payload of 592kg.

If you really want to run with the 1950s T1 feel there’s optional two-tone paintwork but, even in a single colour, a sleek form, sitting on large wheels, complemented by a V shaped hood and headlamps that project as much personality as light, will have heads turning aplenty.

For further information on the ID. Buzz Cargo visit ID. Buzz Cargo | Electric Cargo Van | Volkswagen Vans UK (volkswagen-vans.co.uk).

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