First Look: 2025 Volkswagen ID. Buzz Three-Row For America
Quick, better run out and buy that Type 2 lover in your life some flowers or, ahem, some other plant life. Today, June 2nd, is International Volkswagen Bus Day, according to the National Day Calendar people. Raise a bong in celebration.
VW chose to celebrate by unveiling the three-row version of their all-electric Volkswagen ID. Buzz today in Huntington Beach, California, surrounded by a beachful of classic Microbus brethren. While the two-row ID. Buzz has been available in other countries, we in America are in need of something a bit more substantial, so a proper three-row minivan is what will be offered here.
Disclosure: VW flew journalists to California, feeding and housing them for a night. I heard whispers of branded Birkenstocks being offered as swag but did not see them, nor was I offered.
I’ll admit that I’m a bit geeked to see a new minivan in any format instead of yet another crossover. An EV minivan is an interesting proposition. It may not be the ideal hauler to take the clan cross-country to Wally World considering range anxiety and the still-woeful state of public charging, but for families needing to haul an extra kid or two the additional space for cargo either human-style or Costco-style can be useful. And the additional headroom provided by the minivan form factor makes third-row comfort so much better.
Two drivetrains will be available - the standard rear-motor, rear-drive 282hp unit, or an all-wheel drive model with two motors and “about” 330hp.
VW did not provide range estimates, but if we extrapolate the quoted range of the European two-row ID. Buzz (423 km or 262 miles from a 77 kWh net battery giving a rough 3.4 miles per kWh efficiency) one might assume the 91 kWh battery in this three-row model might yield a theoretical 309.4 miles of range. Of course, the WLTP range estimates used in Europe are a bit optimistic compared to our dour EPA overlords, which seems to be around 11 percent lower across the board. So let’s guesstimate around 275 Real American Miles on a full charge, give or take. Here more appropriately than ever, the phrase “your mileage may vary” is apt.
Interior dimensions, too, are vague and subject to interpretation. Externally, length is 192.4 inches - ten inches longer than the two-row model. 77.9 inches in width and 74.6 inches high gives the ID. Buzz roughly the same external footprint as a two-row VW Atlas Cross Sport but with - per a VW rep - more interior capacity than the three-row Atlas. Distance between the rear wheelhouses is just under four feet, so no hauling of plywood here.
Sitting in a static display model set up in a Los Angeles studio for photos makes the interior feel legitimately roomy. The example we saw was fitted with the standard middle-row bench seat giving a seven-seat capacity - middle-row captains’ chairs giving a total of six seats are optional. If you opt for the bench, that seat splits 60/40, and can be slid forward for additional cargo space. The rear bench, with space for two, splits 50/50, and can be folded flat and even with a removable parcel shelf.
That shelf seen here is shown with a couple of VW-branded fabric bins. These bins could likely hold charging cords or whatever detritus one might wish to stash in a minivan. Those rear seats can also be removed rather easily - they do not fold down into the floor like in some other vans, however, as the electric motor and batteries live beneath the floor.
I can report that I, a six-foot, four-ish-inch tall human-ish thing, fit comfortably in the third row of the new ID. Buzz with my hair barely brushing the roof. That optional sunroof, by the way, turns opaque via electrochromic tinting.
I still hate Volkswagen’s newest infotainment display paired with touch-sensitive hairtrigger buttonish thingies on the steering wheel. It’s improved a bit here - barely - as the temperature and volume slider controls are now backlit, but give me knobs. Now, I’ve been told by aircooled VW fanatics in the past that the old-school HVAC controls never worked that well, so perhaps this is simply another callback to a simpler time.
More details and a first drive will be coming soon, I’m sure. The 2025 Volkswagen ID. Buzz is expected to go on sale in early 2024, so be certain to turn on, tune in, and drop out with TTAC as we bring you all the hot electric eclectic minivan news.
[Studio images: © 2023 Chris Tonn. Lead image and sunroof image courtesy Volkswagen]
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- Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
- Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
- Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.
- Joe These guys are asking way to much.. 40% raise, Medical for retired workers, 4 day work week. - Go work a regular job like as an accountant, or Insurance agent and see what you get when you retire! Why do I have to put money in a 401K and these guys get a pension and medical for life. Cars are already to expensive! However at the same time GM is bragging that they are going to be making billions on subscription services in the coming years. If we could all stop being so greedy the world would be a better place
- Tele Vision Let's not forget the massive used ICE car market that will exist - even after mandated EVs for all.