First drive: Volkswagen ID BUZZ (Photo: Manufacturer, Editing: Nir Chen)
The great anticipation created by the electric BUZZ before its launch was one that not many models have received in recent years. The combination of an electric gospel, a model that tugged at the strings of nostalgia for the legendary bass days of the 60s and the first presence of a major manufacturer in this segment - it all came together.
But with his presentation about a year ago, two things became clear. The first is that the real news of a 7-passenger electrically powered submission offer will not be done in the first stage. The second thing we encountered on our first drive of the model was the feeling that Volkswagen rushed to release a product that was not fully "baked" at its level of performance, without thinking all the way about the small details.
Now the manufacturer is launching the long-wheelbase version that offers a 7-seater configuration and is also upgrading the drive units along the way. What does it offer and when is it here?
Decades after saying goodbye to the legendary BUS, there is an electric comeback (Photo: manufacturer's website)
The most notable addition is the extension of the model to 4.96 meters, 25 centimeters added to the 5-seater model, an extension that comes entirely from the wheelbase that grows from 2.99 to 3.24 meters, to make room for a spacious third row of seats.
The elongated bass can carry 6 or 7 people in the three rows, with the difference being between two separate seats in the second row and a bench for three.
Volkswagen hasn't yet revealed how much space will be left in the luggage compartment when the third row is in use, except for the maximum total volume score of 2,469 litres compared to 2,205 for the short ID.BUZZ.
In the rest of the sections, there is no difference between the model with a long wheelbase and the regular one, neither in the exterior design nor in the driver's environment.
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The cockpit has also been upgraded compared to the short version (Photo: manufacturer's website)
Volkswagen also took the opportunity to make some changes to the model, such as increasing the multimedia screen from 12 to 15 inches and, according to its statement, correcting the slowness of operation of the system we met at launch. It also added a darkening roof at the push of a button, a new head-up display and an automatic parking system that can now be operated outside the vehicle – an advantage when you want to thread this small vehicle into a crowded place. The latter involves activating the vehicle's application, which will be possible in Israel.
The highlight for us is undoubtedly the addition of individually controlled air conditioning ports to the rear rows, compared to the short version having no rear air conditioning ports at all. Which almost disqualifies it from being used in hot countries given the generous size of suns. The announcement did not say whether this structure of overhead air conditioning vents will also reach the short version.
Two seats at the end and hallelujah - air conditioning vents (Photo: manufacturer's website)
Along with the added dimensions and equipment, the BUZZ also gets Volkswagen's new powertrain ID.7. This means, first of all, the size of the model's battery pack from 77 kWh to 86 kWh, and of increasing power from 204 to 286 hp. Torque increases from 31.6 kg to 56 kg, giving it agile performance, certainly on the scale of a minivan - 7.9 seconds per 100 km/h (10.2 seconds with the weaker engine). The top speed is 160 km/h compared to 145 145 in the short version.
How many kilometers does the larger battery add to it? Volkswagen does not specify a number, probably due to the fact that it has not yet completed a final homoregulation and standardization from which the declared range is derived. All the manufacturer says is that it will offer "more range" - with the stated shorter version being 423 km.
This is what it looks like in a 6-passenger seat arrangement (Photo: manufacturer's website)
Since the main market for the long ID.BUZZ is the American one, the manufacturer will also offer an all-wheel-drive version, although currently only in the sporty GTX model. Power increases to 339 hp and acceleration time to 100 km/h drops to 6.4 seconds.
At the time of launch, the date of arrival of the regular BUZZ in Israel was the end of 2023. It was in retrospect an optimistic forecast that will no longer exist and the new target date is the end of 2024, if that means we get more choice between range options or charging and a short version with our entire profit merger ports.
We expect to see the longer version in Israel in the first quarter of 2025.
Kia EV9. Seven seats electric but with an innovative design. Well, Kia doesn't have bass in its past to cuddle on (Photo: Kia)
Based on the expected prices in the US, it can be estimated that the seven-seater BUZZ will cost NIS 400,9 in Israel. It will mainly compete against the spectacular new Kia EV<>, which is expected to receive a similar price tag. The battle for the next family car of the top decile begins now.
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