Volkswagen ID Buzz 2023 long-term test

In this line of work, it doesn’t really do to confess to brand favouritism, but there’s no denying VW is a marque I’ve always held in high regard. That deep-seated affinity, though – for me and no doubt thousands of other paid-up members of the ‘dub club’ worldwide – has been harshly tested of late.

Widely publicised software issues and usability gripes have plagued the firm’s current crop of cars, which have hardly sought to compensate for their shortcomings with perceptible charisma and distinct personalities like VWs of old.

In 50 years’ time, will you reminisce fondly about all those brilliant summers you spent trekking around the country in a T-Cross, laugh at the memory of all your old ID 4 Pro’s charming quirks, or go on a wistful rant about how they “don’t make cars like that anymore” when someone down the pub mentions the Taigo? Possibly not. 

The Buzz, though, is the antithesis of those rather clinically conceived crossovers. A wilfully whimsical statement of intent from a brand that has decided elements of its storied past can live on, with some concession to modernity, in its bold electric future.

And it’s no flash in the pan: we’ve already heard how certain existing names (Tiguan, Passat, Golf) will be carried forth, in recognition of their intrinsic importance to the Volkswagen story, and the neat little ID 2all concept nods heavily to some of the brand’s most popular hatchbacks in a bid to recapture the fun-loving, crowd-pleasing ethos that defined its predecessors. Familiarity breeds contempt? VW is hedging its bets on the very opposite being true.

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