• The 2025 Volkswagen ID. Buzz’ North American version was unveiled in California last night. Auto123 was on hand for the presentation of the stretched edition of the electric microbus.
Huntington Beach, CA - The North American version of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz made its official debut last night. There wasn’t anything shockingly new here, since the short-wheelbase version is already on sale in Europe, and it had made the rounds of North American auto shows over the last year.
So why the “buzz”? Because the electric minivan is an important product for Volkswagen on our continent, and its design is directly inspired by the iconic Type 2 microbus that saw the light of day in 1950. That model came in several configurations, including for passengers.
And that's exactly what we have here. And what makes this version distinct from the one sold in Europe is that it has a longer wheelbase, which allows for a third row of seats.
2025 Volkswagen ID. Buzz: what you need to know
And because it takes the shape of its ancestor, we're not talking about a traditional SUV, but a minivan. Yes, with sliding doors. That's doubly refreshing.
Of course, the most talked-about feature is the design, which is as appealing as it gets. The company has done its homework here, and it is anticipating – yes - a real buzz around the model, which is aptly named in more ways than one. What’s more, the ID.Buzz will become the second all-electric ID model for Volkswagen's in North America. It is central to the automaker's strategy.
Design of the 2025 Volkswagen ID. Buzz: A tribute to the past
It's relatively easy for a manufacturer to design a modern vehicle with retro styling. The challenge is to get the design right. In this case, we give it two thumbs up. There are many nods to the past with this model, starting with the obvious, the two-tone approach and the oversized logo dominating the front nose.
There are also more subtle elements, such as false air intakes on the D-pillar, and side doors that open onto a huge space to give access to the cabin.
Incredibly, The offering also includes a rear-engine configuration (on the rear-wheel drive version).
Big in America
Of course, the new incarnation of the model is bulkier, a sign of the times and consumer needs. Compared to the short-wheelbase variant offered in Europe, our version is 10 inches longer, with almost all of the length on the wheelbase. And for comparison with an existing vehicle, the width is similar to that of the Atlas, but the ID. Buzz is about five inches taller.
This translates into a commanding driving position, which many will appreciate.
Interior of the 2025 Volkswagen ID. Buzz: Space and seats
Because of its all-electric configuration, and the positioning of the batteries under the floor (and the wheels at the ends), the interior volume of the North American ID. Buzz surpasses anything currently offered by Volkswagen.
Exclusive to Canada, a two-row (five-seat) model will be available. In fact, there will also be a 6-seat layout (with captain's chairs in rows 2 and 3), as well as a 7-seat configuration with a 2-3-2 split. Cargo volume figures are yet to be announced, but take our word for it, it's generous.
A number of other features are also striking on discovering the interior, such as the available panoramic roof. At 67.4 inches long and 40.8 inches wide, it's the largest the brand has ever offered. What's more, at the touch of a button, its surface changes from clear to opaque thanks to an electrochromatic field (automatic dimming).
2025 Volkswagen ID. Buzz: Luxurious
The North American Volkswagen ID. Buzz will debut in the second half of 2024. That's more than a year away. Not surprising then that the company hasn't given us a price range, as it's still working out the details of the offering.
What seems obvious from the model's data sheet is that the ID.Buzz will skew more high-end than not. The list of conveniences includes a massage function for the seats, two-tone interior presentations, ambient lighting in 30 colours, that panoramic roof, electric sliding doors that activate with the movement of a foot, heated functions for the seats, steering wheel and windscreen washer ducts, as well as plenty of storage space and USB-C sockets, not to mention wireless connections and recharging for everything to do with smartphones.
This model will come well-equipped and be rather fancy, in other words. Of course, we'll have to see how Volkswagen Canada builds the different variants, but this bus will sell for more than a Tiguan, let's put it that way. To get an idea of prices, one clue is the current price ceiling in Canada giving access to EV incentives, but that doesn't guarantee anything.
2025 Volkswagen ID. Buzz: The powertrain
Here’s what we know so far about what's going to propel the new microbus. There will be two configurations: rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The first is rated at 282 hp, 81 hp more than the European model, thanks in part to a larger battery (91 kWh vs. 82 kWh). Torque is set at 406 lb-ft. With the AWD Buzz, capacity is currently estimated at 330 hp, but this could change somewhat. A 0-100 km/h time of less than 6.0 seconds is promised.
What we don’t know is range. It will be competitive, the company promises, which suggests something in the region of 400 km for the model offering all-round driveability, and something like 450 km with the rear-wheel drive version. Or so we hope. Anything under 400 km would be disappointing.
As for recharging, it takes an estimated 25 minutes to increase the amount of energy from 10 to 80 percent at a rapid charging station. Maximum charging capacity of the ID. Buzz is 170 kW.
For the rest, we'll have to see how Volkswagen Canada offers the model once it goes on sale in just over 12 months' time.
The final word
While many things remain to be defined and confirmed about this vehicle, what seems clear is that it has the potential to be a hit. This was obvious in 2017 when the concept version was presented, and the impression is the same today. You had to see the looks on the faces of onlookers at the official unveiling on Thursday night to grasp just how much of a buzz this product is going to create on the market.
Of course, the pricing will be crucial, and Volkswagen is well aware of this: it needs to keep it affordable, yet profitable. The automaker also understands that if it demands too much, buyers won’t bite.
Either way, here's a model that brings a breath of fresh air to the industry.
One of the attractions of the old Volkswagen microbus was the possibility of customizing. The automaker is working with partners to offer multiple accessories and modification options to recreate the spirit of the 60s in the new ID. Buzz. It seems obvious that we'll one day see a camping-ready variant, but that’s to be confirmed. It's just too early.
Volkswagen believes that buyers will come from all walks of life, and we agree. Buying a Volkswagen ID. Buzz will be an emotional affair. It will be interesting to analyze the customer base.
All of the ID. Buzz models coming to Canada will be assembled in Hanover, Germany.
Volkswagen is convinced that this product will have a long career. If the pricing is right, and the quality is right, we see no reason to disagree.