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2024 VW Bus: Review, Interior, & Price – Sequels are hard. It’s likely that there are twice as many unsuccessful efforts at a follow-up as there are successful ones. There is a Ford Mustang II or a Pontiac GTO for the 21st century for every Chevrolet Corvette C2 that can be seen on the road today. These are examples of automobiles that failed to capture that certain something that made their ancestors so well-liked. Volkswagen is going to have a similar needle thread with the new 2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz. The Volkswagen ID Buzz is the electric follow-up to the legendary Volkswagen Microbus, which is popularly known to the majority of Americans simply as the “Bus.” Volkswagen is going to have a similar needle thread with the new 2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz. In spite of the fact that we still have another year to wait before the U.S.-specification ID Buzz is released, Volkswagen, in advance of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, gave us the opportunity to take a short drive in the Euro-specification ID Buzz as well as a spotless 21-window 1967 Microbus. Here are several ways in which the new ID Buzz does not live up to the legacy of the original Bus, as well as other ways in which it does.
The first generation of Volkswagen buses was a lesson in efficient packing design. Volkswagen’s engineers and designers were given nothing more than a modified version of the Beetle chassis to work with; yet, they were able to fit an unexpectedly roomy eight-seat configuration into the frame. The Bus has a second and third row that is suitable for adults, together with a large cargo room, thanks to its compact 1.5-liter flat-4 engine that is located beneath the cargo area and its unusual “cab-over” design that places the front seats in front of the front wheels. Because of all of the pedals, levers, and columns that are growing up by your feet, the driver’s seat is really the one that is the most cramped in the whole cabin.
In this respect, the new 2024 VW Bus is rather successful in emulating the Bus in its entirety. Because of VW’s modular electric drivetrain (MEB) platform, the front seats of the ID Buzz were able to be moved forward in comparison to where they would be in a more traditionally designed minivan. This gave the ID Buzz the impression of being a cab-over van, despite the fact that it is not really one of them. Even though the version of the Buzz that we tested in Europe was one of the two-row short-wheelbase models (Americans will receive a yet-to-be-revealed long-wheelbase three-row version), the second-row and cargo spaces are comparably large, which makes it an attractive minivan option.
We went into our drive of the vintage ’67 Bus anticipating it, like many automobiles of the period, to be temperamental and difficult to operate. Perhaps this is because its reputation precedes it, but whatever the reason, we were not disappointed. That is the farthest thing possible from the truth. The torque that the Burbley tiny flat-four lacks in the top end it more than makes up for at the bottom end. The 53-horsepower engine launches cleanly from the starting line with hardly a touch of clutch feathering, and it rockets into first gear by the time you are running at a normal speed.
To make the Bus cheerfully hum along with the traffic on Amelia Island, grab second gear, flat-foot the throttle, wait for the revs to rise, then shift up to third (surprisingly simple to find—never a certainty from this period of the car). To compensate for the brake pedal’s overall lack of urgency when being asked to slow things down, the zippy engine is simple to rev-match downshift by ear when it is time to slow down. This helps make up for the fact that the brakes need to be used. It should come as no surprise that the Bus is also maneuverable in small areas because of its size; yet, its steering has a tendency to wander when the speed nears 45 miles per hour.
The ID Buzz may not have the same level of interaction as the Bus, but it is quite simple to use. The 201-horsepower electric motor is located in the trunk, and throughout the short test drive that we gave it, we never had the impression that it was lacking in torque. Although both vehicles are easily maneuverable at low speeds, the electric Volkswagen is much more responsive to steering inputs than the Bus, and its unexpectedly good cornering stability may be attributed to its low center of gravity.
There is only one big manner in which the ID Buzz does not live up to the Bus, and that is in its style. Despite the desire to wax philosophical about how the ID Buzz may be better if it were an objectively poorer vehicle, the fact is that there is only one major way in which this is the case.
The more time we spend with the ID Buzz, the less similar it seems to be to the Bus. The ID Buzz does not exactly have the same lovely happy-go-lucky nose as the Bus, nor does it have its smooth rounded contours. While the overall form is certainly comparable, this is not the case. The two-tone paint of the ID Buzz is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in relating the new model to the old one, as we put it in our First Drive of the model that was spaced for the European market. And in a similar vein, even if current crash safety rules are likely to prevent the creation of a 21-window ID Buzz, we wish that the inside felt as open as it does in the renderings. It could be possible to solve this problem by installing roll-down windows in the second row and pop-out windows in the third row, if one of them is ever installed.
It’s the same situation when it comes to the inside design of the ID Buzz. The ID Buzz loses the bohemian chic look of the original Bus due to its contemporary compromises like as the useful in-dash storage, adjustable center console, and screens adopted from the ID4. We’d be thrilled if Volkswagen tried to remedy this issue by offering a more daring selection of interior material options and, oddly enough, software. With Ford giving a retro Fox Body digital instrument cluster skin on the new 2024 Mustang and Kia offering a faux “tube” radio skin on its cars, we’d love to see Volkswagen design a software skin for the Buzz that harkens back to the heyday of the Bus. This would be something we’d be interested in seeing them do. Even something as simple as a circular digital display in front of the driver that matched the analog speedometer on the first model would be amazing, right?
It is possible that the Volkswagen ID Buzz is the most intriguing car that Volkswagen has introduced to the roads of the United States in recent decades. We anticipate that some of the modifications we proposed above might go a long way toward fixing that, and we’ll wait and see what’s planned for the American market before making a final judgment. While it is the most delightful ID product we’ve driven yet, it isn’t quite as appealing as the original. While it is the most charming ID product we’ve driven yet, it isn’t quite as charming as the original.
The ID. Buzz is designed to evoke memories of the heyday of the Volkswagen bus, and a significant piece of this intention is tied to the ID. Buzz’s boxy packaging, lends itself to spacious inside dimensions. This results in each of its three rows having a generous amount of space for passengers and the capacity to seat up to seven people in total. These seats furthermore come equipped with luxuries like a fold-out table and a massage function that can be selected as an option. In addition, there is a center console that can be removed from between the front seats to make it simpler to navigate the inside of the car.
Additional equipment of importance is located inside the ID. Buzz comes standard with a 10-inch touchscreen screen that is mounted above the dashboard, an abundance of USB charging outlets for both the driver and the passengers, and power sliding doors on each side of the vehicle to make accessing the back rows of seats far easier.
When It Will Be Available and Its Cost
During a presentation that took place at the Amelia Concours d’Elegance, Volkswagen made the announcement that the ID Buzz would be available for purchase in the summer of 2023. It is anticipated that the ID Buzz will become available for purchase in North America in the year 2024.
Volkswagen has not yet disclosed the cost of the ID. Buzz for customers in the United States, but the automaker has published a price for the vehicle in Germany, its home market. The electric vehicle has a starting price of around €65,000 (including the 19% sales tax). After deducting the appropriate taxes and translating the amount to American dollars, a starting price in the area of $55,000 is suggested, and this is before taking into account the delivery charge and any applicable government EV incentives. However, there are certain media that focus on the automobile industry and estimate the possible beginning price of the ID. Buzz to be a more reasonable $40,000.