Tanya Gold

Could you love an electric campervan?

Volkswagen's ID Buzz reviewed

  • From Spectator Life
(VW Press)

The Volkswagen ID Buzz is a pretty car, though so innocent-seeming you would forgive it anything. It succeeds the equally pretty T2 campervan, the Betty Boop of 1950s vehicles. The T2 was so convincing – cars, like everything, vary in charisma – it is one of the most famous vehicles in the world, so much so that I can’t think of one without seeing Don Draper’s face. Iconic is a stupid word, but the T2 was iconic, and in testament you will pay £20,000 for the bones of one, though you shouldn’t.

I should have waited for Exeter and topped up at Bristol, as the delivery driver counselled, but I wanted a McDonald’s as much as you can ever want a McDonald’s

But life is renewal, and here is the Buzz, which charms me. (I wonder if the name is supposed to invoke insect life. It is electric, a friend to bees.) The problem for those yearning for a T2 that works is the Buzz is not a campervan yet. VW thinks in decades, and this is an overture: the pre-campervan. For now, you can only dream of the Buzz with a pulldown bed and small fridge and stove – and which does not smell of mildew – and I do. I love the VW Grand California, but it is huge, with two double beds and a shower room: I am a nervous driver in a car. For now, the Buzz is an MPV (multiple purpose vehicle): electric car of the year 2023, and car of the year 2023. It is zero emissions, and parts of it are made of recycled ocean plastics. It conjures a future of Buzz calling to Buzz through idealised suburban streets, like Steven Spielberg’s childhood dreamscape, or clichés about Denmark.

It’s lovely to drive. You are as high as in an SUV, but with better visibility; it is easy to park – there are parking cameras, so you can spy on yourself – and comfortable.

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