Comparison test: Volkswagen ID Buzz vs. Volkswagen Multivan – Endurance test

At Volkswagen they have said goodbye to the traditional MPV with the ID Buzz and the Multivan…

Electric retro mpv or plug-in mpv

At Volkswagen they have said goodbye to the traditional MPV with the ID Buzz and the Multivan still has two decent alternatives. The ID Buzz is actually just an electric MPV, which is on the electric platform for all ID Volkswagens. Nowadays, the Multivan is also less of a passenger bus and more of an MPV because it uses the MQB platform of passenger cars. And it’s always a plug-in hybrid. How practical are VW’s two plug-in space cars?

So the ID Buzz and the Multivan are MPVs?

Yes, and it is a special set. Firstly because they are two concepts from the same manufacturer, but even more so because they are both MPVs. For the younger readers: that is a car type that was all the rage at the turn of the century, but was then supplanted by SUVs and crossovers, fell into oblivion and has been on the verge of extinction ever since. But not if it is up to Volkswagen and that is good news for old-fashioned large families and people who, for whatever reason, regularly need a lot of flexible space.

So the Volkswagen ID Buzz has nothing to do with the Transporter, the van?

No, and here’s the thing: Volkswagen’s bus program was once clear and well-arranged. One platform, one face and behind it a loading space, container, mobile home or fill it in. But now, almost three-quarters of a century after the launch of the original, it needs quite a bit of explanation. In fact, there are three lines running parallel, with three different faces and three different platforms. The Transporter is in its sixth generation and is therefore called T6. This model still uses conventional combustion engines, which provided space for an electric counterpart. That’s the ID Buzz we’re driving now, which is on the well-known MEB platform, which it shares with almost all EVs in the Volkswagen Group.

What about the Multivan?

That’s a lot more complicated. That was always nothing more or less than a passenger version of the Transporter, up to and including the previous model. That is why it was on the tried and tested, but aged commercial vehicle platform that debuted twenty years ago in the T5. For the new Multivan, which appeared a year and a half ago, Volkswagen made it a lot less easy. It still comes from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, but it was based on the MQB platform, the standard for most mid-sized cars in the family. The appearance also changed. Although the relationship with the Transporter is great, the side profile shows the much longer-looking, Fyra-like nose. Even nicer are the extra side windows in the A-pillars, which it has in common with the ID Buzz, which has copied the weather from the T1, the original VW bus. At the back, the vertical rear light units have been replaced by a more passenger car-like, horizontal model.
Unlike the commercial vehicle chassis of the T6, the MQB platform is suitable for a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It is now even the only powertrain in the Multivan in our country. This means much lower (theoretical) consumption, which in turn has repercussions on the gross price. The Multivan with plug-in hybrid drive is available from €54,630, which is more than 33 grand (!) Less than the previous model in its cheapest trim, as a 2.0 TDI Comfortline.

Multivan as a short version against the ID Buzz

The Multivan is not only flexible after purchase, but also before you have signed it. For example, there is a short version that we chose for today to be as close as possible to our ID Buzz. In that case, it measures 4.97 meters from bumper to bumper. In addition, there is a long variant, which is no less than 70 centimeters longer at 5.77 meters, which is entirely responsible for the part behind the rear axle; the wheelbase is therefore identical. That is pure profit for the boot space, because the short bus with third row of seats (only the simplest version must be without it, the Life and Style are standard seven-seater) has 469 liters of luggage space, expandable to 3,672 liters with the second and third row of seats removed, while the long version there measures 763 and 4,005 liters respectively.

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