worth the buzz? | 

The Irish Car of the Year created a Buzz on and off the road as we discovered its true value

After an extended run behind the wheel of VW’s unique MPV, I can say this is a headturner like no other and an absolute joy to drive

Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz attracts a huge amount of interest out on the road

Daragh behind the wheel of the ID. Buzz

Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz ready for the road

Chloe and Mia made the most of the boot space

Daragh KeanySunday World

Winning the overall Irish Car of the Year award at November’s ceremony has given the unique MPV a great start to its life here in Ireland.

The unmistakable design, two-tone colour scheme and sheer size means that VW’s ID. Buzz was always going to be an eye-catcher and attract attention and queries from anyone who was lucky enough to be in its substantial personal space.

With two car-mad daughters and a busy Christmas period, I asked Volkswagen if I could take the most talked about vehicle on Irish roads for an extended period of time.

So as soon as the car was registered and finished with its various dealer and launch commitments, I was handed the key to this beauty. I had seen it, read about it and even got to take it for an hour at the Irish launch a few months back.

Daragh behind the wheel of the ID. Buzz

But was it worth the hype? Especially when tested over a longer period of time broken up by Christmas parties, school runs, family get-togethers and our annual multi-generational pilgrimage to Roscommon for a few nights over New Year.

This is a huge MPV, so it is too easy to compare it to cars like the Toyota Proace or the Citroen Spacetourer.

There is also the Mercedes e-Vito Tourer, which also happens to be a full-electric option. But in truth, there is nothing like this on the market. And Volkswagen knows this.

Comparisons are completely futile. I have never been in a car that attracted so much attention; and I am not just talking about neighbours and colleagues.

Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz ready for the road

Everywhere I went I was answering a whole host of questions about it.

Some people had heard about it and wanted to see it in the flesh, but others were just completely dumbfounded by its distinctiveness.

There was the kind old lady with the gorgeous dog who stood in awe and asked about its range as she plugged in her Kia Soul. There was the taxi driver in his ID.4 who wanted to know about wheelchair accessibility.

And there was the gas man with his arms laden down with groceries who just shouted ‘congratulations’ to me across the forecourt, like he would if I had a brand-new baby.

My Candy White and Bay Leaf Green metallic ‘baby’ was ticking a lot of boxes for Team Keany.

There were several stashes of presents. Some secret ones pre-Christmas which were easily hidden under the boot shelf (designed for cable storage) and then the big not-so-secret hauls that filled up the giant boot on Christmas Day as we commuted between all the various grandparents and family visits.

The extra space (1,121 litres in total with the seats up) also meant that our trip from Dublin to Roscommon had the added attraction of allowing us to pack way more than we needed; a complete luxury compared to our last trip to the same house that involved loading things all around our kids in the back.

Row two of this beast comes with charging ports and aeroplane trays, with the inclusion of a slick and functional panoramic sunroof. There is bucketloads of leg room too, and as stated by Robbie after the European launch in autumn, the sliding doors (activated by the driver or the passenger from inside and outside) mean that the size of the vehicle doesn’t affect parking, like some other enormous cars.

Chloe and Mia made the most of the boot space

Parking sensors at every important spot and a perfectly good rear camera also assist you along the way. If anything, they are slightly over sensitive, but that is an unusual complaint considering I am basically saying it is too safe.

‘Safe’ is a boring word to use but it gets thrown around a lot these days. Where ‘safe’ usually comes in you tend to lose out on comfort and fun. Not here though. It has it all. Even the interior colour scheme and onboard tech reminds you of how unique and brilliant this car is while you are travelling along the M4 on a winter break.

The only downside we had was the battery size, as we had a few big journeys planned and with two impatient kids meant that the A-to-B had to have a C. And C is for Charge in this instance. I needed a few Cs along the way, and not all of them went to plan. Not my fault and certainly not VW’s fault, but there are some absolute doses driving EVs who think they own public charge points.

Abuse was hurled at me in front of my kids on one occasion just because I wanted to get fully charged for my trip home. He didn’t like that. He claimed there was an etiquette that meant I had to unplug and vacate at 80 per cent.

It was the only downside of what was one of the most fun and different test drives I’ve ever had.

Does the ID.Buzz match the hype? It does on everything right now. But I will be first in the queue to test the longer range version (less need to deal with public charger twats) that comes with seven seats. Word has it that it may arrive later this year.

Until then, however, as five-seat all-electric MPVs go, this is right up there. You pay a few thousand euro more to stand out from the crowd. Once you accept that, you won’t be bothered by the €66,295 base price tag.

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