3-Row VW ID Buzz EV Coming to US in 2024

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20230602 volkswagen id buzz 3 row vendor 95339.jpg
20230602 volkswagen id buzz 3 row vendor 95339.jpg

Volkswagen’s latest new vehicle debut is an electric revival of the classic VW Microbus… again. Yes, the ID Buzz is back after a European debut in 2022, however, this new three-row Buzz is bigger, more powerful and bound for US roads for the first time in over 20 years.

The broad strokes of the three-row ID Buzz are essentially unchanged from its European counterpart. The electric van still features a design inspired by Volkswagen’s iconic Type 2 Microbus, from the stubby nose and fascia to the long flat roof and boxy silhouette. The three-row Buzz’s massive front VW logo is now illuminated, a new bit of flash for the US debut.

3-Row VW ID Buzz Electric Microbus Is Headed to the States in 2024

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Nearly 10 inches longer

However, the Buzz that will arrive in the States will be 9.9-inches longer than the two-row model, with all that additional length going into the now 127.5-inch wheelbase. This means that while the Buzz’s footprint has grown significantly, it still retains its short overhangs, which helps it look smaller than it is.

To give you a sense of scale, the three-row ID Buzz is about the same width (77.9 inches) as Volkswagen’s three-row Atlas but, at 192.4 inches from bumper to bumper, is about 8.3 inches shorter than the SUV. The Buzz bus is also 74.6 inches tall, or around 5 inches taller than the Atlas. (And, for fans of the old Microbus, the big Buzz is nearly 2 feet longer than the Type 2.)

VW ID Buzz rear view, still on beach

All of the nearly 10 inches of additional length went into the wheelbase.

Volkswagen

The increased size makes room for more interior volume, particularly in the second row, with a downright luxurious amount of legroom. The new Buzz seats seven with its standard sliding bench seat, but a six-passenger option with captain’s chairs will be available. Pushing the bench forward even makes room for full-size adults to fit with reasonable comfort on the new third row. And, of course, both rows fold flat to create a lengthy cargo floor for bulky items.

Updated tech

The longer power-sliding side doors now feature small power-opening square windows that sit flush when closed. Above the passenger area lives the largest glass roof ever fitted to a production VW vehicle (64.7 inches long by 40.8 inches wide), with an electrochromic layer that shifts from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. 

Up front, a 12.9-inch version of VW’s new infotainment system lives at the center of the floating dashboard. Similar to the 15-inch unit that debuted on the ID 7 electric sedan, this setup now features illuminated volume and temperature sliders and a dedicated climate control bar along the bottom edge of the screen. The big screen is complemented by a compact 5.3-inch ID Cockpit digital instrument cluster just ahead of the steering wheel.

Volkswagen hasn’t published new volume or capacity numbers for the three-row Buzz — and I wasn’t allowed to break out my tape measure — but the company assured me we’d get more updates closer to launch.

Infotainment display in VW ID Buzz

The Buzz will feature a 12.9-inch version of VW’s newest infotainment suite.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Bigger battery, more power

Two of the biggest changes to the three-row ID Buzz aren’t visually apparent. The longer wheelbase also makes room for a bigger battery. The electric van will arrive in the States powered by a 91-kilowatt-hour battery pack (rather than the 82-kWh European unit). 

We’ll also get a more powerful standard electric motor. Mounted at the rear of the vehicle — just like in the OG Microbus — the new performance drive unit now outputs 282 horsepower, 81 hp more than its smaller sibling, and 406 pound-feet of torque. The new motor features stronger permanent magnets, more coil windings and improved cooling. It’s also fed power via a more powerful inverter. The extra juice has allowed VW to raise the speed limiter to 99 miles per hour, nine more than the two-row’s 90 mph max speed. The three-row Buzz will also be available with two-motor all-wheel drive, which VW currently estimates at around 330 hp.

The longer, more powerful ID Buzz arrives in the US in 2024.

Volkswagen

Unfortunately, VW was tight-lipped regarding range estimates, so some guesswork is required. The two-row with the smaller battery is currently estimated at 258 miles per charge, but that’s on the more generous WLTP cycle. The three-row boasts a bigger battery but will also be a touch heavier and subject to our more stringent EPA testing cycle. I expect the official estimate will remain in the same 260 to 270-mile ballpark.

We’re still not getting the two-row ID Buzz here in the US, so the three-row will be the only option for nostalgic fans of EV vans when it arrives on North American roads in 2024. More details — range, capacity, price, etc. — and announcements are expected over the coming months.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise