Sporty version of big electric MPV gets four-wheel drive and 335bhp - but is it more style than substance?

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When Volkswagen first introduced its sporty GTX moniker, you would never have guessed that it would have been slapped onto the side of the Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX.

But that’s exactly what the brand has done with the .The MPV is the fourth model in the brand’s electric armoury to receive the GTX treatment, following the ID 4 and ID 5 SUVs and ID 7 saloon/estate. 

With the badge comes a significant power boost, an additional motor for four-wheel drive and a host of styling changes in a bid to make the VW ID Buzz stand out among the relatively small - but growing - crowd of electric MPVs. 

It arrives as part of a big 2024 update for the Buzz, which also included the addition of larger long-wheelbase (LWB) models to be sold alongside the standard short-wheelbase (SWB) Buzz. 

The Buzz GTX is available in both wheelbase sizes in Europe, but the UK will only get the standard version. It comes with either a 79kWh battery or a larger 86kWh one. 

Volkswagen hasn’t yet detailed official range figures, but charging speeds max out at 180kW for the smaller battery and 200kW for the larger one. Volkswagen claims a charge from 20-80% can be completed in 20 minutes for both models. 

In traditional GTX fashion, the sportier Buzz also gets a significant power increase from 201bhp to 335bhp, with 413lb ft of torque to boot. That’s more power than what is offered by the new Golf R. 

The SWB model completes the 0-62mph sprint in 6.1sec, while the LWB does so in 6.7sec. In short, it’s the most powerful Volkswagen bus we've ever seen. 

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On the surface, the Buzz GTX has some serious stats behind it. But what’s it like to drive, and is all this sporting flair just for show? Read on to find out.

Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX line-up at a glance

ID Buzz GTX SWB 335bhp
ID Buzz GTX LWB 335bhp


Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX dynamic

With its retro styling and endearing charm, the Buzz GTX sports a familiar face.

If you weren’t into cars, you would be unlikely to notice the difference compared with the standard version, save for its cherry red exterior paint, which is exclusive to this specific variant (two-tone silver is an optional extra). 

The Buzz GTX gets a new honeycomb front grille, new air intakes, GTX badges and a host of black exterior changes, including fresh 21in alloy wheels and tinted rear windows.

Still, like the rest of the GTX range, the Buzz looks smart rather than sporty. 


Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX front seats cabin

Inside, the Buzz GTX gets a similar treatment to Volkswagen's other warmed-up EVs. It gets GTX seats with electronic adjustment and memory function and a sportier GTX steering wheel, both featuring red stitching. 

In the UK, the Buzz GTX can be selected with a five- or six-seat layout. Cars with five seats follow a traditional 2/3 configuration, while the six-seater has a 2/2/2 layout. 

With five seats, the Buzz GTX features an 1121-litre boot, which increases to 2123 litres with the rear seats folded. Six-seat models lose some cargo space, although the rear two seats can be removed completely to increase space.

The GTX gets Volkswagen's most recent 5.2 software, which pairs with a new 12.9in touchscreen (up from 12.0in) infotainment system. The system is much snappier than before, showing that Volkswagen’s efforts to improve its systems are well and truly under way. 

While the haptic touchpad-focused interior is still frustrating to use, it has been improved slightly with the addition of backlit climate-control sliders, which is a well-overdue feature that will please some drivers. 

The voice control system, called Ida, has also been improved with the integration of ChatGPT artificial intelligence, but our use of it was short and predictably ineffective. 

Overall, the Buzz GTX’s interior is a pleasant, supremely relaxing place to sit. The seats in all three rows offer plentiful space for most passengers, with room to spare for bags, shopping or suitcases. 

That said, many of the interior materials are disappointing to the touch - a complaint we also make about the standard Buzz. 

There are many scratchy plastics on the doors and dashboard and the metal-look trim running across the dashboard feels a bit cheap. With the price increase we’re expecting over the standard model, we would have liked to see some more premium, soft-touch materials. 

Our test car featured some uncomfortable US-specification seats in the third row, which will be swapped out for slightly more cushioned seats when it goes on sale in Europe and the UK. 


Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX side

With 335bhp and 413lb ft, it’s no surprise that the GTX is significantly faster than the standard ID Buzz. Its 0-62mph sprint is faster than the Audi S3's, and there isn’t another MPV that can match it for sheer pace. 

The two motors send power to both axles, and the wheels then deliver this performance effortlessly onto the road. 

The obvious outright boost in sheer pace is enticing on Germany’s autobahns, and it’s certainly appealing to effortlessly propel almost three tonnes of metal with such ease.

However, the Buzz GTX doesn’t quite feel as fast as its on-paper figures. The acceleration isn’t quite as severe as that of some other EVs out there, which is largely down to its enormous weight. 

What has improved significantly is the Buzz’s mid-range performance. The extra power really helps keep the momentum going when accelerating at higher speeds, and you will have absolutely no issue overtaking on faster roads. 

Volkswagen has been keen to point out in the past that the GTX badge doesn’t represent full-on performance, like the GTI badge, which is currently still reserved for the brand’s ICE line-up, but rather the addition of 4WD and generally improved usability.

The same is true here. The Buzz’s performance boost will be welcome to some and there is more than enough power at its disposal for most needs.

But the gains in the real world feel marginal - which is an observation we also made about the GTX variants of the ID 4 and ID 5.

Despite its power increase, the Buzz GTX was never really going to be the most exciting car to drive - but it does offer a niche performance package for drivers hauling heavy loads.


Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX front

Away from the additional motor and power increase, Volkswagen decided not to make any significant changes beneath the metal.

What that means is the Buzz GTX maintains the manoeuvrability and composed drive as the standard Buzz but with some added pace in both urban and rural environments. Both the SWB and LWB models have a great turning circle. 

On our German test route, the car rode over most bumps without issue, including speed bumps in town, and was comfortable in all passenger positions. 

The 4WD system offers excellent levels of grip, but the car’s weight and height are very apparent in faster corners.

Like the standard Buzz, the GTX isn’t particularly aerodynamic, and wind noise at higher speeds is very pronounced. 

The Buzz GTX is no race car and shouldn't be described as dynamic, but it generally handles its weight and height well - and more power is welcome. 


Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX front lead

Volkswagen hasn’t revealed the pricing of the Buzz GTX yet, but the standard Buzz starts at just under £60,000. 

If we look further down the Volkswagen range, the ID 4 GTX comes in at around £12,000 more expensive than the entry-level ID 4, so we’d expect a similar increase with the Buzz. 

That would bring it uncomfortably above the £70,000 mark, which is far higher than the Kia EV9 seven-seat SUV, if far cheaper than the Mercedes-Benz EQV MPV.

There’s a host of options you might want to consider too. Specifications are still yet to be finalised too, but our test car featured options such as a head-up display, electric sliding doors and an electronically dimmable panoramic sunroof, all of which will contribute to a higher price. 

As for the GTX's running costs, we're still not certain of its range. Our test car's computer read 368km (228 miles) at 96% charge, so a full battery is likely to offer between 240-250 miles of range. In comparison, the EV9 offers up to 349 miles of range. 


Volkswagen ID Buzz GTX side distance

While the Buzz was an unexpected recipient of the GTX badge, the sporty makeover does add many welcome features. 

Its uprated power is endearing, if a bit silly, it’s a comfortable place to sit with plenty of space and it’s better to drive than many of its rivals. 

However, it doesn’t quite feel special enough to justify its inevitable price jump over the standard Buzz. We’re also not getting the more useful LWB model in the UK. 

It’s also tough to recommend the Buzz GTX over the regular LWB Buzz. While the increased power makes for brisker travelling, the performance gains aren’t noticeable enough, as the LWB Buzz itself offers a more powerful motor (and a larger battery). 

We will have to wait until the Buzz GTX goes on sale later next year for its price and official range figures, which will reveal the full cost of that additional poke.