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VW’s £57k ID.Buzz wins What Automobile? of the 12 months 2023 despite cost-of-living crisis

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The perfect brand recent automobile you may buy is an electrical tackle an old van: VW’s ID.Buzz.

It is the time of 12 months when motoring awards start getting handed out, and considered one of the largest ‘automotive Oscars’ of all of them has just crowned Volkswagen’s recent electric MPV the perfect automobile for 2023 – trumping cheaper rivals with petrol engines.

The retro vehicle – which is inspired by the enduring Type 2 camper of the Fifties, ’60s and ’70s and has a 260-mile range  – has won the What Automobile? Automobile of the 12 months award on Thursday evening.

But with the start of 2023 very much within the clutches of a price of living crisis, its starting price of £57,115 means it will not be a model people watching their spending will probably be considering this 12 months.

Some 24 individual award categories named the perfect makes and models across all vehicle segments. See which other recent motors What Automobile? recommends.

Is that this really the perfect recent automobile of the 12 months during a cost-of-living crisis? The VW ID.Buzz has been named What Automobile? Automobile of the 12 months 2023, despite prices ranging from over £57,000 

The annual What Automobile? awards hands out trophies to the perfect automobile makers for products launched within the previous 12 months.

The ID.Buzz has taken the highest honour in 2023, with the magazine’s team of judges saying it stood out for ‘combining the practicality of an MPV with the comfort and desirability of a luxury SUV, while undercutting rivals akin to the BMW iX3, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQC’.

The retro MPV - which is inspired by the iconic Type 2 camper and vans of the 1950s, '60s and '70s and has a 260-mile range - has won the What Car? of the Year

The retro MPV – which is inspired by the enduring Type 2 camper and vans of the Fifties, ’60s and ’70s and has a 260-mile range – has won the What Automobile? of the 12 months 

What Car? says the ID.Buzz has plenty of consumer appeal, with an official all-electric range of 260 miles and charge time (from to 10 to 80 per cent charge) of less than half an hour

What Automobile? says the ID.Buzz has loads of consumer appeal, with an official all-electric range of 260 miles and charge time (from to 10 to 80 per cent charge) of lower than half an hour

ID. Buzz is only the third battery-powered vehicle crowned the best new car in the annual What Car? medal ceremony, which have been held every year since 1978

ID. Buzz is just the third battery-powered vehicle crowned the perfect recent automobile within the annual What Automobile? medal ceremony, which have been held every 12 months since 1978 

The interior is smart, bright and clutter free with soft-touch trim and a contemporary 'Silver Birch' veneer

The inside is wise, shiny and clutter free with soft-touch trim and a recent ‘Silver Birch’ veneer

It’s only the third time a battery-powered vehicle has been crowned the perfect recent automobile within the annual medal ceremony, which have been held every 12 months since 1978.

Electric cars which have previously picked up the highest honour are each Kia models: the e-Niro taking the accolade in 2019 and the EV6 lifting the trophy in last 12 months’s awards.

Will it slot in my garage? Volkswagen ID Buzz 

Price: from £57,115

Seats: 5

Safety: Top 5-star EuroNCAP rating

Length: 4,712 mm

Width (inc mirrors): 2,211 mm

Width: (body only): 1985mm

Height: 1,937mm

Wheelbase: 2,989 mm

Gross weight: 3,000 kg

Unladen weight: 2,502 kg

Powertrain: electric motor

Drive: rear-wheel drive

Battery: 77 kWh Lithium-ion battery

Transmission: direct drive single speed gearbox

Maximum power: 204 Horsepower/150 kW

0-62 mph: 10.2 seconds

Top speed: 90mph

Range: 255 miles

CO2 emissions: 0 g/km

Energy Consumption: 2.93 miles/kWh, 21.2 kWh/62 miles

Turning circle: 11.1m

Charging time (DC): 170kW rapid charge TO 80%: half-hour

Charging Time (AC): 11 kW 3-phase: 7hr, 30 min (to 100%) 

Boot space with rear seats up: 1,121 litres

Boot space with rear seats down: 2,123 litres

Trailer weight: as much as 1,000kg 

Warranty: 3 years / 100,000 miles

Battery Warranty: 8 years or 100,000 miles

What Automobile? says the ID.Buzz has loads of consumer appeal, with an official all-electric range of 260 miles and charge time (from to 10 to 80 per cent charge) of lower than half an hour. 

‘It offers a commanding raised driving position, superb visibility, is amazingly quiet and has space to take three children or adults within the back, in addition to having an infinite boot,’ the magazine said.

Nonetheless, the ID.Buzz won’t be for everybody – especially those with tighter budgets and watching the pennies through the cost-of-living crunch.

The entry ID.Buzz Life version costs just over £57,000, while the present range-topping version (ID.Buzz Style) rings in at an enormous £61,915.

It means the German electric MPV is greater than double the value of the UK’s best-selling automobile of 2022, the Sunderland-built Nissan Qashqai (ranging from £26,405).

Speaking about why the automobile was crowned this 12 months, What Automobile? editor Steve Huntingford, said: ‘The ID.Buzz has been eagerly anticipated due to its nostalgic styling, but all of our judges were blown away by the very fact it didn’t just live as much as expectations but, in truth, was even higher than the hype.

‘It’s great to drive, wonderful to be in, has more room than most families could ever ask for and – thanks partly to incredible predicted resale value – substantially undercuts many SUV rivals on a monthly finance deal. 

‘It is a automobile that wins over your head in addition to your heart and one that can bring huge amounts of joy to lucky buyers at a time when the prices and challenges of motoring are under greater pressure than ever.’

Dr. Lars Krause, board member for sales and marketing of Volkswagen Industrial Vehicles, was overjoyed to gather the gong, saying he was ‘thrilled’ that the automobile has been honoured by considered one of the brand’s most significant markets.

‘The ID Buzz is the reincarnation of an icon and we’re thrilled that the experts at What Automobile? magazine share the passion of our fans and customers, and have given it the honour of their Automobile of the 12 months award,’ he said.

‘The UK is considered one of our most significant markets, and customers here expect the perfect. We’ll proceed to do all we are able to to construct great cars for you, to develop icons of the longer term and to make sure the following successful chapter in our brand’s history.’

VW's ID.Buzz won't be for everyone - especially those with tighter budgets and watching the pennies during the cost-of-living crunch

VW’s ID.Buzz won’t be for everybody – especially those with tighter budgets and watching the pennies through the cost-of-living crunch

The entry ID.Buzz Life version costs just over £57k, while the range-topping version (ID.Buzz Style) rings in at a massive £61,915. That's more than twice the price of a Nissan Qashqai

The entry ID.Buzz Life version costs just over £57k, while the range-topping version (ID.Buzz Style) rings in at an enormous £61,915. That is greater than twice the value of a Nissan Qashqai

What Automobile?’s editor, Steve Huntingford, said the ID. Buzz is ‘great to drive, wonderful to be in, has more room than most families could ever ask for’ 

Category winners on the What Automobile? Automobile of the 12 months Awards 2023 

OVERALL WINNER

Automobile of the 12 months: Volkswagen ID Buzz Style

CATEGORY WINNERS

Small automobile: Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Hybrid SR

Family automobile: Honda Civic 2.0 e:HEV Sport

Hot hatch: Hyundai i20N

Small SUV: Volkswagen T-Roc 1.0 TSI 110 Life

Family SUV: Kia Sportage 1.6 Turbocharged Petrol 3

Seven Seater: Hyundai Santa Fe 4WD Premium

Executive automobile: Tesla Model 3 RWD

Luxury automobile: Range Rover Sport P440e Dynamic SE

Hybrid (plug-in): Lexus NX 450h Premium Pack

Small electric automobile: MG4 EV SE

Large electric automobile: Volkswagen ID Buzz Style

Estate: Skoda Superb Estate 1.5 TSI 150 SE L

Coupe: BMW 4 Series 420i M Sport (M Sport Pro Package)

Electric SUV: Genesis GV60 RWD Premium

Convertible: BMW 4 Series Convertible 420i M Sport (M Sport Pro Package)

Sports automobile: Porsche Cayman 4.0 GTS

Sports SUV: Ford Puma ST 1.5 Ecoboost 200 Performance Pack

Performance automobile: Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 4S

SPECIAL AWARDS

Reader Award: Kia EV9

Tow Automobile Award: Audi Q5 40 TDI quattro Sport

Reliability Award: Lexus

Technology Award: BMW i7

Efficiency Award: Tesla Model 3 RWD

Safety Award: Tesla Model Y

Other big winners on the night included Land Rover, whose big-selling Range Rover Sport was hailed the perfect luxury automobile.

At the opposite end of the dimensions, celebrated British brand MG – now under Chinese ownership – won best small electric automobile for its MG4 EV.

The brand new MG4 EV was unveiled at the top of 2022 and starts from just £25,995, which is half the value of the ID.Buzz. 

And it can go further on a full charge, with a quoted distance of 323 miles for its shortest-range version, and as much as 365 miles for the longest-range example.

The Tesla Model 3, which – to the annoyance of recent customers – has been subject to a recent price cut, was also honoured.

The US electric saloon dethroned BMW’s 3 Series as the perfect executive automobile after the German marque had won the category for the past 4 years. 

Significantly, it also marks the primary time an electrical automobile has won the category.

Nonetheless, BMW did enjoy huge success on the night, taking three category wins for the perfect coupe (4 Series), best convertible (4 Series Convertible) and the technology award (BMW i7). 

That placed it first equal with Volkswagen for manufacturer awards, with VW also lifting the trophy for the perfect small SUV (Volkswagen T-Roc).

Tesla also racked up three awards in total (best executive Automobile, efficiency award and safety award), tying with the German rivals.

One other notable winner was the Genesis GV60, which took the award for best electric SUV. 

It’s an enormous achievement for Hyundai’s luxury spin-off brand, with Genesis only launching within the UK in 2021.

Lexus, the premium marque linked to Toyota, yet again won the general reliability award. 

Hits and misses: Has What Automobile? got it right with winners previously?

After What Automobile? presented its top honour to an electrical automobile with a starting price of £57,000 – moderately than a cheaper petrol rival – many drivers will query the judging decision.

What Automobile?’s annual Automobile of the 12 months gongs have been handed out since 1978… but has the motoring magazine at all times got it right?

Hindsight is an excellent thing, and it means we are able to look back to the turn of the century to see if former winners lived as much as What Automobile?’s billing:

2000: Skoda Fabia – HIT  

When the Fabia supermini hit the market, it was reliable, low-cost to run and built to last. The automobile essentially transformed Skoda’s image, which has helped make it so successful today. 

2001: Ford Mondeo – HIT

The primary-generation Mondeo was the best-selling family automobile in Britain on the time but this follow-up blew the whole lot out of the water on the automobile’s height of recognition.

2002: Toyota Corolla – HIT

The Corolla was comfortable and practical, if not all that exciting. Nonetheless, it remains to be to this date one of the crucial dependable family hatches sold this side of 2000. 

2003: Seat Ibiza – HIT

Under the stewardship of the VW Group, the Ibiza hit the market as a wonderful package that undercut rivals on price. 

2004: VW Golf MK5 – HIT

Some will argue that is the perfect modern-era Golf of all, with the Mk6 version being something of a disappointment. Bought in droves, it is a surefire hit.

2005: Land Rover Discovery 3 – MISS

A capable off-roader with a great deal of luxury, however the third-generation Discovery has proved to be riddled with issues with owners recurrently voting it considered one of the least reliable motors on the road. 

Woeful reliability makes the decision to award the Land Rover Discovery 3 a surefire miss

Woeful reliability makes the choice to award the Land Rover Discovery 3 a surefire miss

2006: BMW 3 Series – HIT

This 3 Series is the one which helped change the sport within the small executive segment because the premium-branded Beemer outsold cheaper rivals from non-prestige marques. 

2007: Vauxhall Corsa – HIT

While this version of the Corsa never quite made it to the highest of the sales charts, on the time it was essentially the most spacious and comfy supermini in the marketplace. 

2008: Jaguar XF – MISS

While it may need impressed at launch, the XF was no match for its German rivals – and there was a gulf in sales between it and more completed models just like the BMW 5 Series. 

The XF might have impressed the What Car? panel in 2008, but that didn't translate in terms of sales, with the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class trumping it

The XF may need impressed the What Automobile? panel in 2008, but that did not translate when it comes to sales, with the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class trumping it

2009: Ford Fiesta – HIT

That is the Fiesta that began a 12-year run at the highest of the sales charts that resulted in 2021. Good to drive, inexpensive and practical; it could do all of it. 

2010: Peugeot 3008 – MISS

With compact SUVs growing in popularity, the arrival of the Peugeot 3008 took the segment to a recent level of refinement and interior style. But lower than impressive engines and rapid depreciation makes this alternative a miss. 

The 3008 was Peugeot's early answer to quirky crossovers but a poor engine line-up and rapid depreciation makes it one you might have wanted to avoid

The 3008 was Peugeot’s early answer to quirky crossovers but a poor engine line-up and rapid depreciation makes it one you may have desired to avoid

2011: Audi A1 – MISS

There’s not much fallacious with the Audi A1, but it surely hasn’t change into the sales success Audi would have hoped. Outsold by the Mini and with prices deemed too steep for a supermini, it has never been the amount seller it hoped for. 

2012: Volkswagen Up! – HIT

The Up! arrived and offered levels of interior quality, refinement, space and maturity not seen before in town automobile class. It continues to go strong today. 

2013: Audi A3 Sportback – HIT

Splendidly refined, a beautiful interior and heaps of refinement kept this generation of the A3 at the highest of the premium hatchback segment. 

2014: Nissan Qashqai – HIT

The second-gen Qashqai was not only a best-seller within the UK, where it’s built, also went on to be Europe’s hottest crossover with three million sold across the Continent and five million sold globally. 

2015: Skoda Fabia – HIT

That is right, the Fabia has won this award twice since 2000. This generation of Fabia was replaced in 2022, but even by today’s standards looks like an exceptionally well-rounded supermini. 

2016: Audi A4 – HIT

When this recent A4 arrived, it took the junior executive segment to recent levels. Nonetheless, sales never really reflected this. It was out-sold by the Mercedes C-Class that 12 months. 

2017: BMW 5 Series – HIT

One of the vital completed premium executive saloons to hit the market, it is perhaps expensive but for individuals who could afford it, it didn’t disappoint. 

2018: Volvo XC40 – HIT

Probably still the perfect compact SUV in the marketplace today, though it remains to be moderately pricey. 

2019: Kia e-Niro – HIT

With a real-world range of greater than 250 miles and a price tag that made it more accessible to a broader audience of drivers, the e-Niro was fully deserving of the 2019 award.

2020:  Ford Puma – HIT

The Puma was the most-bought small SUV in 2021. Sharp handling, pokey engines and mild-hybrid tech makes this a licensed hit. 

2022: Kia EV6 – HIT

With no gong handed out for 2021 resulting from Covid lockdowns in January 2021, we jump straight to last 12 months’s winner, the electrical Kia EV6. While it didn’t break into the highest best-selling electric cars of last 12 months, it still stays among the best quality products and offers an extended range than a lot of its – dearer – rivals.

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