Volkswagen Crafter

19 Posted: 19th Oct 2018
Volkswagen Crafter

The launch of the Mk2 Crafter in 2017, was an important one for Volkswagen Commercials, who are hoping that it will contribute a greater percentage of sales within its CV range worldwide.

  • The latest crafter offers a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and 4Motion all-wheel-drive with a range of three versions of the same 2.0 litre TDI engine, offering power outputs of 100bhp, 138bph and 175bhp. The 100bhp unit delivers torque of 300Nm between 1,400 & 2,250rpm the 138bhp option has 340Nm from 1,600rpm to 2,250rpm, with the range-topping BiTurbo unit offering 410NM between 1,500rpm and 2,000rpm.
    It’s also available as a single or doubly car with a variety of different lengths, with or without conversions solutions, including drop side and tippers (ex-factory). It also has a maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 5.5 tonnes.

  • The mid-range Trendline MWB, driven by the 140PS engine and coupled to the 6-speed manual gear box was the model that was delivered to CC&V for review.

    First things first, The Volkswagen Crafter looks fantastic and is more in keeping with the Volkswagen passenger car look, which is not a bad thing at all! There is a new front design, with large wrap-around headlights and a Volkswagen-branded slimline chrome-trimmed grille.
    The sides have two neat folds in them giving the van an aero-dynamic look and at the back the large VW logo is coupled with large rear light clusters which really finish the look.
    Inside is the nicest van interior with a car-like ambience to it and an excellent driving postion. Both the switchgear and steering wheel are borrowed from Volkswagen’s car range and the quality of the plastics and finishes rivals its cars as well. The instruments are also very similar to the ones found in the Volkswagen cars, with the 8” touchscreen that sits in the centre of the dash.

  • The storage in cabin is very generous. There are two door pockets in each door, an array of dash-top cubbies with a USB connection plus two 12-volt power supplies. There are a number of cup holders, a decent-sized glovebox and on the test model there is an additional overhead storage compartment above all three front seats which adds even more useful space.
    The central passenger seat can be easily folded down to create a desk with both front passenger seats turning over to offer even more storage underneath them. The full steel bulkhead keeps the cabin warm as well as quiet. All three front passengers will get fantastic head and leg room.

    The Crafter was also the first van in its class to be available with a driver’s seat that has approval from ARG, which is the German campaign for healthy backs. This optional ergoComfort seat has 14 different position setting and a shock cushioning system that can be adjusted for the driver’s weight.

  • Equipment levels are excellent. There is a standard safety kit on all models which includes four airbags, ESP stability control, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and Side-Wind Assist, while Adaptive Cruise control, Lane Assist and Front-Assist Emergency Braking is optional. All options were fitted to the test model.

    The 6-speed manual model that was tested, with the 138bhp engine gives about 38.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 193g/km.
    Volkswagen has also reduced running costs through much longer service intervals compared to the old Crafter model. There’s one less oil-change needed in the first 200,000km than before along with other measures to make the services that are required more affordable and less frequent.

  • Although the Volkswagen Crafter is a large van, it never feels too big when on the road and it drives and handles like a saloon car. This is mostly due to the fitting of the electromechanical steering system in the Crafter, which was a first for the large panel van class. What this does is adjusts the steering weight according to the van’s speed. The easy to reach six-speed gear stick is neat and slick to work and the overall feeling driving the new Crafter is incredibly relaxing, far more so than other vans of this size.

    The infotainment system shames many £30,000 cars for ease of use and quality. The Satnav is excellent, the DAB radio is easy to navigate and the Bluetooth system connects quickly with the steering wheel controls enabling hands-free calls to be made safely.

  • Large vans need to offer a decent amount of storage. The Crafter has been designed to maximise carrying capacity and the new expanded range gives it a wider variety of body sizes than ever before. There are three vehicle lengths, starting with the 5,986mm ‘mid-length’ model, then the long wheelbase version at 6,836mm, plus there’s the ‘long-wheelbase plus overhang’ version, with an extended rear overhang, taking total length to 7,391mm.
    On top of that are a trio of roof heights, with the maximum cargo capacity on offer now being 18.4m3. Front-wheel drive variants have gross vehicle weights of between 3 & 4 tonnes. The rear-wheel drive models offer gross vehicle weights between 3.5 and 5.5 tonnes & the 4Motion 4×4 Crafters offer the carrying of weights up to 4 tonnes.

    The test model shown in the images, offers a payload of 3.5t, a capacity of 14.4 cubic metres & measures 5,986mm long by 2,427mm wide by 2,590 mm high. The rear doors open up to 270 degrees & the side door has a 1,311mm opening. It also offers space for six Euro pallets, whilst the load bay itself is lined with rigging tracks giving a host of different options for securing cargo.
    A wide range of options are also available, designed to tailor the panel van load bay for different needs. A wooden floor with integrated shelving mounts allows the installation of existing racking systems, along with an interior roof rack & storage boxes over the wheel arches.

  • Out on the road, the Crafter really is a joy to drive. Volkswagen have managed to make a large van feel like driving an everyday car, even on smaller winding roads. The high level of equipment adds to the enjoyment making long motorway journeys far more comfortable than they should be.

    The Volkswagen Crafter gets the vote from ‘Company Car and Van Magazine’ and has been rated a 4.5 stars out of 5!

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