Standard EquipmentTechnical SpecificationOptional ExtrasIndependent Review

Driver Convenience

  • 8" touchscreen
  • Cruise control with speed limiter
  • Digital clock
  • Driver alert system
  • Front assist including city emergency braking
  • Headlight range control
  • Lights on warning buzzer
  • Locking fuel cap
  • Multi-function Display Plus
  • PAS
  • Rev counter
  • Seatbelt warning indicator
  • Service indicator

Entertainment

  • Composition media radio and Bluetooth
  • Digital radio (DAB)
  • iPod/USB connection

Exterior Features

  • 2 speed windscreen wipers/intermittent wash
  • Electric windows
  • Electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors
  • Indicators in front door mirrors
  • Integral step in front bumper
  • Rear wing doors with 270 degree hinges

Interior Features

  • 12V socket
  • Air recirculation system
  • Ashtray
  • Centre console storage tray
  • Charcoal filter
  • Document holder on centre console
  • Drinks holders
  • Fully adjustable drivers seat
  • Height adjustable head restraints
  • Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • Interior light, including 2 reading lights
  • Interior light, switchable by door
  • Jack and tool kit
  • Multi-function steering wheel with trip computer
  • Rear grab handle
  • Storage compartments in doors and in step, right
  • Storage tray on dashboard

Safety

  • 3 point inertia reel belt on all seats
  • Automatic hazard light with emergency braking
  • Crosswind assist
  • Height adjustable seatbelts for outer cab seats

Security

  • 2 additional keys
  • Engine immobiliser
  • Remote central/dead locking

Technical

  • 75 litre fuel tank
  • ABS
  • EBA
  • EBD
  • EDL
  • ESP
  • HBA
  • Parking brake - hill hold control
  • Post collision braking system
  • TCS

Wheels

  • 16" steel wheels

Emissions

CO

CO2 (g/km)

199

HC+NOx

Noise Level dB(A)

NOx

Particles

Standard Euro Emissions

EURO 6

General

Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07

Safety Concerns?

1

Badge Engine CC

2

Badge Power

177

Based On ID

Battery Volts

12

Chassis Engine Number

Clutch

SINGLE DRY PLATE

Coin Description

Coin Gross Vehicle Weight Code

Coin Power Output Code

Coin Series

Coin Wheelbase Description Code

Coin Wheelbase Name Code

Front Brakes

VENTILATED DISCS

Front Suspension

LEAF SPRINGS

Timing Belt Interval Mileage

0

Hand Brake

REAR WHEELS

Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years

12

Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years

3

NCAP Safety Assist %

NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09

Badge Power

Badge Engine CC

Vehicle Homologation Class

Running Cost League Headings

NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %

12

Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months

12000

Special Edition

1

Special Order

1

Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage

0

Standard manufacturers warranty - Years

3

Vehicle Homologation Class

N1

Vin/Frame No.

Engine and Drive Train

Automatic Transmission

1

Cylinders - Bore (mm)

81

Catalytic Convertor

1

CC

1968

Cooling System

WATER

Cylinder Layout

IN-LINE

Cylinders

4

Engine Layout

NORTH SOUTH

Engine Make

Fuel Delivery

COMMON RAIL

Fuel Delivery

DIESEL

Gears

6 SPEED

Manual Transmission

1

Cylinders - Stroke (mm)

95.5

Camshaft

SOHC

Fuel Consumption

EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies

1

EC Combined (mpg)

37.7

EC Extra Urban (mpg)

40.9

EC Urban (mpg)

32.8

Performance

0 to 62 mph (secs)

Engine Power - BHP

177

Engine Power - KW

130

Top Speed

102

Tyres

Alloys?

1

Automatic Clutch

1

Plated 3rd Axle

Plated 4th Axle

Space Saver?

1

Tyre Make

Tyre Size Front

205/75 R16C

Tyre Size Rear

205/75 R16C

Tyre Size Spare

FULL SIZE

Wheel Style

Wheel Type

16" STEEL

Vehicle Dimensions

Height

2590

Height (including roof rails)

Length

5986

Load Height

1961

Load Length

3450

Wheelbase

3640

Width

2040

Width (including mirrors)

2427

Weight and Capacities

Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb

Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)

Gross Train Weight

6000

Gross Vehicle Weight

3500

Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)

Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)

Luggage Capacity - 2nd Row Seats Removed

Luggage Capacity - 2nd Row Seats Up

Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Down

Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Removed

Luggage Capacity - 3rd Row Seats Up

Max. Towing Weight - Braked

3000

Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked

750

Minimum Kerbweight

2265

Max. Loading Weight

1235

On The Road

Driver Convenience

Entertainment

Exterior Features

Interior Features

Packs

Paintwork

Safety

Security

Trim

Wheels

Summary

Is there a better quality large panel van out there than the Volkswagen Crafter? Assuming you prefer the Volkswagen's engine range and pricing structure to that of its Mercedes Sprinter stablemate, then you'd have to say not. The only issue this vehicle used to have centred upon its running costs, but these are now amongst the most efficient in the class thanks to the adoption of a far cleaner and more frugal set of Euro6 2.0 TDI diesel engines. Yes, the Crafter is priced at a premium compared to rivals but you can see and feel where the extra money goes. Forward-thinking businesses will accept this on the basis that residual values are very strong and the whole vehicle feels - and is - built to last, enabling companies to spread the up-front sticker price over a longer operating period. In ten years time, we'd wager that this vehicle will still be going strong at a point when most of its rivals will be falling to pieces. Enough said.

Background

A really large van is the kind of thing your business will need for its heaviest, most awkward loads. The kind of vehicle that, as a result, is likely to get the toughest day-to-day treatment. Such an LCV will also require quite a substantial initial outlay, money you'll want to preserve as far as possible in resale value when the time comes to sell. For all these reasons, when considering a van of this kind, it's tempting to stretch yourself a little and go with the quality option, even if it costs a little more. In this market, that tends to mean either a Mercedes Sprinter or this contender, Volkswagen's Crafter. Both these LCVs ride on the same fundemental underpinnings but are quite different in their approach. We're looking here at a revised version of the Crafter, a vehicle now manufacturered at a bespoke plant created in Poland for its assembly. The Volkswagen also offers slightly more economical running costs, which, along with a lower up-front asking price, explains its established appeal in Britain's biggest LCV sector. It's a position that Volkswagen hopes will be strengthened by the enhancements made to this improved version, which now features a smarter look. The changes are timely, with rivals like Ford's latest generation full-sized Transit now commanding increasing sales in the Crafter's large van segment. This Volkswagen though, now has plenty to offer in response, enough, the Wolfsburg brand hopes, to keep its place near the top of its class, building on a large van heritage for the company which stretches all the way back to 1975. Let's put it to the test.

Driving Experience

Once you settle into driving a large van like this, it's a very commanding experience. You sit high up in quite a car-like position thanks to the upright steering wheel, enjoying a supportive seat that's equipped with an armrest to prop a weary elbow on over longer trips. A pity then, that earlier Crafter engines tended to be relatively ponderous. That's not the case anymore thanks to far-reaching changes under the bonnet of this revised version and the adoption of a freshly designed electro-mechanical steering system.. Engine changes centre around the installation of a freshly-designed 2.0-litre TDI diesel unit, available to 102, 122 and 140PS outputs, plus there's a potent bi-turbo version putting out 177PS. All the engines will get you and your load where you need to be with deceptive speed. The smoothness and pulling power of this 2.0-litre unit is something that operators familiar with the old version may well notice in the first half a mile of use, even in the entry-level 102PS variant. Customers have a choice between front, rear and all-wheel drive (4MOTION),as well as the option of a manual or automatic gearbox. Power arrives low in the rev range so that you don't have to row the thing along with the gear lever so much in town. On the open road, overtaking's easy too. It's the main reason why this vehicle has so much towing power too, all Crafters able to haul a braked trailer grossing at up to 2,000kgs. Further up the range, the differences with what went before are even greater, the top-flight twin-turbo 177PS BiTDI variant offering around 400Nm of torque.

Design and Build

This Crafter now features a smarter front end intended to bring the design more into line with the stylistic look of company's smaller Transporter and Caddy van models. Moving inside is easy, thanks to a low step and a large door opening. And once in the cab, well, it's much as before. Volkswagen's designers had a chance with this enhanced model to brighten up the working environment. They haven't really taken it, but there is a smarter, higher quality feel about the interior these days, thanks to a smart instrument cluster with cool white illumination and darker, practical upholstery that'll be hardwearing. As you'd expect, two or three people can comfortably travel side by side in the front, but if you're not using the middle seat, you can pull down its centre section and turn it into a table complete with two upholders and a pen-holder - ideal if you've paperwork to complete or if you're stopping somewhere to have a bite of lunch. The driver's seat is multi-adjustable and the wheel can adjust for reach and rake, so it's easy to get comfortable. Once you are, there's plenty of space for all your odds and ends, with storage spaces aplenty. You get a large bin in each of the doors big enough to store a large road atlas and a 1.5-litre drinks bottle. Then there are large shelves above the windscreen and more shelves (one of which is big enough for an A4-sized clipboard) on top of the fascia. There are no fewer than five cupholders for that morning trip to McDonalds and a handy dash-mounted clip to deal with stray paperwork. You also get a large glovebox that can be air-conditioned to keep drinks cool. And useful jacket hooks on the B-pillars.

Market and Model

Prices? Well, excluding the dreaded VAT, they lie mainly in the £30,000-£35,000 bracket that you might expect for this class of large van, though in today's cut-throat market, that is slightly more than you'd pay for some mainstream rivals. Specific figures will depend on your specific answer to the rather spooky question of which Crafter. Essentially, there are four standard model ranges within the Crafter line-up - panel van, window van, the choice of chassis cab or double cab and, if none of that satisfies, a series of 'off the shelf' conversions to create things like dropside, tipper and Luton bodies based on the single or doublecab chassis. With that issue decided, you've then to choose your vehicle weight. Popular is the 'CR35' model, a moniker that designates a 3.5-tonne gross vehicle weight. Alternatively, there are CR30 and CR50 variants offering three or five-tonne weights. Next up, you've to choose your wheelbase: most buyers choose the Medium wheelbase variant, but you can also select 'Short', 'Long' or 'Maxi' variants with an extra 400mm of length. There are also three roof heights - 'normal', 'high' and 'super-high'. All Crafter models are decently equipped and can now be ordered with more sophisticated infotainment systems and greater degrees of electronic safety. Active driver assistance systems include ESP with trailer stabilisation, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control, a post-collision braking system, a side wind compensation system and a trailer manoeuvring assistant system. Buyers might also also want a reversing camera, a parking distance monitor and a Rear Traffic Alert system. Optional LED headlights, cornering lights and a Light Assist set-up can ensure a clear view of the road ahead at night, while the Crafter can also now come with online services tailored to the specific needs of customers.