NVS Verdict: VW’s largest panel van is ideal to shift large loads over long distances. It does tough jobs but it oozes a quality feeling in the cabin that other large panel vans can only dream of giving.
Volkswagen Crafter CR35 LWB
What is it?
The Crafter comes off the same production line as Mercedes-Benz’s Sprinter but it has a different front end and VW’s own engines and suspension. The Crafter was upgraded with a softer-looking front in 2012 and a choice of 2.0-litre engines with either 109, 136 or 163bhp
Crafter specification overview
- RCD 3002 - includes two speakers, colour display, FM/AM radio with RDS, single CD player, Aux-in for external devices, integrated Bluetooth for hands-free function with compatible phones
- Full height steel bulkhead without window
- Rubber floor covering
- Overhead storage area (max. load 5kg)
- Steering wheel upgrade - height and reach adjustable
- Driver's seat armrest - includes armrest in door panel
- Electric windows
- Driver's seat with height, reach and rake adjustment
BlueMotion technology (optional)
- Cruise control
- Start /stop
- Warning buzzer and light for driver seatbelt not fastened
- The cab and inside the front it’s very roomy and very comfortable. It also looks reassuringly VW and anyone who has driven their cars, will instantly recognise the attention to detail in the design.
- The side door is huge compared to other panel vans on the market and the double rear doors open up to reveal a cavernous load space.
- Expect VW quality throughout so apart from servicing bills, you should get by with trouble free running.
- Two sizes of engine available in the Crafter range. The backbone of the range is a 2.0-litre diesel engine available in 108bhp, 134bhp, 141bhp and 161bhp derivatives.The old 2.5-litre engine is still available if you want an automatic Crafter, coupling 134bhp with a six-speed ‘Shiftmatic’ transmission. Crucially for those wishing to keep costs down, the Crafter is now available with optional BlueMotion technology.
- This helps the van achieve better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, and consists of stop/start technology.
- It’s a little sluggish off the blocks – you’ll not win the traffic light grand prix in this van
- Restyled front is less dramatic than on the Transporter, but it still looks better – less ‘snouty’ than before
- Six-speed box is a bit notchy and requires a long reach to hit first…
NVS Overview Handling-wise the Crafter is an accomplished machine, so if you are looking for reliability comfort and durability it is well worth giving SERIOUS consideration. The after-sales support from VW while running any VW product is amongst the best in the business.