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VW Crafter: facelifted with more efficient diesel engine

VW Crafter 35 LWB test Review: Mark Bursa

Volkswagen Crafter 35 LWB high-roof 2.0TDI 136PS

What is it?

FACELIFTED and revised version of Volkswagen’s biggest van, complete with new VW family grille. The basic design is shared with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter but the powertrains are not shared, and now the Volkswagen Crafter has been fitted with smaller, cleaner 2.0-litre turbodiesels. Test van is a Crafter 35 (single rear wheel) with 136PS turbodiesel engine, long wheelbase and high roof.

What’s hot?

  • New engines are the same as those used in VW Amarok and Transporter – and the Passat car
  • They’re smaller, so they’re up to 33% more fuel-efficient than the old 2.5-litre VW Crafter units.
  • That also means lower emissions, and although you lose some top-end power…
  • …peak torque is delivered at lower engine speeds, which makes this an excellent drive around town
  • The new engines no longer need AdBlue
  • VW Crafter feels very well screwed together and has very few squeaks and rattles, even on bumpy roads
  • New dashboard has clearer, white dials…
  • … as well as plenty of storage bins, cup holders and trays
  • Handling is exceptional for such a big van, with precise, quick steering
  • Speed limiter and cruise control is Mercedes-designed…
  • …and so is the sat-nav, which is no bad thing as that works a treat
  • There’s a longer overhang version and a super-high roof if you need more volume…
  • …plus there are twin-wheel versions for greater payload. The range is very extensive

What’s not?

  • It’s a little sluggish off the blocks – you’ll not win the traffic light grand prix in this van
  • Six-speed box is a bit notchy and requires a long reach to hit first…
  • …though it’s pretty slick once you get used to it
  • Restyled front is less dramatic than on the Transporter, but it still looks better – less ‘snouty’ than before
  • The loadspace is a little narrow compared to some rivals, so check your typical loads
  • The more powerful 163PS BiTurbo model offers marginally better fuel economy and lower CO2 – so it might be worth the higher list price for better driveability

What you need to Know

P11D Value: £26,650
Monthly Rental: * £n/a
What will it be worth: ** £
GVW: 3,500kg
Payload: 1,263kg
Loadspace Volume: 14cu m
Basic Loadspace Dimensions: 4,300mm long x 1,780mm wide x 1,940mm high
Engine: 2.0-litre common rail turbodiesel four-cylinder
CO2 Emissions: 226g/km
Power/torque: 136PS/340Nm @ 1,575-2,250rpm
Economy: 32.8mpg combined; 28.0mpg urban

 

Business Van Manager Road Test Rating

The Volkswagen Crafter is a very well-engineered van, and the combination of a Mercedes design and the latest Volkswagen turbodiesels is a winner.

OK, they feel slightly less sprightly in pure acceleration terms, but that’s more than outweighed by the improved fuel economy and low-end torque. Add in excellent cab comfort and driveability and it’s easy to see why this van has such appeal for long-haul operators. This engine spec is the second-lowest in terms of power. It might be worth waiting for the slightly more powerful 143PS version, or even opt for the pricier 163PS BiTurbo.

Also Consider

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Renault Master

Ford Transit

Peugeot Boxer

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