Business Van Review of the Volkswagen Crafter Euro VI
WITH so many new van launches this year, Volkswagen has remained somewhat in the shadows recently.
But behind the scenes, there are some big things going on in the German camp at present.
After finally eclipsing Vauxhall and taking its historic place at number two in the UK van sales charts, Volkswagen is now consolidating its position with the launch of a new series of special editions, aimed at fighting off the attack from all those new rivals such as the Ford Transit Custom and Mercedes-Benz Vito et al.
The Transporter and Caddy are the manufacturer’s two big sellers, but it would be wrong to dismiss the Volkswagen Crafter as an also-ran.
It comes off the same production line as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for starters (albeit with different engines) so build quality is assured to be top notch.
And with Vee Dub’s reputation for engineering reliability, we reckon the Crafter will stand up to any of the rivals in the heavy panel vans sector.
On test here is the long wheelbase high roof model in Euro VI format. At a base price of £29,260, ignoring all the extra goodies that Volkswagen added to our test model, it weighs in at 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight. Load volume is a mighty 14 cubic metres and payload is 1,009kg.
Standard specification includes ABS, traction control and load adaptive ESC plus automatic hazard light warning under heavy braking, cruise control, stop-start, Bluetooth connectivity and a rubber floor with half height side load protection in the rear.
Our test model also had alloy wheels at £490, a reversing camera and 7in screen (£1,175), climatic air-conditioning (£1,065) and pearlescent paint (£820) plus a load of other stuff too numerous to mention.
If you buy vans for other people to drive it probably means you won’t order any of our goodies – and looking at the prices we can’t really blame you. Over a thousand smackers for fancy air-con – are they joking?
Under the bonnet goes a single 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, offering outputs of 114bhp and163bhp, ours being the lower powered one. This variant is Euro 6, which means fewer CO2 and NOx emissions, but it does mean it has an AdBlue tank to refill (see gripes below).
If you don’t want one of these, then Euro 5s are still on sale with outputs of 109bhp, 136bhp and 163bhp.