Volkswagen Crafter Tipper Startline MWB 2.0 TDI 109hp
What is it?
A variety of ‘ready-to-go’ dropside and tipper bodies are manufactured for Volkswagen by Ingimex under the company’s Engineered To Go scheme.
Our review model, an off-the-shelf dropside/tipper on a VW Crafter chassis, was a medium-wheelbase Startline model with a 109hp 2.0-litre diesel in single-cab form. A double-cab variant is also available.
Upfront, it’s all familiar Crafter. Built by Mercedes-Benz and based on the Sprinter, it has much in common with its ‘cousin’, although the running gear is all Volkswagen’s.
The Crafter’s exterior design was revised to bring it in line with the latest Volkswagen design ‘DNA’ already introduced on the smaller Caddy and Transporter van ranges, and the Amarok pick-up.
It looks strong and purposeful – even more so than the panel van with the tipper bolted on behind the cab. The central section of the bumper beneath the grille acts as a non-slip step which is useful, for example, when cleaning the windscreen.
The interior is no different from that of the panel van which means it’s comfortable, with good supportive seating for the driver, a dual passenger seat, plus good stowage and functional controls and instruments.
The Crafter has a three-years unlimited mileage warranty and comes with three years’ breakdown assistance
It’s not as stylish as the cab found in the Transporter, but all in all, it’s a pleasant place to be.
The infotainment system has a 5.8in colour display, two speakers, FM/AM radio, SD card slot, AUX- IN interface, USB interface, Bluetooth (with two device pairings simultaneously) and Audio via Bluetooth.
But although the cab has electric windows, the door mirrors have to be adjusted manually, despite being heated.
The test tipper also had a Thatcham Category 1 alarm, with interior and tow-away protection and back-up horn (£280). A reversing aid would have been useful, but the optional Parking sensors are not available for models without electric mirrors.
The 2.0-litreTDI engine, already proven in Caddy, Transporter and Amarok, is refined and even the lowest 109hp/300Nm version doesn’t feel lacking compared with bigger Renault Master or Sprinter units.
All Crafters drive the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. The dash-mounted gear lever is smooth and easy to use. Rear wheel drive gives better traction, especially when the bed is carrying a load.
The medium-wheelbase VW Crafter Tipper test model handled well on the road, even unladen. Electronic Stability Programme is standard, in common with its rivals the Sprinter and Transit, but it outdoes the Vauxhall Movano, which provides ESP as standard only on certain models.
The Crafter also has ABS, EDL (electronic differential lock system), EBD and braking assistant as well as hill hold assist. Other safety features include driver’s airbag, driver’s seat belt warning, lamp failure indicator, brake pad wear, failure and fluid level indicators.
At the ‘business end’, the Ingimex Titan tipper body is robust and well engineered. The tipper body is designed to latest European standards and is bolted together for easy maintenance.
The tail-board has side-mounted locks and wire rope supports to stop the tailgate dropping below the horizontal. There’s a three-level load lashing assembly.
The compact, under-floor lift has overload and hose burst protection and is designed to be maintenance free throughout the vehicle’s life.
A simple hand control is used to raise and lower the tipper bed, and tucks out of the way by the driver’s seat when not in use.
A number of bolt-on options is offered, such as additional load restraint points, lighting beacons, operator safety equipment and steel storage boxes.
The VW Crafter has a three-years unlimited mileage warranty and comes with three years’ breakdown assistance. The Inigimex tipper assembly also has three-year warranty.
- Volkswagen quality. Crafter feels solid and well built.
- Impressive power unit with good economy.
- Good level of standard equipment.
- Ingimex tipper stands out as a quality kit. It’s also a cinch to operate.
- Double-cab version available.
- Cab could be more stylish, in line with Transporter.
- Mirrors are not adjustable electrically.
- No rear-view camera or parking aid.
Business Vans verdict
You don’t buy a tipper unless you need one… or do you?
The usefulness of the VW Crafter as a large pick-up with dropsides is apparent. As a builder’s, landscaper’s or tree surgeon’s workhorse, it would acquit itself superbly.
So, any business with the need for a dropside vehicle should be happy to run the Crafter. When the need for a tilting bed crops up, it’s available literally at the touch of a button.
And if you really need a tipper, we doubt you’d find the Crafter lacking.
What you need to know
|On the road price ex VAT (as tested):||£28,385|
|Load width (max):||2026mm|
|Load height (max):||400mm|
|Load capacity:||7.5 cubic metres|
|Towing capacity braked/unbraked:||2000kg/750kg|
|Engine:||2.0-litre 4-cyl turbodiesel|