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Large loads over high mileages – that’s the lot of the heavy panel van, and the VW Crafter excels

Business Vans Awards logoIN this sector, build quality and reliability are everything – and the Volkswagen Crafter excels in both.

These vans can be seen thrashing up and down the motorways of Britain carrying large volumes of cargo undertaking high mileages and therefore have one of the toughest lives of any van sector.

The latest VW Crafter is powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine and when this new powerplant range was launched, some thought it might be too small to cope.

But the Crafter has proved itself to be tougher than tough – and well up to the rigours of business life. Volkswagen’s legendary reputation for build quality shines through.

Volkswagen Crafter 2.0 TDI CR35 LWB HR 109PS BlueMotion

  • Gross vehicle weight: 3500kg
  • Payload: 1149kg
  • Load volume:  14 cu m
  • Fuel economy (combined): 34.0mpg
  • CO2 emissions: 218g/km
  • Price (ex-VAT): £28,205
  • Contract hire rate (per month): £617

There are short, medium and long wheelbase VW Crafter variants, plus a long wheelbase maxi model offering extra body length and load volume of 17 cubic metres. In addition, there are also medium and long wheelbase window van variants and chassis cabs (single and double cab).

It is the perfect heavy van because it is a full size and offers so many variants to cater for large or heavy loads, yet is still easy to drive and relatively inexpensive to buy and own, but offering enormous amounts of loadspace and payload.

The VW Crafter has load volumes available from 7.5 to 17.0 cubic metres with payloads from 953kg to 1428kg, and can take loads between 2.6 m and 4.7 metres long.  It is also extremely manoeuverable with a turning circle from 12.3 m to 15.6 metres.

A range of accredited converters under the Volkswagen ‘Engineered for You’ programme can convert a Crafter for specific needs, ranging from minibuses to Luton vans.  The ‘Engineered To Go’ range includes off-the-shelf dropside and tipper models based on the Crafter single or double chassis cab.

The Crafter also has many class-leading safety features as standard, which includes ESP (with load adjuster) and automatic hazard warning light activation under emergency braking.

One of the judges, Eddie Parker, LCV consultant at GE Capital Fleet Services, commented: “Crafter with BlueMotion technology takes the crown because of its capable and developed performance, meeting and surpassing operators’ needs.”

The Business Van of the Year Awards 2014 are supported by MAGMA Automotive.


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