The Volkswagen Crafter represents another roaring success from this unbeatable German brand. As the largest panel van on offer from Volkswagen, the Crafter is reserved for those with serious transportation needs.
Having been a bold presence on British roads for more than 15-years, the Crafter has earned its reputation for reliability and ensured that nobody will need to take more than one load to get things done. Using this van will undoubtedly lead to fewer trips than the Caddy or Transporter with its load volume of 9.3 - 18.4 m³.
The Crafter has even won Parker’s Large Van of the Year award for 2018, 2019, and 2020. It's clear that we are not the only ones taken with this incredible van.
As with most of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles, the Crafter is offered as Startline, Trendline, or Highline. These trims add features to the van as you move through them.
At the base level, we have the Startline. This model brings intuitive, cutting-edge features such as automatic post-collision braking. This is designed to prevent secondary crashes. Driver alert system to notify the driver if their concentration is lowering on the road. Bluetooth connectivity, Cross-wind assist counteracts crosswinds making the van easier to drive in harsh weather conditions. Particularly useful given its height, and 180-degree opening rear doors.
If those specs don’t excite you then you may want to take a look at the next trim level, Trendline. By taking your trim to this level you will benefit from AEB, cruise control with a speed limiter for far easier driving, heated door mirrors to ensure visibility is never a problem, and the rear doors go to 270-degrees rather than just the 180. The Trendline also features a more comfortable driver's seat and DAB radio for better entertainment during the ride.
At the highest trim level, we have the Highline. This trim brings more features in addition to the ones in the previous level with adaptive cruise control, a heated windscreen, passenger airbag, and front and rear parking sensors. It's very easy to see why you would pay a little extra to upgrade to the Highline and why it is the most popular option.
The good news is that the Crafter is known for its reliability. This won’t come as that much of a surprise seeing it has the VW badge on the front.
New models even come with a three-year/100,000- warranty. This is quite a generous mileage, far more than you will get with many cars. A real statement to the Crafter’s robust nature and Volkswagen’s confidence in it.
One thing to look out for on some of the older models is rust. This can be a common issue in the white vans. But is not as common in the models with metallic finishes. Volkswagen has galvanised newer models from 2013 onwards. This physical/electrochemical barrier protects the body from rust. Even if this layer is damaged the steel underneath is still protected against rust. A good reason to buy a used Crafter made after 2013.
DPF is another issue that can occur. This can happen if you always use this van for a shorter trip like around town or for shorter journeys as the filters don’t get hot enough to burn off deposits.
As with any new van you're buying it's best to see its service history to ensure it has been well taken care of over the years.