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The new Volkswagen Crafter - a cut above the rest

2018-05-25 08:30

Image: Motorpress

With a maximum permitted weight of 5.0 metric tonnes, a larger maximum cargo volume of 17.5 m³ and an excellent variety of drive types and derivatives, the new Crafter offers highly functional solutions for everyday use that will meet customer expectations for individual transport tasks in all areas.

In contrast to its predecessor, the Crafter has additional improved basic specifications: they include safety features such as side-wind compensation system, Hill Hold Assist and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and a steering wheel with height and telescoping adjustment.

A Crafter milestone

Tops in economy and environmental compatibility. The Crafter's fundamentally new exterior design give the model improved consumption and emission figures.

READ: ‘Hey Mercedes!’ - we drive the new SA-bound Sprinter Van

The reliable engine, which is designed for both local and long-distance operation, ensures downtime is never a problem. The Crafter also scores points with its robustness and low maintenance and repair costs, all of which have a positive effect on total cost of ownership over the vehicle life cycle.

Functionality and everyday utility 

The optimal package dimensions of the Crafter enable maximum utility. For example, the Crafter cleverly combines extensive cargo capacity with minimal external dimensions, which makes the vehicle manoeuvrable yet also solid in its handling, regardless of how much payload it's carrying. In terms of cargo area length and capacity as well, the Crafter is superior.

Power figures

For the first time, the Crafter now offers an extremely wide range of derivatives, even in high tonnage versions. In South Africa, the 2.0-litre TDI engine is available with 103kW of power. Customers have a choice between front and rear wheel drive.

The 4-cylinder TDI engine has a torque of 340Nm and fuel consumption of between 7.3 to 7.6litres/100km depending on the model.

                                                                        Image: Motorpress

Up to three different vehicle lengths are available depending on the model chosen, and the closed body variants come with up to three different roof heights (optional feature).

As a panel van and Kombi, the Crafter is available in various lengths (5 986mm, 6 836mm or, for the panel van, 7391mm as well) and heights (2 355mm, 2 625mm or, for the panel van, 2 637mm as well).

Dimensions: In the front-wheel drive version, it offers a maximum cargo capacity of 10.7m³ with a permissible gross weight of 3.5 – 3.55t. The cargo width between wheel arches of 1 380mm and a maximum cargo compartment length of 3 201mm give it the best package dimensions of its vehicle class.

Loading the Crafter is easy thanks to the 1 311mm opening of the sliding door, a minimal sill height of 570mm on the front-wheel drive versions and optional 270° opening of the rear doors (standard on the Crafter 50 LWB with overhang).

The chassis, which has been redeveloped from the ground up and tuned in detail, has a comfortable MacPherson front suspension and five different variants of a rigid rear axle, and parabolic springs that are progressive springs in some derivatives.

Mechanically sound

The electro-mechanical steering that is being introduced for the first time in this segment provides for excellent handling, optimised manoeuvrability and safe driving properties in all load states.

This improved steering precision and fine response also leads to a significant reduction in CO² emissions due to adaptive energy consumption.

Moreover, the ergonomics of the driver’s workplace have been optimised. The Crafter’s standard features include electric windows, central locking with wireless remote control and practical and ergonomically designed storage features for a mobile phone, laptop and tablet, folding rule and working gloves.

                                                                        Image: Motorpress

The Crafter makes good use of the design structure and exemplary quality of its “smaller sibling”, the sixth generation Transporter: dynamic, contemporary and agile on the outside, at the same time it offers robust inner values such as the greatest possible payload, an ideal cargo volume of up to 17.5m³ and a maximum cargo space height of 2 096mm.

The best driver assistance systems. The driver assistance systems available for the new Crafter offer additional convenience. The new Crafter features a chassis that has been re-developed from the ground up with electro-mechanical steering, engines that are reliable, more fuel-efficient and optimised for both long trips and urban traffic, well thought-out solutions for loading, practical preparations for superstructure manufacturers, an ergonomic driver's workplace and an exceptional number of driver assistance systems.

The Crafter sets entirely new standards for assistance systems in the segment for large vans: the objective here is to optimise occupant protection through the use of active and passive safety concepts in all payload situations.

                                                                          Image: Motorpress

Thanks to an electro-mechanical steering system that's being used for the first time in this vehicle class, the Crafter comes with an extraordinarily large number of optional active driver assistance systems, such as a parking assistant (Park Assist) and an assistant for manoeuvring a trailer (Trailer Assist).

Well thought out

Other optional assistance systems include the “ACC Follow to Stop” adaptive cruise control system and the Front Assist emergency braking system. Standard features include the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, the side wind assistant and driver alert system.

Available passive safety systems include – along with front, side and head airbags for the driver and front passenger – a reversing camera (optional), Rear Traffic Alert (optional), and sensor-based side protection (optional) that was specially developed for the new Crafter. Finally, optional LED headlights and cornering lights ensure a clear view of the road ahead at night.

The new Crafter provides various well thought-out preparations for superstructure manufacturers: an optional universal cargo floor is equipped with shelving mounts, so that existing shelving systems from lease vehicles or previous models can be installed for all common suppliers of customisation solutions. Available as an option are a second compressor for refrigeration or fresh produce applications, four variants of a second battery and a second air conditioner.

Fundamentally new design approach 

The Crafter is based on a completely new design concept. It's important in the commercial vehicle sector in particular that a design should function for various customers groups.

                                                                    Image: Motorpress

With this in mind, the Crafter was designed with a fundamentally new commercial vehicle architecture for both the exterior and interior.

The design of the Crafter is also heavily based on the idea that the Transporter, which forms the heart of the commercial vehicle portfolio, be given a big brother that displays never before seen quality in terms of exterior and interior surfaces, robustness and sophistication.

Prices (VAT and emissions tax included)


Crafter 35 (MCV) Panel Van – R509 700
Crafter 35 (LCV) Panel Van – R588 100
Crafter 50 LWB (Bus Conversion Ready) – R625 800
Crafter 50 LWB (Panel Van) – R625 800
Crafter 50 LWB with overhang (Bus Conversion ready) – R635 800
Crafter 50 LWB with overhang (Panel Van) – R635 800


The Crafter comes standard with a 2year or an unlimited km Manufacturer Warranty, 5 year or 120 000km Genuine Automotion Service Plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 20 000km.

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