Published on Thursday 14 September 2017 in Van News
The brand-new VW Crafter is a cut above with all the focus being placed on making it significantly more comfortable to drive, offering a more substantial load space, tonnes of safety kit and more choice in the range. But the all-important question still stands…is it as good as everyone thinks. Vanarama's Tom Roberts reports.
"It's huge!" I mumbled to my camera-wielding colleague. "It is big," he agreed. "Might be too big," I said. "Might be," he nodded. Reminiscent of that scene from The Inbetweeners Movie when they step off the plane into the foreign heat and clearly can't handle it, my colleague and I stood impressed in the shadow of the new Crafter and gasped – it's a beast of a panel van.
When it launched, it launched big
In 2016, VW returned to the CV Show to positive murmurs. 2017 was the year to make a statement and the new Crafter IS a clear statement of intent. VW decided to use it as the official platform for the UK debut of the Crafter to its customers, and that's where I ended up interviewing Kate Thompson, Head of Press and PR at VW Commercial Vehicles UK.
Kate told me: "It's all-new, all VW, built in a brand-new factory over in Poland and expands the range VW can offer in the large van sector. The Crafter is available with manual and automatic gearboxes (a big plus for the home delivery market). Operators can choose front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, 4x4, with a peak carrying weight of 5.5 tonnes…whatever they're looking for in a big van, we've got something to offer."
The perfect blend of comfort and practicality
That easy drive VW is known for shines through, even on a van this big. It's like the Crafter is ready for any eventuality. Corners are smooth, braking is solid and controlled, and it's got good power. One of our customers, Martin Howdle, said: "It's a good strong van that does exactly what it's meant to do." Simple, effective and composed driving – easy with a Crafter.
As good as it gets, and then some. The Crafter's interior gets all the praise from us. Top-quality build, durable materials, plenty of storage – door pockets, glove box, overhead shelves – even the central seat can be folded down into a desk. All-in-all, it's clear why our customer Anthony Groves commented that the Crafter is "good value and good looking", probably because it's a well-thought-out van designed with specialist workers in mind.
Check out our deals here: www.vanarama.com/volkswagen-van-leasing/crafter.html
If you've got a Crafter, why not tell us about it in the comments?