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Volkswagen Crafter Dropside vs e-Crafter Dropside

February 2nd, 2023

German manufacturer Volkswagen are of course known for reliability, not to mention a consistent production of adaptable vehicles since inception. Catering for the EV demand – which has grown considerably since clean air zones were introduced into many cities, the e-Crafter is an eco-friendly variant of the popular Crafter model. Within this comparison review, we’ll be taking a look at the Dropside variants of these two larger vans, weighing up the benefits and drawbacks of the respective choices.

As with any electric vs diesel debate, you’re contrasting low running costs with a lower initial purchase cost as first consideration. Though an e-Crafter Dropside may set you back more initially, the rising expense of refuelling a diesel vehicle may justify acquiring an EV sooner rather than later. Though those who are used to owning a diesel van are unlikely to change their mind on this basis alone, there are plenty of other worthy changes to the electric Crafter which may prove intriguing. With fast-charge capabilities and excellent innovative technological features, safety and functionality are secured.

Working in the light-construction sector, a dropside is likely to be your van of choice, and both VW Crafter variants come equipped with sides and tailboards which are hinged along the lower edge for efficient loading. Any driver should be able to carry a mix of heavy loads, materials and equipment as required, with the e-Crafter just as practical in this regard despite a lower payload capacity. Ultimately, the e-variant is customisable to a number of professions and practical applications, though aimed predominantly at delivery drivers – perhaps not of the long distance variety, but within the inner-city, and in low-emission zones.

Looking to learn more about this pair of intriguing Volkswagen vans? Continue ahead for a detailed exploration of engine details, specifications, interior features and plenty besides. Both can be found within our online catalogue of brand new vans from Van Sales UK!

Engines and Spec

In terms of the engine you can expect within a diesel Crafter, the typical VW Dropside is fitted with a 2.0-litre TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection) diesel engine, and the selectable power options produce from 102hp to 177hp largely dependent on preference. Certainly no slouch with a 2.0-litre engine standard, as you would perhaps expect, the non-electric Crafter is a preferable choice when it comes to long-distance travelling. On the other hand, the electric variant is of course fitted with a 35kW lithium-ion battery – which can be quickly recharged to 80% in just 40 minutes.

Further information can be found on the diesel engine choice within our original Crafter review, and we’ll focus more on the range of the EV Crafter Dropside here. Clocking in at roughly 107-miles, the overall range is not as competitive as many large EV vans, but it certainly isn’t awful either. Perhaps taken with a pinch of salt, the actual range is likely to come in at slightly less, as weather, traffic conditions, road types, driving style, onboard equipment use and payload will be of overall significance.


There’s plenty to like about the Crafter Dropside interior, and this not only applies to the payload, features and cab roominess. Safety is ensured with park assist, post-collision braking, lane keeping assist, and trailer assist, whereas a large touchscreen infotainment system provides comfort, as does a windscreen, steering wheel and seats that are all heated. Maintaining a comfortable ride quality when both loaded and unloaded, steering is responsive and agile regardless of the cargo within. Impressively, the standard vehicle and EV variant are also grippy in tight corners and never feel prone to rolling, which can be an issue within some larger van varieties.

Lots of additional in-cab storage areas give choice and freedom for the individual looking to use their van as an ‘office on wheels’, with included triple-decker door bins, dash-top cubby-holes, and a convenient shelf on top of the dashboard. Make long-distance over a range of road types easy and enjoyable, and quickly learn how to make the most of a dropside functionality which is easy to use and maintain. Within the e-Crafter, we noticed that the battery was stashed beneath the floor for additional room – and this is the exact type of convenient feature we noticed plenty of times when testing out these Volkswagen vans.

Not a fan of the traditional noisy ride? The absence of a diesel engine ensures a quiet and peaceful journey, covered further in our e-Crafter review page.

The Verdict/Snapshot

In summary, both the Volkswagen Crafter Dropside and e-Crafter Dropside are capable VW variants, which tick plenty of boxes for the needs of a Dropside driver in 2023. Easy to use, surprisingly navigable and with the interior features to satisfactorily deck out a single van or comprehensive fleet, why not enquire today at Van Sales UK, and realise the benefits of a new road-ready light construction vehicle.


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