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Volkswagen Crafter Van Review

Volkswagen Crafter Review
November 17th, 2022

The Volkswagen Crafter at a glance

The Volkswagen Crafter began its life as a rebadged Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, but in its second generation it has been built from the ground up as an in-house VW product. Its initial development in tandem with the Sprinter has somewhat overshadowed the Crafter’s reputation, but this new version distinguishes itself as a compulsively driveable piece of machinery, adaptable in its body types, whilst packed with excellent innovative technological features that improve safety and functionality. The latest version of the Crafter has also undergone a subtle but refined facelift – a sharper design featuring angular ridges on each side of the bonnet, creating an almost sporty configuration which makes what is a large commercial vehicle appear – and feel – mobile and spritely.

The Crafter comes in a range of body types, and is available at Van Sales UK as a panel van with medium, long, and extra long wheelbases. It is also available as a luton, as well as a dropside and a tipper with single or double cab capabilities. This flexibility, alongside the Crafter’s ease and comfortability when driving, make it an effortless joy to drive in a wide range of commercial contexts.

Engines and Spec

The Volkswagen Crafter is fitted with a 2.0-litre TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection) diesel engine with various power options producing from 102hp to 177hp (depending on the choice of turbo and drivetrain) with front, rear, and four-wheel drive options available. Whilst a 2.0-litre engine might not sound hugely powerful, Euro 6 emissions regulations make them a necessity for modern vans, and whilst the Volkswagen still produces more than adequate power through its turbo diesel injection, what makes it remarkable is how it goes beyond pure power to make an excellent van.

For example, the Crafter’s comfortable ride quality, both loaded and unloaded, makes it enjoyable and effortless for long-distance driving, and even in the taller high-roof panel and Luton variants , the Crafter is grippy in tight corners and never feels prone to rolling. The Volkswagen’s electro-mechanical steering, featuring an electric motor in place of the traditional hydraulic pump, makes the steering responsive and agile.

Beyond the quality of driving, the Volkswagen runs a respectable 30-38 mpg (depending on the choice of turbo), and also includes safety innovations such as park assist, post-collision braking, lane keeping assist, and trailer assist. One particularly useful feature is the Crosswind Assist (fitted as standard), which applies tiny steering corrections to counteract crosswinds, which can often spell trouble for high-sided vans and demonstrates a dedication by Volkswagen in optimising the user’s driving experience.


The noted stylish and user-friendly interiors of Volkswagen’s cars are transferred thoughtfully into the Crafter. There are lots of storage areas which include triple-decker door bins, dash-top cubby-holes, and a shelf on top of the dashboard, also featuring a variety of power points and the option of on-board Wi-Fi. Whatsmore, there is a large touchscreen infotainment screen, with seats, a windscreen, and steering wheel that are all heated.

Outside of these material comforts, the Volkswagen’s technological features help the interior create an atmosphere of high-tech luxury, all of which make long-distance over a range of road types easy and enjoyable. For example, Driver Alert monitors the driver of the vehicle for signs of tiredness and warns you if you need a break, and Adaptive Cruise Control maintains a safe distance behind a vehicle in front when travelling at a set speed, two features which make long-distance motorway driving comfortable. And, if you’re in a city, the Park Assist controls the steering for you to park in perpendicular and parallel spaces, making the driving experience even easier and more stress-free.

These innovative technological safety features coalesse considerately with the design of the interior to make the Crafter’s driving experience genuinely luxurious.

Pros & Cons


  • Electro-mechanical steering makes it responsive and easy to drive
  • Comfortable interiors
  • Innovative technological safety features
  • Adaptable in body types


  • Lack of power on some versions
  • Could be more fuel-efficient

The Verdict

With the Crafter, Volkswagen sees the larger context of what is needed on a van outside of pure power, with an ease to drive, interior comfort, and impressive technological innovations which improve safety whilst also providing practical solutions to common problems faced in long-distance driving. From its updated bonnet design to an innovative electro-mechanical steering system, this is a large commercial vehicle that feels as agile and responsive as a hot hatchback.

The Crafter is incredibly flexible in its body type, readily available to adapt to your commercial vehicle needs. But Volkswagen have paired this adaptability with bespoke fitted technology to address the wide disparity of model types, with features such as the Crosswind Assist helping the taller models drive as easily as, say, a short-wheel base panel van.

Even with its impressive range of technical innovations, the Crafter could be more fuel efficient and it could also be more powerful – but it is important to remember that this is almost impossible to do within the context of the Euro 6 emissions regulations. However, these heavy impositions on power have been shifted by Volkswagen into exciting new opportunities for innovation and improvements in steering, safety, and comfort – making the Volkswagen Crafter an excellent choice, whatever your commercial vehicle needs.

If you are interested in new, used, and even electric vans, Van Sales UK have a range of options for you, including the Volkswagen Crafter. Call us at 0117 205 1446 or email at


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