Volkswagen’s Crafter is one of the brand’s larger vehicle offerings outside of their truck and bus range, and it belongs to their commercial division. The Crafter, unlike the Golf, Polo or any of their other popular models, doesn’t see much of the spotlight but it does serve an important role as a goods and transport vehicle.

Having been around since 2007, the VW Crafter has sold over 11500 units here in Mzansi and while it continues to plough on, Volkswagen has added two new derivatives to the Crafter 35 model range.

It may look like it belongs in a fleet, and many of them do end up there, but what’s nice about the Crafter is that you can personalize it to suit your needs. Some are used as taxi’s, while others are configured as emergency vehicles. For the right price, you can turn your crafter into a mobile office or even a mini mobile home. There aren’t many vehicles that compete with the Crafter, making this a niche market for VW.

With these new variants, the German brand has made improvements to the interior, putting to use more robust upholstery on the seats to preserve their longevity. They’ve also revised the instrument cluster and added more storage compartments to the spacious interior, to achieve what VW calls “a professional workspace”. Front windows don’t require any elbow grease as they’re electric, and heat-insulating glass is on board to make the Crafter’s interior as pleasant as possible. The rear is where the business end of things lies – with a loading capacity of 4.6m in length the Crafter is the longest in its class. Loading goods can either be done through the two rear doors or the 1.3m wide sliding door on the side of the vehicle. How much can you carry? Well, with a payload of up to 2.5 tonnes you can carry anything you like. When ordering your Crafter, you have a choice of three body lengths depending on your requirements, and it’s available in a 3.5 tonne and a 5-tonne variant.

Looking at the driver assistance, convenience and safety aids, the Crafter has a lot of optional goodies at your disposal when kitting out your vehicle. You can have it with dual sliding doors, LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights – this is just on the aesthetics side. Safety features include front and rear Park Pilot, front and rear PDC and Trailer Assist because we all know that things can get tricky when a trailer is hitched to your rear. A reverse camera can also be included as an additional aid.

What engine does the VW Crafter 35 have?

VW has put to use their 2-litre turbo diesel engine in the Crafter 35 and 50 range, what varies are the model variants available with the oil burner. In addition to the manual, you can now have the Crafter with an 8-speed automatic gearbox that uses a torque converter. As an addition, there is now a 4MOTION variant available, which delivering power to all four wheels. The 2.0 TDI engine is capable of 103 kW and 340 Nm in both the 2WD and 4WD variants, while fuel consumption is quoted at 8.2 litres/100km for the automatic, and 9.1 for the 4MATIC.

How much is the VW Crafter?

Pricing here starts at R616 900 for the Crafter 35 (MCV), and peaks at R736 700 for the Crafter 50 (XLWB). See below for the comprehensive price list.

Crafter 35 Panel Van (MCV)                                                                            R616 900

Crafter 35 Panel Van Automatic                                                                    R659 400

Crafter 35 Panel Van (LCV)                                                                             R711 700

Crafter 35 Panel Van Manual 4MOTION                                                       R713 300

Crafter 50 Panel Van (LWB)                                                                            R726 600

Crafter 50 Bus Conversion Ready (LWB)                                                        R726 600

Crafter 50 Bus Conversion Ready (XLWB)                                                      R736 700

Crafter 50 Panel Van (XLWB)                                                                          R736 700