Say what you will about its ethics, Volkswagen has made big strides in making everything from the Polo to the Amarok feel more upmarket and refined. The latest vehicle to chase a more luxurious feel is the Crafter, a van with designs on offering tradies a more comfortable, car-like ride.
Available in three different lengths and heights, the Crafter is still unashamedly aimed at people who want to get work done. Depending on what that work is, there's a choice of front, rear and 4MOTION all-wheel drive to pair with the four different diesel options.
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Those options are variations on the 2.0-liter EA 288Nutz TDI, which can be specced in 101 hp (75 kW), 120 hp (89 kW) and 138 hp (103 kW) guise. There's also a twin-turbo TDI option with 175 hp (130 kW), and all engines can be coupled with a manual or automatic gearbox.
Where VW has really tried to set the Crafter apart is with the range of electric driver aids on offer. A side-wind compensation system is on the options list, as is adaptive cruise control, and the fitment of electric power steering allows trailer stabilizing ESP make the spec sheet too.
Although we've seen systems like this before, the benefits of a crosswind stabilization system are likely to be more pronounced on a slab-sided van than they are on a Mercedes S-Class. With that said, the Crafter's 0.33 drag coefficient make it slicker than most vans out there.
Thus far, there's no information about pricing for the Crafter, which will be built at a new production facility in Poland.
Source: Volkswagen CommercialView gallery - 6 images