New front-wheel-drive models
Excellent 2-litre diesel engine
Smart safety technology
Slightly confusing engine line-up
Looks a bit like a big Transporter (but we're being fussy here)
At a time when manufacturers are regularly banding together to produce their latest vehicles and where a new launch can consist of nothing more than a couple of new panels around the front or a new grille shape, it comes as a bit of a surprise when an entirely new vehicle is launched.
In the battle of the big vans there has always been one ruling force. The Mercedes Sprinter is considered the pinnacle of the panel van world, so for Volkswagen to move away from the safety and security of their joint-engineered Crafter/Sprinter was a risky move. There is no doubt VW has succeeded in making a supremely capable and comfortable van, but in doing so have they bettered the Sprinter?
Initial impressions would suggest they have, and if Volkswagen succeed in getting the message out that this is an all-new Crafter that is very much aligned to the quality and feel of a Transporter van, they could soon see the investment paying off, with the Crafter having the potential to become the King of vans.