A little history about Volkswagen’s Crafter will not hurt.
The year 1975 saw the introduction of Volkswagen’s LT1, its variants including a minibus with up to 14 seats plus a panel van.
Then, in 1996 came a joint venture between VW and Mercedes-Benz to develop the LT2 model – something similar to Mercedes-Benz and Nissan with the X-Class bakkie.
The co-operation continued in 2006 and the LT became a Crafter.
For the 2018 model, the German manufacturer introduced its 100% in-house developed Crafter.
At its launch last week I did not drive the Crafter but was taken through every detail of it.
Produced at the new plant in Września, Poland, the Crafter does look good, with a bold design taken from VW passenger cars.
The inside feels premium with a smartly finished cabin that resembles Volkswagen’s T6 and Amarok products.
You get optional LED headlights and cornering lights.
On the safety side Crafter, you get passive and active safety features that include a side-wind compensation system, hill-hold assist plus an automatic post-collision braking system.
There are front, side and head airbags for the driver and passenger.
Standard features include electric windows, central locking with wireless remote control and practical and ergonomically designed storage features.
For the first time, the Crafter comes with an electro-mechanical steering system and boasts optional active driver assistance systems such as a park assist and trailer assist.
Other optional assistance systems include adaptive cruise control system and the front assist emergency braking system.
If you would like to pimp your Crafter even more, you can fit the reversing camera, rear traffic alert plus a sensor-based side protection.
Depending on your intended use, you get up to three different vehicle lengths including a short wheelbase range with front wheel-drive and an allowed gross weight of up to 3.55 tonnes and a long-wheel base with rear-wheeldrive in which line-up lurks a GVM of up to five tonnes.
The Crafter can be ordered in one of three roof heights.
It rides on a completely improved chassis featuring McPherson front suspension and customers can choose from five types of rigid rear axle.
Locally, the Crafter comes with a 2l TDI engine with 103 kW of power and 340 Nm of torque.
Depending on your intended use, there are front and rearwheel drive options.
Fuel consumption is kept at 7.3l/100km to 7.6l/100km depending on the model.
Crafters can be converted to hearses, ambulances or long-distance passenger vehicles and VWSA has a list of approved local convertors who will supply a joint warranty.
The Crafter comes standard with a two-year/unlimited km manufacturer warranty, fiveyear/120 000km genuine automotion service plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Service interval is 20 000km