VW's post-2018 Crafter 4Motion comes as a van and two cab/chassis.

The all-Volkswagen Crafter is no longer a rebadged and repowered Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The post-2018 Crafter is designed and made byVW and 4Motion models are available. 

The Crafter 4Motion models come with six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions and are all-single-tyre models with 3.5-4.0-tonnes GVM ratings.

4Motion Crafters are available as medium wheelbase vans ($56,990 RRP manual and $59,990 auto); long wheelbase vans ($60,490 RRP manual and $$63,490 auto); single cab/chassis ($$55,790 RRP auto only) and dual-cab/chassis ($59,290 RRP auto only).

Interestingly, VW charges only $4500 extra for the 4Motion versions over the price of two-wheel-drive Crafters, unlike Mercedes-Benz, which asks a whopping 20 grand extra for its 4x4 Sprinter models. (We understand that mid-2019 Sprinter 4x4s will have greatly reduced pricing - about time!)

Despite the new Crafter's optimised external dimensions, it has retained or increased the former load lengths. A further key effect of the new exterior design is a drag coefficient of 0.33, the best in its class, VW claims.

Available driver assistance systems include sensor-controlled Side Protection, Park Assist, Rear Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Assist with City Emergency Braking system, Multi-Collision Brake System and Crosswind Assist.

A rear view camera is standard on all van models.

For all vehicles with the 4Motion drive system, Hill Descent Assist is available as an option.

On vehicles with tow-hooks, electronic trailer stabilisation uses the ESP system and contributes significantly to safety while driving with a trailer hooked up.

The post-2018 Crafter achieves a cargo capacity of up to 18.4 cubic metres. Load width between the wheel arches is 1380mm and cargo space length is up to 4855mm.

In the medium-length variant it is possible to load six Euro pallets (each 1.20m x 0.80m) or four Euro 3 pallets (each 1.00m x 1.20m).

The workplace is robust, easy to look after and ergonomic. There are places for driver and front-seat passengers to store mobile phones, laptop and tablet, water bottles and coffee mugs.

Also included in the design are storage compartments for a folding ruler, torch, sunglasses, documents, working gloves and tools.

The Crafter offers optional seats with the 'AGR' seal of approval from the 'German Campaign for Healthier Backs'. The driver's seat has longitudinal and height adjustment, electric four-way adjustable lumbar support and adjustable armrests.

Standard is a two-seat bench for front passengers, making the van and single cab/chassis a three-seater and the dual cab/chassis a seven-seater. The front bench has storage under the seat and can be split-folded. The backrest of the middle seat folds down and locks in.

A Trendline package includes a chrome radiator grille and chromed trim on switches and controls. Also included are front fog lights and cornering lights.

There are two 12-volt plug sockets and three with the Trendline package.

The ventilation system plumbing is integrated into the floor, preventing damage by body builders when making camper vans. Also, the vent integrated in the floor ensures an even distribution of air from the middle of the vehicle.

Central locking and wireless remote control are standard and the cargo doors can be locked by a dashboard button.

The universal cargo floor is made of five-ply beech and hardwood composition and sealed with UV-resistant resin-film coating. Mesh texturing makes this surface coating anti-slip.

The 2.0-litre TDI diesel 'EA 288 Commercial' engine, which has been further developed for the new Crafter and is transversely mounted, is available with two different torque settings: 340Nm and 410Nm.

VW claims Euro 6 emissions compliance for the latest engines, thanks to a common-rail injection system with 2000 bar pressure; a high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system and a water-cooled charge air cooler. An oxidising catalytic converter with a downstream combination of diesel particulate filter (DPF) and SCR catalytic converter after-treat the exhaust gases.

Due to being mounted tilted forward eight degrees the transversely mounted engine takes up less body volume, thus increasing the capacity of the cab and cargo area.

The 4Motion all-wheel drive system has variable distribution of torque between front and rear axles, via a Haldex coupling that is mounted on a rear axle specially developed for the purpose.

The newly developed AQ450 automatic gearbox has ratios that were selected for low fuel consumption and optimised driving performance. The box features a heavy-duty casing and bearings, with a reinforced lock-up clutch, large parking pawl and it feeds torque to a four-pinion front differential.

The VW Crafter has McPherson strut-type front suspension and a live rear axle with parabolic leaf springs. The new Crafter is equipped with stabilisers on both axles, enabling the roll angle to be reduced.

Electro-mechanical steering is used for the first time a Crafter, permitting fitment of safety functions: Driver Fatigue Detection, Lane Keep Assist and Park Assist.

Double-piston floating-calliper disc brakes are fitted up front and single-piston, combination-calliper disc brakes with a parking brake function are fitted at the rear.

The Crafter can be fitted with second (AGM) deep cycle battery, with a capacity of 92Ah (AGM) and second-battery monitoring. The second battery provides an emergency start function if the starting battery's charge is low.

There is a choice of two radios and navigation systems for the new Crafter. All have an 200mm touch-screen with colour display, which can be controlled using swipe and zoom hand movements.

Bluetooth hands-free functionality and voice control are included and customers can also add DAB+ digital radio reception.

Of particular interest to fleet managers is the fact that the new Crafter is for the first time offering the integrated FMS fleet management interface as a pre-prepared gateway for telematics functions.

Unfortunately, early-2019 Crafter 4Motion deliveries to customers depleted all the available stock, but we booked a test vehicle for May 2019 and we'll hopefully have a report on it in June.


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