Volkswagen has expanded its all-new Crafter range with over 59 different configurations of its van and ute now available in Australia.
The new model brings greater payload and capacity, new styling, a variety of new cargo and seating configurations as well as new technology and safety gear.
The additional models come after VW launched the limited-edition Runner Editionin late 2017. The new model has been developed on a VW-owned platform – the previous model was built on a shared chassis with the top-selling Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – and comes in three sizes medium or long wheelbase and long wheelbase with overhang, and three different heights. Joining the van line-up are single- and dual-cab ute variants and high-capacity variants have increased GVM by 500kg to 5.5 ton.
An all-new look inside and out refreshes the entire line-up that includes additions such as led headlights, remote central locking, 270-degree opening rear barn doors, 8.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, sustainably-sourced Beechwood timber flooring and a variety of optional cargo loading configurations in the rear including sliding roof rails, cabinets and floor-mounted shelving that can accommodate previous fit outs from older models. A second heat exchanger unit can be optionally integrated for additional ventilation in the back.
New electromechanical steering brings active lane keeping assist and other safety tech gets a bump such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, park assist, reversing camera and rear cross-traffic alert.
An optional Trendline Styling package adds features such as chrome grille, chrome trims inside, fog lights and an additional 12-volt plug to join the two already available in the cabin.
The German maker, which now builds the Crafter model out of its newly minted facility in Poland, says the model is more economical thanks to updated engines and the lowest drag co-efficient of any competitor van.
In addition to the new engines are a new-to-Crafter eight-speed automatic (a variation on the Amarok unit) and revised six-speed manual that can be mated to either front, rear or all-wheel drivelines.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine is available with two different outputs: a front-wheel driven 103kW/340Nm mated to the automatic only, or 130kW/410Nm mated to either transmission in all-wheel and rear-wheel drive configurations.
Rear-wheel drive models come in single rear tyre specification with a manual transmission or dual-tyre configuration when equipped with an automatic transmission.
The new Crafter range is available for order from dealerships now and start from $48,490 plus on-road costs for the medium wheelbase van, $51,990 for the long wheelbase van - $58,490 with overhang - and $48,290 or $51,790 for single- and dual-cab chassis utes.