Volkswagen Crafter on a weekly test with our reader

Rinat Ayupov, an entrepreneur in Vologda, has a small fleet of vehicles. But the cars there are cars or trucks. And something in between was needed – to carry plumbing equipment, not too heavy, but voluminous. What must we do? Order a freight taxi every time? From Moscow to Vologda Oblast is too expensive. Using truck parts? To complete the lease, you must return to the city each time.

We brought him a Volkswagen Crafter for a week. And he paid special attention to that in the car.

From? Truck? motorhome?

People unfamiliar with commercial vehicles will not even suspect how many variants of a car are offered under one name. Volkswagen Crafter for example: short, long base and elongated body, three roof heights, front, full (4Motion) or rear-wheel drive… In addition, four options for forcing a two-liter EA288 Nutz turbo diesel (102, 109, 140 or 177 hp). There is only one gearbox on the Russian market – a 6-speed “mechanics”. Abroad, an 8-speed “automatic” and “robot” are also available. And that’s just the van itself (Kasten). But there is also a Pritsche truck on the same base. In addition, you can buy a chassis from Volkswagen to, for example, build a motorhome or a tow truck. And if you only count the variants of the van, there are 69!

In general, this car can be assembled for yourself, like a designer. The Crafter 35 suited us best with a medium base, high roof, 4Motion four-wheel drive and the most powerful version of the diesel – 177 horsepower.

Places – car

You throw open the doors of the cargo area and stiffen with fright. Here is the space! It seems that a minicar like Oka could easily be placed here.

The parameters are also impressive. Even the smallest Crafter has a capacity of almost 10 cubic meters! Our – 11.3 m3. And there are other options for 14.3 m316 m3 and 16.3 m3! And the largest version of the Crafter with a capacity of 18.3 m3! Could you imagine? It’s just a car.

The opening of the sliding door has a width of 1311 mm, and from floor to ceiling in our car 2196 mm: you can not only stand up to your full height, but also jump. At the same time, the loading height is only 570 mm. Very comfortable.

It was suspected that it would not be necessary to travel several times to transport everything you need. With the right styling it is possible to limit one flight.

Volkswagen Crafter on a weekly test with our reader

Bag of one and a half liters

German drivers are said to be the most spoiled in the world. If this is about crafter of drivers then the saying is true. The cabin is ideal for spending eight hours a day. The materials for a commercial vehicle are quite good, the finish is top notch. The range of adjustments is suitable for any height and skin tone. The seats are moderately hard, with a well-defined profile. Lots of shelves, drawers, niches for small things. One and a half liter water bottles fit in the door pockets – where did you see this? Of course there is both a 12 volt socket and a USB connection. And in the Crafter, there may be an original organizer in the left half of the passenger seat. You can also place a 25 liter refrigerator there, which not only cools, but even heats food up to 60°C!

And in all versions of the Crafter – great view to the front and to the side. It seems to me that it couldn’t get any better.


It seems that maneuvering on a five-meter long van would be terribly difficult. Nothing like that – if you have enough driving experience. You just need to take your time and remember about the long base of the car and the fact that there may be an obstacle behind the car. As they say, aim seven times… The steering wheel turns very easily (the steering box is electric), the steerable wheels turn at great angles, so you can park and maneuver in a small space without any problems. Although for safety it is better to take an assistant who will tell you the direction of movement from the street.

However, an automatic parking system (parking autopilot) is also available for Crafter. He needs a parking “pocket” with a margin of 1.5 meters to the length of the car. Although this is also enough for an experienced driver. Of course, a reversing camera is also offered as an option on the Crafter.

Volkswagen Crafter on a weekly test with our reader

Dynamic and economical

It’s hard to say how dynamic Crafters are with other boost options (less powerful), but this one – 177 horsepower – leaves nothing to be desired, whether in town or on the highway. Everywhere you can drive on par with cars and even relatively easy to walk ahead if you want to. The truck-like engine runs from the lowest revs, so the 6-speed gearbox even seems redundant. Gears can be switched via a. The brightness of the box drive is a reference. The pedals are simply weightless – even the clutch. You just don’t notice you’re working with it.

Fuel consumption data for the four-wheel drive version with a 177 hp engine could not be found on the website, the rear-wheel drive version with the same power in mixed mode should consume 7.4 liters of diesel fuel per 100 km – but of course under ideal conditions. We have – in imperfect, but really, with the city, traffic jams and slides, it turned out to be within 10-12 liters. For such a behemoth that can carry half a house at a time, it’s just a gift.


I had to drive not only on asphalt, but also partly – in the Vologda region – on primers. And this is where Crafter just struck. It seems that a pure asphalt car, wide, with an impressive base, large overhangs – on the ground it should be difficult for her. But the Crafter did not hit anything, did not fall – although it is clear that it needs four-wheel drive not for off-road, but to make it easier to deal with the Russian winter and other difficult driving modes.

Volkswagen Crafter on a weekly test with our reader

And this light!

The Crafter also has chic LED headlights. And while the nights aren’t particularly dark now, it’s still more enjoyable to drive than dull ones. In addition, an optional Light and Sight package can be ordered for the Crafter, including automatic high beam control, a rain sensor and a function for comfort lighting in a dark parking lot.


Translated from English, Crafter is a craftsman. In our opinion a hard worker, a hard worker. All those artisans working on Crafters can only be envied. It is a great tool for any job.

  • “Behind the wheel” can also be read on VKontakte.

Photo: Volkswagen

Source: Z R


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


More from author