Volkswagen’s Crafter is one of the best vans for NOx emissions

Published 27 November 2019

The Volkswagen Crafter has been declared the cleanest new van for NOx emissions

Independent real-world testing by AIR Index found the Volkswagen Crafter to be the best Euro6 van for NOx emissions, with the long wheelbase high roof 2.0 TDI emitting 53 mg/km NOx. The Caddy also performed strongly, scoring a maximum A rating for NOx.

>>> ULEZ van checker - will your vehicle meet London's new emission limits?

Diesel NOx (nitrogen oxide) is linked to a wide range of health issues that include respiratory problems, heart disease and some forms of cancer. 

Modern Euro6 vans are designed to meet strict emission targets, which reduce the levels of harmful NOx being released into the air. However, while all new vans meet the in-laboratory Euro standards, Air Index says huge variation exists between real world and laboratory-based limits. 

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The company attached exhaust gas measuring equipment to some of the UK's best-selling vans and claims to have evidence of the large gaps between the laboratory and the on-the-road figures. 

The worst van was the Mercedes-Benz Citan, with the 109 Dualiner 1.5 diesel emitting almost nine times the official level of NOx. Air Index claims the Citan emitted 902 mg/km NOx, which was significantly higher than its 105 mg/km limit. The Mercedes-Benz Vito and Citroen Relay also reportedly struggled to get near their limits.

Nick Molden, co-founder of AIR, said: “The 10 Euro6 diesel vans we tested represent just under half of the annual sales across Europe. If just those rated D or E were prevented from entering the centre of urban areas the AIR Index could bring all European cities into air quality compliance.

“But the ultimate responsibility to implement change lies with the manufacturers. With simple service-led engine management updates, it is possible to make vans much cleaner, dramatically reducing emissions immediately.”

The results of the vans tested and rated on the AIR Index:

 Make Model  Year AIR Index rating Fuel type  Official NOx limit Actual Urban NOx mg/km
Volkswagen  Crafter CR35 LWB High Roof 2.0 2019  Diesel  25 mg/km 53
Volkswagen Caddy C20 Highline TDI 2.0 2018 Diesel 105 mg/km 70
 Peugeot  Partner Asphalt 1.6  2019 A Diesel   80 mg/km  73
 Volkswagen  Transporter T30 Highline TDI Bluemotion 2.0 2018 B Diesel  125 mg/km 100
Mercedes-Benz Vito CDI 114 LWB 2.1 2017 Diesel  125 mg/km 147
Ford Transit Custom 300 Limited 2.0 2019 C Diesel  125 mg/km 260
 Vauxhall   Vivaro CDTI 2900 1.6 2019   D Diesel  105 mg/km 401
 Citroen Relay L3H2 Enterprise BlueHDi 2.0 2018 D Diesel   125 mg/km 557
 Mercedes-Benz  Vito CDI 111 LWB 1.6 (pre-update) 2017  D Diesel  125 mg/km 566
 Mercedes-Benz Citan 109 Dualiner 1.5  2019  E Diesel  105 mg/km 902

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