Volkswagen Crafter (2006 – 2017) Review

Volkswagen Crafter (2006 – 2017) At A Glance


+Impressively refined and comfortable to drive, high quality interior, excellent 2.0 TDI common rail diesel is one of the best van engines around.

-Lower powered version of the TDI engine can struggle with a full load on board.

The Crafter is the largest model in the Volkswagen panel van range, but also available as a chassis cab or double cab, passenger carrying window van, or as the base for a range of official conversions, including tipper, dropside and Luton bodies. It is also used for other applications, such as minibus or refrigerated units, which are available via Volkswagen approved converters.

The improved efficiency of the new Crafter range is in large part thanks to its completely revised engine range.  A Volkswagen four-cylinder 2.0-litre common rail TDI engine has replaced the previous five-cylinder, 2.5-litre BlueTDI unit to deliver better fuel economy with lower emissions and running costs.

The 2.0-litre TDI is already proven in other models across the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles range, but has been specifically tuned for the new Crafter to deliver more torque at lower engine speeds to give it more pulling power and reduce engine wear and tear.

The Crafter’s spacious cabin is ergonomically designed for comfortable and safe driving. Comfort features include a dash-mounted gear lever, excellent storage space, dual passenger seat, and a driver’s seat with height, reach and rake adjustment. Safety features include a driver’s airbag fitted as standard, full height steel bulkhead, plus load adjusting ESP Electronic Stabilisation Programme.

All load-carrying Crafters come equipped with fold-down load lashing eyes in the floor. Vans are also equipped with these on the pillars. Depending on the length of the loadspace, the vehicle is equipped with up to 12 such points, all of which comply with the relevant safety standards. Additional anchoring points can be provided as optional tracks at window sill height on the side walls, and with further tracks immediately beneath the roof frame.

Driven: Volkswagen Crafter Luton

There are times when even the biggest panel vans on the market just don’t offer enough load space. These situations require a chassis cab and a Luton body, just like Volkswagen’s huge Crafter Luton body conversion.

Read our first drive here >>


Ask Honest John

My newly-bought used van is blowing out blue smoke - is the dealer liable?

"I recently purchased a 2006 Volkswagen Crafter from a dealer with 161,000 miles on clock. I had it a couple of weeks but I'm now having issues with blue smoke - mainly going up or down hills or sudden stops. It's also not using any oil. I took the van back as it came with a three month warranty but they said it didn't smoke when they tested. I got it back and it's just getting worse. Any ideas on what it could be? The garage have now said there is nothing they can do and a van this age would smoke a bit and use up to a litre of oil per month. I asked for a refund they said no. Any suggestions with what to do next?"
The dealer can be held liable for any faults either present or developing on the date of sale for a period of six months. Given that the van is blowing smoke when it is going up hills, I’d say it’s highly likely that a fault is developing. This means the dealer is liable, explained here: There could be a number of causes for the blue smoke. It could be that some of the seals on the engine are on the way out, leaking diesel into the sump and oil. However, given that you’ve only just bought the van, I think it’s unacceptable for the dealer to ignore this and fob you off. I’d recommend taking it back and demanding that they investigate the problem and put it right. If they don’t want to do this, ask for a refund. Explain that the van is clearly developing a fault and they are legally responsible. If they refuse to help, have an independent inspection to determine the fault and get some legal advice. You can then take it to the small claims court, where you can claim up to £10,000 in England and Wales.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Volkswagen Crafter (2006 – 2017) cost?