Driving Expressions: VW Crafter 50 Panel Van
The Crafter is a remarkably well-equipped vehicle – catering for the SME business owner who isn’t just interested in truck with a canopy, but requires something that will carry the company branding proudly. In addition, they would probably want one that is suited to work in towns with some highway work.
True, the driver needs a C1 licence as it is over 3500 GVM, but with something so large and a cavernous parcel area its worth paying the extra for a driver with that licence.
With its 75-litre fuel tank and generous loading capacity, the Crafter will deliver no matter what. Boasting a loading capacity ranging between 10.7m3 and 17.5m3, the Crafter can handle any load thrown at it. With one of the longest loading spaces in its class of up to 4.6m, you’ll never have to leave anything behind. Loading and unloading from the back is made easy through two rear wing doors or through the left-hand side 1.3m wide sliding door. For even more convenience, a sliding door is optional for the right-hand side as well.
The flexible and practical nature of the Crafter makes it suited to a variety of applications. With a payload capacity of up to 2.5 tons and torque of up to 340Nm, even the bulkiest loads feel light. The Crafter is available in a 3.5-ton GVM version and a 5-ton GVM version. The test vehicle was the smaller of the two and proved a delight to drive. Given the options it guarantees that no matter what your business or how tough the job, the new VW Crafter offers the ideal solution to meet your transportation requirements.
One facet of the drive is of concern to safety practitioners such as ourselves, is the legislative requirement of a governor that limits top speed to 100kph. True that is done so as to limit these powerful vehicles and keep them from speeding. That, however, has the unintended consequence of possibly placing the driver in a position that is dangerous.
While driving the Crafter I was in the process of overtaking a vehicle which speeded up when the Crafter was alongside – accelerating only resulted in topping out at 100kph. Fortunately, in this situation it was a dual lane road. Should a driver be used to this – unlike testers who drive many.
The cab ergonomics have been improved and so they ensure higher levels of practicality and ease of use in order to support the crew in their daily work. Standard interior features include power steering, heat-insulating glass, electric windows, radio preparation and door pockets. Optional features include a radio/CD player, semi-automatic climatic air conditioning system, front reading lights and cruise control.
All in all, a really practical if not somewhat large.
Crafter 50 Panel Van
Power: 103kW @ 3, 500 – 3, 600 r/min
Torque: 340Nm @ 1, 600 – 2, 250 r/min
Gearbox: 6 -speed manual
Fuel consumption: Combined cycle – 7,5l/100km
Price: from R652 200
Crafter 35 Panel Van MWB
Crafter 50 Panel Van LWB
Crafter 50 Panel Van LWB with overhang
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