Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards 2022: Large Van - Best to Drive
With sharp electro-mechanical steering and cutting-edge driving assistance systems, the Volkswagen Crafter proves that big vans don’t have to be intimidating to drive...
Priced from £28,845 Economy 32.1-38.2mpg CO2 emissions 194-231g/km Load space 9.9-18.4m3 Payload 761-1261kg Power 100-175bhp Torque 221-302lb ft
Never underestimate even the seemingly smallest of technical changes: a new steering system on the Volkswagen Crafter is the main reason why it is the best large van to drive.
Not only does the electro-mechanical steering set-up make the Crafter more involving than any rival in everyday driving, but it also allows the smooth and responsive lane-keeping assist system to function effectively and has also enabled the introduction of an innovative trailer parking system. Quite simply it has transformed the Crafter, broadening its appeal and making it a truly engaging big van to drive.
What’s more, buyers get a powerful 2.0-litre engine, available with as much as 174bhp, offering buyers a spritely turn of speed and acceleration. There’s also the choice of front-, rear- or all-wheel drive models, combining with the engine choices to offer the most complete range of choices for any large van.
Rivals include the Mercedes Sprinter, the van with which the Crafter used to share its underpinnings. However, VW learned well from that experience, making this latest Crafter better in almost every area, most notably the way it drives and the performance of its engines, but also in terms of comfort, quietness and refinement.
Of course, these improvements come at a price and the Crafter is not a cheap van to buy, but the Crafter is a testament to what can be done when a vehicle is designed from a blank sheet of paper. Nothing of this size is quite so effortless to drive.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here