Since launching its latest Crafter large van in 2017, having brought the model in-house following its former existence as a re-badged version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, VW has been stepping up its presence in the conversions market.
Under its Engineered to Go banner it introduced a new range of body styles at the start of this year, partnering with leading conversion company Ingimex.The dropside and tippers are available as single- or double-cabs, while a Luton is single-cab only. Driven here is the single-cab, medium-wheelbase front-wheel drive tipper based on a Crafter CR35 in entry-level Startline trim, powered by a 2.0-litre TDI 140hp engine wedded to six-speed manual transmission.
The tipper functions are controlled by a wander lead and the steel “lightweight, high-strength body” possesses what Ingimex claims is a class-leading payload of 1,065kg with front and rear axle load limits of 1,800kg and 2,100kg, respectively.
The internal dimensions of the load bed are length 3,119mm by width 2,026mm and the body comes with 400mm-high double-skinned aluminium sideboards and a 600mm tailboard with an integrated top lashing rail and Chapter 8 livery.
Behind the cab a full-height embossed steel panel offers protection and some rear-view visibility to the driver.
The gantry features three load-lashing levels and can support 400kg, and Ingimex claims the high-tensile steel load platform is dent-resistant and extremely hard-wearing.
We didn’t get the chance to fill the tipper with sand or gravel but found the ride quality unladen to be reasonably smooth, with bounces and bumps over speed humps or pot-holed roads kept well under control.
The 140hp diesel serves up plenty of grunt, leaving no reason to believe it would struggle with a weight in the back and, as with all Crafters, the steering is precise and the gear change slick, which is all the more impressive in what is a no-frills workhorse. An efficient stop/start system helps to keep down fuel consumption.
The cabin is functional with creature comforts kept to a minimum – no satnav or DAB radio, for example. On the other hand, there is plenty of stowage space, including an overhead shelf and under-seat storage, and the fabric seat covers look hard-wearing and easy to clean. As you would expect with a vehicle designed to negotiate rough terrains, such as building sites, you also get a spare wheel, tool kit and jack.
Volkswagen Crafter Tipper CR35 Startline MWB single-cab
Price (ex VAT) £33,725
Price range (ex VAT) £33,725-£38,415
Service intervals 2yrs/30,000mls
Load length 3,119mm
Load width 2,026mm
Load bay height n/a
Gross payload 1,065kg
Engine size/power 1,968cc/140hp
Combined fuel economy 39.2mpg
The Volkswagen C35 tipper is a tough and fit-for-purpose working light commercial vehicle that is also a civilised on-road performer.