Power comes courtesy of a four-cylinder in-line 16-valve turbocharged engine equipped with common rail fuel injection and a diesel particulate filter. AdBlue held in an 18-litre reservoir helps ensure it meets the latest Euro 6 exhaust emission regulations.
Top power bites at 3,600pm. Maximum torque of 410Nm is delivered across a 1,500rpm to 2,000rpm plateau.
A slight hesitancy as the automatic Crafter pulled away from rest had us worried, but after that we had no cause for concern.
It accelerates briskly through the gears with no jerking or juddering as the transmission changes from one gear to the next, and a rapid kick-down means you can whizz past meandering cyclists without breaking a sweat.
The box gives you the ability to switch to manual – all you need to do is tap the shift lever to the right, but why would you? Doing so makes little discernible difference to the van’s low-speed performance, so you might as well leave it and let the automatic function get on with what it does best.
The Crafter handles well and always feels firmly planted on the highway. You can corner with confidence.
One issue is that there is a touch too much growling and grumbling from the engine at times and the ride could do with being a tad smoother.
It is acceptable, but cannot be classed as outstanding; there were times when we detected a bit of shimmying from the body. This was surprising given the Crafter’s otherwise outstanding build quality.
Solid construction and plenty of kit can of course impact on fuel usage and payload capacity, and the Crafter’s is not especially generous.
Volkswagen quotes a Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) combined fuel consumption figure of 28.2mpg. In our experience that is fairly accurate; the stop/start function goes some way towards keeping diesel usage down.