Volkswagen Crafter chosen as nation's top van

Volkswagen Crafter chosen as nation's top van

Volkswagen Crafter chosen as nation's top van

In another win for Volkswagen, its latest Crafter van has been selected by a panel of experts at the first-ever New Car Awards curated by Parkers as the best LCV available in the UK. The all-new Crafter went on sale in May this year.

Commercial Fleet reports that the judges were looking for a number of key attributes when choosing between the various vans that are available to buy, with particular attention paid to factors such as running costs and innovative design choices.

The judges were also eager to choose a van that reflected the fact that the automotive marketplace is undergoing a period of significant change, with technological evolution going hand in hand with record-breaking sales.

While the Crafter managed to pip rivals such as the Ford Transit to the winning post, some of its shortcomings were also highlighted in the allocation of the award. The most notable was the fact that it does not quite manage to offer payload capacities competitive with earlier models, which is something that buyers should bear in mind.

Praise was heaped upon the driving experience offered by the VW Crafter, with the judges claiming that it was as comfortable and safe as any of VW’s passenger cars. Meanwhile, the quality of the materials and the kit in the cab were also seen as class-leading, making this van especially well-suited to long-distance journeys that might be less enjoyable to complete in comparable LCVs.

Awards spokesperson CJ Hubbard said that because the new Crafter was designed and built from scratch rather than being based on an existing platform, it was possible for VW’s engineers to create something truly impactful and meaningfully modern without limitations weighing them down.

He also said that it did not feel as intimidating or unwieldy to drive as some vans, effectively offering the same ease of use as a VW Golf despite its size.

Two runners-up were chosen alongside the Crafter, receiving recognition for their capabilities despite not quite being up to the task of taking the top prize.

The Ford Transit Custom was an unsurprising inclusion, with recognition given to the sheer variety of different models available to buy in the UK. It was also noted that a plug-in hybrid version is being tested and will go on sale within the next two years, which could sow the seeds for awards glory in the future.

The Renault Kangoo ZE was the other runner-up, earning appreciation as a result of its zero emissions electric powertrain and the 50 per cent increase in range offered in its latest iteration. It is seen as a van that proves that taking the electric route and ditching diesel engines can be a viable option for businesses, which in the past may have seemed much less attractive.

Ultimately, the Crafter’s success at this event, along with the nod given to the Kangoo ZE, shows that sales figures alone are not the defining feature of the van market in the UK.

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