Volkswagen to tackle light-duty truck market

Volkswagen's new Crafter a light-duty alternative

2019 volkswagen crafter cab-chassis

Look out Isuzu N-Series and Hino 300 Series, Volkswagen is out to steal some of your customers.

We’re in New Zealand for the Australian launch of the new-generation Volkswagen Crafter, an offering that steps up 500kgs to a new GVM of up to 5.5 tonnes.

That puts the new Volkswagen van, cab-chassis and double cab-chassis into the same ballpark as the Japanese cab-over light-duty trucks that have long dominated the segment in Australia.

Some of the key details of the new Volkswagen Crafter range include:

  • New front-wheel drive variant offering 100mm lower floor height in cargo area
  • Availability of all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive variants
  • New eight-speed ZF auto transmission
  • Only van/cab-chassis with side, front and curtain airbags
  • Standard Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Optional Adaptive Cruise Control

The new Crafter might also be able to interest some of the light-duty truck buyers away from the status quo with a new addition to the offering – genuine Volkswagen conversions.

Fitted in Poland (where the new Crafter is built in an all-new plant), Aussie Volkswagen dealerships will be able to offer a full range of different ready to go bodies and configurations, all will be covered by Volkswagen’s Factory Warranty.

Volkswagen’s Commercial Vehicle Marketing Manager, Nick Reid, told us the availability of a “proper automatic transmission” (compared to the Automated Manuals common in light-duty cab-over trucks) could also be a real selling point.

Another hook could be the standard fitment of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto – systems we’re yet to see in the Japanese cab-overs.

While just a $4,500 price premium for all-wheel drive could also be enticing, according to the German brand’s representative.

Under the bonnet of the new VW Crafter is a 2.0 litre four-cylinder diesel.

In standard spec you get 103kW/340Nm, while a bi-turbo version steps things up to 130kW/410Nm.

We get our first drive of the new-generation Volkswagen Crafter tomorrow, we will bring you a review of the higher-capacity versions of the Volkswagen van/cab-chassis on Thursday.

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About Joel Helmes 1833 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

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