22 May 2013
I’ve just started my own business doing courier work, so I purchased one of these vans 4 months ago and all I can say is steer clear. I’ve had problem after problem after problem. It’s done more miles on the back of an AA truck than it’s done on the road. I’ve had to replace the turbo, sensors, pipes and pumps, gallons upon gallons of oil and it drinks fuel. VW shouldn’t be allowed to sell these vans. I think they’re made to cost the owner money. Nobody has a good word to say about these vans and I swear if this van breaks down on me again I shall write on the side of my van, RUBBISH VANS DON’T BUY!
We usually run Iveco vans, but have been trying the new Crafters out. The Luton 109 on a 58 plate was absolutely useless, loaded and unloaded it drank fuel like there was a hole in the tank. The second, a 62 plate 109 xlwb was better on fuel than our mwb Iveco. Still it had no guts at all and only did 75 flat out empty. It was very comfy on a 600 miles non dstop run, but overall I prefer the Iveco Dailys apart from the comfort and fuel economy. As a fleet buyer the Merc is a better deal complete with 3 years unlimited miles.
Purchased my MWB 2.0 TDI 109bhp blue motion in Oct 2012. So far the van is doing okay, I’m just a little disappointed with the mpg, which is at best 26mpg. This van is used for a/c work and carrying tools and materials. Still at only 6k miles mind you, so maybe it will get better?
Thought I was buying a quality German engineered product, unfortunately it is the total opposite! I’ve had to replace the exhaust manifold, DPF, EGR valve, numerous sensors, vacuum pump, numerous radiator pipes, electric window switch, abs sensor and now I’m having to replace the ignition switch. Feel as though I’m throwing money at this van continuously. Never again will I buy a Volkswagen!
I think the VW Crafter is a far better van than a Transit. Just the way it drives is better. A big quiet cab that is comfortable and easy to keep clean. I’ve had problems with Transits before, especially with fuel pumps, but so far the Crafter has mainly just had service items at correct mileage intervals. DPF problems have only been the occasional warning lights and having to drive for some distance at 2000 revs in fourth gear to clear warning lights from dash. I only took the Crafter the VW dealer whilst still under warranty, but since the warranty expired I have used a local independent ex VW/Audi mechanic who has all the latest diagnostic equipment. Van now on 80,000 miles and achieving about 23 mpg whilst loaded to maximum weight at all times. The van has some faults, but in my opinion is the best van out of the others on offer.
Hi, I bought my Crafter 109 xhi xlwb in Oct 09 with 129000 on the clock. I knew at that milage that there were problems around the corner and bingo 7 wks after purchase the EGR valve failed. But having done 330000 miles I can honestley say it’s been general wear and tear, with most faults listed on the forum. The reason most faults appear is the DPF, it should be taken off production! I travel right across Europe on urgent deliverys and the only time she’s never got me home is getting back on the Channel tunnel train and the clutch went in the semi auto box! £1600 fitted VW Manchester. Service these vans regulary and keep your eyes on warning lights and they will serve you well, as with all vans they are work horses. Cleaned up mine still looks great in the factory Silver and you wouldn’t believe she’s done 333000 miles. Happy driving!
Rubbish! So disappointed.
My van (a Transit Luton) was in for its MoT, so I hired one of these for two days. I did 40 miles on the first day, town and dual carrige way driving. On the second day I shot up to London from Devon and back again. I drove up at 60 mhp (didn’t want to get to the job too early) and did 41 mpg, fantastic! On the way back I was going between 75 and 85 mph and although I hit crawling traffic for probably 15 miles, when I got back and worked it out on a calculator we had again done 40 mpg. The van was fantastic! It drives great, the driving position was great, there was loads of room for three of us in it with no problem comfort wise. We didn’t even notice the hills, just accelerated up them as if they weren’t there. The only thing I didn’t like was the position of the gear stick being in the dash and the lack of travel with the clutch. Overall a fantastic vehicle, which had only done 35000 miles though, and the mpg was better than running around in the car! A little tip: If a convertible drives past and you then turn on the windsreen washers and wipers you can get them wet (childish I know. I got some bloke in a Bentley continental)!
Nothing but trouble! I had a blocked dpf removed and a patch done but now it’s using oil. I’ve been told by a VW technician that it’s a common fault on these first Crafters and that the engine gets so hot, in order to burn the soot off, that it has worn the rings, hence using oil and now it basically needs a new engine.
I bought this van 8 months ago. It is very rusty for an 07 and is so gutless its untrue; on motorway journeys at 70mph I don’t even get 18mpg. I’ve had various new bits, but nothing improves it. It has now also developed an odd whining noise, which I’m thinking may be the turbo? It’s comfortable and nice to drive, but overall very poor. It seems to have been designed to cost the owner money. I also have a 58 plate Caddy 1.9. I have to say this is the worst vehicle I have ever owned. I won’t go on about it on here, but I will never buy another VW or go near a VW dealer. I had an Iveco before, which was rough and ready and not as comfy, but had a far better engine. I would suggest everyone avoids VW.
Purchased new in July 2011, I have done 65,000 in 9months. I missed the first service by 20,000k’s, but it didn’t miss a beat. I had to replace the tyres at 61,000k’s due to a dodgy wheel alignment done by VW here in Brisbane causing uneven wear. I replaced the tyres with the same spec Kumho tyres. From new, I had the wood paneling put in the rear and upgraded the rear suspension as I carry up to 2tonne a day. I deliver wine, tyres, paint and chemicals. I travel between 430-600km’s per day. I have not had any problems other than a glow plug warning, that killed the power until I switched off the ignition and restarted. That is it. I have just fitted an LPG unit to it with a 55litre tank. I used to travel up the hills either struggling in 3rd or revving like mad in 2nd. I now can get up them in 3rd with plenty of power to boot. My fuel consumption on the LPG has dropped the diesel usage from 65litres per day done to 50Litres per day, usine 10litres of LPG to do it, but as LPG is half the price of diesel, the savings are between $10-$30 a day. This vehicle regularly travels over 110kph for 150km’s at a time, sometimes faster, but thats not something I will discuss on here. I can’t fault it. It would be nice to have the hand grips in the a frame interior and the centre console lid like on the Sprinters, but as the Crafter is $10000 cheaper than a Crafter and looks better, goes better and doesn’t break down, who really cares? To all those who say the Crafter is a rubbis vehicle I would suggest looking at the way you or the people you employ drive it.
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I have a 08 Crafter which has now done 225,000km - I had the same problem with the engine going into LIMP mode which required shutting the engine down and restarting to clear itself (happened twice on the Gateway bridge) and was a regular occurence and no real answer from the VW people, after about 18 months it was deemed to be the Turbo which was overcharging and they replaced this which solved the problem - I recently had the timing belt, tensioners and water pump replaced (at 218,000km) cost was $1,700 and the job was completed in one day. I have a loud infrequent clacking coming from the Vacuum pump so I guess that requires replacing AGAIN, it was replaced under warranty about two years ago so they don’t seem to last too long . I had a couple of problems with the shift control unit (shiftmatic transmission) which were speedily dealt with and didn’t cost an arm and leg to repair. I am using Federal tyres @ $340 pair fitted and balanced and they seem to last pretty well. I’m pretty happy with the vehicle and would buy another if the situation was to arise - Flynn Erkeens from Australia
I’ve had this from new and in the first 3 years it has needed the following: 1). Steering rack replaced 2). Vacuum pump replaced 3). Two turbo’s 4). Engine Management System replaced 5). Prop shaft replaced 6). DPF replaced twice 7). Engine manifold replaced 8). Complete new engine 9). I have broken down approximately 10 times with gear box problems 10). Water sensor replaced. And now 11). New instrument panel. £10000 worth of parts and work needed, not including servicing and VW think I was just unlucky!! Plus many more things. All the servicing and work was done by a VW dealer and it has always been limited to 68 MPH and serviced on time. A rubbish vehicle, bad service and bad VW customer service. Don’t buy one!
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I totally agree, rubbish. I owned a Sprinter but was forced to sell due to goverment emissions. It was the perfect van just add fuel!! But the Crafter may be a better looking van but it spends more time on the side of the rode with the bonnet up or tracking up and down the M25 trying to switch of DPF light. VERY Eco friendly VW!!!!!!
We’ve all those issues also... Can’t believe they are allowed to continue to sell these vehicles. We’ll be contacting Consumer Affairs - Mel from Australia
I have 4 crafters. Regrettably these vans are the worst we have ever bought. We purchased ours in the late 06, and early 07. Since the vans completed the first 25000 Kilometers, we have experienced ongoing problems with; DPF filters, brake discs, electronic problems with the engine management, computer softwear problems, back axle seals, keys and locking systems and the list goes on. Our experience with Volkswagen, its dealers and importers into Ireland has been very bad. My decision is we will never deal with this brand again. We will scrap the Crafters, as to try and sell them on to someone else would be unfair to any prospective customer. In summary: The experience with Volkswagen and the Crafters has been a complete disaster from our point of view. I suspect many thousnds more people and companies have had a similar experience.
Having owned 2 of these from new and covering 50k+a year I have a pretty good idea of what they are like. They are comfortable and carry weight no problem. The biggest problem with them are the dealers and ’mechanics’ they have working for them, who are just glorified tyre fitters who have no idea once the diagnostic machines fail to identify the problem. If you oWn a crafter you’d better have deep pockets unless you look after it and get a reliable mechanic to do your work cheaper than the £90 an hour VW charge. The dpf problem is all down to fuel and if you use cheap fuel you will have problems especially bio fuel, which these vans do not like at all. Regular servicing and an occasional fuel system cleaner will help. As for servicing, VW are extorionate; I was quoted £967 for a cam belt replacement!! Overall I am not happy with the van and I would not buy another as I think the extra you pay over a Transit would be better spent on maintaning the Transit as you will have just as much hassle as you do with any other 3.5 tonne van doing multidrop work. I have pondered getting a Sprinter when it is time to repace these Crafters, but I honestly believe the 2.0 diesel engines are over-worked and turbo problems are inevitable as forced torque never works reliably in cars, so vans will be the same. I could say a million other negatives about these vans, but I will just advise you do not waste your money on these pieces of rubbish. Stick with what you know and get something easy to fix.
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I bought this van second hand with 110,000 miles on it. I too have had problems with the dpf, but you have to use the correct oil, that’s very important. I have recently changed the dpf and will be using additives in the fuel system to assist it. I have no issues with the van, it’s great, comfortable and powerful, but I do not take it to a VW garage as I know they are not the best at customer relations. I always change the oil every 8000miles and never take the key out if the steering is on full lock or the key will jam (I got this advice from a friend). I am interested in any recalls that may be due, but will have to ask the VW dealer. As for knocking the guts out of the dpf, you could be in trouble with the DVLA; my van is cheap to tax because of its emmisions taking the dpf away increases your emmisions so you should inform the DVLA that you have changed its taxation class. To sum up: I have owned plenty of vans Toyota Hiace, Transit, Merc Sprinter, VW, and this one is the best. My friend always buys VW and loves them, but he dislikes the dealers.
Twelve months ago I bought an ’09 Crafter demo model from the main Volkswagen dealer in Limerick City, which gave a few problems at the beginning. These were all sorted by the dealer whose service was first rate, they also extended the warranty for a further twelve months. Will deal with this garage again.
A 59 plate that’s needed three steering racks, wheel bearings, oil leaks, dpf. Rubbish! The steering wheel wobbles all the time and I have been told its the new tyres ?? If you have the same and can’t do anymore to sort these problems out get hold of VW customer services and don’t let them off the phone till they get your van centre to sort it. Shouting does work!
I am on my 3rd Crafter now. I buy them a couple years old with low miles and have kept each one for a couple of years until they reach about 200/250 thousand miles. I have had very few problems compaired to Transits and Sprinters and I will be buying one again.
I don’t know where to start, but here goes! I bought this new, but the last two years have been an absolute nightmare with it being off the road on average every six -eight weeks, mainly with emissions lights. It has also gone through more bulbs than Blackpool Tower. At 3000mls over warranty six weeks ago the water pump went and also the timing belt broke, which will cost over £1000 to repair. I put it in for its service on Tuesday at STRAITON and a pre MOT. Sraiton’s Service dept. phoned to say the service had been done (£285) and had a list of things it needs done to get through its MoT (to quote "as long as your arm!"), which they quoted £3000-£4000 for the required repairs. They said that I have to pay as I am resposible for the MoT on a van that I lease at a cost of over £500 per month. The final straw came today (9/11/11) when the regeneration filter went and will cost £1200 to repair. The van is now off the road indefinitely as I cannot afford to pay for this repair. Now up a creek and stuck without a paddle!
Got this as a hire/replacement while my Trafic is away for accident repairs. Surprisingly the VW feels flimsy, with a worse finished than my Renault. The seats especially are very poor, with a very short seat base offering little support, and tactile quality of the switchgear etc is frankly naff. I really don’t want to spend much time in there. There is a very basic level of equipment on the standard hire vehicle. Cargo space is impressive and useful tie-down points to keep everything under control, but where is the power to move all that load? I can’t find it. The engine and gearbox are smooth as they should be, but seem under-specced for a working van. Sorry VW, but the Crafter will not be on my Christmas list.
This van is absolute horse c**p! My company has 2 x08 plate and if one gets a fault it’s a sure bet the other will get the same fault. I’d rather drive a horse and cart. The last straw was when the one I was driving suddenly lost all power GRrrr!!
I have replaced the turbo, steering rack, etc. I’ve had so many problems with this van I will never ever buy a VW car/van again. Now it’s out of warranty and a new problem has occured; the engine light is on and the steering rack needs replacing again! The VW Group are telling me it will cost me $15k to fix. Do not buy a VW Crafter!
Well, well, well, I’ m leasing a crafter 09 plate and at first it seemed great. I then had a problem with the dpf; when the warning light comes on you must take it for a drive, preferably on a long stretch of road, normally for about ten miles in 4th gear at 2500rpm (50mph). It works every time but for some reason it didn’t on this particular occasion and it took me nearly 50 miles to get rid of it. The van eventually packed in after a few more times as the dpf was blocked. I got the van to VW Benfield in Newcastle and, to cut a long story short, the turbo had gone so obviously I wasnt getting enough power to burn off the soot in the filter, but that has now been sorted. It’s had an oil leak from the sump and now it’s got a tapping noise coming from the engine; dpf is working fab. Apart from these few problems I wouldnt swap my Crafter, it’s spacious and a nice motor for my job. With regards to the dpf, you just have to know how to manage it and it’s fine.
Responses to this review
Tapping noises are common. If it disappears after pumping the brake pedal, it’s only the vacuum pump. A new one will rattle just as bad - John from Swansea
Hi John, as for the knocking noise coming and going it`s probably the vacuum pump or the push rod. The pump from VW is around £330. The push rod that gos on the end of the vacuum pump is around £30 and solved the problem perfectly. Oh and I`ve done this on two vans and solved it both times - Mark Barney from England
Wish I’d never heard of Crafter vans. Bought this one from Heritage VW van centre. Lots of silly problems during its use. Then it failed its first MOT on emmisions. It took about 10 weeks of trial and error before they eventually fitted a new engine. Then we had a spate of warning lights causing us to have to keep having to go back to them for help. Now they say it needs a new steering rack (83000miles) at a cost of £1300+. In my opinion they are pretty unreliable to say the very least.
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We too will never buy a VW Crafter Van. Nothing but problems - Mel from Australia
Steering racks are a lot cheaper in Mercedes dealer and it’s the same part - John from Swansea
Bought two Crafters a year ago. First thing that went was the idler pully now the turbo has gone. The second van turbo is going the same way. Best thing to do is steer clear, too costy as always something going wrong!
Had a Sprinter from new, thought I would give VW a try so got the Crafter lwb. Should have stayed with the Sprinter!
Have had a 2009 mwb shiftmatic for 19months, now done 95k. Had diff oil leaks, turbo replaced, power steering pump replaced, belt tensioner replaced. Both VW Commerical dealers in Perth are pathetic, have to self diagnose the faults to get it repaired properly. Last VW Crafter for me, has been a disaster with so much down time.
I have had my Crafter nearly 3 years now and only been in VW once and won’t be going back there. £75 an hour for labour from arrogant stuck-up staff made sure of that. It has just started to give me a glow plug light and goes into limp mode. Once it is switched off and back on again, it stops. If anybody else had this problem or has any clues what the problem is, email jammawdz[at]aol[dot]com
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Hi mate, I've got a 2006 109ps Crafter with exactly the same problem. Did you manage to get the problem sorted? I would be interested to know what the problem was as I'm having a real nightmare with mine. Cheers - Steve Davis from Nottinghamshire
It may be a boost pressure problem. VW recall on turbo since Dec 10 if 701B is on it - Jimmy Leddy from Ireland
Hello mate, there is a worldwide problem with the Crafter turbo. The glow lamp goes on and the car limps. Shut it down and the problem goes temporarily but it will return. All you have to do is go to the VW dealer and tell them about it. They will fix it, they must have heard about it. They will get their money for the fix from the VW company. Remember the fault will not show on the test computer. I had mine changed 2 months ago and my Crafter is almost 4 years old so no problem if the car is over three years. It's a VW fault and they will sort it. It was so nice to get it fixed. I was going crazy over that problem, no garage could see any problems until I saw a service bill from a VW dealer my mate uses. They had changed his turbo even though he had no problems so I went there and they fixed mine on the spot. Pure luck, I was about to buy a new one myself. Hope you get your problem fixed. Sorry my english is not good - Runi Nols√łe from Copenhagen, Denmark
I have just bought a VW Crafter as a motorhome so it is not good news for me. But I have a Nissan Patrol 3.0 tdi. It does the same as your VW, the light comes on and goes into limp mode on my Nissan. It's the fuel sensor on the fuel filter. If you clean or drain it for water, you will find the light will stay away on until it gets full of water again. Regards - Henning Pedersen from Australia
Replace the fuel filter. The problem is that biodiesel absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and carries micro-organisms which grow in fuel storage tanks which then clog the vehicle's fuel filter. When the glowplug warning light comes on, there is a low fuel pressure fault in the high pressure common railline and will reset only when the ignition is switched off and then back on again - Drew Ritchie from Perthshire
Hey guys. I brought my Crafter late 2007 and initally I loved it. It’s now 3 and a bit years down the track and I couldn’t count how much has been spent on it. It does high milage has 431402 km on it now and in that time it’s has had 4 turbos, 4 vacuum pumps, the rear differential has been rebuilt twice, it’s had I think 3 steering racks, the wipers now don’t park most of the time and just jump about and also has a major rust problem. It’s gutless, the ecu got wet as it’s behind the headlight and had to be replaced, the a/c blower has been replaced, the list just goes on. I have been fortunate in that the local dealer is very good and they pull parts off new vans to keep me moving and it has only had two days off the road and they have gone to battle with the local importer who has paid for a lot of the work and parts but overall I’m becoming very disappointed with the van and it’s unfortunate that VW have had their reputation tarnished by mostly Merc parts that are total c**p.
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My 109PS Oct ’06 167k just started to use a bit of oil. It had a new clutch and flywheel at 110k. I got it from GSF as a kit, I think it was only about £350 for the three bits. Anyway had a dpf problem about six months ago so made the decision to smash the inside out of it (it started to go into limp mode when pulling in high gears and the engine was going into protection mode - glow plug light started to flash). So when I took it off, I noticed that it was breaking up inside and the gasses must have been getting trapped/blocked. Basically I smashed the inside out of it so it’s straight through but with all the sensors still intact. I then paid a mechanic to have a ’patch’ put over the program in the ECU to stop it ever wanting to regenerate. Whilst he did the patch, he did some suttle tweeks with the mapping and I can honestly say what a result. It pulls like a train, and if driven at 65-70 max will do (no bullpoo) 490 miles to the tank as apose to 400 max before work. It sounds better, pulls better and is smoother but it has just started to use a tad of oil. I’ve heard of others just starting to use a drop and i’m just doing my homework on this to see which way to go. Anyone got any ideas? Many thanks - A A from England
Our crafter is now four years old having covered only 26k it now needs a new vac pump at a cost of £400. A year ago after a long battle with Benfield van centre it finally received a new steering rack under warranty they tried to fob me off with a b******t story about air in the rack system. It also suffers with a violent judder on the clutch, which again Benfield Van Centre of Stockton were not interested in dealing with whilst the van was under warranty, but now that it’s out of warranty they are prepared to investigate. I took the van to Benfield van centre this morning for a service, whilst talking to a salesman about my experience with our van he practically told me that they were not interested. PLEASE DO YOURSELVES A FAVOUR AND DO NOT BUY A CRAFTER, THEY ARE TROUBLE!
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I too have an ’09 mwb Crafter with 16,000kms on clock with the same problem plus a lot more. A main dealer has told me in limerick that they found play in the clutch itself also that clutch pedal goes to floor faulty seal. I have never had the misfortune of buying such a piece of rubbish. Anyone thinking of buying VW Crafter, don’t - Martin McLoughlin from Ireland
Have run old shape VW with no problems, new crafter is a pile of rubbish; dpf light always on, key problems, get a horse and cart instead.
I’ve had a crafter for the past 6 months, good van if being used over long distances, otherwise the dpf is a nightmare. Nobody at VW seems to care about the problem, the only response from the dealer is that it’s a common problem!?!! would not buy another due to many other faults, but have become very friendly with the RAC since I have seen them so much due to recharging the particle filter!
Just reading these reviews seems like only the moaners post notes. We have two crafter vans which we use on a daily basis around the UK. Both vans have been totally reliable and quite economical when taking into account the body size.
Responses to this review
Can’t wait to hear from you in a few months when it all starts for you. These vans are a joke - Ian Botterill from Devon
Go rob a bank because you will need the brass to fix two - Martin Gibbons from England
I’ve ran a Crafter since December ’07, ’57 plate. Until June 11, it had not cost me a penny. It’s now got 36,000 mile on and needs 2 front tyres, pads all round and according to Benfield in Newcastle it needs front discs. Now the brake vacuum this gone at £400 + £156 fitting - Paul from England
Sorry but you can’t expect to run a van and not pay for tyres and brakes, I’ve ran mine now for two years and gone through a set of brakes as well but if you spend the money on decent tyres you’ll get your money’s worth as I’ve had the same nexen tyres on for two years now. Vacuum pump... The joys of motoring - Gavin from Aberdeenshire
I’ve owned this 20 months. It had only covered 22k when I purchased it. It’s had a new fuse box and two new engines, the first engine had only covered 29k, the second had only covered 17k.. biggest load of c**p I’ve ever bought. All work has been carried out at VW, as cost a small fortune.
We got this last year at 1 year old and had been accident repaired at a main VW dealer with less than 5k on the clock; we got it very cheap! At 20k it needed a new sensor valve, however VW didn’t have it in stock and took over a week to fix. With 40k a scratching noise appeared over 3krpm, again VW rebuilt the turbo twice with two known recall faults. Then tried a new turbo, still didnt fix it. Turned out to be a hole in the manifold gasket. Whilst it was there for nearly three weeks they also did lots of other recall faults, too many to mention! Now at 52k for the size of van tyre wear is good along with brakes. It will pull fully loaded with trailer, so much torque, just a shame about the following: 1. Manual says don’t use the gearstick as an arm rest, so why didn’t they fit an arm rest?! 2. The 12v plug is nearly on the floor, useless for satnavs and phone chargers. 3. The engine is all torque and no power. 4. The heater is driven by the speed of the van and I am constantly changing it. 5. VW will let you down more when the van breaks down they have no idea about customers and helping them. Considering we got a bargain van it does what we need and nearly 50k in a year and only 6 weeks in the garage. However, I do drive at a constant speed twice a day for more than ten miles each way! Not a single dpf fault. Keep you posted for any major faults. I wouldn’t recommend this van but if driven hard maybe ok for some.
I know the van is trouble some, but is this all the fault of VW, the van is actually made entirely by Merc using a VW engine only. The faults other than engine faults must affect sprinters as well. You can tell it is merc by the fact of the corrosion issues and somewhat antique electrical systems and poor quality components used, so dont blame VW entirely and I know that VW dealers hate them, the worst thing they have ever put their name to.
Responses to this review
I’m a builder and I have owned all sorts of vans over 32 years LT, Sprinter, Transit, you name it! They’ve all been worked hard but not abused. Laugh if you like, but if you don’t need a massive load area, then it’s got to be the Toyota Hiace, have you ever seen a rusty one or a Hiace breakdown? Didn’t think so? I have a 120bhp LWB model, basic but totally faultless. These things are built for the long haul and reliability, not style, or good looks, but still comfortable - Colin Liggat from Ayrshire
What a waste of money!!! DPF filter is a disaster, be prepared to either spend thousands of pounds fixing or to drive (or have the driver to drive in my case) in completely opposite directions than your destination so the DPF can be "regenerated"! Driving in London every 7-10 days the light comes on and you need 15 minutes at 60MPH - where are supposed to find stretch of the road to do that? So far going from Northolt to town we end up in High Wycombe on A40! Van is nice, big, comfy etc. but completely unusable in town. I am getting rid of it this month, replacing with MK7 transit (already have one of these - great van) - -no more VWs - ever! Dealers are ignorant b****ds, Southgate manager actually said "telling people to watch out for DPF light would be against our interest, we need vans to break down every now and then" (!) - almost punched him when he said that :)
Responses to this review
Here here! I have had problems also with my VW Crafter, the biggest is the DPF, what a nightmare. How can anyone make a van and sell it if it is not supposed to be used for local delivery. We do bouncy castle hire (local delivery), the DPF as been a nightmare. Don’t take to VW, take to Digbys Heywood, Lancashire TEL 01706 360174, they removed the the filter and reprogrammed the ECU LESS THE £300 NOW THE VAN IS FASTER AND MORE ECONOMICAL THAN EVER. VW wanted £1247 to put a new filter in LOL just saved a grand and ended up with a better van - Eddie Daniels from Lancashire
Hi Guys, we got our Crafter on lease, brand new in August 2010 - we’ve had the DPF light come on 6 times now and had VW Assistance carry out a forced regen at the road side. We stuck to what VW have said in the handbook and what the sticker says about if the light appears to drive it "x" for "x". When it came on I drove 100 miles in 4th gear at 2500rpm - guess what? The light stayed on. We got it forced regen again. Last week, I was on the way to the local dealers on the motorway and the engine decided to speed up on its own!! Revs hit max and the speed picked up amazingly fast for a van. I had no choice but to switch the engine off, police towed me to a lay-by, VW Assistance came down and the same happened to him, he forced it to work but when it did it ran ROUGH, which the guy said is most probably injector and valve problems. It’s been in VW for a few days now and they cannot find any faults on their computer. What happened to the old days of getting their hands dirty and actually manually checking parts in the engine? Apart from this, for those of you who would like to put your points across in regards to the DPF systems - drop me an email on contact[at]mazda-campaign[dot]co[dot]uk, all Mazda drivers are having the same problem. I am building up a list and file of all manufacturers so I can put this forward to Watchdog and VOSA, including when my case against Mazda goes to court - Med R from Essex
Hi Eddie, will having this procedure done cause any problems when coming to the van’s MOT? Cheers mate - Paul Stone from England
www.digbys-garage.co.uk - I have taken both my vans to these guys, can’t fault what they do, both vans are now better than ever - Carol Cunniff from Lancashire
We are a courier company running 6 crafter vans, since day one they have been nothing but a pain. We have changed dpf filters, ignition key barrels (one van has had 3 barrels only 110, 000 miles) vacuum pumps, turbos replaced , one has had half a new engine, and various other parts. These vans have spent just as much time off the road as on it. When I complained to Volkswagen they said that they do not sell the vans so not their problem and to speak to the dealer I bought them from. I would but they have gone bust, no surprise there! They also informed me that the drivers were driving them incorrectly when dpf light comes on you should stop what you are doing and then drive continuously at 50 mph for 20 mins.
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Hi, there! Sorry to learn that you have problems same as mine. Did you think about taking VW to court? DPF on these is a design fault, they’re completely impractical and should not be in mass production; someone should make the VW pay for all the trouble. My Crafter is actually going this month. Collected it from VW yesterday, another warranty repair : EGR and throttle sensor - 50k miles, about 4 weeks of the road - unbeliveable! Drop me an email, maybe we at least set up a website to warn other poor sods which are thinking of buying... email@example.com Regards - Martin Thorz from England
I’m with you boys, I have had new ECU, new engine and new PDF all at my cost as I missed one service at a cost to me of £6,000, also a new turbo which they paid for and the van had only done 41,000 miles. We all need to get together and force them to sort this poxy van out. The dealer in Plymouth must be avoided - Ian Botterill from Devon
Vehicle now covered 49k miles loaded to 3500kgs all of the time and also pulls pulls trailer @ 5500kgs train weight. The only problems so far have been EGR valve (was off the road for 2 days, would have been longer but on top of dealer while in workshop) and fuel consumption. After having had the ECU re-mapped by Superchips fuel consumption has gone from 25mpg to 27mpg and performance is much improved. Well worth the £350.00. All ready paid for itself in fuel saved in 9 months. Can’t fault van as other makes just don’t stand up to running @ 3500kgs all of the time. Only fault with VW Commercials is they need to look @ Daf and Volvo trucks and not act like a VW car outlet to keep commercial vans running. I don’t make money while van is in their dealers workshop.
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It annoys me when I read drivers’ tales when the drivers themselves don’t know the script. When you say "it’s always loaded to 3500kg all of the time", don’t you realise that the number 3500 relates to the maximum weight that the vehicle is when fully loaded with driver and full tank of fuel, butties, drinks, fags etc? And obviously you know that 3500kg is 3.5 ton. Your van depending on length height whether its ply- lined and so on will only carry about 1100 to 1300 kg, that’s one and a bit too less than one and a half ton. So with regards to your 3500kg, you are either dreaming, can’t count or are plain stupid - Michael Emerson from Lancashire
You have written this thinking that I do not know what I am talking about. I probably know more about vehicle weighing as I am a vehicle weighing installation and repair engineer and I know the difference between tare, gross and train weight. As I stated, it runs at 3500 kgs gross as it is a service van kitted out with service tools and parts. As I write this, the van has now done 116k miles without any problems. It is serviced every 25k miles and any service issues rectified by VW. This van will be replaced with another crafter without doubt - Drew Ritchie from Perthshire
Done nearly 20k in the van so far no problems, gears are a bit stiff when cold, clutch judders and is a bit gutless but apart from that ok. Returns 23mpg every time with about 800kg in the back. ESP doesnt seem to work that well, just sounds like abs is coming on but still spins 1 wheel. Comfortable van to drive, big side door is good.
We run 5 Crafters and would never have another. Loads of problems, DPFs, steering racks, ignition switches that dont read the key, glow plug lights on then goes into limp mode, air flow sensors, agr valves, vw dealers useless, AVOID
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Hi, if you ever need dpf filter doing £375 fitted 07831197594 - Paul Malia from Derbyshire
The van is comfortable, reasonably quiet, and has a great driving position. Fuel economy is OK if you drive sensibly. Unfortunately, it is also badly made. It was supplied with loose gearbox mounting bolts, fortunately detected before anything serious happened. It is about to go in for the third time in a year, because the alarm keeps going off, and the garage cannot diagnose the problem. It was an expensive vehicle, and I expected better. I would not buy VW again.
This has to be the worst van ever made, it has constant filter problems, does not go 48hrs without a light flashing. Please save your money and buy the Mercedes Sprinter unless you have pots of money to waste, this van is not fit for road use from a guy who has 10 years of transport knowledge.
I have 2 crafters on the road each, covering a distance of 700 kms on a daily basis. The oldest, a crafter 35, has 300000 kms on the clock and the new one is a crafter 50 with 25000 kms on the clock. I’m in the business of transporting passengers from Gaborone to Serowe return. My aim is to keep these two for 5 years and by then each must have rewarded me a whopping 700 000 km on the clock. I never skip a service and so far the oldest has had its differential, turbo charge and gearbox replaced for free as it is still under warantee. Do you know if this is possible?
Had my Crafter from new. It has now done 50,000 miles and it has spent more tme in the VW workshop than on road. This van has now developed an engine knock and is breathing from dipstick say VW - they all breath, my arse they do. And for the knock they think it’s the flywheel but I can’t get it through to them to check compression. I will never buy another VW.
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Crafter cr35 109, S**t van. Mine is a 2006 with only 20,000 miles. Warning lights are on and off like Blackpool illuminations!! It’s needed a new ECU and now DPF, what next?! - Jim Scroll from England
I had a 2007 Crafter that was all the time in the workshop. After 120000 kms I got rid and bought another new van that had just 11000 kms on it when electronic valve packed in this is without doubt the worst van ever made !!!!!!!!!!!! Tom Lapp from Ireland
I work for a maintenance firm and we have 5 Crafter’s. I drive a 58 reg 109 ps mwb hi top crafter.The van is a good size for my work and is nice to drive. The interior is comfortable and is well equipped as standard. The engine size of mine being 109 ps is what lets it down; it does not like hills and feels very gutless. It reminds me of the old Escort vans we used to drive; but in the performance stakes it does not seem to matter what gear it’s in going up hill it will only do 65 and if you change down a gear nothing happens - the noise from the engine just gets louder. The van has used 1 litre of oil every 6500 miles - apparently this is normal according to VW. This costs around £20 from the dealer as its special oil. The van has traction control which works well and it can be turned off but as soon as the wheel slips it just turns its self back on - not useful when you are trying to drive in snowy conditions as it just makes horrible noises and wont go anywhere! Having said all this, it has not gone wrong yet and is comfortable to drive. It has a 6 speed gearbox although this seems to be a bit stiff when cold. The build quality feels solid but it is a little flimsy; this can be seen when opening the back doors and the side of the van flexes quite a lot. I had the misfortune of lightly tapping a post with the front wing and it completely crumbled and the whole wing needed replacing.
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UPDATE: Just an update on my VW Crafter. Van has now gone after lots of faults with brakes, cutting out, gear selection, side loading door, coolant leaks, central locking issues ang at 19000 miles enough was enough even dealer admitted van was poor!!!! IN TOTAL VAN SPENT 2.5 MONTHS IN THE DEALER - Ryan Rich from Hampshire
I work for an event company and we have 2 Crafter’s in the fleet, the 158 is without doubt the best of all our vans, it’s quick point to point and will cruise happily on long distances. The interior is well thought out and very comfortable, with drivers seat being able to be adjusted many ways to get yourself comfortable. The load space is a good size and almost perfect for what we carry. Economy is good on this van (although terrible on the Box van version we also have, the LWB using £36 less fuel on the same return trip from Manchester to London). All in all a good van although warning lights do appear time to time, mainly with ours its the engine management light which is quickly remedied by our local specialist (NOT VW).
I have had my Crafter 14 months, it has spent more time in the dealers garage then on the road. The vehicle has now only done 40,000 miles it has had three sets of brake callipers, a gear box out because problem obtaining the gears, the electric steering lock locked on would not come off and had to be recovered. following this it spent three weeks in the dealer trying to find the problem. The wipers stopped working when you put the indicator on. Leaks water in the passenger side. Dealer put new door seal on but it was put on back to front. It cuts out when you brake, causing the steering to lock up and resulting in a few near misses. Clutch pedal very noisy,keep having to grease linkage. Used 8 litres of oil in 11,000. All that aside its a good van!
Good large panel van. Good for load space and access. Nice cabin area, very comfortable and fully adjustable drivers position. Comes with ABS and ESP as standard as well as central locking, electric windows, cd player etc. It’s Volkswagen so you know it’s a reliable van. Just about everything you need really and drives very nicely indeed.
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I think that all the people who write on here work for Mercedes! VW is the exact same van with a more refined ENGINE! No more noisey mercs for me. Mercedes are sh*te. VW vans are more like Audis. You mugs, I would never buy a Merc again - Mark Taylor from London
I have owned my Crafter close to three years, it looks great drives well but the pdf filter is the bain of my life. After having to fork out £1,200 to Southgate VW for replacement filters, I have to drop what I’m doing when that damn light appears and find a stretch of road I can regenerate on, not easy in London. Had I not kitted the van out (roof rack, rear ladder etc) I would have traded it in long ago, can’t wait to see the back of it! - Nick from Hertfordshire
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