The updated Volkswagen Crafter van and cab-chassis range is coming to Australia at the end of 2024 as a 2025 model.

    The company hasn’t provided more specific launch timing, and pricing and specifications will be released closer to launch.

    The Crafter is set to get an expanded safety suite, with its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system gaining pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as junction assist.

    The blind-spot monitoring also features pedestrian and cyclist detection.

    There’s also Volkswagen’s Travel Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with stop/go and lane centring; and a moving off information system, which the company calls a segment-first, that warns the driver if there are pedestrians and cyclists around when they’re taking off.

    An emergency assist function warns an incapacitated driver before applying automatic braking and pulling the van safely over to the side of the road if they don’t respond.

    The company has revealed only renders thus far of the new Crafter, but in these we can see some major interior updates plus some minor exterior ones.

    “We’ll have an e-shift and a parking brake,” said Nathan Johnson, national manager for product and marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

    “You may not think that that’s something big, but for customers who are buying Crafters and converting those into camper vans and so forth with swivel seats, they now no longer have to deal with the parking brake being low and to make sure they can swivel their seats.

    “It also frees up a lot of space for our business customers to put stuff on the floor.”

    The updated Crafter will come with a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen standard, and a larger 12.9-inch display available on some models.

    Currently, the Crafter is offered only with a 6.5-inch screen in Australia.

    The infotainment setup uses the company’s latest software and hardware package, which includes illuminated sliders for volume and temperature, as well as permanent on-screen strip with a home button, temperature displays, and other commonly used features.

    The dashboard has been redesigned slightly to accommodate the new screens sticking out of the centre of the dash, next to which is a cubby large enough to hold a smartphone.

    The central pair of air vents have been relocated to the space underneath the screen. Models with a manual transmission still have a gear shifter sticking out of the bottom of the dashboard, but on automatic variants this space hosts another open-air storage cubby.

    That’s because automatic models now have a control wand behind the steering wheel rather than an old-school stick.

    Ahead of the driver is the company’s latest steering wheel design, which includes physical buttons on the steering wheel spokes. This is complemented by a new standard digital instrumentation display, or Digital Cockpit in Volkswagen parlance.

    Other upgrades include USB-C, instead of USB-A, ports in the dashboard, as well as a new USB-C port at the top of the windscreen.

    The Crafter is currently offered in Australia with a choice of two 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines, one with 103kW of power and 340Nm of torque, and the other with 130kW and 410Nm. Volkswagen says these engines will carry over unchanged.

    It has also confirmed the Crafter will continue to offer, depending on the market, multiple weight classes, two wheelbase lengths, various overall lengths, four roof heights, and either front-, rear- or all-wheel drive.

    Volkswagen has previously indicated it also wants to bring an electric version of the Crafter here. The company has previously offered an e-Crafter, but only in left-hand drive markets.

    MORE: Everything Volkswagen Crafter

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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