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Volkswagen’s largest van is getting a tech boost


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An update for the Volkswagen Crafter van is due to go on sale globally in 2024 with the company’s latest infotainment system and interface package.

There don’t look like there any changes to the Crafter’s exterior, although Volkswagen may tweak the application of chrome highlights and colour-coding to give the van a bit of a spruce up.

It’s on the inside where the German automaker has expended all of its energy. 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.

  • volkswagen-crafter-update-sketch-3.jpg

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.

  • volkswagen-crafter-update-sketch-2.jpg

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.

All updated Crafter models will have an electronic parking brake with controls situated next to the instrument cluster. Current models have a traditional handbrake next to the driver’s seat. The change, Volkswagen says, makes it easier to step through to the rear, as well as rotate the driver’s seat 180 degrees.

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.

In Europe, at least, the amount of standard safety equipment has been increased, with all Crafters fitted with autonomous forward emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, road sign recognition, rear parking sensors, and a speed limiter.

  • volkswagen-e-crafter.jpg

    Current Crafter
  • 2020-Volkswagen-Crafter-19.jpg

Vans with a gross vehicle weight over 3.5 tonnes also come with blind-spot monitoring for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, autonomous emergency braking when turning through on-coming traffic, and a move-off detection system that warns of any pedestrians ahead of the van.

Available safety equipment now includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, assisted lane changes, and an emergency assist feature that applies automatic braking and pulls the car safely over to the side of the road.

In Europe pre-sales for the new Crafter begin April 2024, with Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Latin America coming later.

MORE: Everything Volkswagen Crafter