New name, increased confidence. Perhaps it's better than Load Transporter, as it has called since its first appearance 1975. What a difference. At that time, the relatively narrow base of an Audi 100 petrol engine with simple four-speed transmission, now a much wider choice of powerful diesel-hp optional even automatic gearshift (Shiftmatic).
This time VW had the right idea, namely the commercial vehicle segment put together with Daimler. One is apparently been refused and stubbornly gone own ways. Strange, where today more than ever, MAN and Daimler compete, and VW is engaged significantly more than before at MAN, the cooperation works silently.
Thus in the former, but now huge DKW factory in Düsseldorf are produced Sprinter and Crafter, as mentioned by VW with differences in design. No, the engines and transmissions are different, too, whereby Mercedes with the larger choice let pay a little more e.g. for the entry-level diesel engines, despite one less cylinder.
Also comes to light with the optional automatic with the sequential transmission from VW the different philosophy towards Mercedes. Otherwise, it does make sense to co-produce, but it's not just an almost overwhelming variety of body variants, but also about the involvement of different suppliers for special bodies, of which here only should be mentioned the cooler and the dump truck.
VW counters the almost overwhelming variety of Mercedes engines with a five-cylinder diesel engine in four power levels, the top needs a reinforced transmission, but this is not available in a sequential version. You also have to decide for a auxiliary drive system when purchasing. Upgradeable would it be only by exchange of transmission, also not combinable with Shiftmatic. Optionally, a hydraulic pump on the transmission and final. Prefer lower prices.
Finally, one wonders, what is missing in a van to a car equipped. Besides additional airbags actually very little. Perhaps the number of electronic aids is a little limited. After all, such a colossus could still need rather a parking aid, or at least a rear camera as a normal Golf. 09/11