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Before you buy a 2017 Volkswagen Crafter Van in Uganda

by Edwin

Volkswagen has just updated its largest euro-style van, the Crafter, for the 2017 model year. “Update” might be an understatement, though, as the Crafter is new from the wheels up. This comes as Volkswagen split with its long-time van-building partner, Mercedes-Benz. Yep, VW basically badge engineered itself the Crafter off the Mercedes Sprinter platform. Mercedes even built the van for VW, though the Crafter was powered by VW-sourced powertrains.

Before you buy a 2017 Volkswagen Crafter Van in Uganda

The Volkswagen Crafter, introduced in 2006 is the largest 3 to 5 tonne van sold by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The Crafter officially replaced the LT nameplate first launched in 1975, although it is known as the LT3 as its production plant code.

Like the second generation LT, the first generation Crafter is a rebadged Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, built by Daimler AG, with a VW powertrain. The Daimler variant has been also sold by Daimler as the Freightliner Sprinter and Dodge Sprinter. An all-electric variant, the e-Crafter, is scheduled for retail sales in 2017.

Starting with the 2017 model year the Crafter is designed and built by Volkswagen, and no longer associated with the Sprinter. This new Crafter also sold by VW's MAN Truck & Bus division as the MAN TGE.

Its major European competitors include the Renault Master, Vauxhall/Opel Movano, Nissan NV400, Ford Transit, Fiat Ducato/Citroën Jumper/Peugeot Boxer/RAM ProMaster, Iveco Daily and Hyundai H350.

Click here to buy a Volkswagen Crafter or Volkswagen Crafter spare parts in Uganda

Buying a foreign used 2017 Volkswagen Crafter Van from a Ugandan car bond
In case you opt to buy Volkswagen Crafter from the a car bond in and around Kampala, then things could be a little bit more simpler for you because you will not have to face all the lengthy processes and journeys to the port of Mombasa to bring own the bus. Here most of the work has already been done for you. Most taxes have been cleared. All you have to do is simply pay for the car from the car bond and drive home. However, you can also find that some cars have only cleared the CIF fees only. So it would mean that if you want a Volkswagen Crafter then you will have to clear the rest of the taxes. You can find the Cost, Insurance and Freight of a premium Volkswagen Crafter (that is from Japan to Kampala) to be around $ 8,051 or even above. However, the total sum of the CIF can change due to year of manufacture, condition of the car, mileage and the dealer.

Importing a foreign used 2017 Volkswagen Crafter Van from Japan

Importing a foreign used Volkswagen Crafter from Japan is different from buying from car from the car bond here in Kampala. You can prefer to import your own mini-bus directly from Japan. This means all the costs are going to be met by you the owner of the bus right from say Japan to Mombasa up to Uganda. Here, you will need to determine the cost of the bus while still in Japan from which the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) are calculated. For example a Volkswagen Crafter costing $ 4,814 will make a total CIF of $ 8,051 to be brought up Kampala, Uganda. After arriving in Kampala, then the required taxes have to be cleared. The taxes charged by the Uganda Revenue Authority include Import Duty, Value added (VAT), Withholding Tax, Environmental Levy, Infrastructure Levy, and Registration Fees.

Click here to buy a Volkswagen Crafter or Volkswagen Crafter spare parts in Uganda

Availability of 2017 Volkswagen Crafter Van spare parts in Uganda

European cars such as the VWs are known to have costly spare parts in Uganda. Very often newer models face a scarcity of spare parts. So you may have to import the spares from abroad say UK or Germany. However you can find it easy to get spare parts for older models of the crafter since they are already in the country for quite some time.

General 2017 Volkswagen Crafter Van reviews in Uganda

The Crafter now wears a unique exterior design that is unmistakably all Volkswagen. The smart new styling reflects VW’s current design language, including the twin horizontal bars in the grille, the raised accent lines in the hood, the LED-equipped headlights, and deep bodyline the runs the length of the vehicle.

Down low, grey plastic molding protects the Crafter’s sides from door dings or wayward shopping carts. Reflectors help increase the vans’ visibility at night. Out back, the large doors fold to 90 degrees and around to the van’s sides, at nearly 180 degrees. This allows for easy entry and exit, along with keeping the doors out of the way. A wide step bumper further makes entry into the cargo area a snap.

For a cargo van, the 2017 Crafter is a looker. Those keep body lines below the door handles and above the wheel arches really give the van some character, not to mention the clean, modern design of the front clip.

Beyond the styling, the Crafter is available in three different lengths and three different roof heights. This gives customers the opportunity to customize their Crafter to exactly their needs, whether it be long-haul highway use, or in-town deliveries.

Volkswagen’s modern theme continues inside the Crafter. The driver and front passengers’ position is clean and sleek, with a no-nonsense dash full of useful cubbies, slots, and cup holders. The gauge cluster features two main analog gauges with a small driver information screen between them. A large infotainment system can be had, as well. Modern features like dual zone climate control and heated seats are also available.

The Crafter also offers seating for three occupants up front, with the driver getting his own bucket seat, while a two-person bench seat sits beside it. And not only does the dash offers plenty of storage spots, the door panels give two levels of cubbies. There’s even storage on top of the dash, near the windshield.

Click here to buy a Volkswagen Crafter or Volkswagen Crafter spare parts in Uganda

The 2017 VW Crafter comes powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI. This turbo diesel is available in four outputs, including 102 PS, 122 PS, 140 PS, and 177 PS. This equates to 100, 120, 138, and 175 horsepower. Torque figures were not available at this time of this writing.

The most potent version of the TDI, the 177-horse version, comes with a twin-turbo setup, which forces more air into the engine than the conventional single-turbo setup.

VW has paired each output with the various drivetrain choices. As mentioned before, the Crafter can be had in FWD, RWD, or AWD. This gives customers the chance to pick which drivetrain best suits their needs. Furthermore, all engine and drivetrain pairings are offered with the choice of an automatic or manual transmission.

Other alternatives available in Uganda similar to the 2017 Volkswagen Crafter Van

In this category, we have the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as the main rival. The Toyota brand doesn’t surface so much when it comes to vans such as this. Iveco Daily is another prominent van that Ugandans embrace in the field of vans like the craft.

Click here to buy a Volkswagen Crafter or Volkswagen Crafter spare parts in Uganda

Our Conclusion

Volkswagen’s move away from the Mercedes Sprinter seems like a great move for Crafter vans. The van now offers more driver aids, improved powertrains, a ton of drivetrain options, and vastly improved designs both inside and out.

Large commercial vans aren’t the sexiest or most talked-about vehicles in Uganda in general, but their role in commercial industry and a handful of consumer segments is undeniable. These vehicles are the workhorses that move good and people with little recognition. So for that, we commend Volkswagen for committing itself in building a better version of the Crafter. Those who use it will surely appreciate the extra dedication.

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