Judges from the car and van review site, which is a sister title to Commercial Fleet, said: "What makes a good van? Affordability, versatility and reliability are key – but we’d also argue that innovation is increasingly important in the van market, especially given the immense pace of change in the motoring world right now.
"Volkswagen’s new-from-the-ground-up large van may not compete on payload terms with older rivals, but it’s supremely easy to drive, comfortable over extended distances and crammed with safety innovation – including autonomous emergency braking as standard.
"The new Crafter does so much so well. The range of drivetrains and body sizes is extensive, it’s as easy to drive as a Golf, and it has arguably the best cab environment of any van on sale. Add in the safety tech, and it’s a clear winner.
In the Parkers Vans review of the Crafter, the team said: "One of the Crafter’s biggest strengths is its ride quality: both loaded and unloaded it deals very well with uneven road surfaces and bumps – regardless of whether you’re in a suspended driver’s seat or a regular item. This makes it an excellent long-distance companion."
Parkers Vans editor CJ Hubbard added: "Volkswagen has made excellent use of the opportunity for a clean-sheet design with the latest Crafter. That there’s plenty of load volume goes without saying. What really stands out is this large van’s ease of use – from the astonishingly undemanding driving experience to the exceptional cab environment, it seems like a genuine evolution of the breed."
About the 2018 Parkers New Car Awards
The all-new awards reflect the views of Britain’s car-buying public, choosing winners based on the buying habits of the website’s 2.9 million users actively involved in the buying process. Major life stages have been reflected in the award categories.
The awards have been shaped by detailed analysis of Parkers.co.uk traffic: 77% of site visitors are researching cars from multiple market sectors, destroying the long-held notion of traditional competitor sets and rivals.
Parkers’ research also finds 78% of car buyers don’t like jargon, so there are no industry terms like SUV, Crossover, City Car or Supermini – instead we’ve created plain English categories such as Best First Car, Best Small Family Car and Best Car for Thrill-Seekers.
Parkers has shortlisted cars its expert reviewers have tested independently and rigorously, analysing the cost per month, value, quality, fitness for purpose and overall excellence.