The second-generation Volkswagen Crafter has been given an update, but you’ll only notice the changes if you step inside the van.

Externally there seems to be nothing, or almost nothing, to distinguish the existing van and the revised model.

Inside, though, there’s an updated dashboard that’s been redesigned to accommodate a selection of new, larger screens.

In the centre of the dashboard is a free-standing infotainment touchscreen. The standard unit measures 10.3 inches diagonally, while top-spec models have a 12.9-inch touchscreen.

That’s a significant upgrade from today’s car which has a 6.5-inch display. The infotainment system includes natural language recognition, and a digital voice assistant with ChatGPT artificial intelligence integration.

Ahead of the driver is the brand’s latest steering wheel design, which includes traditional buttons on the steering wheel spokes, behind which is a standard digital instrumentation display.

In Europe the following safety features are now standard: autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian monitoring, lane keeping assist, road sign recognition, speed limiter, and rear parking sensors.

Optional is Travel Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with stop/go and lane centring, and Emergency Assist, that can apply automatic braking and pull the car safely over to the side of the road.

All updated Crafter models 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.

Among the changes made to the dashboard to accommodate the larger touchscreen options is a cubby large enough to hold a smartphone.

The central pair of air vents has 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.

On automatic variants this space hosts another open-air storage cubby as there’s now a control wand behind the steering wheel rather than an old-school stick.

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.

Earlier this year Volkswagen Australia confirmed the updated Crafter will arriving on our shores from late 2024.

The Crafter is currently offered in Australia with a choice of two 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines, one making 103kW and 340Nm, and the other producing 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.

MORE: Everything Volkswagen Crafter

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