LDV Deliver 9 review

The LDV Deliver 9 is the all-new large panel van from LDV that is set to hit the market in 2020. Available in a choice of three lengths, three heights and either front or rear wheel drive, the LDV Deliver 9 will boast the most versatile offerings of any LDV van ever. Our Editor, Liam Campbell, puts it to the test in China.

Background

LDV has been keen to replace its V80 van for some time. Initially launched in 2005 as the LDV Maxus, the V80 is now the oldest van on the market and, although it meets the current Euro 6 emission standards, it has trailed its more modern counterparts in terms of comfort and refinement.

In 2019, SAIC announced that it would be launching the successor, the LDV V90, in 2020. However, during our visit to SAIC’s headquarters in Shanghai in December 2019, the Chinese manufacturer announced that it would be changing the name designations and the new large van would be called the ‘LDV Deliver 9’.

“We are a strong competitor with Sprinter”, remarked Maxus (LDV) Director of Overseas Department, Yang Jun Ling. “We want to position with Sprinter, but, at the same time we’re going to aim at a very attractive and competitive price. This has been developed primarily for Europe.”

LDV V90 specification

LDV Deliver 9 interior
LDV Deliver 9 interior

It’s clear from the outset that the Deliver 9 is a huge step-up from the long-in-the-tooth V80. The Deliver 9 employs cutting-edge design with its large, octagonal and chrome-laden grille and smaller and more defined LED lights.

The inside is similarly stylish with its ‘panoramic’ and curved dashboard which employs a mix of hard and soft-touch plastics, although the mix of beige and black interior may not translate too well to European tastes. The high seating-position provides great all-round vision and the seats are comfortable, and our only criticism is the lack of usable storage spaces and the slightly claustrophobic cabin environment.

To meet European consumer demands, the LDV Deliver 9 has been furnished with all the latest tech. Comfort and convenience features include keyless entry and ignition, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control and a 9-inch touchscreen display with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and a DAB radio. 

LDV is gunning for a 5-star NCAP rating and its safety features comprise of forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. Meanwhile the new ‘Smart Spider 3.0’ connectivity system will provide a range of fleet management services including servicing scheduling, remote locking/unlocking from a smartphone and remote starting to pre-heat the cab on cold mornings.

LDV Deliver 9 engine and driveline

LDV Deliver 9 engine
LDV Deliver 9 engine

Propulsion comes in the form of a brand-spanking 2.0-litre engine producing 161hp and 375Nm for European customers, with torque peaking as low as 1,500rpm. Interestingly, a lot of work has gone into improving the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) with rubber-moulded and foam covers surrounding the engine, and it now produces just 47 decibels at idle which is on-par with the petrol version.

The engine is hooked to a new 6-speed manual transmission which is still slightly clunky compared with European standards, but once its in, provides almost seamless changes but there will eventually be the choice of an automatic and automated manual. As mentioned, LDV will offer either a front or rear-wheel drive.

There will also be an electric version called the ‘LDV E Deliver 9’.

Ride and handling

LDV Deliver 9 rear
LDV Deliver 9 rear

If our initial – and very brief – test drive is anything to go by, this Chinese wildcard should have the top-seeded European rivals quaking in their boots. The steering is accurate, it corners well with minimal body roll, there is very little road noise and, thanks to that low-end torque, its very responsive. Our only slight grumble is the notchy gear changes.

LDV Deliver 9 dimensions and weights

LDV Deliver 9 dimensions
LDV Deliver 9 dimensions

While the choice of three body lengths and three roof heights may fall short of what most European manufacturers offering the large van segment (four body lengths and three roof heights), the offering is certainly far more comprehensive than on any other LDV van.

Weights have yet to be announced but the gross vehicle weights are expected to range between 3.0 and 4.5-tonnes. Thanks to the low chassis weight, LDV says the payloads will be very competitive and up to around 1.6 tonnes on the 3.5t van.

Price and availability

The LDV Deliver 9 is expected to go on sale in the UK in around September 2020 and will be competitively priced from around £20,000 plus VAT for the basic variant – a modest increase on the current V80 but still undercutting most of the competitors – and it will be back by LDV’s excellent 5-year, 125,000-mile warranty.

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