Since the relaunching of the iconic brand at last year’s CV Show, LDV has promised a wide range of exciting products in the coming years, including electric vans and even a pickup truck. Currently, only the Maxus-based LDV V80 is available to buy from its 30-strong UK outlets, and Liam Campbell put it the test on the rugged landscape of Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains.
Cab and interior
The cab covers all the key aspects; its spacious, there’s great all-round visibility and comfortable with an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat. However, it feels incredibly dated, while the fit and finish falls well below expectation with a poorly fitting floor lining.
Compared with other vans of this size, the V80 is generously specced with air conditioning, cruise control, electric windows and electronically adjustable and heated door mirrors. Infotainment is provided by a FM/AM radio with Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity.
LDV V80 loading and towing
There are three load derivatives; a short wheelbase, low roof (L1H1), a long wheelbase, medium roof (L2H2), and a long wheelbase, high roof (L2H3) offering load volumes of 6.4, 10.4 and 11.6 cubic metres respectively. The two load lengths are measured at 2,550mm and 3,300mm and roof heights at 1,505mm and 1,710mm and 1,925mm.
In terms of weights, the smallest derivative (L1H1) has a gross vehicle weight of 3.2t, while the two larger variants have a 3.5t gross weight. This equates to payloads of 1,204kg (L1H1), 1,419kg (L2H2) and 1,389kg (L2H3), while the unbraked towing capacity is rated at 1.2 tonnes across the range.
Standard load area features include is a single side loading door, cargo area lighting, a slip-resistant cargo floor and eight lashing points.
LDV V80 engine
As with the previous generation Maxus, the V80 is powered by VM Motori’s 2.5-litre unit which is capable of producing up to 136PS and 330Nm and hooked to a six-speed manual transmission. The V80 isn’t Euro-6 compliant (it achieves Euro5b so all models have to go through an IVA) and therefore doesn’t require AdBlue.
LDV’s have never been known for their comfortable ride, and the V80 is no exception. Although the engine pulls away well, even with a full load, it’s louder than its rivals, while the bumps and divots of roads are felt more noticeably than its modern competitors. The steering is very light and there is little bodyroll going into the corners.
Cost of ownership
With a £15,500 (plus VAT) starting price, the LDV V80 is the most affordable medium panel van to buy. The residual values are quite poor as a percentage, but because the list price is so low, the actual value lost in real terms is also low.
LDV vans are backed by a very respectable five-year, 125,000 mile warranty. The official combined fuel economy of 31.7mpg is around 10mpg less than the industry average although, in a very small consolation, there is no need for AdBlue.
The LDV is very rough round the edges, but it offers some genuinely advantages to certain operators. It may not be the most refined or technologically-advanced van, but it has a decent payload, a long warranty and there’s no AdBlue, which makes it a possible solution for a jobbing tradesman looking for a no-trills but dependable workhorse.