LDV Deliver 9 pictured yesterday

LDV Sure to Deliver

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Tuesday 17 November 2020

As the local distributor of LDV said at the launch of its new Deliver 9, it’s hard to get excited about a van. But they sure come in handy for those in the trade while everything you order online comes to you via a van during its journey. They are an important cog in the economy.

LDV is approaching 6000 vans sold in New Zealand. It introduced the V80 here in 2013 with some 3500 of them being retailed, while the smaller G10 has done well with over 2000 sold. LDV is currently in third place in the van market, Toyota a clear leader and Ford going well in second place on the back of a revitalised Transit range. Being number one is the goal for LDV and it reckons it has what it takes now with a range of three different vans and plenty of variants, a strong price proposition and a good dealer network.

The new Deliver 9 is an all new van, and so a much more modern offering than the V80. There are three sizes of the 9, with two wheelbases and two roof heights. There’s the Big (SWB, low roof), Bigger (LWB, low roof) and Biggest (LWB and high roof). Big offers 9.6m3 of load volume and a 1500kg payload. Bigger delivers 10.97m3 with a 1640kg payload for the auto, and Biggest nets operators a 12.3m3 load volume and a 1620kg payload. All are rated to tow 2800kg. The cargo floor is lined with a rubber mat, there are eight tie downs and LED lighting in the rear. There are wide opening barn doors and a slider on the left hand side (opening width of 1269mm).

The Deliver 9 comes with ESP, AEB, lane departure warning, a hill holder, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. The infotainment system has Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto though) along with the usual Bluetooth and USB ports. There are six airbags in the cabin. LDV doesn’t expect the Deliver 9 to be assessed by ANCAP, they reckon not many vans do, though the Toyota Hiace was tested in 2019 and gained a five star rating.

There’s a new engine for the 9, a 110kW 2.0-litre diesel with 375Nm of torque on from 1500 - 2400rpm while the service intervals are 30,000km. More good news comes in the fact it’s hooked to a proper six-speed auto, rather than the automated manual of the V80. And it drives the rear wheels too. There are no fuel use figures quoted.

As to pricing, the Deliver 9 Big only comes with the auto and is $48,289, the Bigger with the manual is $48,289, the auto at $51,739 and the Biggest is $51,739 and $55,764. These prices include GST but not ORCs. All are covered by a three year/160,000km warranty. The Deliver 9 range also includes a cab chassis variant and a 14 seater minibus.

We often talk about bang for your buck when discussing performance cars, while LDV is pushing the Deliver 9’s dollars per cube, as in how much each cubic metre of carrying capacity costs in relation to the competition. And with LDV’s lower RRPs and big carrying capacity, most of its models lead the field when compared this way.

We had a brief outing in the D9 Big where we liked the unladen ride, especially for something with such a payload rating, while the engine and in-cabin noise is subdued. The diesel is on to its torque curve quickly, the auto ably handling the shifting duties. The turning circle is on the large side, but it is a seriously big van. There are three seats across the cabin, the middle one can be folded to provide a flat surface with some storage.

LDV should be a benefactor of new import rules which now exclude vans being shipped in that are not fitted with ESC. They hope to see a shift from those buying used to enjoying the benefits of purchasing new with its value led G10, which starts at $29,990 plus GST.

As for the V80, the Deliver 9 isn’t intended to replace it, and it will continue to be sold here as long as there is demand.

Another area the brand will lead is in the charge for electric drive. It already has the EV80 on sale but will soon have an electric version of the 9, expected in Q2 2021, while an eDeliver 3 is on the ground for evaluation. It’s expected this will become available here in the next couple of months too as they negotiate pricing with the factory. We had a quick spin and like most EVs, it impresses with its instant torque delivery while it makes a few whirring noises as it goes about its business.

It’s a small van, designed for inner city running, and so has a quick turn around. The regen is adjustable and for those shared spaces, it makes an audible noise to warn people it’s creeping up behind them. It has a sliding door on the left and barn doors on the rear. It’s a purpose built EV van which uses lightweight composite materials for its body panels and has a 4.8m3 load area and a 905kg payload. It has two battery capacities, a 35kWh unit giving a 280km range and a 52kWh one good for a claimed 400km, though many variables, including the weight of your load, will influence real world numbers.

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