The long wait for the Convoy replacement ended at the beginning of 2005 when LDV finally took the wraps off the Maxus, its new contender in the 2.8t to 3.5t panel van market. Maxus is available in two wheelbases and there’s the choice of three roof heights which offer between 7.0m3 and 11.4m3 of load space.
Power comes from a trio of 2,499cc VM common rail turbodiesels; one rated at 95hp (250Nm at 1,800rpm), another at 120hp (300Nm at 1,800rpm) and finally there’s the newcomer at 135hp (330Nm at 1,800rpm). Power steering is standard across the range and braking is taken care of by ventilated discs at the front and drums at the rear.
Strangely, ABS is an optional extra, something which LDV needs to make standard, at least on the 3.5-tonners. The VM diesels provide ample grunt and fair pretty well in the noise stakes. Ride and handling are up to par and there’s bags of feedback through the steering wheel.
The gearchange is facia-mounted for ease of cross-cab movement and the three-seater cab has comfortable and supportive seats. The instrument binnacle is found not behind the steering wheel, but in the centre of the facia. This takes a while to get used to.There’s plenty of storage space for the usual bits and pieces and remote central locking is a standard feature.
Back at the business end, LDV has made sure that load bay access is excellent. A wide-opening nearside sliding side door comes as standard. There are no load-tie points, though.
Service intervals are sensible at 20,000 miles and there’s a choice of two warranties; three years/100,000 miles or four years/60,000 miles.
Maxus will re-establish LDV as a major player in the UK van market. Chassis cab versions and minibuses are now on sale.