The Maxus Deliver 9 may be the newest entrant to the 3.5t sector, but the model already has a little history behind it. In 2009 LDV was bought by China’s largest automotive manufacturer, SAIC, and the LDV Maxus model then gave its name to the whole brand. This LWB, high-roof, RWD Lux panel van costs £32,500 plus VAT.
Three wheelbase lengths are available for the Deliver 9 model – 3m, 3.36m and 3.76m – giving overall lengths of 5.18m, 5.54m and 5.94m, respectively, and equating to load bay lengths of 2.63m, 3.02m and 3.41m.
Internal cargo heights range from 1.72m and 1.89m in the low and medium-roof models, with 2.11m available in the front-wheel drive, high-roof model and 1.79m in the rear-wheel drive version. Load bay widths are 1.8m overall and 1.36m between the wheel arches. This gives load volumes ranging from 8.1m3 to 12.9m3, with 10.9m3 and 1,140kg of payload in this LWB, high-roof RWD version. Twin rear doors give an aperture of 1.57m, open at an angle of about 240 degrees – not the full 270 degrees nor latch in this position.
The single left-side loading door has a 1.27m width. Both doors have a decent-sized access step, the load floor has eight lashing eyes, the side panels are ply-lined with two interior lights and a full-height cab bulkhead completes the enclosure. Only the cab doors offer keyless locking and entry, so unlocking the cargo bay on approach means resorting to the fob.
The cab is generally spacious but |the driver’s seat has limited rearward travel – an issue for anyone over 6ft – and the centre seat is cramped.The seat lacks some lumbar and lateral support: fine for multi-drop, but less so for long stints, and backrest adjustment is not sufficiently fine-tuned. The door bins are quite shallow but take bottles, the two overhead shelves are generous but the glove box is small.
The Lux model’s 10in touchscreen dominates the facia, with a single row of push switches for secondary functions below and heating controls a small stretch away. At night these switches will dim, but the tell-tales remain too bright, along with the instruments and distracting touchscreen. The main beam headlights are excellent and dip is bright enough but has a strange castellation pattern to its front edge.
The 1,996cc turbo diesel puts out 163hp and 375Nm of torque over a 1,500-2,400rpm plateau. With 26mph for every 1,000rpm in sixth gear, this puts 60mph at an ideal 2,250 revs. The light, albeit notchy, gearchange has its ratio cascade well chosen with 2,600 revs needed in first to give 1,500rpm once second gear is selected, then only 2,400rpm in second gear to drop straight into the torque when selecting third.
The easy-going torque and close-ratio progress are keynotes to driving the Deliver 9. The steering is light, if lacking in any real feel, but it self-centres avidly and takes full advantage of rear-axle drive for its lock angles. And with excellent unladen ride and decent grip from the 235/65R16 Hankook tyres, the Maxus definitely measures up to class standards.
It might be beaten by some rivals in engine power but the large mirrors, front and rear parking sensors and reverse camera mean the Deliver 9 is no chore to drive in an urban setting. At the pumps, a creditable 28.2mpg overall is slightly better than the official figures and the van’s own trip computer would suggest.
Maxus Deliver 9 LWB High Roof Luxury RWD Panel Van 2.0
Price (ex VAT) £32,500
Price range (inc VAT) £30,231-£32,500
Insurance group 39A
Service intervals 1yr/18,645 mls (30,000km)
Load length 3,413mm
Load width (min/max) 1,366mm/1,800mm
Load bay height 1,792mm
Gross payload 1,140kg
Load volume 10.9m3
Engine size/power 1,996cc/1,63bhp
Combined fuel economy 28.1mpg
A worthy new contender, showing promise if needing a little development. Watch this space.