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ONE L OF A VALUE PROPOSITION (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
British van brand LDV has returned to the commercial vehicle market with this large-segment V80 model. Jonathan Crouch checks out what's on offer.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 62
No, of course LDV's V80 doesn't have the sophistication of the volume players in the large van segment. It wouldn't do because it costs a fraction of what those vans are priced at. Yet it will probably serve the needs of your business just as well. In short, if you need profit more than polish, this contender could be worth a try.
Backgroundword count: 160
If you're familiar with the UK van sector, you'll probably be familiar with the LDV name and might well know that the company succumbed to financial pressures and closed for business in 2009. Well in 2016, the brand was re-launched, having been bought by Chinese automotive giant SAIC, the seventh largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. This conglomerate has big plans for the marque that will see the future introduction of all-new medium and large-sized van models as well as a pick-up. For the time being though, it must campaign with the Maxus large segment van model that LDV's previous owners were selling when the receivers turned up. SAIC have re-badged this design as the 'V80', spruced it up a bit and put it on sale for the kind of money that would only buy you a potentially quite ropey secondhand version of a competitor in this segment. Does the proposition make sense? That's what we're here to find out.
Driving Experienceword count: 129
On the move, you get a 2.5-litre four cylinder diesel beneath your right foot sourced from Italian firm VM Motori. It's been matched with front-wheel drive and puts out 136bhp, so yes, the performance on offer is likely to be quite sufficient for your needs. This engine's not particularly refined, but the reasonably slick six-speed manual gearbox has been set up to make the most of the 330Nm of torque on offer and this unit pulls quite well, provided you keep within its pulling power sweet spot. If your business deliveries will be primarily urban-based, LDV hopes you'll consider the alternative all-electric version of this model, the EV80. Here, a 56kWh lithium-ion battery combines with a 100KW electric motor to produce an operating range of up to 120 miles.
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