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The Chinese LDV V80 van is commendable but not vastly cheaper than rivals

25 Jan 2013

AUSTRALIA has its first Chinese-built van, the LDV V80.

Made by China’s largest auto company SAIC, the LDV V80 is essentially an updated version of the British Leyland DAF Vans (LDV) model, called the Maxus, sold in Europe in the mid-2000s.

First off the blocks are the diesel-powered short- and long-wheelbase load-luggers, which will pave the way for people-mover and cab-chassis versions later this year, and the option of petrol engines and automatic transmissions around the same time.

Unsurprisingly, considering its UK origins and SAIC’s status as China’s number one, the LDV V80 is a cut above some other Chinese fare we’ve sampled recently, with a strong powertrain, decent quality and plenty of space.

Still, we can’t help but feel that it needs a bigger price differential from its more established rivals if importer WMC wants it to truly flourish. The superior (but admittedly slightly smaller) Hyundai iLoad, for instance, can be had with a diesel engine for just $1500 more than the SWB V80.

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Model release date: 1 January 2013 to 1 February 2015

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