It might be the baby of the range but the G10 is still a good sized van reckons Cathy Parker.
Drive a van, they said. “Mmmm,” I said, but the G10 was surprisingly good to drive – not totally car like but definitely not typically van like either. I had previously driven a mini bus version of the larger LDV V80, which was workmanlike, but the G10 is quite a different proposition, being smaller and more modern. The first surprise was the excellent change on the six-speed manual gearbox – real knife through butter stuff, more like you would expect in a sports car than in a van. The only issue was one that most manual six-speeds suffer from in that they are biased for the three-four change so have to be pushed over for fifth-sixth change which can occasionally result in trying to select fourth rather than sixth but LDV is not alone in that. The 1.9 litre turbo diesel engine delivers 106kw of power and 350Nm of torque, both of which are better than the 2.5-litre VM diesel engine in the V80, and delivers a combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.3 litres per 100km. The engine and gearbox combination make the G10 relaxing to drive with good pick-up off the mark and plenty of torque for round town without needing lots of gear changing (especially if only carrying a small load as we were). The ride is generally good and handling is pretty much what you would expect from a van – competent but you are aware of the size and height. Despite being the baby of the LDV range, the G10 is still a good size van that can hold 5.2 cubic metres of cargo with room to load two standard pallets. Having sliding doors on both sides makes it easy to load items and would be especially handy for courier or round town delivery duties. There are six very rugged looking steel tie-downs on the floor plus two more on the wheel arches to secure the load. Apart from the climb up to the seat (it is a van) the driving position is comfortable and visibility to the front is good. Between the seats there is a large floor mounted tray for bits and pieces and documents, this also allows a walk through to the rear if desired. The controls are mostly well laid out although the climate controls look a bit of an afterthought not really matching the rest of the dash, but they work well. The only other control issue is that the volume control is on the LH side of the audio unit and is a long stretch for the driver (there are no steering mounted controls). The G10 does get a reversing camera and parking sensors – a great safety feature for a van, plus Bluetooth for connecting your phone and aux and USB inputs. Safety systems are well catered for as well with driver and passenger airbags, ESC,EBD and emergency brake assist, whilst creature comfort is not forgotten with electric windows, mirrors and air conditioning. The G10 would be a great package for couriers and round town deliveries, the automatic version might be more practical in Auckland’s heavy traffic but the manual box is amongst the best of the self-shifters if you prefer manual for the economy of purchase ($4,000 cheaper than the auto) or running costs. At $29,890 Inc GST the G10 is definitely a cost effective hauler.