LDV G10: the honeymoon is over

Riley Riley


What is it?

It’s been over six months since we started driving the Chinese-built, short wheelbase LDV G10 van.

It’s still going strong and nothing has fallen off for those wondering, so at least it’s a solid proposition.

But it hasn’t all been peaches and cream, and it’s about time we revealed some of the G10’s shortcomings.


What’s it cost?

The price has gone up since our first drive.

Back then it was available from $23,802 driveaway, That figure is now $25,990 and that’s for the petrol version with a manual change.

The one to buy is the diesel automatic, however, and it will now set you back $31,490 driveaway (it was $28,838 ) — the price is less for ABN holders.

Standard kit includes air conditioning, power steering, cruise control in the auto, power windows, electric mirrors, 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth and a reasonable audio system with largish 7.0-inch touch screen.

A lift style tailgate is standard along with dual sliding rear doors, but side windows and a cargo barrier are extra.

Safety features include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger airbags, roll movement intervention, reverse camera, rear parking sensors and tyre pressure monitoring.

But let’s not forget in this litigious, HR world in which we now live that it gets only three stars from ANCAP.

The all important cargo area has a capacity of 5.2 cubic metres and it can tote a full tonne — although fuel, occupants and accessories must be deducted from this figure.

The load area measures 2500mmx1590mmx1270mm, with 1278mm between the wheel arches.


What’s it go like?

The step up is relatively low compared with some vans and this is a desirable feature when you’re hopping in and out many times a day.

The seating position and driving experience are surprisingly car-like, as reported previously.

Ride quality is very good, with a turning circle of 11.8 metres, but cargo tends to move around if unsecured on the hard, slippery floor liner.

The manual is underpinned by leaf springs at the rear, while the auto gets a more sophisticated — and car-like — five-link coil suspension.

The 1.9-litre turbo diesel (1850cc in reality) is good for 106.5kW of power and 350Nm of torque, the latter from a lowish 1800 revs.

Drive is to the rear wheels and it can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic which adds $2500.

Performance with the auto is okay to a point, but it’s fairly noisy under load and exhibits woeful turbo lag in some scenarios.

Gear changes are smooth, with the ability to change gears manually using the shift selector, but it’s a a fairly superfluous feature.

The van struggles however when revs fall below the 1800 rpm boost point, say when forced to slow down for a tight, rising corner.

Waiting for revs to return and boost from the turbo with it takes patience.

What is not tolerable is the horrendous lack of engine response from a standing start — say at an intersection.

Picture this. Your waiting to cross a busy road. There’s a gap in the traffic and you tromp the accelerator.

Nothing happens, for three or four seconds literally, and it  can be a nerve wracking experience when your have someone bearing down on your right — one might even say dangerous.

In manual form the diesel delivers fuel consumption of 8.3L/100 km while the auto returns a claimed 8.6L/100km from a 75-litre tank.

The van we’ve been driving now has close to 20,000km on the clock.

Initially, fuel consumption was high, but it’s been improving since hitting the 10,000K mark — although it’s never going to return its best in stop-start operation.

The standard lift gate is preferable to the optional barn doors because it provides some protection from sun and rain, and is simpler to operate.

The load area liner may be hard wearing but it is slippery and hard hard under knee, with six tie down bolts that protrude well above floor level making it difficult to slide heavy items freely.

Whoever thought this was a good idea should be shot and probably like many Chinese drivers we finally removed some spacer washers to bring down the height to floor level so they wouldn’t rip holes in boxes.

The rear sliding doors can be difficult to operate, needing the handle to be pulled straight out to unlock — they won’t respond at an angle.

While we’re discussing the doors, the lock catches inside operate in and up and down direction and can be triggered inadvertently by falling parcels.

This has happened several times and there difficult to reach from the other side with a full load between you and the door.

Now for the problem that is going to drive you nuts.

A major gripe, reported by many drivers of the G10, is the Bluetooth phone connection.

Sometimes our phone connects, sometimes it doesn’t, and must be reconnected manually.

Sometimes when you make an outgoing call the person at the other end can’t hear you.

And, if your phone is deleted from the system, the only way you can re-establish a connection is to go into your phone’s Bluetooth setup and delete any entries labelled SAIC (the system doesn’t differentiate between different vans).

Otherwise your phone will remain invisible to the van.

Then there’s the rear view camera, activated when the van is put into reverse.

Great idea and every van should have one, but most of the time the camera in the G10 is totally useless because of its location and glare from the windscreen above.

If you’re listening ANCAP, it may be time to take a look at this problem.

It’s not enough to just fit a camera, the camera needs to deliver a clear image at all times or the results could be tragic.



What we like?

  • Cheap
  • Reliable
  • Inoffensive
  • Reasonably comfortable
  • Easy to get in and out of
  • Adequate performance most of the time


What we don’t?

  • Left hand blinkers
  • Slippery floor liner
  • Sliding doors difficult to operate
  • Tie downs protrude above floor level
  • Average 3-year/100,000km warranty
  • Bluetooth hit and miss
  • Terrible turbo lag
  • Reverse camera useless 90 per cent of time
  • Black contact masking trim on doors starting to peel


The bottom line?

You get what you pay for. The LDV G10 is relatively cheap and gets the job done. Why pay $10K or $15K more for a name brand? We’ll keep you posted with updates as we get to know the van better.

CHECKOUT: We put the Ford Transit to work
CHECKOUT: Renault Trafic: Room for the crew


LDV G10 diesel auto, priced from $31,490 driveaway
  • Looks - 7/10
  • Performance - 6.5/10
  • Safety - 6/10
  • Thirst - 7.5/10
  • Practicality - 8/10
  • Comfort - 7/10
  • Tech - 6.5/10
  • Value - 8/10
  1. LDV G10.. I was suspect.. LOTS.. having 25 years of vans from early terrible Ford vans to better Toyota HI Ace & SBV.. 10 years with a Ford Transit mid roof Diesel etc. The Fact these were Chinese.. do get past it.. as the engine is Nissan Diesel, gearbox Ford, Suspension partly GM, Electrics Bosch.. and body design.. I suspect was actually Holden By Design.. but fact check all that. .. The van I bought was the Diesel Auto.. barn doors excellent for minor pallet loading.. then dual side doors.. Seat for driver and often forgotten passenger are very comfortable and material heavy duty. Stereo , cruise, el windows, central lock.. etc all good.. WHAT SUCKS is the bluetooth phone mic.. for petes sake LDV fix this up.. We will be paying for a private installer to improve that.at $160.. so be it. Overall IT IS THE BEST VAN WE HAVE EVER OWNED.. We brought a 2nd one 14 days back from LDV Campbelltown.. traded in our other van a VW Caddy Maxi diesel auto. Again.. the best van we have had. END OF Story..

    1. Hi Dave. How did you go in replacing the phone mic? Did you get someone to do this as it is so frustrating with people I call not hearing me!

  2. I bought a new auto diesel LDV March 2021 – to replace a Kia Pregio that I have had since new [late 2004 model manual] – I will not be using it commercially unless I run out of super [smile] but it’s mainly to use to carry my bicycle and the odd bits and pieces if I want to do a bit of handyman stuff or cart stuff to the council refuse centre. Also would use it for intra and interstate travel to do non professional photography trips and holidays. Not as a camper but for load space as I don’t travel light when it comes to luggage. I haven’t noticed the issue you mention with the reversing camera but then I haven’t used it that often as I am waiting for the installation of the cargo barrier before using the load space – I will also install a ply wood floor overlay as I did with the Pregio to allow a trunk to be secured to give an extra layer of security for personal effects when out and about. There is turbo lag as you mention but I think with modified driving style I can live with it What I think is weird in that the handbook says after extensive dribiving the engine should be left to idle for 2-3 minutes before turning it off to allow the turbo to cool. I just don’t know how practical that is and as this is my first vehicle with a turbo I am surprised that this is the manufacturers recommendation. I can’t imagine turning into a service station for fuel and sitting at the pumps with engine running for 3 minutes before getting out to operate the bowser especially if another driver pulls in behind me. Thanks for your review.

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