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Maxus eDeliver 5 review: delivering value and practicality

Does this budget-friendly rival to the VW ID. Buzz and Ford E-Transit Custom have more than value on its side?

Only one company can offer buyers an electric compact, medium, and large van, as well as an electric pickup. That company is Maxus, and now it’s introducing another electric LCV that’s a bit bigger than its compact van but a bit smaller than its medium van.

The eDeliver 5 might be a niche vehicle, but it’s got another niche product in its sights if the advertising slogans are anything to go by. ‘The Buzz stops here’, proclaim Maxus’ digital billboards. It’s clearly been inspired by some of the design-led details on the ID Buzz, but should Volkswagen be concerned by the newcomer?

Design, interior and technology

Under the clouds of Ireland, the bright blue and white paintwork on the eDeliver 5 stands out. The two-tone paintwork isn’t the only hint of the ID Buzz in the design, with the near-vertical front end clearly paying homage to the German model. That’s where the similarities end, with the eDeliver 5 arguably looking more modern with its C-shaped LED lights and minimal design flourishes. It’s the same at the back, where there’s nothing but a stack of three lozenge-shaped lights at the edge of the asymmetric barn doors.

It’s just as minimalist inside, too. Forget buttons and switches, as all you get is a 12.3-inch infotainment screen that controls, well, everything. There’s voice control, so you could theoretically operate it without looking away from the road, but it’s not a faultless system. Frustratingly, the heating and ventilation controls are locked away behind a menu on the screen, and with aircon rather than automatic climate control, you might need to go there reasonably frequently.

Maxus eDeliver 5 interior

Happily, there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can plug your phone in and use whatever navigation and music streaming services you like.

Ahead of the driver is a smaller digital instrument panel which, inexplicably, shows an image of a tuned eDeliver 5 that looks like it wouldn’t be out of place in the Fast and Furious movies. There’s a digital speedo, graphics to show what drive mode you’re in and how much brake regeneration you’re getting, and a few other bits of information, but it’s all small and challenging to use. Lose the unnecessary graphics, and there’d be so much more screen real estate freed up that Maxus could have a really crisp and clear system.

A bench seat can accommodate two passengers — although two more sturdy passengers will need to be very friendly — and there’s a pair of cupholders, an overhead shelf and a net on each door for storage, and that’s about the lot. There’s no glovebox and little hint of any luxuries, but the cab feels well constructed and, to be positive about the plastics, will be easy to wipe clean.

Battery, motor and performance

Maxus has put a 64kWh battery pack under the floor of the eDeliver 5, which, according to WLTP test figures, is enough for 208 miles of motoring. It seemed reasonably efficient around the country roads of Ireland, but we didn’t have any load in the back, so real-world range wasn’t entirely representative — that’s something to test when we get the van in the UK.

The motor delivers 161bhp to the front wheels, with 177lb ft of torque to back that up. Performance, at least when empty, is more than sufficient, with the initial pick-up off the line enough to surprise a few hot hatch drivers.

Brake regen on the highest setting is strong, almost giving the van a one-pedal driving mode. This recovers most power to the battery pack but can be a bit wearing, especially on motorways, so a simple button press on the steering wheel reduces the power to something more manageable.

What is less convincing is the ride quality, with firm suspension letting imperfections jar through to the cab. Many eLCVs suffer from this, although Ford seems to have mastered it with its new E-Transit Custom.

Payload and practicality

Maxus eDeliver 5 cargo area

Ah, yes, the E-Transit Custom. With diesel power, it’s the UK’s best-selling van, and I expect the ‘E’ version to rapidly become the best-selling electric van, which means it’s competition for the eDeliver 5.

Despite its more compact dimensions — the Maxus is more than 20cm shorter and significantly narrower — the eDeliver 5 provides more cargo volume and a higher payload limit. It’s got a load bay that’s 2,651mm long, providing a volume of 6.6m3, says Maxus, with a payload of 1,200kg. The best the larger Ford can do is 2,559mm, 5.8m3 and 1,110kg, at least in the comparable L1H1 format.

Are those figures accurate? We can’t make the maths work on the total cargo volume. I suspect the maximum load length, width and height have been multiplied, with 6.57m3 being the result, but that would assume the cargo box is a perfect cuboid. However you measure it, it’s significantly more accommodating than the ID Buzz Cargo.

Access to the load area is easy, with sliding doors on both sides of the van and rear barn doors that can be unclipped from their restraints to swing back 180 degrees.

Price and specification

Maxus is keeping things simple with the eDeliver 5, offering it in just one specification. You can choose a low roof or high roof option, the latter adding 220mm to the headroom inside.

Prices start at £34,000 before fees, VAT, and any applicable government plug-in grant, which means it undercuts the ID Buzz by £5,625 and the E-Transit Custom by more than £9,000.

Maxus hasn’t been too stingy to hit that price point. The van comes with adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera system, parking sensors, wireless smartphone connectivity, keyless start, a full steel bulkhead, and floor lashing points. It’s also backed by a five-year or 62,000-mile warranty.

By any measure, the eDeliver 5 is a bargain, even if it’s not quite as plush as its rivals.


Cheap and cheerful would be a fine description for the Maxus eDeliver 5, but it’s better than that. Is it as good as an E-Transit Custom? Well, no, but then the Ford is almost 30% more expensive. There are definitely some cost-cutting measures in the Maxus, but the basics of the van are fine, especially at the price point.

Maxus is also likely to provide some impressive lease deals, so it could be a bargain to run for a year or two, at which point the rest of the eLCV market will have matured. It’s probably at its best in urban areas on multi-drop duties, and it will cope well with that.

Maxus eDeliver 5 instruments

Maxus eDeliver 5 L1H1

  • Price: £34,000 plus VAT and OTR
  • Powertrain: front-motor, front-wheel-drive
  • Battery: 64kWh
  • Power: 161bhp
  • Torque: 177 lb-ft
  • Top speed: 75mph
  • 0-62mph: N/A
  • Range: 208 miles
  • Consumption: N/A
  • Charging: up to 80kW
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