Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
How far will it go? That’s the first question any electric van driver will be asked, and you should be prepared to answer that question a lot when you step out of a Maxus e Deliver 3. The answer will, of course, depend upon which battery pack you have chosen: the larger 52.5kWh battery or a smaller 35kWh option.
The larger battery provides a maximum 151 mile claimed range on the WLTP combined test, but that range drops to 141 miles for the larger long-wheelbase van. The smaller of the two battery packs brings a range of 99 miles for the long wheelbase model and 95 miles for the short wheelbase van. The good news, however, is that all of those figures are perhaps a little understated, even without careful energy management, based on our real-world testing.
The power delivery is noticeably peaky; it arrives with a burst and then quickly diminishes when you lift off the throttle. It is possible to balance this abruptness out by switching between the three energy recovery modes, the highest setting of which delivers particularly abrupt stopping power.
To provide a bit of reassurance when its power reserves are running out, once the e Deliver 3 drops to 10% battery charge the it adopts a go-slow mode, limiting power consumption by reducing the amount of acceleration and top speed. This limits you from the 75mph top speed to the Eco button’s maximum 58mph limit.
Other vans like the Vauxhall Vivaro-e provide a more consistent driving experience, having been honed from experience gained with other products in the range. However, the e Deliver 3 is not too far behind, albeit still in need of a degree of finessing to match the class best.
The e Deliver 3 could also do with a Park mode, as well as the option of neutral and a conventional handbrake. There are also some simple niggles, like having the trip computer controlled by a button on the instrument cluster rather than from the steering wheel – an ergonomic glitch that should be remedied.