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About DFSK Loadhopper

DFSK

The Loadhopper is a small, slim, but overall spacious van from a comparatively lesser-known manufacturer. This offering from Chinese automaker DKSK comes in three different body options and offers a lot of carrying capacity in proportion to its decidedly modest overall footprint.

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About DFSK Loadhopper

DFSK

The Loadhopper is a small, slim, but overall spacious van from a comparatively lesser-known manufacturer. This offering from Chinese automaker DKSK comes in three different body options and offers a lot of carrying capacity in proportion to its decidedly modest overall footprint.

Read more

About DFSK Loadhopper

DFSK

Specifications

The DFSK Loadhopper comes with a choice of two four-cylinder engines. The 1.0 litre option delivers 52bhp, while the larger 1.3 litre option delivers 77bhp. There is no diesel option. These small petrol engines are tuned to work hard, delivering modest mpg figures of 36-38 combined.

The Loadhopper provides a carrying capacity of 3.2 cubic metres for payloads weighing up to 548kg. However, these figures vary depending on which of the three body styles is chosen, and in the case of the payload the variance is significant. Choosing the pick-up option instead of the panel van will allow for payloads of up to 907kg.

In terms of features, the DFSK Loadhopper is decidedly sparse unless you choose to opt for an add-on pack. Even power steering is not included as standard but is an option. ABS braking is also available as an add-on, though it is not available at all on some models, and an option pack is also required in order to obtain a driver's airbag.

Positives and Negatives

The DFSK Loadhopper is undeniably a micro-van. This class of van was popular in the 1980s and 1990s but has since fallen out of favour. Nonetheless, they occupy a definite niche, and there have been many who have lamented the decline of good micro-vans on the current market. The 1310cc engine option for the DFSK Loadhopper is the same engine found in one of the most popular 1.3 litre micro-vans, the Suzuki Carry, and the association may be a reassuring one to many avid micro-van advocates.

DFSK has only been selling vehicles in the UK market since 2011. So far, however, they seem to be a perfect example of the way Chinese vehicle manufacturing has improved in recent years, having delivered good levels of reliability in these first few years of UK trading. As such, while the manufacturer's name is an unfamiliar one to many, it need not be off-putting.

As for the Loadhopper as a specific vehicle, it gets a lot right but also leaves a fair amount to be desired. The engine options are fairly good ones which deliver strong performance for their size. To do this, however, they are tuned to work hard, and fuel economy suffers. The lack of a diesel option is always somewhat disappointing in a van, since this is the fuel of choice for many commercial vehicle users. However, this is not a van that is likely to spend much time on motorways, and it fits into a niche that is likely to see limited mileage, so in this case the lack of a diesel option is more forgiveable.

In terms of loading space, the SFSK Loadhopper succeeds in demonstrating how good a micro-van can be. It has a very small footprint yet offers generous capacities in terms of both space and weight. It rivals some rather bigger vans in this regard, being a little longer and taller but noticeably narrower than the likes of the Citroen Berlingo or the Fiat Doblo. Its narrowness in combination with a nippy petrol engine will make it a good choice for city driving and difficult traffic.

However, the heyday of micro-vans was in the 1980s-90s, and in many ways it feels like DFSK have plucked a van straight out of this time period instead of making an updated counterpart. Features as basic as power steering are options rather than included as standard, and even the look of the dashboard feels decidedly dated.

Conclusion

The DFSK Loadhopper is a decidedly no-frills and somewhat dated affair. Nonetheless, it offers a capable, spacious van in a small package and fills a niche that is not well catered for in the current market. If you have need of a micro-van, it is a respectable and affordable contender.

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Other DFSK Models

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