The Convoy was preceded by the 400 Series van, originating from a time when Leyland DAF was still operating in the UK. And its arrival in 1996 marked the beginning of LDV’s emergence and growth as a brand.
In effect, the Convoy was actually a face-lifted revision of the 400 Series rather than an entirely new model. But its versatile chassis and cost-effectiveness make it an appealing option in many instances.
Three different wheelbases were available on the Convoy range, along with low, high and extra-high roof designs to add more headroom and allow for the volume of the load area to be increased.
The smallest of the range has a payload capacity of just under 1.1 tonnes, while the chassis cab model can cope with closer to 2 tonnes.
The largest Convoy has a load volume of 12.9 cubic metres, making it suitable for a range of jobs, from deliveries and distribution to removals. With crew cab models available alongside Convoys that offer dropside and tipper bodies, as well as Luton set-ups, there is a lot of choice in this respected range.
Where the Convoy really excels is as a minibus, with plenty of space for passengers and luggage offered along with a relatively narrow wheel track, making it more manoeuvrable than models of a similar size from rival manufacturers, including the Ford Transit.
Many used LDV Convoy models come equipped with the standard 2.4TD or 2.4DTi engines that were common in a lot of the vehicles in this range over the period of time in which they were manufactured. There are also 2.0 litre models which run on LPG rather than diesel, offering a cleaner alternative to traditional fuels.
Larger models tend to feature the more powerful 2.5TD engine, which offers improved torque and generally better performance in the kinds of situations that the van will be facing.
Although the LDV Convoy range may have been replaced by the Maxus, used models are surprisingly well equipped and can feature everything from power steering and an immobiliser to a radio with integrated CD player.
Look out for other benefits such as electric windows, a tow bar at the rear and onboard entertainment for passengers. Many owners have added to and augmented the basic Convoy set-up over time, so make sure that any after-market equipment has been correctly installed and is working as it should when buying a used Convoy van or minibus.
The Convoy range lives on today because of its original popularity and enduring reliability, with low-mileage models making a particularly good buy for those with a limited budget.