DFSK/DFM - badbusdriver

Off on another 'Chinese vehicle' thread!.

I am a self employed 'reach and wash' window cleaner. My trusty Transit Connect is starting to show its age and i am aware i will need to think of replacing it in the not too distant future.

I have been aware of the DFSK/DFM minivans minitrucks for a few years now and have often wondered about the possibility of using one for my work. The thing that really appeals to me is the compact size, particularly the width (as i have recently moved to a narrow street in an old part of town!). I often find myself having to try and park in a very small amount of space in order to work. Another plus point for me, especially with all the horror stories about over complex modern turbo diesels, is the basic simplicity. Naturaly aspirated petrol engine, which i believe is based on the old suzuki unit from the carry. Payload wise, i would have to go for one of the drop side pick ups, which isnt ideal from a security point of view, but i think i could make it work OK. There are a couple of things i am worried about though. The 1st of these is the total lack of any sort of safety equipment. This wouldnt concern me too much if i worked solely in one town, but i cover about 10K miles per year, mostly on a mixture of single carriageway A and B roads. No ABS, no airbags, and very little bodywork in between the driver and the front of the vehicle. The 2nd is regarding the reliability. There is very little information out there in terms of road tests and such like, nothing on owners reviews websites that i have found. Does anyone have any experience with one of these vehicles?.

On a different note, i have also considered the current style Piaggio Porter, which although not 'officially available' in this country, can nevertheless be had as a left hand drive import. Of interest to me is that there are 2 payload options with the van, the higher of these, 750kg, would suit me fine. And whilst it also is not something you would ever choose to have an accident in, current models do at have ABS. So, at least in theory, you have a better chance of avoiding an accident!.

Thanks

DFSK/DFM - John Boy

Whilst I'm a big fan of small cars, I wouldn't want to drive or ride in one of those little vans or pickups for very far on the open road. The difference is that there's a big market for small cars, so a lot of money has been invested in making them safe. Not so with the vans/pickups. They strike me as suitable for estate use only. I went to a dealer and sat in a Suzuki Carry pickup in the late seventies. It was cute, but so so fragile. The thought of a front end hit was terrifying.

DFSK/DFM - SLO76
Our local Mazda/Mitsubishi dealer tried flogging these a few years back and I noticed as I walked by at night with the dog that the brand new examples they had sitting out on the forecourt were showing a surprising amount of chassis rust.

I wouldn't buy one. I'm sure they'll be mechanically robust but safety is non-existent (a 15mph impact will leave you with life changing injuries) and parts availability is bound to be a problem as there's really no dealer network and few have been sold.

Get an older normally asperated VW Caddy SDi (owned one and it was no bother) or Citroen Berlingo 1.9 XUD or 2.0 HDi but remember that vans are generally only disposed of when they're no longer economically viable so it's likely you'll need some work done to whatever you buy.
DFSK/DFM - Avant

My elder son is a plumber and uses an ex-British-Gas VW Caddy van. It's an SDI and wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding, but it's perfect for what he wants it for. 59-registered and he's had it for about 3 years with no problems.

BG sell off their vans regularly so keep a look out.

DFSK/DFM - daveyK_UK

The sandwich delivery van is a DFSK and the owner raves about it.

I think its a 1.3 petrol.

DFSK/DFM - gordonbennet

My elder son is a plumber and uses an ex-British-Gas VW Caddy van. It's an SDI and wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding, but it's perfect for what he wants it for. 59-registered and he's had it for about 3 years with no problems.

BG sell off their vans regularly so keep a look out.

Very well maintained too, when i used to deliver new vehicles to them they had all in house workshops, so unless that's changed a very fair bet.

DFSK/DFM - yokel38

How do I put it kindly... unless paying peanuts, and I mean next to nothing, avoid. Oddly enough, we sold them new for a very short time, long enough to realise they would really harm our reputation. There was no technical back up whatsoever, but all the parts are still easily available via a internet site. We still have one a WS hack, its only 3 years old, looks 20, the head has been off umpteen times in 8000 miles... oh and they rattle, like you wouldn't believe..

DFSK/DFM - daveyK_UK

yokel38

did the UK importer not give any support?

DFSK/DFM - yokel38

LOl, no they didnt, that was a major issue.

 

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