Chinese brand LDV, not content with bringing the first electric dual-cab ute to the market in Australia, has also entered the electric vehicle fray with the 2023 Mifa 9, an all-electric people mover.
- Sleek design inside and out
- Second row Captain’s chairs are something else
- Driving range of 440km is decent
- It’s very expensive
- Ride can get a little brittle
- Plenty of wind noise in the cabin
2023 LDV Mifa 9 Electric People-mover
The 2023 LDV Mifa 9 is aimed squarely at fleet operators and well-heeled private buyers who want to ferry their clients or families around in electric style.
Why well-heeled? Because the LDV Mifa 9 starts at $106,000 plus on-road costs for the entry-level Mode variant and tops out at $131,000 for the range-topping Luxe trim level.
For context, a top-of-the-range Kia Carnival is priced at $65,580 (petrol) or $67,580 (diesel).
A 90 kWh battery array provides around 440 km of range, according to LDV. It powers a 180kW and 350Nm electric motorall channeled to the front wheels.
While its exterior design largely follows the people-mover formula, it’s inside where things get interesting.
The cabin design is slick and modern, with enough luxury touches to go some way to justifying the price tag. LDV only had the range-topping seven-seater Luxe variant (an eight-seater is coming) at launch, so we can’t speak to entry-level Mode or mid-spec Executive trim levels.
Certainly in Luxe trim, there’s a lot to like about the Mifa 9’s interior.
And it starts in the second row with a pair of sumptuous captain’s chairs that feature heating, cooling, massage and recline functions. The armrests also house a fold-out tray table, while down low, a powered footrest adds even more comfort. And accessing the multi-zone climate control from row two is via a pair of slick touchscreens integrated into the armrest of each seat.
If you’ve ever flown business class, you’ll recognize the inspiration for LDV’s second-row seats. They certainly make a statement.
LDV granted us access to the Mifa 9 with a very short drive that lasted around 12 minutes, so any meaningful driving impressions will have to wait until we cycle the electric people mover through the Drive garage.
|2023 LDV Mifa 9|
|Cargo volume||466L (to third row)
1702L (to second row)
2017L (to first row)
First impressions are good, though. Despite tipping the scales at a hefty 2535kg, the Mifa 9 Luxe moved away briskly from a standstill without any of that neck-snapping speed some electric vehicles are characterized by. It certainly didn’t feel its weight.
LDV says it has optimized weight distribution by placing the batteries low and central in the Mifa 9, and that certainly bore fruit under cornering where the big people lugger remained nice and composed.
The ride was – mostly – refined, although it did become a little brittle over some patchier road surfaces. Maybe that will improve with a full complement of passengers on board.
Road noise levels were acceptable for the most part, although there was an alarming amount of wind noise infiltrating that otherwise opulent cabin from a vehicle costing $131,000 plus on-roads.
From the driver’s seat, all the vehicle’s functions are accessed via the large 12.3-inch touchscreen. And I mean ‘all’. Want to engage the park brake? It’s in the touchscreen.
It’s not the most user-friendly set-up, with some functions requiring several clicks or swipes to access.
|At a glance||2023 LDV Mifa 9|
|Warranty||Five years, 160,000km|
|Battery warranty||Eight years, 160,000km|
|Service intervals||24 months or 30,000km|
|Energy cons. (claimed)||21.3kWh/100km (Mode)|
|Battery size||90 kWh|
|Driving range claim (WLTP)||440km (Mode)|
|Charge time (11kW)||8.55 hrs|
|Charge time (50kW)||1h 10m|
|Charge time (max rate 120kW)||36min (30–80%)|
And despite being fitted with Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, Android Auto is conspicuous by its absence.
Unlike its T60 ute, which misses out on a host of safety assist systems, LDV has crammed the Mifa 9 with advanced safety technologies. Blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, driver attention alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control are all standard. That’s a step in the right direction for a company that has scrimped on safety previously.
Our short road loop of 12 minutes duration did not garner any meaningful energy consumption data. LDV claims the Mifa 9 consumes electrons at a rate of between 21.3kWh and 21.8kWh per 100km for a maximum driving range of 440km. Although not explicitly stated, range would be reduced with a full load of passengers on board.
|Key details||2023 LDV Mifa 9|
|Engine||Permanent magnet synchronous motor|
|Drive type||Front-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Single speed automatic|
|Power-to-weight ratio||77.9kW/t (Mode)|
|Weight||2310kg (Mode) / 2410kg (Executive) / 2535kg (Luxe)|
|Tow rating||1000kg braked|
Replenishing the 90kWh battery pack takes around 8.5 hours via an 11kW charger, while using a DC fast-charger sees the array charged from 30–80 percent in 36 minutes.
Like it has with its eT60 ute, LDV is acknowledging that the Mifa 9 is aimed squarely at commercial enterprises, such as hotels that provide shuttle services or private transport operators.
The LDV Mifa 9 certainly fits the bill – a people mover that is unashamedly opulent inside, with an electric powertrain that will meet emissions targets and appease the environmentally conscious.