CM 500 point cab test.PDF

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6 OPERATIONS group test

Vehicle focus

500-point test 7

Mercedes-Benz Actros StreamSpace

Vehicle focus

Renault T 430 Sleeper

Renault could have sent the Range D Wide
cab, which is basically the old Premium
cab with a new grille. The reason the
French entered the new Range T Sleeper
cab makes sense. This is the truck for this
segment even though the cab is wider than
most of the other trucks, the full 2,500mm,
at the widest point of the tapered shape.
The dimensions obviously create the most
spacious cab, its internal volume of 8.29m3
contrasting with the 6.90m3 of the smallest,
the Iveco.
Naturally it scores highest in this
category, as it does in the access, cab
layout and storage sections. There is plenty
of storage space, the entry is very good
and the engine is very quiet. It easily has
the most headroom above the engine
As a home-from-home, the new Renault
is hard to fault. The sleeping arrangements
impressed in every respect, only beaten by
the Actros. Although quality and finish were
just about mid-stream in this company, it
actually outscored its Volvo cousin. The

If Mercedes-Benz can’t offer you an MP4
Actros cab that meets your needs, then
maybe you’re being a bit too fussy. For this
test, the local team chose the 2,300mmwide high-mounted StreamSpace cab from
its impressive inventory. The cab sits high
and really does justify its three-step entry.
In fact, the high access was a low point of
the Actros score gathering. In general
terms, access to the cab and external
lockers and in more detailed examination,
such as tilting the cab and fettling fuses
and electronics, a significant wodge of
points were squandered.
Inside, everything looks and feels good
and the high-quality materials fit very well.
In the quality category, it dropped just 0.2 of
a point from maximum. At driving level, the
feel is typically Mercedes, classy in a sober
way, but the decor is cleverly used to
delineate the non-working environment.
The high-mounted cab means there is
plenty of good storage space and there
are a lot of practical things on board.
Although it’s barely any larger than the


Iveco in terms of calculated volume, its
space is well-considered and very usable.
For many a solo driver, the combination of
high quality lower bunk for sleeping and the
net hammock for storing is a good one and,
again, the Mercedes almost scored a clean
sweep in this section.
The dashboard display looks good,
although the functions of the on-board
computer are a bit confusing and
complicated. This didn’t prevent it gaining
another near full house in the gear-

driving position leaves the occupant in no
doubt as to what does what. Controls are
clear and well-positioned.
While the cab itself scores the highest
points in this test, the Renault loses on other
points. It came convincingly last for blind
spots and visibility.
The driving comfort and steering wasn’t
as highly regarded by the test panel as it
should have been.
The Renault is the newest model in this

test and still that is not enough to win. We
really do like the Range T. It’s so far ahead
of the worthy but characterless Premium
that it’s hard to believe it has any DNA in
common, a feeling that grows every time
we venture through its doors.
We like the clarity of thought that has led
to clarity of function, created by designers
who’ve obviously spoken to drivers.
But despite its many strengths,
surprisingly for a new product, it lost
enough in areas such as brake
performance and visibility to cost it what
could so easily have been the win.
It might be an unworthy thought, but we
can’t help but have a nagging feeling that
the people who make the grand plan for the
Volvo Group have a clear idea that its two
brands should have clearly differentiated
roles and that the Renault might just be
being held back from first dip into the
technology store.
For fans of Renault-powered motor
racing, it’s Red Bull compared with Toro

changing and controls section, dropping
just 1.4 points out of 45. Surprisingly, the
driving related points are low for the Actros.
The high cab feels the least precise to steer
and rolled more than the rivals, hence it
came joint-bottom of this admittedly
tightly-grouped section. The suspension
and the overall comfort were also rated low.
Not surprisingly for a company that’s
clearly at the forefront of introducing the
latest technology into the real world, the
Actros achieved a safety score second only
to the Volvo.
Safety is about more than mitigating the
effects of an accident though, and the
Mercedes’ clear class-leading visibility
should help to avoid a few before they
The Actros is not yet the perfect truck,
if indeed such a thing will ever exist for all
needs, but the things it does less well are
so heavily out-weighed by the things it
does exceptionally well that, overall, the
Actros is the clear winner of this test by a
convincing margin.