There has been a great deal of interest on European roads in the newly released truck range from MAN and Diesel’s European Correspondent, Will Shiers, reckons the new truck is a winner.
At the launch of the new truck in Bilbao, Spain, in February, some social media pundits were quick to criticise the new generation TGXs for not utilising a new cab. They reckoned a make-over wasn’t enough, and that the trucks didn’t look significantly different. Well, if the reaction I received while driving the first right-hand-drive example in the UK was anything to go by, they’re definitely wrong.
Inside Story in the MAN TGX 26.640
Access to the TGX has been improved, thanks to doors that now open to 90 degrees, and repositioned steps. The new EasyControl buttons, located inside the bottom of the driver’s door, are a neat feature. These are operated from outside the cab, and can be configured to suit each driver’s specific requirements.
The lion’s share of MAN’s investment has clearly gone on the interior. It’s quite simply unrecognisable from the truck it replaces.
For starters, the old mechanical handbrake, which used to be inexplicably located on the floor behind the driver’s left shoulder, has been replaced by a dash-mounted electronic version. For me, this is a massive improvement.
Gone is the old XXL’s coach-like oversized windscreen. Although this was universally disliked, incredibly I read one comment from a driver saying he preferred it because of the improved visibility it offered. Well unless he’s freakishly tall, or sitting on the top bunk to drive, I struggle to see how this could possibly be an issue.
Likewise, there’s a handful of people complaining that the small side windows and the upper windows in the top of the biggest cab have been deleted, this despite the fact that drivers frequently tinted or filled them in. Even with considerably less glazing than before, the GX cab is still a light and airy environment.
“I bet it’s still got a bus steering wheel,” read one social media comment at the launch. Well yes, the larger wheel is still available, but my test truck had the new smaller one, which is part of the ComfortSteering option. It’s a fantastic feature, allowing effortless steering for low-speed manoeuvres, while firming-up at speed.
The dashboard is completely new, and now slopes downwards towards the windscreen. Needless to say, the haters will complain that their cigarette packets slide out of reach now, and ignore the fact that direct vision has been considerably improved as a result of the new profile. I suggest putting them elsewhere, there is, after all, 1,148 litres of storage space to choose from.
And on the subject of visibility, this newly released truck range from MAN has chosen to keep conventional mirrors, at least for the time being. But they’re slimmer now, and they’ve been moved rearwards, reducing the blindspot on the approach to junctions. There are plans to offer a camera and screen option in the future, which will no doubt ruffle a few feathers on social media.