MAN TGX 18.400 Test

 MAN TGX 18.400 Test
Photo by EuroTransportMedia

In spring 2011, lastauto omnibus magazine tested a MAN TGX 18.400. It had a D2066 six-cylinder engine and a fairly large XLX driver’s cab. A truck for large fleets?

Well, trucks in fleets should, first of all, be economical. The 10.5-liter (640 cubic inches), six-cylinder engine in the MAN TGX 18.400 left the testers satisfied; a fuel consumption of about 6.5 mpg (35.9 l/100 km) on a largely mountainous test route is a good result. The 400-HP, six-cylinder engine under the XLX driver cab (broad, long, medium-height roof) ran very smoothly. The engine, weighing approx. a ton, certainly does not lack power. Maximum torque is available from 1000 to 1400 rpm; nominal power is reached as early as 1600 rpm. These performance data allow the little engine to adroitly hide the fact that maximum torque at 1400 lb-ft (1900 Nm) is a bit on the low side. This had a noticeable effect on the transport speed during the test. The MAN TGX 18.400 reached an average speed of 49.9 mph (79.9 km/h). The comparable Mercedes Axor 1843 is slightly faster at 50.7 mph (81.6 km/h).

MAN TGX 18.400 with “Headstrong” Automatic Transmission

The Tripmatic automatic transmission took some getting used to, according to the testers from lastauto omnibus. At an incline, the transmission, trying to be a frugal as possible, seemed to ponder whether a gear shift was in order in the first place. Once the Tripmatic recognized the seriousness of the situation, the downshifts usually happen much earlier. If not, the driver can, and must, intervene. However, this only works when the professional version of the Tripmatic has been ordered. The fleet version, installed standard in various vehicles, does not allow this kind of intervention.

Although the testers pondered the good and the bad of the automatic, they were very excited by the low empty weight of the MAN TGX 18.400. Approx. 15600 lbs. (7100 kg) for a completely equipped tractor with a large driver’s cab—even  the Mercedes Axor 1843, recommended as a light alternative to the Actros, cannot compete here.

Flawless Workmanship and Many Trays

The interior of the MAN TGX spoils its driver with flawless fit and finish, top-quality materials and decent comfort. However, the testers had to deduct points for the single-leaf spring at the front axle, which does not respond as sensitively as the usual two-leaf spring, and for the interior noise, which is slightly higher than that of the best competitors.

The test truck contained a multifunctional stow room. This describes a cot that can be folded perpendicularly to its length and thus provides another 7 cubic feet (200 liter) of additional storage space. Folding it out completely results in a second cot that is, however, not quite as comfortable as the upper standard bed. This increases the storage room to 35 cubic feet (almost 1000 liters). Half of that is made up by the two large outside compartments, the left of which is also accessible from the inside. The two drawers in the front area above the low engine tunnel (4 inches, a good 100 mm) and several small trays within reach of the driver proved to be very useful. Only a large, open tray on the dash is lacking in the MAN.

Best Fuel Consumption and Payload for MAN TGX 18.400

The MAN TGX 18.400 combines several strengths that will convince drivers as well as buyers. It really shines, as mentioned, when it comes to fuel consumption and payload. Its high comfort, generously dimensioned stow places, and its well-made, functional workplace will also earn points from drivers. 400 HP delivered by the small motor is acceptable as well. The TGX 18.400 is just not the fastest of trucks.