Ease of use is one of the top priorities of truck purchasers and the Iveco Eurocargo certainly delivers in that regard.
Iveco handed me the keys to an Iveco Eurocargo 160-280 fitted with a sleeper cab and a fourteen pallet pantech body.
Under the cab of my test vehicle was Iveco’s Euro-6 compliant Tector 7 6.7 litre six-cylinder diesel that delivers 280hp (206kW) and 1000Nm of torque from just over 1200rpm.
The Iveco Eurocargo comes standard with a ZF nine-speed syncromesh manual transmission, however the truck I had was fitted with the optional Allison S3000 five-speed auto transmission.
On the Road
The truck wasn’t carrying any load, I hope to be able to grab the Eurocargo again with some of the nine tonne carrying capacity accounted for, however that wasn’t to be this time around.
The first thing that hits you with this truck is the quietness of the cab…once you shut the door the only thing you hear is the pulse of the engine, even then you can only hear enough to keep you in touch with what the engine is up to and I reckon that’s perfect.
A lot of talk about driver fatigue doesn’t seem to focus on the strain of being in a noisy environment for extended periods, the Eurocargo is certainly not a noisy environment.
The seating position is easily set to your preferred position with height and tilt angle adjustment of the steering column and heaps of adjustment available on the seat.
From that driver’s seat the visibility is excellent to the front and sides thanks to the large mirrors, big windscreen and side windows, and really thin A pillars of the cab.
A personal preference of mine when steering a large rigid vehicle is the ability to be able to see at least some part of the trailing wheels for reference when negotiating tight spaces, the bulky body though in this configuration prevented this.
The engine/transmission, again albeit without a load on-board, is a remarkably smooth combo…the highlight being the ability to get another gear when tackling an incline by just giving a little more right foot input.
Of course, if you want to take over you can drive the transmission in manual mode.
Again, it’s just all so easy for the driver.
Perhaps my favourite feature on the Iveco Eurocargo was the two-stage exhaust brake.
Pushing the right hand stalk into the first position gives you exhaust brake functionality only when applying the brake pedal.
Another step back to position two is your traditional exhaust brake function.
This just gives you so much flexibility, allowing you to utilize the exhaust brake depending on the circumstances that you find yourself in.
The transmission also has an ‘Eco’ mode that limits acceleration and maximum speed…to be honest I didn’t notice a great deal of difference (no doubt this would be more telling with a load on board).
Another great feature fitted to this truck is Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
You can run on standard cruise control or push the button on the dash to engage the ACC and I found it worked really well on the freeways and highways around Melbourne.
Praise too for the Lane Departure Warning system that gives you a warning buzz through the sound system – thankfully I didn’t actually use this function on my road trip.
And other safety features come as standard on the Eurocargo include ESP (stability control) a driver’s airbag and traction control braking.
My test truck was also fitted a reverse camera and I think anyone who doesn’t have one on their truck is mad…it makes reversing so much easier and safer, especially allowing you to see exactly how far you are from the thing that you’re backing up to (such as loading docks).
The highly acclaimed Iveco Eurocargo has won plenty of praise for its cab and I’m not surprised by that.
I’m just under 6 feet tall and was able to comfortably lay stretched out in the bunk (albeit the standard foam mattress felt pretty firm) and accessing the rest area is relatively easy.
There’s a handy, and rather large, roof hatch.
The sound system is better than adequate with speakers mounted up in the headboard above the driver and you have steering wheel mounted controls for the system.
The Iveco designers also gave operators some really clever and well-sized storage areas around the cab and under the bunk – this area easily accessed by either lifting the bunk/mattress from inside the cab, or the two small side ports.
Perhaps my only complaint about the Eurocargo cabin was the driver info screen. The screen is just the standard/old-fashioned black text on a grey background and can be a bit hard to read on the go.
An updated colour screen here would certainly be an advantage.
Oh, and in-built sat-nav system would also be a handy addition.
Everyone, especially fleet buyers, are looking for trucks that are easy to run, safe and reliable.
I can certainly say that from my experience with the Iveco Eurocargo that it is an easy vehicle to operate in built-up areas, on the freeway and on country highways.
I would love to have a steer of the standard version with the nine-speed manual and get a better handle on the truck with a decent load on the back.
From what I experienced though I think it is certainly a medium-duty truck that is worth investigating.
Check out all the facts and figures for the Iveco Eurocargo 160-280 here.