2018 Fuso Canter Ready Built Review

We road test and review Fuso's new ready to go Canter

2018 fuso canter tipper

The new truck market is roaring ahead and the Fuso Canter is enjoying increased demand in 2018 too.

Now Fuso’s light-duty truck can compete on a more even playing field with its rivals as the ‘Built Ready’ range lands in Australia.

Confirmed back in May, as the name implies, the Built Ready offerings are ready to get to work straight after leaving the showroom.

Featuring models with alloy trays, pantechs, refrigerated bodies and tippers, the Ready Built range lands at a time when truck buyers in this segment of the market are becoming increasingly foreign to the old ways of buying a truck and then having a body fitted.

Oddly, there’s no curtain side/tautliner offering in the Canter, though this is available in the larger Fighter offering.

Fuso recently invited us along to a drive day to experience the new offerings for ourselves.

On the day, I got to drive a selection of ‘City Cab’ and ‘Wide Cab’ models with different bodies fitted.

fuso canter interiorThe commonality of the different trucks on offer in the Built Ready range is the 3.0 litre turbo-diesel engine under the Canter cab.

Boasting an output of 110kW (147hp) and 370Nm (from 1,350rpm) the engine can be bolted to either a five-speed manual transmission, or Fuso’s six-speed Duonic dual-clutch auto.

Tipper variants get a multi-leaf front suspension, other models ride on an independent front suspension set-up.

On the test drive all the different Fuso Canters on offer had a load onboard, simulating what you might be hauling in real world conditions.

Following on from my recent drive and review of the 4×4 Canter, I was again generally very pleased with the way the Canter went about its business.

The independent front suspension does make for a more forgiving ride than the leaf springs.

In manual models I again liked the positioning of the transmission selector on the dashboard (much better than the positioning in the competition).

Each truck was found to be very easy to drive with the torque coming in nice and low in the rev range.

Manual or auto? My preference is the manual here.

I don’t think it is unfair to say that the Duonic in the Fuso isn’t as slick as the Isuzu AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) or the Hino automatic I recently sampled.

The Fuso Canter cab is right up there with the best of them though.

  • The driver’s seat is comfortable and has a good amount of adjustment available.
  • The steering wheel boasts tilt and telescopic adjustment.
  • There are simple, easy to read gauges, but only a green on black driver info screen.
  • The steering wheel feels good in your hands and the heating/air-conditioning controls are within easy reach.
  • There are handy roof storage spots, strangely though the centre seat doesn’t fold.
  • No complaints with the infotainment system in the Canter, it’s right up there with the competition and features Bluetooth, Sat-Nav and digital radio as standard.
  • The designers have made sure there are plenty of cupholders!

One observation I did make about the Canter cab was an interesting design that sees the top of the windscreen sit noticeably higher than the top of the door glass (as seen below).

This seems a little odd as you tend to feel a little closed in on the side and this could be more noticeable for particularly tall operators.

fuso canter windscreen window designSafety features in the Canter run to front driver and passenger airbags, side impact beams in the doors and the standard fitment of a reverse camera.

All models feature front and rear disc brakes.

No doubt one of the biggest sellers in the Fuso Canter Ready Built range will be the alloy tray version, and it looks like a really good set-up.

There are handy/well-placed grab handles on the bulkhead and climbing onto the tray is possible with the gates down as they don’t completely obscure the side steps (unlike the equivalent Hino).

So, those were some of my key observations during my test drive, I look forward to spending some more time in the Fuso Canter in the future and to present to you a more detailed review.

In the meantime, from what I experienced I would say the Canter Ready Built range is ready to be a commercial success for Fuso and light-duty truck buyers should certainly have it on their own test drive list.

About Joel Helmes 1836 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

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