When Mercedes-Benz launched the new Actros at the start of the decade, half the battle was won off the bat. Start with a great looking vehicle and you’ll have their attention immediately – it’s a primal throwback.
There’s no arguing the new range has great looks. The StreamSpace cab is the top offering in New Zealand and affords the driver 1.97m of clear standing room, a completely flat floor, and a 700mm innerspring mattress.
We’ve always loved the colourings of the new trucks and Mercedes-Benz have intentionally defined the driver’s area with a strong wrap in the dash and dark colour tones, while the passenger and living area in an almond shade gives the impression of space.
There are quality fixtures and accoutrements as you’d expect from a premium Euro brand, being masters of practical, serviceable luxury. It really is a giant luxury car inside.
Air management, lighting, connectivity and entertainment need no mention; assume it’s all there. There are two huge slide-out drawers under the bunk: one’s a storage locker and the other a fridge. We thought the fridge would have been better placed on the right, allowing cold drink access on the run...that’s obviously the thinking in Europe, if you know what we mean. There’s enough storage to satisfy a family frankly, and the bed can lift so the external lockers can be accessed from the inside.
When it comes to getting inside, the five-step ascent is a masterpiece in design. Even on the StreamSpace cab there’s still a cascade on the steps that means your elderly pop could get in no sweat.
As you’d expect the seats can’t be faulted and their adjustment options, in concert with steering column options, mean it’s impossible not to find a sweet spot.
“It’s just a tiny wee pity the sleeper’s not a fraction deeper,” said Johnny. He then laughed and said, “Mind you, once you’re asleep you don’t know or care.”
From the driver’s seat it’s so typically Euro... austere. It’s just their way. In the centre of the dash between the four gauges (speed, RPM, fuel, DEF) is a digital display, which in concert with steering wheel buttons and toggles, is where the bulk of the show is run from. Along the top of the read-out are Chapters – Trucking, Odometer/Eco, Alarm/Audio, System Information, Gauges, and Settings; and within each chapter are pages, in which you do what you need to do. There’s a favourite set up mode so the truck knows what you like.
The left wand is the home of wipers, indicators and beam adjustment, and on the right is the gear lever wand. Auto or manual on the end button, forward and back mode via a barrel switch in the centre, paddle up and paddle down for manual shifts, and engine brake – pull it toward you click, click, click...too easy.
Could you live in it? Hell, yes.
It’s a climb and a half up the five steps into the opulent world of the StreamSpace. Even in this cab there’s still a cascade on the steps, making access safer and very easy.
The cab has 1.97m of headroom and an
innerspring mattress on the bed.
The colour-coded and wrapped dash in the driver’s area, typically European in approach to information delivery.
Both Mark and Johnny said a wee bit more depth would have been good. Storage locker and fridge slide out across the flat floor.