Road Report
Clean-sheet Canter

With the launch of the new Canter Euro, Mitsubishi Fuso now has one of the most technologically advanced light trucks available in the New Zealand market. 

While it may not look particularly different from the old model (all external cab accessories for the old Canter will still fit the new model) the Canter is in fact a complete clean-sheet design which Mitsubishi says utilised the full resources of the Daimler truck group during its five-year gestation. 

With 3.2 million km of testing during its development the new Canter meets and exceeds Euro 5 emission regulations and is the first commercial vehicle in the world to feature a dual clutch automated manual transmission. 

The all-new four-cylinder 3-litre turbo diesel engine not only exceeds Euro 5 regulations (actually being designed to meet Euro 6 regs with minimal alterations) it also meets the European Union EEV emission standards, which focus on particulate output rather than actual CO2 emissions, making the Canter one of the cleanest light trucks on the market. 

Available in two power levels - 110kW/360Nm and 129kW/390Nm - the new engine increases service intervals from 10,000km on the previous model to an impressive 30,000km.  Both versions come equipped with a diesel particulate filter, while the higher-powered engine also features Daimler’s BlueTec after-exhaust urea treatment, and both engines come with the choice of a five-speed manual transmission or the new six-speed Duonic automated dual clutch transmission. 

Mitsubishi expects a significant take-up on the new dual clutch transmission, with as many as 80 percent of sales being expected to tick that particular box. As the Duonic transmission is only a $2,500 option on the Canter (as opposed to the $6,000 asked for the conventional automatic on the last Canter) the reductions in servicing costs - fluid change intervals for the Duonic trans are 60,000km - and vehicle downtime make the dual-clutch transmission almost a no-brainer. 

On the road the Duonic transmission truly is the best of both worlds, with slick and seamless automatic shifts being a hallmark and selecting manual mode when needed a simple flick to the left of the gear lever. Along with the advantages in service costs, a reduction in potential driver fatigue is also a big advantage, as the Canter is almost ridiculously easy to drive. 

With maximum torque coming in at 1,350rpm on the 110kW version and 1,650rpm on the 129kW version, the Canter pulls away from low revs effortlessly, the Duonic transmission keeping the engine in the middle of the incredibly flat torque curve pretty much all the time. 

The transmission is acutely smooth in its operation and shifts pretty much when you would expect it to, with a manual shift a mere flick of the gear lever away if needed. 

As well as being effortless to drive the Canter is also comfortable, with the entirely new cabin being well thought out and practical and with a multitude of cubby holes and cup holders, while all the controls being very ergonomically sensible and easy to use. 

Available in 4.5, 5, 6, 7.5 and 8.2 ton GVM variants (with the 4.5 ton model being available in narrow or wide cab versions - all others are wide cab only) the new Canter range is the most extensive offering in New Zealand for quite some time, boasting 27 different models in total, including narrow and wide cab variants, single and double cab variants and a variety of wheelbases ranging from 2,800mm up to 4,750mm. 

Mitsubishi is expecting big things from the new Canter and after spending a bit of time in some of them, you can understand their confidence. The Canter is rugged, well built, efficient and promises to be remarkably cost effective. An impressive package indeed.  Prices for the new Canter vary depending on customer requirements: contact your local Fuso dealer for more information.



Related Articles
Skoda Kodiaq Ambition
The entry level Kodiaq shines particularly bright, opines Damien O’Carroll.
Large car shootout
With Commodore production ending, does it still deliver and who else is challenging the...
Grand Cherokee overland
Grand Cherokee overland
Jeep with a mighty V8 is a nice package, reports Cathy Parker.