2010 Foton OLN

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The Chinese manufacturers still have to work hard to convince us about the reliability of their products, as until now everyone had doubts about them. Only time would tell, whether Foton is a trusted manufacture or not, but the alliances with Daimler and Cummins are worth to be took into consideration and could represent a strong base for a bright future.

The OLN is the smallest truck in Foton’s lineup and was engineered as a versatile light commercial vehicle destined to deal with urban transportation and heavy traffic. The truck features a pretty spacious interior and is available in two cab versions – single cab and crew cab. Power comes from two 4 cylinder diesel engines which develop 120 hp and 140 hp.

Design

Foton OLN

The Foton OLN has a pretty basic design with typical Asian lines. The cab over engine configuration is combined with a bulky design that features a big panoramic windshield and generous lateral windows to offer a proper visibility.

The grille has a basic design and received a shiny treatment to make it stand out from the crowd. The big headlights are fitted with clear lenses and have a pretty modern design which gels well with the rest of the cabin.

As most trucks in the segment, the bumper was designed to resist to small impacts and is made of a strong and flexible material. The Foton OLN is also offered with two small fog lamps which are seamlessly integrated into the bumper.

Interior

Foton OLN

Access into the cab is made fairly easy, thanks to the well placed handles and the relatively low ground clearance. Once inside, the Chinese origins of the truck are evident and can be seen in the poor built quality and the dusty design.

The good part is that the cab offers plenty of space and there is room for up to three people. The downside is that the middle passenger seat is devoid of head rests and could feel a bit cramped due to the lack of shoulder room.

Similarly with most of the trucks in the segment the seats are flat, hard and come without any proper lateral support. Luckily, they come with plenty of adjustments and you won’t feel any back pains even after a full day of work.

While some Chinese trucks have serious problems when it comes to dashboard layout, you won’t have the same problem in the Foton OLN cab, as everything is well placed and within easy reach.

We also like the steering wheel which despite its dated look comes with both tilt and telescopic adjustments permitting you to find a proper driving position. The all-round visibility is also part of the high class thanks to the generous glass area that surrounds you.

The instrument cluster comes with three main gauges and a small information display. All feature an icy blue backlighting which is undisturbing and makes them easy to read on both day and night.

As we are talking about a commercial vehicle we’ve expected to find more storage places spread across the cabin, but except for a small glove box and some dash mounted cubby holes you won’t have anything else to store your things.

Engines and Transmissions

Foton OLN

The Foton OLN is offered with two four cylinder diesel engines which meet the Euro 4 emission standards. The weaker option is a 120 hp unit with a capacity of 3168 cc and a peak torque of 320 Nm achieved at 2000 rpm. The bigger engine features a capacity of 4752 cc and develops 140 hp @ 2500 rpm with a maximum torque of 450 Nm @ 1400 rpm.

To offer maximum performances, both engines come with common rail technology and turbochargers. The engines are mated on a six speed manual gearbox which is a bit jerky and can’t be compared with the ones from the European or Japanese models. On the other hand, you won’t have any complains about the engines as they never feel underpowered and can deal with everything you’ll throw at them.

The engines can be also combined with different PTO (power take off) systems which improve the truck’s flexibility.

Foton OLN Engines Specifications

Engine cchp@rpmNm@rpm
3168120@3200320 @ 2000
4752140@2500450 @ 1400

Ride and handling

Foton OLN

The Foton OLN is equipped with semi elliptical leaf springs combined with hydraulic shock absorbers and can deal with a payload capacity of up to 2.5 tonnes. Thanks to the cab over engine configuration the truck is pretty easy to drive around town as you sit direct on the axle. The steering is also pretty light at low speeds and although is devoid of the sharp performances of other units in the segment any major complains about it.

As most LCVs, the ride is more on the harsh side, because you can feel most of the bumps of the road. The handling isn’t great either and you could have problems especially around corners due to a relatively big under steer effect given by the long wheelbase and the tall stance.

Verdict

Foton OLN

The major advantage of the Foton OLN remains its affordable price which puts it above its European and Japanese rivals. Besides this aspect, the truck has other strong parts which also worth to be took into consideration.
Its engines are fairly strong and capable of dealing with big payloads without backing down, while the cabin is pretty spacious and has all the basic equipment needed to keep the truck rolling without problems.

On the other hand, the built quality is poor, the ride and handling could’ve been better and the fuel efficiency needed more attention.

The Foton OLN is equipped with semi elliptical leaf springs combined with hydraulic shock absorbers and can deal with a payload capacity of up to 2.5 tonnes. Thanks to the cab over engine configuration the truck is pretty easy to drive around town as you sit direct on the axle. The steering is also pretty light at low speeds and although is devoid of the sharp performances of other units in the segment any major complains about it.

As most LCVs, the ride is more on the harsh side, because you can feel most of the bumps of the road. The handling isn’t great either and you could have problems especially around corners due to a relatively big under steer effect given by the long wheelbase and the tall stance.


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