The 7.5t trucks fills an important gap in the supply industry as they are only slightly bigger ’than a 3.5 tons van but they can carry twice as much. Moreover they also have a relatively narrow width and short wheelbases which makes them easy to maneuver around the city.
An important member of this segment is the MAN TGL which is the lightest truck built by the German manufacturer. Thanks to its performances it even received the Truck of the year award in 2006 and today is available in a wide range with models between 7.49–12 tonnes. The MAN TGL comes in 4x2 tipper or rigid form with engines ranging from 150 to 250 HP. The truck is also available in four cab versions including C, L, LX and Crew models.
The MAN TGL looks like a smaller brother of the big TGX model. The truck shares the same design language with its sibling and viewed from afar it could be easy confused with the TGX. The flat body panels give the cabin a simple and conservative look, while the big rectangular grille features the same plane design with its top decorated by a shiny strip. The aerodynamic side deflectors are pretty “shy” and don’t have an aggressive design, while the roof deflector is also small.
The plastic bumper features simple lines and looks almost rudimentary, while the rectangular headlights don’t add any spice to the overall design either.
Access inside the cab is made very easy thanks to the wide opening doors (90 degrees). The cabin design looks familiar, as it’s almost similar with the other models in the company’s lineup. However it’s much simpler than the one from the bigger TGX and we find those big rectangular air vents a bit dated.
The dash is slightly turned towards the driver, thus enhancing the access to the control area. Talking about the controls, they have a good layout and are intuitively placed being within easy reach. We’ve always loved the MAN steering wheels, as they are a bit smaller than other units in the segment and this feature makes them easy to grab. The multifunctional steering wheel comes as an option and is fitted with a bunch of controls which permit you to call up on-board status information, receive telephone calls or adjust the radio settings. The instrument cluster is located within the driver field of view and the glare-free instruments provide instant information and are clear to read.
The C cab has the most compact dimensions in the range and it can be used for daily delivery work. Thanks to its low entry height and the wide opening doors the cab offers ease of cross-cab access. The L cab offers more comfort than the C cab and features a large bunk bed and ample stowage space. The LX cab is fitted with a high-roof and comes with a standard bunk bed being also available with a second optional upper bunk or a multifunctional stowage system. The four door Crew cab can accommodate up to seven passengers and features a flexible and generous stowage space.
As most of today’s seats the MAN units are also pretty comfortable. You can choose from a wide range of seats including the standard static seat, the comfort air suspended seat and the luxury seat with lumbar support and heating function.
The truck is also available with an optional air-conditioning with automatic temperature control which does a great job in keeping conditions inside the cab close to ideal.
The bunk beds in the L and LX cabs feature a 5-zone slatted frame and offer an adequate comfort. The optional multifunctional stowage compartment in the L and LX cab allows the co-driver to stretch out and rest while the truck is parked up. Half extended, it offers practical stowage space with approximately 200 litres capacity.
Engines and transmissions
The D08 engines in Euro 5 and EEV are among the most reliable units in the segment. The 4- and 6-cylinder engines offer plenty of torque and develop a strong pulling power from low rpms.
All engines are a reliable partner and they provide strong acceleration, being able to deal effortlessly with hill climbs. The TGL 4 cylinder range includes engine ratings of 150 hp through to 250 hp while the 6-cylinder engines offer outputs between 250 hp - 340 hp. Except for the 150 hp unit, they all have two-stage turbocharging for ample pulling power right across the rpm range.
Compared to the previous gearboxes the new ones are a clear improvement and MAN can be considered among the best manufacturers in the segment. The MAN TGM is available with three manual gearboxes with five, six or nine speeds. The range of transmissions is completed by the optional automated TipMatic unit with EasyStart. The TipMatic gears can be also controlled manually by meand of a toggle lever mounted on the steering wheel. The TipMatic features six-speeds when is combined with the 4-cylinder engines and twelve-speeds for the 6-cylinder units.
Ride and suspensions
The MAN TGL comes with standard parabolic-leaf springs with maintenance free rubber bushings. This suspension setup offers a satisfactory ride and soaks most of the bumps without problems. However, if you want a truly good ride, we’ll advice you to choose the air suspended seats as they can raise the comfort to a significantly superior level which is much above other trucks in the segment.
The truck is also available with MAN‘s air suspension, which is similarly maintenance-free and best suited for transporting fragile loads. The ECAS (Electronically Controlled Air Suspension) system maintains the vehicle at a constant ride height, regardless of load. For road-going models, the lifting/lowering ranges of the rear axle are 110 mm/70 mm (TGL).
MAN offers seven different wheelbases for its truck, which range from 3,300 to 5,200mm. The stopping power is assured by either an engine brake or all round discs which include ESP and ABS, and feature a great pedal graduation with a reassuring swift bite.
MAN’s trucks have improved significantly over the years and now can be considered among the best in their class. The TGS is also a very capable 7.5 tonner which can carry significant amounts of loads without thinking twice.
Despite the dated feel of the cabin, the interior is pretty comfortable and the ergonomy is among the best in class. You’ll also like the reliable and lively engines. The MAN transmissions have improved very much compared to the previous units and now offer sharp performances and low fuel consumptions. Another strength of the German truck is its ride quality which is better than most of its rivals.
Video MAN TGL