The Mitsubishi Fuso Canter received a radical makeover in 2011. While the model was initially launched only with two wheel drive traction, shortly after it was followed by an all wheel drive variant. The vehicle is available in two versions including the single cab and crewcab models with 3 or 7 seats and a wheelbase length of 3415 mm and 3865 mm respectively. Depending on the model, the chassis load capacity ranges from 3500 kg to 3735 kg, offering a higher degree of versatility. The Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 6C18 has a permissible gross weight of 6.5 tones which gives it rough carrying abilities.
The Daimler owned Fuso Canter is the best selling truck in the company’s lineup and it has a starting price of $55,854.
Design and Interior
It’s hard to talk about design in a truck review, but Daimler did all its best to make the Fuso Canter’s look more pleasant to the eye. While the overall design keeps the typical truck lines, the front grille of the new generation, has been divided in two sections and features a few modern lines which sets it apart from its rivals. The wrap–around halogen headlamps are also new and they incorporate clear lens indicators. The rough look is enhanced by the big rectangular fog lamps which now feature black plastic housings.
Despite the fact that the new generation offers more space than the old one, the single cab seats still feel a bit cramped as comfort was sacrificed in the name of functionality. However, if you want more space you can choose the crew cab version which adds a full-width bench seat behind the front seats and can accommodate a total of 7 people.
One of the most noticeable features of the new generation Fuso is the gearshift, which is mounted on the dash. Thanks to this configuration the gearshift lever falls easily into hand and it’s not intrusive, unaffecting the passengers comfort. The overall build quality looks pretty solid and despite the cheap materials the fittings look durable.
Unfortunately the cabin lacks the storage places found at other trucks in the segment. While you’ll get standard electric windows and CD player, the driver’s air bag can be found only on the option list.
Engines and Ride
The 175 hp engine is mated to a 5 speed manual transmission with a rear axle ratio of 1:5.285. Featuring a short throw shift mechanism and precise selector gate, the new gear box offers smother shifts and a better response. The engine offers a strong pulling power from low down in the rev range and you won’t have any problems while moving big loads around town.
Despite its dimensions, the Fuso Canter is merges pretty well with city driving thanks to its relatively small turning circle (4x4: 13.5 m or 15.1 m, depending on version) and the two-metre width. The ground clearance is also pretty permissive and was increased from the standard 219 mm up to 320 mm giving to the foul wheel drive version better off road abilities. The high ground clearance is a big advantage as the Fuso Canter can venture on rough terrains without problems.
While the light steering makes the handling a drama free affair, the ride quality suffers a lot due to the fact that the front seats stay directly on top of the front axle, thus transmitting every road bump into the cabin. On the other hand, when the vehicle is fully loaded the ride gets slightly better and the body roll is limited.
One of the useful features of the Fuso Canter is that it’s all wheel drive system can be engaged and disengaged on the move, thus saving a lot of fuel when the full traction is not needed.
Compared with the standard version, the all wheel drive model has an angle of attack of 35 degrees (18 degrees for the standard model), while the angle of departure is 24 degrees (11 degrees for the standard model).
The old Fuso Canter was perfectly suited for carrying heavy loads around the city and the new generation is even better. Now you get a modern design and more space inside together with a few technical upgrades which improve the carrying abilities of the vehicle. The new Fuso Canter comes in two cab versions and thanks to its capable engine it can deal effortlessly with big loads. It’s true that you may find the ride a bit too harsh, but this is a common weakness among the lightweight trucks.