The first generation Renault Magnum was launched in 1990 and since its global debut the French truck made a great impression in its segment. Its distinctive features were the totally flat floor, the generous headroom and the spacious and ergonomic cabin which put the Magnum among the most comfortable trucks in its segment.
Shortly after its launch, the Renault Magnum received the “Truck of the year” title offered by a jury of European journalists. Ever since, the Renault Magnum has been constantly improved and in its 22 years of history, the French truck received five radical upgrades. The Renault Magnum is available in three trim levels including Privilege, Excellence and Vega with a starting price of $82,053.
Design and interior
In 2008 the Renault Magnum received a more modern shape featuring a new roof design, aerodynamic side deflectors and new handles for the front panel. The 3-segment wraparound bumper was also totally redesigned and now is build from ultra-strong materials and features a colour-coded centre piece to match the radiator grille, as well as a non-slip step to get to the windshield. Moreover there are new chrome-finished accessories, LEDs and a fresh radiator grille which blends seamlessly with the bumper.
Despite the fact that the Magnum looks radically different from other trucks in the segment, its big square cabin has some advantages. Among the there are the flat vertical side steps which allow easy access, while the modular design stops most of the road bumps from make their way into the cabin.
The imposing exterior is combined with an ergonomic interior which looks was build around the driver. The entire front part of the vehicle is built over a forward positioned axle which ensures better roadholding. The cab has a perfectly flat floor with interior headroom of over 2 m, permitting the drivers to stand fully upright.
The high driving position combined with the vertical front fascia offers a great road visibility and despite the fact that the side mirrors look pretty small from outside, they’ll do their job with dignity.
The cabin has a total of 1,000 liters of storage capacity and despite the fact that there aren’t too many storage boxes spread across the cabin, you won’t have any problems in finding a place to put your things, as they have a logical and practical layout.
There cabin is fitted with a generous 2,000x750mm foldable bed which is fairly comfortable, while the massive seats offer proper support for the long journeys. There are also other goodies available to make the driver’s life easy, including an under bunk fridge, air-suspended driver’s seat, remote door locking, swivel passenger seat with foot rest and CD radio with MP3 and Bluetooth.
The Renault Magnum is equipped with a DXi13 12 cylinder diesel engine available in two flavors. The first version develops 480 hp@ 1900 rpm with a maximum torque of 2,400 Nm from 1050 to 1400 rpm. The second version is the most powerful and offers an output of 520 hp from 1400 to 1900 rpm and 2550 Nm of torque from 1050 to 1450 rpm. Nineteen percent of the power output is available in less than two seconds, and the 24 valves offer a sharp acceleration that is hard to be surpassed by other trucks in the segment.
Both engines have a Swedish origin and they offer smooth performances even when this 44 tones truck is fully loaded.
The engines are mated to a standard Optidriver+ automated gearbox which is connected to a computer to offer an optimal driving comfort and low fuel consumption. The computer automatically selects and engages the appropriate gear ratio depending on engine speed and load thus precluding gearchanging errors and eliminating the risk of under or over speeding.
The 12 forward and four reverse system is controlled by a stalk mounted on the steering column which contains an inner radial switch for drive, neutral and backward functions.
For efficiency reasons, the Magnum is also fitted with a new drive axle that has the distinction of being single reduction and has a very small crown wheel, giving it an excellent energy yield which results in lower fuel consumption of between 0.5 and 1 L per 100 km.
Ride and handling
The Renault Magnum chassis is made of curved extruded aluminum and standard symmetrical cross members, while the suspension includes a strut which, in addition to playing a role in guidance, is also part of the oilpneumatic suspension system. Despite the big height the Renault Magnum handles pretty good and there is a small amount of body roll thanks to the capable air suspension.
The truck absorbs most of the road bumps with ease and the cabin offers almost the same amount of comfort that can be found in a four door passenger car. The acoustic and thermal insulation is also surprisingly good for this type of vehicle, with noise levels below 70 db.
The steering is light and responsive, but we consider it a bit too quick due to the forward position of the front axle. However, there aren’t any complains about the brakes, as the electronically managed all-round discs offer an astonishing stopping power. Besides the basic ABS and EBS the brake system also includes anti-slip regulation, hill-start assistance and ESP.
Renault Magnum Wheelbases
|T 4 x 2||4,120 - 3,920 mm|
|R 4 x 2||4,870 - 5,120 - 5,370 -5,620 - 5,870 - 6,170 - 6,470 - 6,820 mm|
|R 6 x 2||4,270 - 4,470 - 4,670 - 4,870 - 5,120 5,370 - 5,620 - 5,870 - 6,370 mm|
|T 6 x 2 pusher||4,420 mm|
The Renault Magnum is ready to carry any load over the longest distances. The truck was fully revised in the latest years and now it’s more ready than ever to deal with its heavy tasks. The engines are strong and efficient, while the innovative Optidriver+ transmission is among the best on the market. Moreover, the cabin offers a high degree of comfort even for the most challenging routes and the ergonomy is also at a superlative level.
Thanks to its modular configuration and the good suspensions setup, the Magnum offers a good handling combined with a light and responsive steering.
Video: Renault Magnum