One of the most appreciated truck manufacturers from all over the world is Scania. These trucks offer a great value for money and they also have excellent performances combined with low fuel consumption. Their build quality is top notch and they are born to carry massive payloads for long hauls in maximum safety.
The jewel crown of the Scania range is the R Series which competes in the premium 44 tonnes segment against models like the Mercedes Actros or Volvo FH. The R Series was redesigned and upgraded in 2010 when has received both style and technical upgrades. In the same year the Scania R Series was also named the International Truck of the Year. The truck is available in four cab configurations including Day Cab, Sleeper cab Low, Sleeper Cab Normal Sleeper Cab high and Topline.
With its flowing lines and the imposing design we can say without exaggerating that the Scania R Series is one of the most beautiful trucks in the 44 tones segment. Compared with the previous version the new generation gets more pronounced horizontal strips and a redesigned bumper fitted with LED daytime running lights.
Completing the fresh design is also a new radiator grille and the bigger SCANIA logo embossed at the bottom of the windscreen. The truck is also available with optional new high pressure headlamps.
The tractor units are now equipped with new standard sideskirts painted in the cab colour, which give the truck a sense of unity. All the exterior modifications were made with the aerodynamic efficiency in mind and the new side skirts improve the fuel efficiency with 0.6 percent more than the old model.
Access inside is made easy using the three steps located next to front wheels. Besides the exterior modifications, the R Series cabin has also received a few upgrades. We are glad to see that one of the biggest concerns for Scania’s engineers is still the driver’s comfort and most of the changes were made to enhance the cabin’s ergonomy. Needless to say that the material and fittings are part of the premium class and the overall design is very catchy.
The wraparound dashboard has a fresh design and is made of new materials that are more pleasant to touch. The dash is fitted with new navigation and audio units, equipped with CD, MP3 and FM capabilities. You’ll also love the feel of the steering mounted controls as they’ll remind you that you are driving a premium truck. The rest of the controls have a logical layout and feel solidly built.
Scania doesn’t mess around when it comes to personalization hence the R Series cabin is available with a wide range of trims, fabric and color schemes.
We also like the driving position which offers a good view of the road. The fully adjustable seats are fairly comfortable but sadly, they aren’t fitted with armrests as the ones from the Volvo FH.
The sleeping cab version features a completely new bed concept, featuring 155 mm high individual pocket springs. The new bed range also features the optional top-of-the line extendable bed which is 900 mm wide and is easily activated once both seats have been slid forward. The upper bed is now 700 mm wide in the Highline cab and offers easy access via a smart fold-out ladder.
We don’t have complains about the storage places either, as there are enough cubby holes, cup holders and boxes to deposit almost anything you want. There is also available an optional fridge that can be fitted under the bunk.
As with all external rear view mirrors these days, there is a blind spot area to consider but the separation gap between the main and wide angled lenses helps keep this factor to a minimum.
Engines and performance
The Scania R Series is available with a wide range of engines. The V8 engines which respect the Euro 5 norms offers five different power outputs between 500 and 730 hp. The R730 is the most powerful truck in the lineup and its maximum output is achieved at 1900 rpm while the torque is rated at 3500 Nm between 1000 and 1350 rpm.
Needless to say that the 730 hp unit is among the quickest from the market and its even superior to the Volvo FH16 which can develop 750 hp. The acceleration is fantastic and the truck attacks the hills with poise. The V8 sound is great too and even if it can be heard from inside, the noise it’s not intrusive and it’s more like a nice mechanical orchestra.
The Scania R Series is equipped with the Opticruise gearbox with the OPC5 management system. The transmission has smooth shifts and doesn’t require any manual inputs. The Opticruise also offers the possibility to shift between automatic and manual modes with a simple push of a button. The gear changes can be made using the stalk mounted on the right of the steering column.
At the front, the truck received parabolic springs, anti roll bar and shock absorbers, while at the back, the rear axles feature full air suspension with automatic leveling. Thanks to this configuration the truck can deal excellent with hard cornering and the ride is also on the comfortable side. Scania’s power assisted steering is also top notch and the understeer effect is kept to a minimum level.
The brakes consists of a full air system linked to all around discs and are combined with ABS, ASR and hill hold, while the ESP is also available as an option. The main brakes need to be engaged only when emergency situations occur, as the engine brake can deal with most of the required decelerations.
There’s no wonder why the Scania R Series is on top of many truckers wish list. The V8 engines are great and the top of the line R730 is among the strongest long haul trucks from the streets. Moreover, the build quality and the cabin are top notch and the ergonomy is also great. Not to mention about the good reliability and the strong residual value that comes together with the Scania brand.
Video: Scania R Series