Cabstar. With the UD logo mounted on the front grille, the rebadged model keeps all the technical specifications from its donor and apart from a slightly redesigned grille there isn’t any major difference between the two models.
The new model is known as the UD Condor Light Duty and has a load capacity between 1.15-1.5 tonnes. For the moment the UD Condor Light Duty is available only in Japan and is offered with a choice of 2.5 and 3.0-litre diesel engines. It comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, while the service intervals are set at 18,000 miles.
In the latest years UD has started to come up with a pretty modern design language and the new Condor makes no exception.
As most of the trucks in UD’s Lineup, the new condor Light Duty comes with a cabover engine configuration which gives it superior handling abilities around the tight city streets.
The most striking design details of the UD Condor Light Duty are its long vertical headlights which can’t be seen at many other vehicles in this class and make it stand out from the crowd.
As it was build especially for light urban transportation, the UD Condor features a pretty low ground clearance which is combined with a thin front bumper finished in black paint.
In order to offer a proper visibility of the road, the truck features a generous glass area and the door windows feature a dynamic sloped baseline which further enhances the angle of view.
The low ground clearance will show its benefits when you’ll enter inside or when you’ll try to put some load at the back. Moreover, the UD Condor Light Duty has also received wide opening doors which further enhance access inside.
Despite its relatively compact exterior dimensions, the interior is fairly spacious and a nice airy feel dominates the entire cabin. WE also like the completely flat floor which permits you to move free through the cabin.
We’ll have to admit that we’re not big fans of the center console as we find its design a bit unbalanced and cluttered, but we’ll have to admit that we find it very practical with every control being easy to reach.
Despite being launched in 2011, the UD Condor Light Duty still makes use of low-rent plastic all over the cabin. Yet the fittings look pretty solid and the entire cab should have a long lasting life without feeling the need to rattle after just a few miles.
You’ll find the instrument cluster pretty modern and easy to read. It display all the information needed to keep you posted on different vehicle stats and also includes a multifunction computer which displays average fuel consumption, oil level and ‘shift-up’ advice for increased efficiency.
Fortunately the seats are part of the comfortable class and even if they are devoid of proper side bolstering or height adjustments you won’t complain about any back pains even after a full day of work. The good driving position is also enhanced by the ergonomic steering wheel that comes with tilt and telescopic adjustments. Moreover, the gear knob is placed directly on the gear cover which makes it comfortable to use as it comes easy into hand.
The UD Condor Light Duty offers space for up to three people and the middle passenger seat can be folded revealing a convenient bin with cup holders and a practical table.
The storage places include an A4 document space above the combimeter, a central cooled compartment that can take cans or small bottles, a separate glovebox, cooled or heated cup holders for the driver and passenger, roof storage and a large capacity box that’s hidden behind the centre passenger seat.
As it was expected the outside visibility is excellent and the plate sized heated mirrors will also keep you well informed of what’s going on behind you at any time.
Engines and performance
The UD Condor Light Duty is offered with a choice of 2.5 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines which develop 110 hp, 140 hp, 130 hp with maximum torques of 250 Nm, 270 Nm and 350 Nm respectively. The new light-duty Condor truck complies with the 2010 emissions regulations on reduced nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions.
The company says that PM emissions are actually 30 percent lower than the regulatory requirements. Together with these engine modifications, UD Trucks has also incorporated new measures to improve fuel efficiency, resulting in the achievement of Japan’s 2015 fuel economy standards for heavy vehicles.
The engines aren’t only fuel efficient but they also offer plenty of punch and can deal effortless with almost anything you’ll throw at them.
Depending on the model, the truck can be equipped with 5 or 6 speed transmissions and an optional Limited Slip Differential, which helps the wheels to keep the grip even in slippery situations.
UD Condor Light Duty Engines Specifications
Ride and handling
Due to its compact dimensions and the cab over engine configuration, the truck is surprisingly agile around the tight city streets. The handling is also pretty good with the body roll kept perfectly in check and the kerb to kerb turning circle is only 9.6 m.
Though, don’t expect to any sort of comfortable ride as the suspensions will find it difficult to keep the biggest road bumps outside the cab. At least the rack and pinion steering makes its job fairly good and offers good feedback.
The truck gets all around disc brakes which are combined with ABS and EBD, offering a proper stopping power and a good pedal bite.
The UD Condor is a solid proof that UD evolution is on the good way. The truck has anything it needs to be an important player in the 3.5 tonnes segment and it also has a pretty good build quality which won’t let you down.
The cabin isn’t as modern or as ergonomically designed as other trucks in the segment, but it has anything it needs to keep you safety and comfortable. The price is also pretty affordable and the truck won’t be too expensive to maintain.
We’ll also have to send a shout to its superior handling abilities which make it perfectly suited for the city traffic.