UD’s trucks were never among the most technologically advanced models in their class, but they had a pretty flexible character and thanks to their rugged, robust and unpretentious configuration they’ve always had their place in the transport industry.
However, now we are leaving new times and the pretentions of the transport industry are bigger than ever. UD had do come up with a few improvements if it wanted to survive in this highly competitive segment and the main change was to introduce a host of new automatic transmissions.
The engines were also improved and now are meeting the Euro 5 emission norms. The 13 liter turbo diesel develops from 390 hp to 470 hp. The UD Quon range includes 4 models including the CW 26 400 rigid, and GK 17 400, GW 26 400 and GW 26 470 prime movers with GCM (gross combination mass) ratings between 40.000 and 70.000 kg.
UD has come a long way since its first models were launched worldwide. Thankfully, its design language is finally starting to take an attractive shape and even if its trucks still keep that Japanese air, the exterior design isn’t as bad as the old models.
It’s true that UD still has a lot to learn from the European manufacturers, but we’ll have to admit that it’s a pretty good start.
The front features a massive grille split in two horizontal sections reminding us of Iveco’s front fascia. Above the grille is mounted the company’s logo which received the touch of chromed to be more appealing to the eye.
The wraparound windshield features a raked design which gives the truck a dynamic look that is also enhanced by the rounded corners and the sharp headlights mounted low into the bumper.
You can climb inside the cab pretty easy, as the steps and handles are placed ergonomically. The cab offers acres of space, hence you won’t complain about head or legroom.
The plastics as at par with competition which means it will be hard to find any soft touch surface as all the materials were chose for their durability over luxury. After UD was taken over by Volvo , the build quality was much improved and all the fittings are significantly more refined than before.
The center console features an intuitive layout and you won’t have any complains about the controls emplacement either, as everything is within close reach.
The instrument clusters isn’t the most modern unit around, but it can be read without any struggles and its backlighting isn’t disturbing during night trips.
When UD decided to redesign the cab of its prime mover, the most appreciated upgrade was definitely the driver’s seats which now offer a more comfort and come with a wide range of adjustments in order to accommodate all size and shapes of people. However, the seats still keep some of their bad habits and aren’t at the same level with the units found in the European trucks.
The driver’s seat is placed quite high, offering a good all-round visibility. Moreover the cabin is offered with a large rear window which will come in handy when you need to maneuver the truck backwards.
Despite the recent upgrades however, UD still left behind a few elements which reminds us about its rudimentary origins. One of them is the steering wheel which still looks dated and is a bit thin without having the ability to inspire confidence when it’s hold.
On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about storage places and the cabin is fitted with all sorts of cup holders, consoles and boxes were you can store you things safely.
There are also a bunch of modern features offered inside which include a driver’s SRS airbag, cruise control, climate control air-conditioning and a new SAT/NAV Audio, Navigation and Entertainment System.
Engines and transmissions
The UD Quon is powered by a 13 liter diesel engine which comes with multi-valve overhead cam, turbocharger and intercooler. All GW and GK models use the same powerplant, with the GW400 delivering maximum power of 390 hp and 1716Nm of torque. The flagship GW470 produces 460 horsepower with 2255Nm of torque.
The GW400 is fitted with a standard 13 speed Eaton manual transmission, while the GW470 model range comes standard with an 18 speed manual Eaton transmission and can be also equipped with an optional Eaton Autoshift fully automated transmission.
To achieve a high level of efficiency and to be able to meet the requirements of the Euro 5 emission standards, UD combined its engines with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Exhaust Gas recirculation (EGR) technologies. It’s also worth to be mentioned, that UD was the first truck manufacturer in the world to introduce SCR technology to its vehicles.
UD Quon Engines Specifications
|13 liter||390 @ 1800||1716@1100|
|13 liter||405 @ 1800||1782@ 1100|
|13 liter||476@1800||2334 @ 1200|
Ride and handling
The UD Quon is equipped with long, taper leaf springs at the front combined with telescopic double acting shock absorbers. At the rear, there are two suspension options available including a leaf spring and Road Friendly Suspension airbag systems which use the full floating Hendrickson HAS460 suspension system.
The ride isn’t as good as the one from the European rivals, but the steering is pretty sharp and responsive, permitting you to drive the truck pretty easy at both low and high speeds.
The UD Quon is kept in check by Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) which are combined with an Electronic Brake System (EBS) and Anti Slip Regulation (ASR) traction control. The ASR system maintains control of the truck in marginal traction by minimizing wheel spin.
The UD Quon still has a lot to learn from its European rivals, but the truck has a few aces hidden in its sleeves that work well in its advantage. The exterior design is pretty modern, while the interior is also fairly spacious and is kitted with all the contemporary technologies designed to make the trucker’s life much easier.
The engines aren’t the stronger units in their segment, but regardless of what version you’ll choose you won’t be disappoint and there is plenty of power and torque to play with. We also like the addition of the automatic transmissions which is a major step ahead made by UD to catch up with today’s standards. Not to mention about the Japanese reliability which is already famous among truckers.