The new, fifth-generation Mercedes-Benz Actros prime mover has arrived in Malaysia, courtesy of Daimler Trucks distributor in Malaysia, Hap Seng Trucks Distribution (HSTD). Assembled in Pekan, Pahang next to the brand’s passenger cars assembly lines, there are ten variants of the Actros available locally, including 4×2, 6×2 and 6×4 drivetrains as well as M-Cab and L-Cab ClassicSpace and L-Cab StreamSpace cab sizes.

The StreamSpace is the largest cab size deemed appropriate for Malaysian roads, and only the BigSpace and GigaSpace versions from the range are larger, and meant for the European market. This is still a spacious cabin on offer, though, with the StreamSpace offering 1,970 mm of headroom between the seats.

Powering the fifth-generation Actros is an all-new turbodiesel engine. This displaces 12.8 litres and is available in various output levels, from 360 PS up to 476 PS at 1,800 rpm, while available torque outputs are from 1,800 Nm up to 2,300 Nm at 1,100 rpm. This is compatible with biodiesel fuels without modification, says Mercedes-Benz, including the B20 grade that will be introduced for Malaysia next year.

Powershift 3 is the name of the single-clutch automated manual gearbox for the Actros with 12 speeds, or 16 for heavier loads. A stronger double-plate clutch that is double in thickness compared to the previous version is specified for the 6×4 variant in order to perform better with greater payloads and severe stop-start driving conditions.

In terms of exterior equipment, the new Actros gets LED DRLs paired with halogen headlamps as standard, though an upgrade to xenon units are optionally available. Further up above the headlamps and below the cabin are wind deflectors to help improve fuel consumption over the long haul. Literally front and centre on the Actros is the illuminated three-pointed star gives the prime mover even more road presence.

Inset from the front bumper is the radar housing for the optional adaptive cruise control function, joined by a camera in the windscreen that combines to form the optional Active Brake Assist 5 which is the latest in autonomous emergency braking for the Actros. Both moving vehicles and moving pedestrians are detected, and can apply AEB at either partial or full force, depending on which the situation calls for.

Inside, the Actros interior is in keeping with the Mercedes-Benz standard of offering a derivative of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) called the Multimedia Cockpit. A 10-inch digital instrument and infotainment panel duo features, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Like in the passenger cars, this features the same keyfob and start button, and gear selection is via the right-hand-side column stalk. There’s also a host of creature comforts on board the Actros to make life that bit easier for its crew on the road; watch the video to see the cabin in more detail.

Keeping downtime to a minimum is the name of the game in haulage, and the Actros offers a service interval of 55,000 km, or nearly double the 30,000 km industry standard here in Malaysia. Warranty coverage is three years or 450,000 km, also greater than the industry standard offering of two years and 200,000 km. Mercedes-Benz are confident of its reliability, having conducted 60 million km in testing before launch.

The market for prime movers in Malaysia isn’t huge compared to that for other vehicle types, with typically around 1,000 to 1,200 units sold in the country per year, before the myriad restrictions due to Covid-19. HSTD are confident of maintaining their market share of between 30% to 40%, and even growing further with the arrival of the brand new Actros.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Actros in Malaysia