Mercedes Actros is a popular family of heavy-duty trucks and tractors, which embodies the most advanced solutions of the German design staff. This includes vehicles with a total weight of 18,000 to 41,000 kilograms. The Mercedes Actros division serves as a model in the long-distance transport niche.
The models are reliable, passable and robust. The Actros range has more than 500 modifications, and the most popular in the Russian Federation are Mercedes Actros 1844, Mercedes Actros 1840 and 1841. The whole model range is Mercedes-Benz.
- History of the vehicle
- First generation
- Second generation
- Three Generation
- Changes in the third generation
- Mower unit
- Brake system
- Fourth generation
- Cabin saloon
- News in the design and comfort of the cabin
- Technical characteristics
- Mower unit
- Brake system
- Price and equipment
- Replies from car owners
- Pluses and minuses
- We sum up
- Mercedes-Benz Actros photo
- Test drive
- Video overview
It is noteworthy that Mercedes-Benz Actros is characterized by true German quality. The company has a warranty period of 36 months (or 450,000 kilometres). Maintenance intervals are 120,000 km. The German truck is sold with a modest consumption of fuel, so the truck even entered in the “Guinness Book of Records” as the most economical truck.
History of the vehicle
The truck appeared on the world stage not so long ago. The debut model with a similar name was released in 1996. Shortly before the debut, the German company thought about modernizing the family of heavy-duty trucks. Generation SK has already become obsolete in many ways.
The “indestructible” truck was already losing demand, and the primary task for the manufacturer was to create something fundamentally fresh and new. As a result, a new generation of Mercedes Benz Actros was introduced.
The development department has gone a revolutionary way. There was almost nothing in the design of the truck from the previous model. The debut generation has been transformed, and inside they began to install a large number of electronics. The quality of operation and the level of comfort is acceptable, but the reliability has decreased.
The truck had a standard appearance and design for large trucks – a massive cabin with a rectangular shape and a solid chassis. The company’s employees from Germany did not forget about the corporate style. The nose part of the cabin received a powerful radiator grille, which is characteristic of the company’s machines, as well as a massive nameplate of the company.
The debut family of trucks was released in 1995. The trucks were produced in the form of tractors with different formulas of wheels. For example, it was 2×4, 2×6, 8×8 and so on. The first generation was equipped with two types of V-shaped six-cylinder engines, the capacity of which varied from 310 to 460 “horses”.
It was intended to supply fuel to the PLD. By the way, it was the latter system that caused the greatest number of discontent from the drivers. Despite the fact that the system is scrupulous to the quality of fuel, it also suffers from failures. For the new vehicle, certain gearboxes were provided.
Originally, the trucks were equipped with mechanical gearboxes. However, after a while, they were supplemented by electronically adjustable gearboxes, which were named “Telligent Gearbox” (16 gears). Like its rivals, the German had several types of cabins.
For example, when using a dump truck, a simplified cabin was installed, where there was no sleeping bag, and when buying a tractor, designed to transport cargo over long distances, there were installed enlarged cabins, where there was one or two sleeping places. Massive cabins were named “MegaSpace”.
Despite the emerging shortcomings with the first-generation electronic system, Mercedes Actros was able to disperse in European countries in huge numbers. Partly, this was achieved with the help of competitive price. In addition, special versions were produced for the United States and Russia.
“Our German trucks were retailed with reinforced “walkers”, fuel line heating and noise and thermal insulation. It took 4 years to solve the company’s electronics problems.
After 5 years (2000) the new version of Actros MP2 series was released. In reality, the truck was a redesigned version of the first family of vehicles (MP2 – Modellpflege 2, or “redesigned model 2”). From an external point of view, the car has not changed much, but has become more reliable.
However, the reputation of the “problem” truck for the MP2 remained for many years. Since the beginning of 2001, the conveyor company began to produce Actros of the 2nd generation. A lot of attention was paid to the new car reliability – just what was a sick topic of the owners.
In addition, the standards of environmental friendliness of power units have improved, the level of comfort inside, controllability and so on has increased. As before, the truck was equipped with V-shaped, 6-cylinder engines, which already met Euro-3 standards.
The engine maintenance interval was extended, oil had to be changed once in 100,000 km. In addition to the 12 litre V-cylinder engine, the second generation Mercedes Actros had a 16 litre V-cylinder engine.
He was giving away 580 horsepower. For the transmission they used a control system, where there was a Tellegent system and 16 speeds. The purpose of the machine was also taken into account, so they put a direct or accelerating gear. In 2004, the truck tractor received the prestigious “Truck of the Year in Europe” award, which allowed it to “wash off” the stereotype, which had passed from the first generation of the model.
It depends on which model the customer chose, there were several types of cabins to choose from. There were such variants: where there was no “sleeping bag” – for dump trucks, standard cabin – for short trips and improved – where there was more free space. In addition to these implementations, a list of useful changes in the suspension was made.
In particular, the model has found new springs in front, as well as a new bridge. A new steering system was also installed. All this has increased the stability of the truck on the road. While the 2nd version of the Mercedes Benz Actros was produced, the engineering staff of the German company did not stop fighting with the already stuck label of unreliable vehicles. It is necessary to admit that they have succeeded.
After another 3 years (2008), Germany presented a modified version of the Mercedes Benz Actros (MP3) truck. The update had serious changes in the design and construction component. Speaking of the truck cab, it has grown in size and now looks clearer with the use of a massive U-shaped grille, where the brand logo, which has grown in size, sharp vertical headlights and a dynamic bumper, has been replaced.
The new truck looks prettier. Speaking of the design of the model, it has been radically changed. Since 2008, a full-featured automatic gearbox was installed on the tractor or dump truck. By then, no truck manufacturer could boast of similar capabilities. Since 2010, the model has been produced on the territory of the Russian Federation at the combined plant Daimler and KAMAZ in Naberezhnye Chelny.
After the first high rank “Truck of the Year”, the company tried to win such an assessment every time. The model, released in 2008, just got such an assessment at the Hannover IAA-2008. Of course, there was no revolution in the third family.
Changes in the third generation
The engineers decided that it is better not to “reinvent the bike”, but to modernize the existing elements. It is safe to say that they did everything right. I would like to say for sure that now the truck can breathe “full-breasted” – such feelings appear, there is a look at the upgraded grille, which no longer looks like a dark spot in the central part of the cabin.
After the renewal of the visor was made up of 3 areas – the central one, and two side ones. And two side visors are adjusted from each other in an independent order, separately for the driver and the passenger sitting next to each other, which is a convenient thing.
A little bit changed the appearance of the bumper. Lower skirt began to have aerodynamic holes, which were put on sports cars. The headlamps integrated in the bumper now had a chrome-plated trim that added gloss to the car.
Of course, because we have a cargo view, but Mercedes! Changes have also affected the deflectors installed on the sides, which send air to the door. The rear view mirrors were affected. They decided to combine them with a joint convex body, which was installed to reduce aerodynamic resistance.
Inside the model has many different drawers, shelves and gloves for every taste and color. The addition is the presence of a refrigerator, towel holder, shaving mirrors – everything that is at home. With equipment of a sleeping place of questions does not arise.
Standard equipment has a pair of orthopedic mattresses, for two beds. By manufacture modern high-quality materials were applied. The driver’s seat is comfortable and has a high backrest. Various settings are provided to adapt to any driver.
The steering column can also be adjusted for inclination and height. The air lock is responsible for fixing the steering column. The dashboard has a semi-circle to bend around the driver’s seat, so it is easy to switch between different modes and drive the car. The dashboard is of a small type and has a large information board.
The third generation is equipped with the proven V-type six- and eight-cylinder engines of the previous family. There is something to choose from. For example, V6, 12-liter engines can develop from 320 to 476 horses. Power units with a volume of 16 liters already produce from 510 to 598 horsepower. Power units meet Euro 4 and 5 standards, thanks to the use of SCR technology, as well as AdBlue.
Standard equipment has a robotic 12-speed automatic transmission Mercedes-Benz PowerShift 2. It turns out that the model of the 3rd generation is the first machine that comes standard with an automatic transmission.
The suspension is pneumatic and works together with the cab suspension. It copes perfectly with minor unevenness of the road surface.
Brakes are effective and, together with the Telligent system, chain-slow down the car, regardless of whether the car is empty or loaded. This is the responsibility of double-circuit disc drives, which are pneumatic. There are ABS and ASR systems.
Already in 2012, the German company was able to surprise all the inhabitants of the Earth once again, demonstrating the fourth version of Mercedes Actros. This model has become one of the most ambitious. The size of the investment exceeded 1 000 000 000 000 $.
As the basis of the car took a modular system of equipment. All versions were equipped with 3 sets of accessories (Top, Classic, Basic), which differ in the list of equipment. During the formation of the package, it was applied to all systems, such as the cabin, safety, bodywork and others.
The appearance of IV is now more brutal. The unusual headlights, which received the form of a boomerang, have brought their highlight. The range of power units has become a unique and very economical engine that meets environmental standards Euro-6.
Today, for the family there are versions with the formulae of 4×2, 4×4, 6×2 and 6×4 wheels, several versions of the cabin, a couple of modifications of the chassis and different types of attachments and bodies. This solution allowed to significantly expand the scope of the truck, providing the opportunity to select a specific vehicle for their specific needs.
In principle, it is described as short – attractive, with “flying” aerodynamic lines. The exterior is called unique, instantly recognizable, and can impress, in fact, as well as the car as a whole. The image of the model was specially designed for truck drivers.
Powerful, courageous and dynamic features were emphasized. The nose section has almost no straight lines and a flat surface. Mercedes Actros IV got soft curves. The monolithic appearance of the new product can be better seen when looking at it from an angle. At that moment, we see a proportional transition from the front to the side of the cab.
The fourth generation of the new German Actros spent about 2,600 hours in the wind tunnel. No other car can boast of such a demanding study and testing of the aerodynamic component. Considerable attention during the design, the design staff decided to pay to the aerodynamic component. It is thanks to improvements in this area that it was possible to reduce fuel consumption by comparing the model of the previous family, which was also very economical.
The driver’s seat is extremely comfortable. Thanks to the asymmetrical arrangement of the dashboard, you realize that the company worries about the level of comfort of the person who sits behind the steering wheel – any key, as well as switches, are installed in the arm’s length area. Therefore, there is no need to lean over to control any devices and elements.
This allows you not to distract yourself from driving. When you look at the dashboard, you’ll see that it’s not just a sight, but a gaze. Every arrow, every risk of the dashboard’s scale attracts the eye. You can admire this panel over and over again.
But you have to look after the road and spin the one that’s so familiar, but still a lamb. It is absolutely easy to adjust the steering wheel – press the button under your left foot. Now you can play with the steering column – it is mobile in all directions. Of course, the manufacturer has not forgotten that the truck drivers drive in pairs – Mercedes made a very interesting option – SoloStar Concept.
This option is aimed at improving the comfort of two simultaneous drivers, but the passenger will be glad to have even more, because the whole cabin with a flat floor is at his disposal. Yes, we can say that the Mercedes cabin is almost an apartment with all amenities. Driving in such a cabin is a pleasure!
The Germans have decided that the presence of white light will please drivers more than the trendy blue-blue one. It is worth saying that they are not mistaken! On the color display of the on-board computer graphic images are displayed. The last one got a simple and intuitive menu.
In the case when the car is equipped with a rear view camera, the video from it is supplied to the display, which in the basic configuration received 10.4 centimeters in width. The optional Highline version has all 12.7 centimetres. It also contains information about the specific flight and recommendations on how to choose a driving style from the FleetBoard EcoSupport service.
The new flagship of trucks has 4 variations of driver’s seats – rigid, with suspension, increased comfort with suspension and luxury with suspension and heating. The partner has for itself 3 variations – base (rigid) seat, with a suspension and with a pendant and heating.
News in the design and comfort of the cabin
Beginning in 2012, an option is available to order a seat with massage function. When the special key is pressed, seven airbags will start working. If necessary, this process can be repeated many times. The novelty has two variations of heaters – the power of the first 3.8 kW, which is provided only for the cabin, and the second, designed for 9 kW.
The latter is provided for the cab and premature heating of the power unit. Among the novelties in the 4th division, it is possible to note the optional function of using the remaining heat of the engine to heat the cabin. The system operates for two hours, following the powertrain shutdown.
The company assures that this should be enough for a short break without starting the additional heater. Among the standard systems is the Tempmatic air-conditioning service, which has automatic temperature control.
Interesting is the fact that the universal chassis of the vehicle can be used not only as a tractor, but also as a caravan.
It is simply not possible to remain indifferent to the GigaSpace cabin, which significantly increases the free space in the cabin. Partly, this is achieved with a volume of 11.6 cubic liters, flat floor, high ceiling (2.13 meters) and more than 900 liters of storage space.
Driver’s working area, designed in a pragmatic anthracite color scheme. The salon has top-class materials, a luxurious driver’s seat, comfortable sleeping places, multifunctional steering wheel, practical and stylish “board” of devices, asymmetric compartments for the safety of necessary things over the windshield.
The Germans equipped the truck with fundamentally new powerful engines of the new BlueEfficiency Power family, which were deliberately developed for the standards of the European standard Euro 6. The Mercedes-Benz OM 471 is a six-cylinder in-line engine that develops 421 to 510 hp at 2,100-2,500 Nm of torque.
Among the innovations we would also like to mention the appearance of Common Rail X-PULSE (power supply system), which has a pressure booster. The maximum pressure of the 900 bar hydro line in the injector is increased up to 2,100 bar and is adjusted to achieve the necessary characteristics of the power unit.
For supercharging, there is a turbocharger that has an asymmetrical body. This has a positive effect on the elasticity of the motor function. If we talk about the engine brake, it has a decompression valve, which is built in such a way as to guarantee maximum efficiency of operation.
Three-stage engine brake, received a maximum braking force of 400 kW. In order to comply with the most stringent environmental standards of Euro-6, the Germans designed the function of associated emissions control.
The SCR technology provides for the injection of AdBlue chemical additive without compressed air and the function of cooled exhaust vapor circulation (EGR) with particle filter. The average fuel consumption is 28.5 litres per 100 kilometres. There are 4 different fuel tanks to choose from, ranging in volume from 290 to 1,300 litres. This includes a combined two-chamber diesel fuel reagent, AdBlue.
Torque is transmitted to the rear wheels by means of a fully automated gearbox Mercedes PowerShift 2, which is equipped with highly sensitive gearshift sensors that provide a faster and more accurate response to changes in road conditions.
It could be 12 or 16-speed gearboxes. Alternatively, 4 six-speed gearboxes are installed, where there is a standard gearshift. Rear-mounted axles have longer gear ratios, which allows them to operate at lower speeds – in other words, to save fuel.
For vehicles with power from 510 to 598 “horses”, the hypoid axis HL 8 is used, which is characterized by increased durability. Models up to 480 hp and versions of the Actros Low-Liner, as well as cars with low frames received the HL 6 axle. An optional HL 7 drive axle is available as a separate option, which reduces the turning radius and increases the driving comfort of the truck.
The new Mercedes Benz Actros trucks were tested for 20,000,000 kilometres before being put into production. The tests were carried out in various climatic and road conditions. Apart from the German company, no one else checks their own machines so thoroughly.
Specialists appreciated the maneuverability, confidence and ease of operation of the Mercedes-Benz Actros IV generation. No other truck can provide such stability, confidence and ease of operation. In part, the German engineers managed to achieve this by installing a different frame, which is now wider and tougher.
It was developed for on-highway trucks. The basic designs, which have already been tested and tested, have remained the same, but the development department has made minor changes to the control and suspension system, which has improved safety and driving comfort.
Many cars have an air suspension with two air springs. Onboard models have the same air suspension with 4 air springs. The latter, in addition, have a control system of body vibrations, which provides increased safety and comfort of movement.
The presence of parabolic springs, which are used in the suspension of the machine, is also confirmed. Moreover, they have received reliable corrosion protection and have been optimized in terms of weight. All versions have axle stabilisers and shock absorbers.
Brakes guarantee extremely short braking distances with the help of ASR and ABS services, as well as with the help of internally ventilated disc brakes. The service operates with constant pressure in the brake drive (10 atmospheres).
An additional brake system is also available. It can react to potential dangers in a short time and provide a car with a sharp braking system. During deceleration, the brakes are operated without wear, except for those moments when braking is in progress until a full stop.
Price and equipment
It is possible to buy a new model of the truck not cheaper than for 6 100 000 rubles. There are different prices in the secondary market, as everything depends on the year of production, technical condition and equipment level. By the way, it is not so easy to find an Actros in the secondary market. It will be necessary to pay at least 2,200,000 rubles for the models of 2005-2006. Models of 2012 and 2013 will cost from 4 800 000 rub.
Speaking of snap-ins, there are three sets of equipment: Basic, Classic and Top. Basic has a central locking system, a pair of electrically powered night curtains, interior lighting and a two-channel audio system. The Classic has a lockable luggage compartment above the windshield, a drawer in the centre, side sunblinds on rollers, a leather steering wheel, a roof opening hatch and a pneumatic hatch.
The Top range has already received Highline on-board units, automatic climate control, shelves in the upper area, a refrigerator under the “sleeping bag”, an audio system and an emblem on the grille. The finish is also divided into 2 packages – “home” and “stylish”. The house has wood door handles and decorative wooden panels on the dashboard, leather steering wheel or optionally fitted wood/leather steering wheel.
The stylish one has chrome door handles, decorative inserts on the dashboard, steering wheel and ventilation holes. Also, in appearance, the “stylish” package has chrome on the mirrors and a strip on the sun visor, illuminated by the logo, fog lights and LED running lights.
The kits are also divided into security systems. Basic has a system of distance control to objects Proximity Control Assist, the system of compliance with road markings Lane Keeping Assist, driver’s airbag. Classic additionally has an Active Brake Assist emergency braking system and a system that prevents the Roll Control Assist from tipping over. The top received all the above systems, plus a retarder.
Replies from car owners
Since the model appeared relatively recently, and not everyone can afford to buy it, there are not so many reviews. Those problems, which were earlier in the past generations of Actros – no longer exist. And significant disadvantages, in fact, there are no. Unless, of course, some owners complain about not good enough heater work in the winter, which does not cope with the heating of the cabin.
It is always a little cool inside. Also, many complain about the rather high cost of the car, but do not forget what kind of brand and how many improvements, various sensors and innovations have been made by the German company. Indeed, Mercedes Benz Actros MP4 is the most reliable truck.
Pluses and minuses
- Innovative and stylish appearance;
- Nice front of the car;
- New light amplification systems;
- Lots of chrome parts;
- Qualitative assembly;
- Cost and quality materials;
- Comfortable and large cabin;
- Comfortable seats with many adjustments;
- Nice steering wheel with multiple settings;
- One of the best safe trucks;
- Large number of cabins and modifications to choose from;
- May select powertrain and gearbox;
- Powerful power units;
- Very economical engine that meets European Euro-6;
- Very many different sensors;
- Diverse systems to help the driver drive a truck;
- Smart automatic transmission;
- Tested vehicle (20,000,000 kilometres);
- Perfect even basic equipment;
- Fine aerodynamic performance;
- Good dynamics;
- Information dashboard;
- Inside there’s a lot of free space;
- Rugged diesel engines;
- New fuel injection system – X-Pulse;
- Telligent’s electronic machine maintenance system monitors the normal operation of all important machines, components and mechanisms.
Cons of a car
- Higher value;
- The details are not cheap;
- The Russian Federation has poor fuel quality, so there will be problems with the engine
- Insufficient operation of the heater in winter.
We sum up
Mercedes-Benz vehicles are famous not only in the passenger cars segment, but also in the truck niches – the Actros MP4 model has proved it perfectly. After the release, the car has struck other competitors with a tangible “blow”, with the help of an exceptional reliability and economy.
This includes a high level of comfort, safety and convenience for drivers. Yes, the first generation of the model did not prove to be the best, but today it is a fundamentally different model. All the shortcomings were corrected, and the company was able to confidently step forward innovations.
The Actrus cab has become more spacious, so there won’t be any problems with the lack of free space. You see that German specialists tried to think over many details to the smallest detail. Sadly only that the quality of our fuel makes many domestic drivers not to risk buying MP4, as there is a risk of problems with the engine and fuel system, because many people know that the engine from Germany is whimsical to the quality of fuel.
Also, the high cost, makes you look for other options or buy a later generation in the secondary market. After the release of the latest generation, everyone knows that the Mercedes-Benz Actros MP4 is trusted and respected!
We advise you to read the article: Mercedes-Benz, classic German cars