First drive: Fuso Canter 4x4 Crew Cab

By: Matt Wood, Photography by: Christian Brunelli

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The Fuso Canter 4x4 Crew Cabis available in light truck 6500kg GVM guise or can be down rated to a car licence friendly 4500kg GVM. The Fuso Canter 4x4 Crew Cabis available in light truck 6500kg GVM guise or can be down rated to a car licence friendly 4500kg GVM. The Fuso Canter 4x4 Crew Cabis available in light truck 6500kg GVM guise or can be down rated to a car licence friendly 4500kg GVM.

What better place to put the Fuso Canter 4x4 Crew Cab truck through its paces than the Victorian High Country. Test reviewer Matt Wood checks it out.


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The Fuso uses a 3 litre EGR engine to shuffle in the muck and creates 110kW of power and 370Nm of torque.

A 5-speed manual tranny is used for the swapping of cogs and a 2-speed transfer case is used for off-road duties.

This little off-roader is available in light truck 6500kg GVM guise or can be down rated to a car licence friendly 4500kg GVM. And it’s also available in single cab or 7-seat crew cab form.

To keep the rear duals firmly on the ground and my kidneys intact we also had 1200kg of payload sitting in the steel tray of our Canter. Winter had arrived with a vengeance and as such most High Country tracks were closed.

So we headed to the Buckland Valley which lies in the shadow of Mount Buffalo and tackled Goldie Spur Track.

This track winds along in the shadows of the powerlines that wind their way through the valley from Gippsland.

And really it’s the perfect terrain for a truck like the Canter. Slippery forest roads, fire trails and snow are all the perfect natural habitat for the 4x4.

 

The Canter is really first and foremost an on-road truck that can be taken off-road to a point.

Where's the fire

This truck was actually a fire service spec truck so as a result it arrives sans air bags and electric windows.

The idea being that in the advent of a burn over during a bush fire the heat can’t detonate air bags and the window wiring can’t melt and disable the windows.

The Canter’s interior is unapologetically Spartan and functional, yet comfortable enough. Basic switchgear is for the most part well placed and gauges easy to read.

The multi-media system is pretty much the same as you’d find on equivalent trucks in this class and displays truck specific navigation if needed. 

 

Selecting four-wheel-drive is a matter of pressing a button on the dash and then jumping out to lock the front hubs.

Handling

Slippery fire trails were handled relatively easily, and even some tougher off-road climbs and descents.

In fact the descents were made a lot easier by using the Fuso’s exhaust brake. A sliding, out of control descent is bad news in any off-road vehicle but in a truck the extra weight makes it even worse. Yet I was able to wander down to some tight tracks brimming with snow, slush and mud without any unscripted sideways action. The exhaust brake kept my foot off the brake pedal and gently grabbed all four wheels on the way down the hill.

The lack of a front diff-lock also hampers climbing to a certain degree. But the rear limited slip manages to keep things moving in the right direction in most cases.

One of the bigger downsides for the Fuso however is a lack of wading depth. In factory form the Canter 4x4 is rated at a mere 330mm.

 

Dealer sourced pricing (cab chassis only excludes on road costs)

  • Single cab 4x4 $60,000
  • Crew cab 4x4 $65,500


You can read the full-length Fuso Canter 4x4 Crew Cab review here.


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