BTS 2023, Test Drive

Iveco S-Way: S for slick, smooth and silent


For some time now Iveco dealers in Australia have been hanging out for a solution to undeservedly low market share in the heavy-duty sector.

Although the X-Way competes favourably with the other European competition in terms of driveability, fuel efficiency and reliability, its spec excluded Iveco from big fleet purchasing programs that required trucks with broader weight capacities.

The new S-Way still tops out at 70t GCM, so a full B-double role is its limit. We’ll wait to see if Iveco can develop that spec so that the trend towards B-triples doesn’t leave the brand floundering in the wake of the 110t GCM competition.

In the meantime, Big Rigs took to the road in one of the first Aussie road tests of the new truck.

In broad terms, the new S-Way is the sum of a myriad of tweaks to an already solid hard-working platform. Few of the changes would warrant a new truck launch, but together the package delivers a fundamentally different driving and operating experience that, in my view, should attract drivers and owners to a better and safer on-road experience.

Add to that a new cab, which explores design opportunities for better airflow, improved cooling capacity and more usable driver space, and S-Way is a significant improvement to Iveco’s offering in the heavy-duty sector.

Every part of S-Way’s exterior has been tweaked for better aero performance and accessibility.

The new high roof, bumper design and door extensions drop fuel consumption by a significant 4 per cent. Mirrors and wheel arches have top and side spoilers and a side skirt. The door extensions cover the middle step to make thieving more difficult and minimise movement of mud onto the steps and into the cab.

Lighting now includes cornering illumination, LEDs as standard and a twilight sensor switches the driving lights on for you. A headlamp grill helps with stone protection.

Underfloor storage is boosted by 12 per cent and the access is wider, allowing a couple of 130-litre water cages.

Inside, the audio system screen in the centre of the stack will mirror your mobile, and the options available on the large touch screen will allow the fussiest driver to get set. Voice recognition and DAB radio is standard.

The driver’s seat is lower, but features more movement range. The shelf is sculptured to increase visibility and the middle side pillar has been removed. The steering wheel brings most-used functions to the driver’s fingertips as well as improving cab movement with a flattened bottom to the wheel itself.

The driver’s seat is lower, but features more movement range.

The central dash stack is uncluttered and littered with storage nooks and crannies. The door panels now accept 1.5L drink bottles and the fridge and cooler each have an easy-access hatch so your drink can stay cooled but still at hand.

A new Driver Attention Support system will keep its beady eye on you as well as the road, and will now report your driving performance, focused on braking use, efficient throttle management and truck road placement.

The bunk area is symmetric so you can pick which side your sleepy head goes and still operate all the controls without getting out from under the doona.

On the road, the truck systems and driveline are a significant upgrade from the X-Way, adding features that help a driver to maximise fuel efficiency no matter what the terrain.

The Cursor 13 engine develops up to 550hp and 2500Nm of torque, and in the S-Way it is further refined to be as smooth and silent as a car driveline.

The emissions system is Iveco’s patented Hi-eSCR which provides many benefits compared to EGR and SCR equivalents, including reduced fuel consumption and a lower tare weight.

The ZF designed 16-speed transmission allows various transmission modes to handle loading bays, parking areas, broken surfaces and tricky reversing tasks.

Take a tip from me – read the transmission manual to be clear about all the features and modes available at your fingertips. You’ll save fuel as well as bumps, scrapes and abuse from your mates if you do.

I was pleasantly surprised in my shortish test drive, but I did enough to find that S-Way is at least on the level of the very best European trucks currently available.

Iveco has increased the warranty period and kilometres by healthy 50 per cent, to 3 years and 750,000km, plus the service intervals are out to 75,000km, or 12 months for the 11- and 13-litre engines.

In summary, Iveco now has a contender in the sub-70t GCM sector that is as good as the best and better than some.

If you’re in the market for a single trailer or B-double prime mover, or a 6×4, 8×4 or 6×2 rigid tray, curtainsider or pantech, make sure you get behind the S-Way’s newly sculptured steering wheel before any money changes hands.

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