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routeone Issue 702 - 9 August 2017

test drive IInn ppaarrttnneerrsshhiipp wwiitthh:: Otokar Navigo T RETAIL PRICE £119,995 ENGINE 4.5-litre 4-cylinder Cummins ISB POWER 134kW (180bhp) @ 2,300rpm EMISSIONS Euro 6 using EGR and SCR GEARBOX Allison 2200 six-speed automatic TYRES 245/70 R17.5 OTOKAR’S COACH IN MINIATURE Operators that run Varios have been gnashing their teeth ever since Euro 6 arrived about what would be the natural successor to the popular model. One thinks that it has found it: The Otokar Navigo T Does a midicoach that packs 37 seats into a footprint smaller than that of a Mercedes- Benz Vario, and that has a reasonable amount of underfloor luggage space, sound appealing? If so, the Otokar Navigo T may be worth examining. That comes from Gary Scougall, MD of award-winning Dunbar operator Eve Coaches, which earlier in 2017 took a Navigo T from supplier Minis to Midis. “I was looking for a Vario replacement that can tackle country roads, hills, and other aspects of operation the the Mercedes- Benz handled very well,” he says. “We looked at a number of products, but it kept coming back to one thing. They were too big. I wanted a minimum of 33 seats, because that accommodates a class of children along with the teacher.” After looking at other models, a Navigo T demonstrator made its way to Dunbar. “I drove it a lot, and the more I did, the more LEFT: Navigo T is a compact midicoach that has a lot going for it from a rural operator’s perspective I liked it. It was the right size, and it has the right approach to the job that we had in mind. It’s a workhorse.” Manoeuvrability of the Navigo T also comes in for praise, and Gary says that it can handle all of the school routes that Eve operates with either Sprinters or Varios. Minis to Midis has already sold 15 Navigo Ts in Britain, and it has more on order for stock. Another thing in its favour is its retail price, a shade under £120,000. Gary adds that while the Otokar is not perfect, it is suitable for a variety of work. Its fuel returns are proving to be good, too; on rural duties with little motorway driving it is turning in 16mpg, and experience suggests that 18mpg is possible on longer journeys. “I have no regrets about committing to Otokar. If Minis to Midis and the factory take on board the feedback that I have given, I believe that they have the potential 9 AUGUST 2017 ROUTE…ONE.NET / 23


routeone Issue 702 - 9 August 2017
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