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routeone Issue 702 - 9 August 2017

TEST DRIVE/OTOKAR NAVIGO T ABOVE: Steps up to platform are high, and are an area identified for improvement by Eve MD Gary Scougall ABOVE: Large boot - also accessible from both sides - is complemented by nearside lockers ABOVE: Sege seats are to a remarkably high finish, including leather trim, drop-down tables and slide-apart to sell many more in the UK,” says Gary, who kindly made the Navigo T available for a routeone Test Drive. Build Key to the Navigo T’s appeal to Eve is its compact dimensions. It is 8.40m long, 2.27m wide and 3.28m high, and it has a wheelbase of 4.52m; it weighs in at 7,477kg unladen and has a GVW of 10,500kg. The four-cylinder, 4.5-litre Cummins ISB engine is mounted immediately behind the front axle and a Telma retarder is mounted mid-way between the Allison six-speed automatic gearbox and the rear wheels. Placing the ISB where it is gives benefits at both ends of the Navigo T. The entrance is a typical coach-style one without the compromise that comes with a front-engined layout, while at the rear, a large boot with a top-hinged door complements side locker storage on the nearside only. Space on the offside is taken up by the centre emergency door, the exhaust and the AdBlue and fuel tanks, but Otokar has done a clever job of making as much as possible of what is available. The luggage area extends over the chassis rails, meaning that around two-thirds of the vehicle width is available for storage. A recent airport transfer of 28 passengers and luggage was handled with ease. Clearance at both ends is good, and there is no danger of grounding. Steel suspension is at the front and air at the rear. Passenger access A plug door is fitted, although both it and the entry stairs are comparatively narrow thanks to the set-forward nature of the front axle. Two internal steps take passengers to the platform and one more to the flat gangway, but they are very deep, and Gary believes that their number should be increased to three. Examination from beneath the coach shows that there is nothing physically preventing that alteration. Handrail styling around the entrance is a contrast. While provision is good, the two rails on the left are finished using a carboneffect black covering with a discrete yellow inlay; those on the right are entirely yellow. That will be modified on future deliveries and all will be to the former style. Despite the reasonable climb up to the aisle and the Navigo T’s modest height, there is still more than 6ft of headroom throughout. The luggage racks act as useful hand-holds when moving around the cabin, and all seats have a vertical handle at the aisle-side corner. The emergency exit has two fold-out steps below it, but the design does not prevent attempts to shut the door when they are extended. As a result, Eve’s coach has already sustained minor damage to the door skin. Passenger comfort The 37 seats are from Sege, and they are finished to a surprisingly high quality given the purchase price of the Navigo T. They are covered in red fabric with leather inserts, including within the padded ‘wings’, and while they are naturally narrower than seats in a full-size coach, they are nevertheless comfortable. All have drop-down tables and three-point belts, while aisle positions come with slideapart functionality, mitigating the otherwise compact layout. Legroom is more extensive than may be expected, and with grey curtains fitted, the overall ambience of the coach is pleasant. It is further benefited by wood-effect flooring. Another premium fitting is the entertainment system, which is a Bosch Professional Line unit that comes complete with a front-mounted monitor. Further passenger amenities include a comprehensive heating and air-conditioning system. An Eberspächer auxiliary heater is also fitted, and coolant is passed through radiators before being fed to the saloon via fans and floor-level vents. Standard passenger service units are present, and blue LED lighting is also within the underside of the luggage racks. Two roofmounted full-length strip lights are present, and they have two brightness levels. Despite the engine’s location, aural intrusion into the saloon is insignificant even under full load. Equally, floor vibration is not detectable at the front, and regardless of the steel suspension there, the imposed load means that ride quality is excellent. Driver comfort All is good for the Navigo T’s driver, and the cab is reasonably-sized. An air-suspended Grammer seat is fitted, and it and the courier’s match those in the saloon. The larger rear view mirrors are electrically-adjusted, while the nearside gullwing arm has two wide-angle panes; 24 / ROUTEONE.NET 9 AUGUST 2017


routeone Issue 702 - 9 August 2017
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