MAN TGS, TGL and TGM: review

Colin Barnett
May 7, 2020

This article was taken from the first issue of our Product Innovation Daily magazine series. Click here to read the first magazine, completely free.

Most of the attention at MAN’s New Truck Generation launch earlier this year was on the flagship TGX, but the TGS for the construction sector has also been updated, as have its TGL and TGM distribution models.

MAN is traditionally a strong performer in the construction sector and looks set to build on its reputation for toughness with increased driver appeal thanks to the new TGS.

Versions suitable for distribution and municipal operations are also included, and all new TGS models share the interior enhancements introduced on the long-haul TGX range. These include availability of the digital dashboard, SmartSelect rotary controller and improved multi-function steering wheel. Outside, aerodynamics are improved, and what MAN describes as car-inspired styling cues abound. All of the new models can be identi­fied by their matt-black grille panels, which are said to be easier to paint in operator colours than the previous piano-black version.

The TGS comes with a choice of six engines based on its 9.0-litre D15 and 12.8-litre D28, with ratings from 330hp to 510hp. Off-road software for the TipMatic transmission enhances performance in challenging conditions. Riding on two, three or four axles, the TGS is available in just about every permutation of drive-axle possible, including the HydroDrive occasional on-demand hydraulically powered front axle, which saves up to 750kg compared with a mechanically driven axle.

All versions come with a variation of the narrow cab. The options include low- and medium-height sleepers, but the most popular will be the NN, an extended low-roof day cab, with extra storage behind the seats. In the more tightly packaged narrower cab, the relocation of the gear selector steering column stalk and the introduction of the dash-mounted electronic parking brake will be even more welcome than in the larger long-haul TGX models.

With safe urban operation of tipper trucks a key issue at the moment, the improved blind spot performance of the mirrors and the Turn Assist blind spot monitoring should gain some Direct Vision stars. Progress in urban traf­fic will be aided by the Stop & Go function of the adaptive cruise control, which maintains progress, including restarts after up to ­five seconds of standstill, while its Congestion Assistant extension automatically steers and drives in motorway traf­fic congestion at speeds up to 60kph, providing the driver’s hands remain on the wheel. However, UK availability of some features has still to be con­firmed.


The models at the relatively humble end of the MAN portfolio were not neglected in its full range makeover. They too have the cosmetic and aerodynamic improvements of their larger fellows. The two rigid middleweight models can really be considered together. They share the same cab options - all narrow - but cater for different ends of the weight spectrum. The TGL is available in GVWs from 7.5 tonnes to 12 tonnes, with the TGM overlapping to cover weights from 12 tonnes to 26 tonnes.

The TGL is the only model in the MAN portfolio to be offered with a 4-cylinder engine, the 4.6-litre version of the D08, in three ratings from 160hp to 220hp. Drivelines are just 4x2 on the TGL, while the TGM adds a 6x2 version and the 4x4 that will be popular with utility companies.

While the TGL and TGM are available with the same digital dash options as the larger trucks, it appears that not all vehicles control the dash with the SmartSelect device, some relying instead on an increased number of steering wheel buttons.

This article was taken from the first issue of our Product Innovation Daily magazine series. Click here to read the first magazine, completely free.

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About the Author


Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett has been involved in the road transport industry since becoming an apprentice truck mechanic and worked on Commercial Motor for 27 years

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