Back in February, journalist Jon Thomson of Transport & Trucking Australia had the opportunity to test drive the new DAF XF, traveling from Brisbane to Melbourne over the course of two days. Thomson reported back on the experience he had driving alongside Brad Crockett, an expert PACCAR driver trainer, first and foremost complimenting the 16-speed ZF TraXon automated manual transmission for its smoothness and noting how the PACCAR MX-13 engine now offers 530 horsepower (395 kilowatts), a 20-hp (15-kW) increase over the previous iteration. Other standouts were the helpful Driver Information Panel, steering wheel controls, and customisable switches inside the cab.
Weathering A Storm, Enjoying An Overnight Stay
The two test drivers encountered a storm on their way to Moree, where they would they would rest for the night. This gave them an opportunity to see how the DAF XF handles variable weather, and according to Thomson, the truck “cut its way through the treacherous conditions” and the windscreen wipers did “a great job to keep vision reasonably clear.” Once they reached Moree, Thomson stayed in the sleeper compartment where he noticed the ample storage space, spaciousness, and convenient lighting controls.
Another focus of the trip was testing the overall efficiency of the new XF. This included taking advantage of driver performance ratings, updated engine braking, and the aerodynamics improvements made to the exterior of the truck. Thomson and his co-pilot hit a bit of a heat wave at one point in the journey, but the air conditioner was able to keep up without negatively affecting fuel efficiency. After another overnight stay in Albury, the two drivers completed the final leg of their trip, capping off an 1,800-kilometre journey to Melbourne. All in all, Thomson says that “DAF has a winner in the new XF.”