The Kenworth T170 Review


If you place an emphasis on value, the Kenworth T170 is an investment worth making. Its powertrain and chassis have been specifically designed for Class 5 hauling work, but it’s the big rig inspired styling of the cab that leads you to believe you are receiving much more than was expected.

Even with the rig’s 19,500 lb weight rating, its powertrain, frame, brakes, axles, and suspension offer more than enough heft. This cab of the Kenworth T170 is crafted from the same rugged aluminum that is used in Kenworth’s T and W lines of trucks, and the cab is airtight – an aspect truckers are guaranteed to appreciate. The cabin’s height lends an air of spaciousness to the cab.

The instrument panel offers a woodgrain finish and simple, oversized gauges that provide straightforward information. The cab’s visibility is excellent with its multiple, large windows. The sloped, short hood of the engine offers superb, forward facing visibility. The Kenworth T170’s air ride seats, with its built in compressor, offers multiple adjustments, and the telescoping and tilt steering column makes it simple for anyone to find the perfect placement.

For the Kenworth T170, there is an optional Allison 1000 Rugged Duty Series 5 speed automatic transmission available for those who want to do as little work as possible when driving. Shifting can be manually controlled via a push button selector, but many reviewers have found it unnecessary to manually control the shifting, as the transmissions seems to know exactly what it is doing – making the most of what the powerful Paccar PX-6, 260 horsepower diesel engine has to offer. The Kenworth T170 has won accolades for its powerful and gutsy exhaust brake, which removes the need for hydraulic disc brakes except at exceptionally low speeds.

The liveliness of the Kenworth T170’s performance is made all the more impressive when it is tested with several tons of materials in the bed directly behind the cab. When the bed is full, the only hint of the weight load is the settledness of the ride. When the body is empty, the driving experience is imbued with a bit of bounce, but it is not at all harsh – an important component for those who spend a lot of time on the road.

The Kenworth T170 is a pleasure to maneuver with its tight turning radius, and because of all of the windows in the cab’s rear, backing up is a no worry exercise. The dump bed of the T170 can be purchased with an optional dual pivot, hook lift body, which transforms the truck into a multitasking workhorse. Although this option isn’t cheap, it enables a single truck to do the work of two, three, or even four trucks, which makes it an ideal investment.

All current indicators point to the Kenworth T170 being an enjoyable truck to drive and one that is rugged and long-living. To see what this beast has to offer, contact your local Kenworth dealer to test drive one yourself.