We showcased the International CV in the 2019 Buyers Guide a year ago. That was before we did driver reviews and took you behind the wheel of the trucks we showcase. Those showcases were helpful: They introduced you to the truck, shared specs, and gave you an overview of the truck’s technology. But they didn’t share much about the comfort of the drive, whether the truck was sluggish, its ease of maneuverability, or if it was a joy to drive.
Now, after I sat behind the wheel of an International CV, I’d like to bring you up to speed on the truck’s features and details that were missed in our last CV showcase.
HOW WAS IT?
Let’s take care of the most important aspects of a driver review first. How does it stack up against other medium-duty trucks I’ve had the opportunity to drive?
Y’all, I like this truck. It’s got medium-duty capability yet a light-duty feel. Yes, you’re driving a bigger vehicle that requires a bit more concentration and awareness behind the wheel, but the cab and drive is so similar to that of a light-duty pickup, you’ll forget you’re in a work truck.
The CV’s interior gives drivers an automotive, commuter-vehicle feel. You’ll get the luxuries of an infotainment system that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a large center touchscreen for navigation to your jobsite. With your crew’s hydration in mind, International touts the CV’s “maximum cupholder capacity,” and for an added touch of extravagance, enjoy a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Although the CV may feel like a commuter vehicle, the Trailer Brake Controller and seven factory-installed auxiliary switches bring you back to reality. And they are all located within easy reach to keep your eyes on the road.
Aside from driver comfort, this truck features an International 6.6-L engine that pumps out 350 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, “sluggish” and “CV” don’t belong in same sentence. The engine is paired with a 6-speed Allison automatic transmission with available power take off capability to power auxiliary equipment. Finally, it features 4×4 capability for even your toughest work environments with a heavy-duty front axle and Meritor gear-driven transfer case.
Last year, we gave you a good synopsis of the CV’s upfit-ready components, after all, CV stands for “commercial vehicle,” and if a commercial vehicle doesn’t come equipped for easy upfits and feature the most work-ready components, what’s the point in naming it as such? These commercial truck features include multiple wheelbases, multiple fuel tank options, high-strength straight frame rails made of low-alloy steel, and a painted chassis that prevents corrosion. Owners can also choose between a regular cab and a crew cab, depending on the need. And that’s just a snapshot of all the work-ready, upfit-ready components featured in the CV.
Upfit your CV however your application requires. With a GVWR of 22,900 lbs, this truck can handle it. Not only is it capable, its maneuverability is—again—similar to that of a light-duty truck. So you won’t have to worry too much about driving it in the city or a crowded jobsite.
The last thing I want to talk about is the CV’s durability. International uses Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Indiana, to test its trucks. These grounds have courses to test brakes, structural integrity, specialized vehicles, and instrumentation and data acquisition. The grounds feature a three-mile oval track among other testing facilities (and more are in the making). During durability testing, trucks travel over surfaces of inverted chatter bumps, cobblestones, resonance and undulating roads, impact bumps, sine wave roads, gravel, and cross-country roads.
These tests are TOUGH. The first time I drove over it was fun and exciting; it felt a bit like an amusement ride. But after a trip and a half around the track, my body was feeling the effects of the track. How a truck can handle those tests over and over again is beyond me, but the CV handled it well, especially when loaded. Two CV trucks were available for testing. One was outfitted with an unloaded Knapheide body. The other was loaded down with 9,000 lbs. They both cruised through the track with ease—while I jolted and bumped in the driver’s seat. (Under normal driving conditions, I wouldn’t have jolted so much. The durability track is graded much higher than field conditions.) In addition to testing on the Navistar track, the International CV was also tested in Fairbanks, Alaska, in -40-degree weather, tested for endurance on the Loveland Pass in Colorado at 12,000 ft, and in Apache, Arizona, in 115-degree heat.
Once you purchase your International CV, you can take advantage of the brand’s network, which is the largest in the industry. Its 700 service locations and more than 7,600 trained technicians keep your CV ready for work at all times.
TELL US ABOUT IT
The International CV is new to the market. It was first revealed in November 2018 and didn’t hit dealership lots until 2019. It was built in partnership with General Motors, hence the similarities to the Silverado for the medium-duty segment. I drove the truck over some tough roads and pathways, but I want to hear from an owner of an International CV. If you have an International CV in your fleet, tell us what you have to say. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Jade Brasher is the editor of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine. A graduate of The University of Alabama, Jade resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and enjoys writing about her town, travel, and of course, work trucks. Reach her at email@example.com. Find out more about the International CV, visit www.internationaltrucks.com.