The Volvo FM is overshadowed by the popular Volvo FH. Sometimes for good reason, sometimes not. This is also shown in our test of the Volvo FM450 with Globetrotter LXL driver's cab.
Often, two terms become synonymous with each other, forming an inseparable pair. For example: Swiss and cheese, French and wine, Mercedes and star or couch and armchair. Volvo is also synonymous with a second term, which is an inseparable part of its brand: FH. These two letters are what anyone who works with trucks associates with Volvo. That's because FH has been the embodiment of modern vehicles for over two decades.
The FM series, by contrast, stands somewhat in the shadow of the FH trucks. But this neglect is not deserved. That's because the FM and its derived construction site truck, the FMX, present a much larger and more variable product family than the FH. With the FM (and FMX), Volvo offers a complete range of trucks – from 18-ton vehicles and all-wheel dump trucks to four-axle tractors. The FH series only caters to long-distance travel, with some limits.
The FMs are also capable of this, of course. They are also less expensive, offer slightly better payload and – thanks to their modern engines – are perhaps even more efficient than the FH vehicles. On the downside, the amount of space on offer in the cab is somewhat smaller. Although the cab shares essentially the same design as that in the FH, it is fitted much deeper and the luxury that we know from the FH is very limited here. Although Volvo has modernized the FM series to meet Euro 6, this has not been as consistent as the modernization in the FH. Some features, such as the comfortable independent suspension, are not available at all in the FM.