RETRO IS cool for Deutz. So says the 1160’s hooded pre-Agrotron-style nose (needed to house bigger rads for the Tier II powerplant) and its round-shouldered back mudguards with their low-slung, vulnerable-looking lamps. Visually more compact than even the Deere in this company (and standing on similar, small-for-the-class 38in rear tyres), the Deutz has a clean, integrated profile dominated by a big cab. Yet the galvanised steps seem fugitives from a livestock equipment catalogue, and blanked-off lamp housings speak of option boxes not ticked. Weight is under the test average at 7.13t.
Panelling and the under-bonnet area are neat, thanks not least to myriad cable ties. Just don’t look at the cheap bonnet-closing bungee.
The cab maintains the reasonable build quality. Materials look largely durable. Let-downs are a nasty headlining, some cheap-looking shiny plastic panels and the standard Deutz playtoy control shapes and colours.
Good ergonomics pull all main items into the armrest, though the slug of a joystick is too fat in the hand and to adjust armrest position, two thumbscrews must come right out. No worries on driver accommodation, but a passenger won’t much enjoy the small, hard seat. Both will like the effective aircon (there is no climate control) and the wide spread of air vents.
Maximum noise level is highest in the group and at 79.7dB(A), comes in loud for a modern cab. Worked hard the motor sounds like an industrial vacuum cleaner, backed by whine from the ECCOM gearbox. Yet as the noise is not harsh or booming, you can live with it. For the quietest draft work set the powertrain to run in maximum eco mode.
Active safety is so-so. If you leave by the offside door (perfectly feasible in this big cab) with the tractor in active standstill, it’s very easy to snag the joystick. That’s no problem unless the transmission is in manual mode, when the driver-presence seat switch won’t operate and the tractor will move.
Pto power usefully plateaus back to 1600revs with just a hint of overpower part-way. Torque maximises early at the same rpm, then gently sinks. With specific consumption rising above full-load 1800revs, plus marginally the highest six-point average consumption and the lowest peak torque in the group, this is the least spectacular of the powerplants.
Controls are largely very clear and good to use, particularly the joystick’s lift/drop rocker. But it”s not intuitive which turn direction delivers what with the console-mounted depth wheel, something which would anyway be better up in the main armrest.
The Deutz is neither the lightest nor the shortest-wheel-base tractor here. Yet even with the standard 1000kg weight block on its front linkage plus the mass of front suspension, it’s still the least well-balanced with a raised implement.
Two spools are worked from joystick buttons, two from a cross lever. While the lever is lockable, the joystick switches oddly are not. Colour-coding is poor, though the outlets are set well out and angled for easy access. Hydraulic performance is lowest in the group when measured from a single outlet, second best through two outlets.
Diff locks and 4wd
Steering, suspension and brakes
Optional air cab springing teams with a ZF sprung front axle. The 1160 won’t nod with a heavy drawbar load, but both systems feel relatively stiff on tracks and B-roads. It’s not the group’s easy rider; for that look to the Fendt.
Brakes are not the best, not the worst. Hard pressure on mushy pedals delivers distinctly average stopping power on the road and in the field, though subjectively the 1160 still outbrakes the Case. With the transmission in auto mode, you’ll need a strong right leg to scrub off speed in traffic.
The more you drive this tractor, the more you like it. Comfortable enough and with largely good views, the 1160 is boosted by a CVT that offers easy, multi-option driving without brain-ache. In technical terms it’s no high-flyer: not quiet, unless you can work at low revs, and not the first choice for fuel saving or braking.