Watch: Test drive and walk around of Peterbilt's new Model 589

Updated May 11, 2023

Peterbilt is replacing its popular Model 389 with a new model that looks very familiar. Peterbilt’s new Model 589 will take the baton as Peterbilt's throwback, long-nose conventional model beginning next year and CCJ got the opportunity to hop behind the wheel for a day. 

Contents of this video

00:00 Peterbilt’s new model 589

00:36 Peterbilt 589 walkaround exterior

04:21 Peterbilt 589 interior features

05:56 Peterbilt 589 design

06:28 Test driving the new Peterbilt 589

07:52 Final thoughts on the Peterbilt 589


Jason Cannon (00:11):

Hey everybody. I'm CCJ editor Jason Cannon, but you didn't click on this video because of me. You clicked on it because of that righteous Peterbilt in the preview thumbnail, and I don't blame you at all.


I know it looks like a 389 and this may not make any sense, but it kind of is and it's kind of not at all. That slick ride is Peterbilt's new Model 589, the replacement for the 389, which the company will phase out at the end of the calendar year. Now, I've been hearing rumors for years that the 389 was going away. I get emails or phone calls at least once a quarter that a dealer told somebody's friend that the model was done. Well, I'm here to tell you that that rumor is finally true. It is indeed going away, rather it's making way for the 589, a truck that looks almost exactly like it. So what's the difference? Well, it's mostly the cab size. The 389 features the 1.9 meter cab where the 589 gets the new 2.1 meter cab. As far as the rest of the truck, I'm going to turn that over to Peterbilt Director of Product Marketing, Jacob White for a quick walk around.

Jacob White (01:14):

Hey, Jacob White. I'm the product marketing director for Peterbilt. We're here in Denton, Texas and driving the new Model 589 through the outskirts of town here. This truck features a lot of key connections to its predecessors, Model 389, 379, 359 before it. When you see this truck, you'll see that heritage as well. Some key features that really connect it start with a proud crown and stainless steel grill sheet right here up front. You know this is a Peterbilt when you see it coming down the road. It's also got familiar POD headlights and a new LED DRL right here in the fender brace. There's a variety of bumper options available. My personal favorite and crowd favorite as well is this chrome Texas square right here. It doesn't get any better than that ladies and gentlemen, that's premium right there. The hood itself is constructed of familiar, lightweight aluminum.


It uses Huck fasteners like its predecessor. You can see the bicycle style fenders here and like I said, familiar aluminum, very lightweight and very easy to replace. Another really, really exciting feature of this truck is the stainless steel air cleaners out here on the cowl. This is really one of the things that differentiate this truck from every other truck on the road. They're 15 inches in diameter and really make their presence felt. Another thing about this truck that really differentiates it from everything else out there, there are these West Coast style mirrors. For a product like this, you absolutely have to have them and they look great. The ones on the 589 are two inches taller than the 389 for improved visibility. The convex is repositioned as well, again for improved visibility. The cab itself is a 2.1 meter wide cab. Lots of room in there.


The door is unique to this model in relation to every other product in our portfolio. It's got a smooth surface and then a crisp line that compliments the hood. It's a very, very good-looking truck. Everything here was done purposefully and to ensure that that truck is something you're proud of when you stand next to it or drive it down the road. The chrome dual exhaust is functional. It features stainless steel guards with a pattern that matches the air cleaners and the grill up front. Something interesting about that particular pattern is it mimics the original tilt hood Petes from the '60s. Pretty cool.


The battery box is new for this model. It features 45 inches of tread space and style to match the aftertreatment box on the other side. It's got a really, really nice feature that allows you to easily remove the lid. I'll show you. The integrated handle is very ergonomic down in here. You also have an integrated toolbox right here. The tow pins fit in here, variety of other tools as well.


Well, I'll give you a quick overview of the display in this truck. Display has got a neat startup sequence there where it comes in and presents you with those round gauges. The display itself is 15 inches. It's got anti-glare, anti-reflective coating. The interface with it allows the driver to select the gauges they want to see, when they want to see them. It also presents any gauges that have errors or need attention. So for example, right now the air on this truck is a little bit low. It's been sitting here for a while, and so the air gauge is persistent element in each one of the screens. But you've got a litany of digital gauges available from your oil temp, torquing boost, suspension load, air pressure, brake application, your amps, your air restriction.


Really everything you could ever want is available in the digital display here. It's also customizable with a favorite screen so drivers can set it up the display to their preferences so they can see the items that they would want to see actually in the location on the display where they want to see them. So that really enables them to make that display their own. The display is controlled through the steering wheel controls here, and they're really nicely integrated into the steering wheel. On the left-hand side are all your powertrain functions, and then on the right-hand side is all the infotainment and display interaction. In addition to the display that includes your Bluetooth, phone as well as your audio.

Jason Cannon (05:58):

As Jacob highlighted outside the truck, you're going to find everything that makes the 589 special and made the 389, the 379, and the 359 before it's special. A lot of chrome but also a lot of function. Jacob said in the development of the 589, everything, every design idea was on the table and designers even looked at concept models of the truck that didn't feature those iconic air breathers. Now, fortunately, those renderings didn't make the final cut because losing those big chrome cans would've been a tragedy. I took a new 589 on a 100 plus mile drive through North Texas. It was specked with PACCAR's MX-13 Engine and TX-18 automated manual. The TX-12 12 speed is the standard and okay, I heard that groan. In this truck you want a manual, I get it. This is for sure a truck that was made for a manual and you can get one if you want it.


You can also get that big red power if you want it, but I love a good AMT because I don't mind looking like a cowboy while not necessarily working like one. And the TX-18 is a great AMT. The MX-13. It makes plenty of power for most applications. Now, I was grossed out at 65,000 pounds and it was basically effortless. That short gear step in the TX-18 made for a smooth shift and a really comfortable ride. Inside the truck is plush. It's really sort of funny to think how much work went into designing a brand new truck just to keep it looking like a throwback. But once you get in the seat, you're surrounded by just about every driver amenity you would ever want or need and more space than you've ever had before in this series of truck. And man, is there anything cooler than sitting in the driver's seat and looking down that long nose at the rear end of that bird on the hood?


We turned a lot of heads on this drive, especially from drivers of other 389s. Now, I'm not sure if they recognized that something just wasn't quite right with my 389, that really wasn't a 389 or maybe it was all the red, black and chrome. It's definitely a good-looking truck. I generally like these old meets new vehicles and Peterbilt's Model 589 is much more smartly done than when Dodge brought back the Challenger. Face it, that blocky long nose tractor is part of trucking's history and the 589 looks like it drove right off one of these movie posters. It's a fitting tribute to the glory days of transportation, but it also leverages the kind of amenities and technology that's made trucking a lot more efficient, a lot more comfortable and safer than it was when the 359 was around. You can read more on While you're there, sign up for our newsletter and stay up to date on the latest in trucking industry news and trends. Don't forget to subscribe and hit the bell for notifications so you'll never miss the latest from CCJ.