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SUV-style: a trend that’s catching on

SUV: Daily cab chassis offers a car-like driving experience with a truck body’s capability.
SUV: Daily cab chassis offers a car-like driving experience with a truck body’s capability.

THE new Iveco Daily has been on the market for some time now, so it's likely that it's time to drop the "new" moniker.

However the runout of previous models has dragged on a bit, mainly because interest in the Daily has strengthened so much that additional supplies were ordered.

But of all the model variants in the new Iveco Daily range, it's the cab chassis that interests me the most.

The vans have many features that set them apart from the competition, but the cab chassis has some extra advantages that will sway many buyers looking for a working light truck that will look after its drivers.

For a start, the Daily can be specced in numerous ways, all the way to a 4.5-tonne payload.

The long wheelbase version can accept a body that's up to 6.19m long, plenty big enough for the largest cubic loads.

You can also select up to eight rear axle ratios, so you can optimise that delicate balance between work capacity and fuel efficiency.

There are three manual transmissions, and instead of messing about with an AMT solution, Iveco has selected the high tech ZF 8-speed fully automatic box for those who don't want to replace clutches.

Engine choice is also aimed at buying for task.

There is one engine on offer, but it's available in two states of tune. It's a 3.0-litre 4-cylinder unit and you can select either 170hp and 430Nm of torque, or 205hp and 470Nm.

The difference is mostly in the turbos - a variable geometry unit in the 170hp and twin turbos in the 205hp.

In the smaller output engine, there's a tricky Ecoswitch program that drops power down to 160hp and torque down to 300Nm.

If your drivers are on an incentive program for fuel efficiency they'll love it.

Tests show it dropped fuel consumption by 4.1% compared to the previous model.

The cooling system and alternator are geared to throttle-off times to maximise fuel efficiency through energy recovery.

All Dailys are rear wheel drive, and your engine oil only needs replacing every 40,000 kilometres.

GOOD LOOKING: Interior is comfortable and safe, with outstanding vision and accessibility.
GOOD LOOKING: Interior is comfortable and safe, with outstanding vision and accessibility. David Meredith

The rails are completely flat to make the bodybuilder's task easier, and air rear suspension is optional if the stuff you carry needs treating with kid gloves.

A class-leading 10.5m turning circle caps off the chassis story.

In the cab the seat is now lower than the previous model.

Combined with a smaller steering wheel, and easier step profile, the Daily feels even more like an SUV rather than a commercial vehicle.

The windscreen is bigger, a great climate control system handles the environment, and there's plenty of storage space for the bits and pieces that accumulate in delivery vehicles.

Most importantly, the conventional layout means that you're not sitting on top of the engine or the front axle.

In this weight category, I must say I tend towards preferring that to the cab-over designs of most contenders, and I suspect this is a view that will catch on.

In fact, the CEO of one of our largest light truck distributors told me that this is expected to catch on, and so they are already discussing strategies to deal with that trend as it emerges.

All of that means better opportunities for operators, no matter what they decide to buy.

Big Rigs

Topics:  iveco daily test drive transport trucks


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