Give us this day our daily

Thursday, June 8, 2017

An arrival that lived up to the anticipation. The new Daily should have its competitors worried – very worried.

The launch of the new IVECO Daily range in this part of the world has been keenly anticipated. IVECO needed a boost in the light commercial range.

Historically the Daily has always scored highly on innovation, however some previous incarnations never quite lived up to their potential capability. So at a time when more operators are realising the pluses in terms of comfort, productivity and safety of European style walkthrough cab vans, IVECO have produced something exceptional to grab their rightful slice of the market. 

The 2015 Daily is a ground up redesign with 80% of the components new. The finished product has received rave reviews from far and wide scooping up the 2015 International Van of the Year title in Europe among the accolades.

There’s certainly a buzz in the air about the new Daily range at the New Zealand IVECO HQ in Wiri, where a healthy cross section of models was available to play with on launch morning in mid December last year. In this robotic, computerised era of design and manufacture the number of incarnations of the Daily a buyer can choose from is daunting, and IVECO NZ have taken on a healthy
cross section of all possible variants to woo potential customers.

The Daily comes in both cab and chassis and van configurations, the big difference to the competition being the ladder frame chassis both are built on. Make no mistake these are little trucks, not big beefed up cars, and even if you’re scouring the market for a potential replacement for your seven tonne GVM truck you need to put the Daily cab and chassis on your list. The truth is you’re unlikely to find another full chassis truck of that size that’s as easy and safe to get in and out of, and drives any better.

The cab and chassis range comes in wheelbases from 3750 to 4750mm with the top model having a maximum body length of 6190mm, a GVM of 7000kg and GCM of 10,500kg. Meanwhile the van wheelbases run from 3530mm to 4100mm, have load compartment lengths and cubic metre space from 3130mm/9.0m3 to 5125mm/19.6m3, with a range topping GVM of 5200kg and GCM of 8700kg.

There’s no shortage of power to haul all this along either. The Daily shares engines with the Ducato (albeit across a broader power range), deploying two four cylinder engines; the F1A 2.3L and F1C 3.0L Euro5 units. Both are turbo (two on the 205hp), and intercooled with three power ratings – 94kW (126hp), 126kW (170hp), and 156kW (205hp) with a torque range of 430Nm (317lb/ft) to 470Nm (346lb/ft).

Combine all this with a choice of either eight speed ‘Hi-Matic’ automatic, or six speed manual gearbox and eight optional rear axle ratios, and you’ll be hard to please if you can’t find the perfect daily drive. Your ability to mix and match amongst all of this is good to. If for example you wanted the really ‘herby’ motor in a smaller body size then that’s fine – you may just need a five point
harness that’s all.

Another point that indicates the range’s big truck origin is the option of a Telma electromagnetic retarder. That box hadn’t been ticked on any of the launch vehicles but it’s refreshing to know it’s there on GCM’s that can go north of 10,000kg. Drive – By the cars As great a song as that was, what we actually meant was... it does, drive by the cars that is. For all it’s pluses the thing that really does it for us with the new Daily is the fact they go!

Most van drivers start their day with a near impossible ‘To Do’ list and they just want something that goes. The IVECO F1C motor is super responsive. The handling and ride provided by independent front suspension and rear leaf is superb and you’re able to pick and position the vehicle through corners with pin point accuracy. Steering was better than most cars and the brakes – plastic
pedal and all – rounded out a vehicle whose designers know what the customer wants. 

You don’t win “Van of the Year” in 2015 without all the safety bells and whistles and the Daily’s Electronic Stability Programe (ESP) has everything from Anti-slip Regulation and Traction Control to Hydraulic Fade Compensation and Roll Mitigation. We chose the Hi-Matic transmission option for our ‘extra time’ van. An eight speed automatic ‘Industry First’ (IVECO’s literature). It’s a ZF unit with a claimed shift speed of a formula one like 200 milliseconds, which manifested itself as silky smooth changes. We were also amazed at the apparent intuition.

On launch day, with a load on board, we had a left hand turn at a round-a-bout into a sharp little climb. There was no hesitation and the right pick-up gear was selected instantly, the van accelerating away without the slightest lurch. The shifter itself took a few minutes tuition to get your head around, plus a couple of second guesses on the road, but all it would take is your first morning on the job and it’d be a case of “Who’s your daddy” - actually, just leave it in ‘A’ and stop fiddling.

So that’s the new Daily. Go to the IVECO website and check out the detail. And if you’re in the market for a new light truck or van then you definitely need to check the new Daily range for yourself.