Class ac­tion: Daily 4x4 range re­viewed

Its big truck busi­ness might be slug­gish but in the light com­mer­cial sec­tor Iveco’s re­ju­ve­nated and highly ver­sa­tile Daily con­tin­ues to make strong in­roads. Born to blaze even more new busi­ness is a re­vamped Daily 4x4 range launched re­cently in Vic­to­ria.

Deals on Wheels - - Contents - Steve Brooks writes

Here’s an in­ter­est­ing and sur­pris­ing fact re­vealed at the launch of Iveco’s new Daily 4x4 range: Aus­tralia rep­re­sents around 20 per cent of the world mar­ket for Daily 4x4 mod­els.

Given the huge ex­tent of Iveco’s in­ter­ests in re­gions like the Mid­dle East, East­ern Europe and through­out Africa, where off-road ca­pa­bil­ity is largely es­sen­tial, it’s a state­ment that took a while to sink in.

It was, how­ever, Iveco Aus­tralia’s ami­able prod­uct chief Marco Quar­anta who pressed home the crit­i­cal in­flu­ence of this re­ju­ve­nated off-road spe­cial­ist on Iveco’s busi­ness in our part of the world. “We are a heavy­weight in the [off-road] mar­ket for Iveco,” he said em­phat­i­cally. “Iveco lis­tens to what we want.”

Yet Quar­anta wasn’t just re­fer­ring to the newly up­dated Daily 4x4. As he suc­cinctly put it, of­froad mod­els are in­grained in Iveco’s her­itage, to­day cov­er­ing many bases from Daily through to heavy-duty EuroCargo and Trakker trucks in 4x4 and 6x6 con­fig­u­ra­tions, right up to the for­mi­da­ble 8x8 As­tra.

To push the point even fur­ther, all of­froad mod­els were part of Iveco Aus­tralia’s pre­sen­ta­tion and test drives at the launch of the new Daily 4x4 held in the di­verse and highly de­mand­ing con­di­tions of the 4x4 train­ing cen­tre near Wer­ribee, half an hour or so from Melbourne.

Star of the show of course, the Daily 4x4 fol­lows the ear­lier launch of its sub­stan­tially up­graded sin­gle-drive sib­ling, with both ver­sions now shar­ing the same mod­ernised ex­te­rior and in­te­rior de­signs that sep­a­rate the new mod­els from their im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sors. In sin­gledrive or dou­ble-diff guise, it’s a cab with car-like com­fort un­like any in its class.

Yet in an undis­guised bid to ex­tol the im­por­tance of its new off-roader, and ob­vi­ously sep­a­rate any past is­sues from what it sees as a truly bright fu­ture, Iveco Aus­tralia says prepa­ra­tion for the lo­cal launch of the new model started in Fe­bru­ary this year with an ex­ten­sive ho­molo­ga­tion and test­ing pro­gram.

De­spite ex­ten­sive over­seas test­ing by Iveco prior to the new 4x4’s launch in other parts of the world, the lo­cal test pro­gram in­cluded a three­week, 13,000km out­back run by Iveco Aus­tralia prod­uct sup­port man­ager Claus Hoff­man at the wheel of a test unit op­er­at­ing in tem­per­a­tures up to 48 de­grees cel­cius, at close to its max­i­mum GVM of 5.5 tonnes.

While di­ag­nos­tic equip­ment recorded all rel­e­vant per­for­mance data of a drive travers­ing rough dirt through­out cen­tral and east­ern Aus­tralia, an Iveco state­ment says Hoff­man found noise lev­els and dust en­try to be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced com­pared with the pre­vi­ous Daily. Im­por­tantly, reg­u­lar oil sam­pling was

also part of the test pro­gram, with no neg­a­tive find­ings. As Iveco puts it: “The adop­tion of the new cab brings a new level of re­fine­ment to the Daily 4x4 high­lighted by great im­prove­ments in noise sup­pres­sion, the vir­tual elim­i­na­tion of dust ingress, and er­gonomic ben­e­fits for the driver and pas­sen­ger.”

Im­por­tantly, the driver now sits on an Isri air­sus­pended seat, which is also op­tion­ally avail­able for the front pas­sen­ger.

Avail­able in sin­gle and dual cab forms, the

Daily 4x4 comes in two gross weight ca­pac­i­ties: 4495kg, which al­lows the ve­hi­cle to be driven on a car li­cence; and 5500kg, avail­able as a no-cost up­grade.

Both ver­sions have a braked tow­ing ca­pac­ity up to 3500kg and, de­pend­ing on whether it’s a sin­gle or dual cab, pay­load rat­ings rang­ing from 1500 to 2800kg.

Among the new model’s big­gest at­trac­tions are a host of per­for­mance and com­fort gains over its pre­de­ces­sor, which, like its 4x2 coun­ter­part, in­cludes a cab rated to Europe’s ECE-R29 crash­wor­thi­ness stan­dard and a 3.0-litre en­gine now com­pli­ant with the Euro 6 emis­sions stan­dard.

The en­gine is, in ef­fect, the same tur­bocharged 3.0-litre four-cylin­der diesel as be­fore with un­changed out­puts of 125kW (170hp) on tap from 3000 to 3500rpm, and top torque of 400Nm from 1250 to 3000 rpm. What has changed, how­ever, is the in­tro­duc­tion of an SCR (se­lec­tive cat­alytic re­duc­tion) emis­sions sys­tem with its re­quire­ment for the ad­di­tion of AdBlue to meet Euro 6 re­quire­ments.

For­tu­nately, AdBlue is now widely avail­able even in many re­mote re­gions and like­wise, with Iveco re­port­ing that the en­gine uses only around three litres of AdBlue for ev­ery 100 litres of diesel con­sumed, the 25-litre AdBlue tank should be more than am­ple for most needs. On the other hand, a stan­dard 90-litre fuel tank may strug­gle to sat­isfy those con­sis­tently tow­ing heavy loads in re­mote re­gions.

Mean­time, ser­vice in­ter­vals of 40,000 km in nor­mal use and 20,000 km for op­er­a­tions in ex­treme off-road con­di­tions are gen­er­ous and cer­tainly sig­nal Iveco’s con­fi­dence.

DIG­GING DEEP

When it comes to trans­mis­sion gear­ing, the

Daily 4x4 con­tin­ues to be largely in a class of its own. Cou­pled to the en­gine is Iveco’s slick sixspeed over­drive man­ual gear­box feed­ing into a dou­ble low-range trans­fer case, which to­gether pro­vide 24-speed ra­tios, in­clud­ing an ul­tra-low 101:1 bot­tom slot for what Iveco de­scribes as “un­par­al­leled crawl­ing abil­ity and off-road con­trol”.

The trans­mis­sion sys­tem also in­cludes two power take-off out­puts for op­er­at­ing aux­il­iary equip­ment such as hy­draulic pumps.

A light truck with se­ri­ous off-road ca­pa­bil­ity, the new Daily con­tin­ues to be based on a full-time me­chan­i­cal 4x4 sys­tem with front, cen­tre and rear diff locks fit­ted as stan­dard equip­ment and en­gaged by a sim­ple lay­out of dash-mounted but­tons.

Ap­proach and de­par­ture an­gles are par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive at 48 and 39 de­grees re­spec­tively,

The adop­tion of the new cab brings a new level of re­fine­ment to the Daily 4x4.

while wad­ing depth with the stan­dard 9.5R17.5 tyre size is 660mm.

For those ven­tur­ing into deeper water, the Daily’s bag of off-road good­ies also in­cludes a but­ton to dis­en­gage and re-en­gage the en­gine fan to counter the prob­lem of water push­ing spin­ning fan blades onto the ra­di­a­tor.

The new model also ac­com­mo­dates the af­ter­mar­ket fit­ment of the more ag­gres­sive and wider 37-inch 12.5R17 tyre size, with re­cal­i­bra­tion of the elec­tronic speedo per­formed by an Iveco deal­er­ship.

While on the tyre topic, Iveco makes a strong point about the Daily’s use of sin­gle wheels and tyres at all cor­ners, rather than dual wheels on the rear. As a com­pany state­ment as­serts: “Com­pared to many of its Ja­panese cab-over com­peti­tors which re­tain dual rear wheels, the Daily 4x4’s ‘su­per sin­gle’ con­fig­u­ra­tion en­sures the same track width front and rear for greater mo­bil­ity off-road.”

It’s a fair point, par­tic­u­larly given Iveco’s firmly stated in­ten­tion to tar­get a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tions re­quir­ing a gen­uine off-road ca­pa­bil­ity, such as a min­ing ser­vice unit; main­te­nance ve­hi­cle for power lines and rail­ways; con­struc­tion work; fire­fight­ing; forestry and pub­lic util­ity roles; and last but no means least, for grey no­mad mo­torhome trav­ellers and four-wheel drive ad­dicts gen­er­ally.

As for those head­ing for par­tic­u­larly re­mote re­gions and in­tend­ing to in­stall dual bat­tery sys­tems to power fridges and the like, the new model wisely has a dash-mounted bat­tery cut­off but­ton to de­ac­ti­vate the ve­hi­cle’s elec­tri­cal sys­tem, keep­ing the bat­tery fresh for ac­tu­ally start­ing the ve­hi­cle.

On the safety front, sig­nif­i­cant change has been made to the brak­ing sys­tem, with Iveco Aus­tralia’s Joel Read – a self-con­fessed

Daily dis­ci­ple – say­ing, “Iveco has lis­tened to cus­tomer feed­back re­quest­ing added brak­ing per­for­mance”.

Ac­cord­ing to Iveco, while the new Daily 4x4 main­tains the pre­vi­ous model’s front disc/rear drum assem­bly com­plete with ABS anti-lock, the brak­ing sys­tem has been dra­mat­i­cally en­hanced with the ad­di­tion of Iveco’s ad­vanced ‘ESP9’ sys­tem.

In­cor­po­rat­ing a wide range of new safety func­tions in­clud­ing elec­tronic brake-force dis­tri­bu­tion, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gram, a hill start hold func­tion and anti-slip reg­u­la­tor, Read in­sists “the ad­di­tion of ESP9 and other revi­sions to the brak­ing sys­tem now see the Daily 4x4 pull up con­sid­er­ably sharper, even with the larger and heav­ier 37-inch tyres”.

Still, it needs to be pointed out that en­gage­ment of the diff locks au­to­mat­i­cally can­cels out the

elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gram and ABS func­tions, but main­tains the elec­tronic brake-force dis­tri­bu­tion and hill hold sys­tems.

For now, driver and pas­sen­ger airbags are un­avail­able on the 4x4, but Iveco in­sid­ers were quick to em­pha­sise they’ll be avail­able by March next year and, im­por­tantly, bull­bar com­pli­ant.

A range of the new Daily 4x4 mod­els in sin­gle and dual cab con­fig­u­ra­tions, with both stan­dard and op­tional tyre pack­ages, was made avail­able for test drives at the launch event.

Al­most all were cab/chas­sis units which are ob­vi­ously far from the most ap­pro­pri­ate for eval­u­a­tion pur­poses, par­tic­u­larly on some of the se­ri­ously steep and twisted tracks dot­ted around the 4x4 train­ing cen­tre. That said, though, there was noth­ing to stop the new Daily off-road­ers from show­cas­ing some equally se­ri­ous skills when it came to crawl­ing, climb­ing and gen­er­ally con­quer­ing any­thing put in front of them.

The com­bi­na­tion of ex­cel­lent ap­proach and de­par­ture an­gles, ex­ten­sive sus­pen­sion travel, in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile gear­ing and three diff locks all com­bine to de­liver ex­cep­tional off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It’ll be in­ter­est­ing, to say the least, to see how they per­form if and when loaded ve­hi­cles are made avail­able for test. But judg­ing from what was per­formed at the launch, the Daily 4x4 has the foun­da­tions to be im­pres­sive in al­most any form.

For Iveco, per­haps the great­est task will be to back the new­comer with the lev­els of ser­vice sup­port it de­serves, and the mar­ket has come to ex­pect from the likes of Toy­ota and Isuzu – two brands Iveco will squarely tar­get with its Daily 4x4.

1. Step­ping up. Parabolic springs front and rear pro­vide high de­grees of wheel travel. 2. Ex­tremely low gear­ing pro­vides ex­cep­tional crawl­ing abil­ity, up and down.

3. Tilt an­gle was put to the test at Vic­to­ria’s 4x4 train­ing cen­tre.

4. A Daily dis­ci­ple: Iveco’s

Joel Read.

5. Iveco’s As­tra 8x8. The Euro­pean con­glom­er­ate proudly in­sists heavy-duty off-road trucks are an in­te­gral part of its her­itage.

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