For the Daily grind
A MONSTER truck as a daily driver is now a possibility with the launch of Iveco’s updated Daily 4x4 light truck.
You’d want to be a committed bush-basher to buy it for the regular commute but that’s precisely the type of private buyer Iveco is chasing, having improved the interior to make life more liveable behind the wheel of this capable hauler.
This is a serious off-roader that shames regular 4x4s in extreme conditions with three diff locks and the ability to climb 45-degree inclines or cross slopes up to 40 degrees.
Should you exceed those impressive limits the cab is now rated to the latest ECE R29 standard for occupant protection.
Beyond the structural advances, Iveco has boosted the cabin comfort and noise suppression to the point where the Daily won’t drive you to distraction on the blacktop but it is in the bush where the Iveco comes into its own.
Traction is the only limit to the Daily’s ability to traverse rugged terrain and owners can opt to replace the regular dualpurpose rubber with a more aggressively treaded tyre for off-road work. An optional set of 37-inch wheels takes matters to another level again and includes a free speedo recalibration at the dealership.
The good news is the Daily 4x4 can be driven with a regular car licence; the downside is airbags won’t be available until early next year. At that time Iveco expects the Daily to feature on the radar of mining and construction companies whose occupational health and safety policies insist on a full suite of safety gear. Single-cab and six-seater dual-cab versions can be upgraded from a gross vehicle mass of 4495kg to 5500kg GVM as a no-cost option for buyers with a lighttruck licence and a need to haul a larger payload.
Towing capacity is 3500kg and the payload ranges from 1500kg-2800kg. The 3.0-litre turbo diesel now uses Adblue urea additive and selective catalytic reduction to lower emissions to meet Euro6 requirements.
The six-speed manual transmission with dual-range transfer case gives 24 possible gear ratios for everything from highway cruising to a 101:1-ratio hill crawls.
Brakes are still discs upfront and drums at the rear but the fitment of Bosch’s ESP9 software furnishes electronic brake force distribution, antislip regulation, trailer-sway mitigation, rollover mitigation and an enhanced electronic stability algorithm.
Wading depth of 660mm is backed by a button on the dash to stop the radiator fan from spinning and avoid damage to the cooling system during creek crossings. The approach angle is 48 degrees, the departure angle 39 degrees.
You sit high in the Daily — almost as high as in the bigger EuroCargo truck — so outward vision is great. The steering is light, if lacking the level of feedback found in mainstream pick-ups and the throttle modulation is hard to fault.
Peak torque kicks in at 1250rpm so in tricky terrain it’s a case of picking a gear and letting the Daily do its thing, though the cruise control stalk can increase and decrease speed incrementally as required.
By 4x4 pick-up standards the Daily’s interior is functional rather than family-friendly. The driver’s seat is air-suspended for improved isolation when negotiating ruts and rocks and there are big stowage bins in the centre console and under the dash to stop items bouncing around. The windows are powered and there’s cruise control and a basic AM/FM radio with CD player and Bluetooth connectivity.
Iveco spokesman Joel Read says the upgrade enhances the Daily 4x4’s driving experience with a softer interior without sacrificing off-road prowess.
“There’s still no disguising the Daily 4x4 is a light-duty truck,” he says, “but Iveco engineers have succeeded in injecting new levels of comfort and refinement, due largely to the introduction of a modern and well-designed cabin.”
Prices start at $88,000 and, for the dual-cab, $94,000.