For the Daily grind

Rid­ing high and look­ing tough, it’s a light­duty truck with se­ri­ous off-road ca­pa­bil­ity

Herald Sun - Motoring - - WORKING WHEELS - WITH CRAIG DUFF

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 light-truck 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 into the ve­hi­cle, due largely to the in­tro­duc­tion of a very mod­ern and wellde­signed cabin.”

Prices start at $88,000 and, for the dual-cab, $94,000.

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