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Prime Mover Magazine

Ticking more boxes

Ticking more boxes

The Iveco Daily range underwent some subtle design changes in late 2017, and a range of new option packages delivers real safety, comfort and operating benefits as well as a more effective return on investment.

Passenger vehicle manufacturers have long felt the need to differentiate their model years by introducing minor exterior and interior cosmetic updates, leaving the basic mechanical specifications unchanged. The practice has also become the norm in the commercial vehicle sector, most specifically in the highly competitive European van market. A case in point is the 2017 model Iveco Daily, which was introduced to the market with a number of changes that don’t much affect the function of the vehicle itself, instead sprucing up the presentation of the van.

As such, the 2017 models boast a revised front grille, with horizontal louvres replacing the previous honeycomb style, and the vehicles that are equipped with the eight-speed Hi-Matic transmission can be distinguished from the manual vehicles thanks to the chrome accents on the grille.

Vehicles equipped with the Hi-Matic also get a revised oil cooler fitted with a two-speed fan that switches on at lower temperatures than before, to achieve what Iveco terms ‘hot country activation’.

The Euro 5 engines remain unchanged from the previous offerings. The 2.3-litre engine has a wastegate on the turbo and produces 126hp (93kW) and 320Nm of torque. The three-litre version uses a variable geometry turbocharger to have 170hp (125kW) available along with 430Nm of torque, and there is also a twin turbo version of that has an output of 205hp (150kW) and delivers its maximum torque of 470Nm from as low as 1,400rpm.

The cosmetic changes extend to the interiors and all models now have two-tone seats complemented by quality floor coverings in the cab and Hi-Matic versions also receive a two-tone dash.
One of the few technical changes is that interior noise has been reduced thanks to the addition of more insulation in the pillar cavities and revised plastic covers fitted to the external mirrors.

All Daily versions come with four wheel disc brakes with ABS and four airbags in the cabin. Other standard equipment includes the ‘ESP 9’ safety package which includes Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Programme and an Anti-Slip Regulator.

By putting together a few packages of selected options, Iveco is looking to provide additional value in the spaces involving safety, comfort and efficiency. The 2.3-litre six-speed manual models can now be optioned with a fuel saving engine stop/start system which automatically turns off the engine when the van comes to a halt and the clutch pedal is depressed. The engine then restarts when the clutch is engaged and the accelerator is pressed.

Another newly available option is the Lane Departure Warning system, which uses a radar unit mounted on the windscreen to warn the driver if the vehicle is moving from within its lane. Another clever idea is Run Lock, which allows the engine to continue running to keep fridges operating or emergency equipment on standby while the vehicle is unattended and the doors are locked.

The effectiveness of the Comfort Pack’s climate control system is proven during our test session, with the outside temperature topping 34˚ while the cab remained at a comfortable 22˚ and could have gone lower based on preference. The Comfort Pack also includes an air-suspended and heated driver’s seat, which has a luxury-car feel, combined with hard wearing plastic surfaces as befitting a commercial vehicle.

The Efficiency Pack available on some Daily models fitted with the Hi-Matic includes an ‘Eco switch’ function, which, when activated, initiates transmission shifts at lower revs to reduce fuel consumption when the vehicle is carrying little or no load.

Our evaluation experience takes place with a 170hp van and a 205hp cab chassis with a tonne of ballast in the van and around double that on the truck. Both are equipped with the Hi-Matic eight-speed transmissions, which is a genuine asset that Iveco strongly promotes. We have previously driven the double overdrive six-speed manual which is fine, but the Hi-Matic combined with either of the engines delivers exceptional smoothness and invariably ensures that the correct ratio is selected to suit the instantaneous circumstances of load and terrain, as well as driving style.

The Business Premium package takes the functionality of the Daily to a new level by including a rear view camera, a multimedia system with GPS, a reversing buzzer and integrated fog lights.

Optioning up a base model Daily isn’t restricted to the packages and other upgrades are plentiful, including airbag rear suspension, rear diff lock, dual sliding doors and cargo area windows on the vans.

The Daily has previously won some prestigious European commercial vehicle awards and these latest offerings put the Iveco product on an even higher rung. Unit sales in Australia grew by 42 per cent during 2017 and with the introduction of the new models, Iveco is expecting the solid results to continue throughout the year ahead.

Fast Fact
Under normal circumstances, Iveco says the Daily range is able to travel 40,000km between engine oil changes.

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