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Deliver us our Euro-bred Daily

The Daily is built on truck lines with a separate chassis that puts it in a class with small trucks such as the Isuzu N Series, Hino Dutro and Mitsubishi Fuso Canter.

Until recently, anyone wanting a small truck they could drive on a car licence had to choose between a lighter Daily model with a GVM of 4.2 tonnes, 300kg below the maximum GVM allowed on a regular licence, or a more expensive downrated five-tonner.

Iveco uprated its 4.2-tonne model to the full 4.5 tonnes GVM, which made it more competitive against the car-licence trucks offered by the leading truck-makers.

To achieve the extra GVM Iveco revised the rear suspension by fitting uprated rear springs and more durable bushes.

Being a European-built, semi-bonneted truck, the Daily offers a number of advantages over its Japan-built cabover engine rivals in terms of driver health and safety.

Driver comfort is an important aspect of health and safety. A comfortable driver is a less stressed driver, one who is less tired, one who makes better choices when driving and is less likely to have a crash.

Getting in a truck can be taxing when you've got to scramble over the wheel arch, as you do in a cabover model. It's unsurprising that drivers develop back troubles.

Throw in the pogo-stick ride that comes with a cabover truck and there's more impact, which can lead to health problems.

There's lots to like about the Daily before you turn the key. It's easy to get in and out, and because you're sitting behind the front wheels the ride is smoother and more comfortable than that of a cabover truck.

Inside the seats are comfortable and have plenty of adjustment for height, reach and rake to find a comfortable driving position. There's a bench seat that accommodates two passengers to carry a crew of three.

The dash is has a comprehensive cluster of gauges and controls for the standard airconditioning and radio/CD sound system are located well within reach. Power windows and mirrors, and remote central locking, all add to the vehicle's convenience factor.

The mirrors give a good view to the side and rear, with small spotters to give view of the black spots that can be difficult to see.

As delivered, the Daily doesn't have airbags but they can be selected from the option list and come in combination with ABS brakes.

The test truck was a 45C14 tray top with a 3.0-litre direct-injection, intercooled four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, which delivers 100kW at 3500rpm and 340Nm between 1400 and 2800rpm. It came with optional AGile six-speed automated manual shift transmission.

On the road the combination worked well, the turbo diesel engine was smooth with good power delivery and the automated shift gearbox shifted smoothly and in a timely manner. When necessary the driver can also select gears manually.

The Daily's ride was smooth and comfortable while still truck firm. The handling was precise and the power steering well weighted, but at 13.4m the turning circle was large.

Disc brakes at both ends ensure the Daily stops with assurance. ABS added to the safety package on our truck.

The Daily is available in three wheelbases, 3450mm, 3750mm and 4100mm, with payloads of 2558kg, 2545kg and 2536kg respectively, including the weight of the bodies fitted.

To drive away in the test Daily you'd need to spend $38,072 for the base truck, and add $3500 for the AGile box, which gets you ABS.

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