Iveco Daily 2013 Review
April 17, 2013
Respect. There's not enough in the world. But Iveco has fixed the problem - a whopper of a 4WD that towers above traffic and brings out respect in everyone.
The dual-cab Iveco Daily 4x4 won't fit in a shopping centre carpark bay. Its price won't fit into most people's budgets and its height sends vertigo sufferers simply dizzy.
This is solid-core four-wheel driving and yet, it is practical and perfect for adventurers who like heights, extreme off-road exploration and the best parking bay in every shopping centre in Australia. Take your kid to school in this each day and you'll also win big bragging rights.
The Daily 4x4 will tow up to 3500kg and has room for a custom-made body behind the dual-cab unit of about 2.5m - probably 3.5m for the single-cab model.
At $88,000 for the dual-cab cab-chassis, it's cheaper than an upmarket Land Cruiser but by the time you add the sleeping unit on the back, you're probably on par. I was kidding - this isn't really for the shops. Designed mainly for commercial applications, it does however have appeal for retirees or Lotto winners who love the Outback.
The dual-cab is big enough to seat six with exemplary head and legroom, with suspension, full tilt and rake adjustment and heating for the two front seats. The cabin gets an audio system, airconditioning, electric windows, cruise control, electric adjust side mirrors, big storage areas and a cooled glovebox.
Rivals include the Fuso FG and Isuzu NPS though both are physically bigger and depending on GVMs, may require a truck license. Volkswagen is yet to import the Crafter 4Motion cab-chassis and van.
Big, squared off and yet almost cute. It's huge in the flesh though looks Tonka toy-like in photos. It stands 2.7m high and 2m wide - though you have to add more for the giant side mirrors - with an impressive 300mm ground clearance with the sand tyres.
It also has a massive 50-degree approach angle and up to 41-degrees at the back which are hard to rival. It has a commanding seating position yet is as simple as many vans. Indeed, the 4x4 is based on the Daily 2WD van.
The cabin floor is flat so allows occupants to wander about in its enormity. The rear seat takes four adults and has a storage bin beneath the cushions.
There's a 125kW/400Nm 3-litre, four cylinder, bi-turbo and intercooled diesel engine that will drink about 15 litres/100km. Maximum torque comes in at 1250rpm and stays there until 3000rpm. The engine drives all wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox with two seats of transfer ratios, effectively creating 24 forward cogs.
There are three differential locks that can sequentially be engaged - centre diff, rear and front - while the axles are heavy-duty units on leaf springs. It's built tough so has a 4.5-tonne GVM (5.2-tonne optional) and its ability to cope with this doesn't affect its 3.5-tonne towing ability.
There's also front disc brakes with rear drums and hydraulic power-assist rack and pinion steering. Tyre choices from Michelin include the aggressive sand tyres (as tested) which are speed rated to 100km/h.
Probably more of a concern for other road users. The Daily 4x4 carries no crash test result. It has two airbags, ABS brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution but no electronic stability or traction control. The gigantic heated side mirrors have two sets of lenses each and there's an additional kerbside mirror over the passenger's door.
Once you get over the driver's seat height, the Daily 4x4 is as easy as most other vans to drive on the road. The sand tyres whine (the standard road-bias 110km/h-rated tyres are better) and at 100km/h the engine is spinning at 2200rpm making it a leisurely country cruiser.
It's comfortable and its size gives occupants a sense of security. Steering is pleasantly firm while the gearbox shift and clutch action feel is as good - and light - as most mid-size passenger cars.
The visibility is like the third floor view from an apartment. In the dirt, at the RAC Driving Centre near the Perth International Airport, the Daily 4x4 is almost unstoppable. All the clever stuff starts with the grunty engine and the depth of the reduction box's gear ratios. It's better to let the engine lug rather than rev it.
The diff locks are saviours and only - in desperation - will the front diff be needed. Iveco says the truck can tip to a 40-degree lean before falling over - a piece of information I didn't test.
An extremely capable, surprisingly comfortable and well engineered machine with a limited audience.
Iveco Daily 55S
Price: about $88,000
Warranty: 3 years/100,000
Capped servicing: No
Service interval: 40,000km (on-road)
Safety: 2 airbags, ABS, EBD, TC
Crash rating: n/a
Engine: 3-litre 4-cyl bi-turbo diesel, 125kW/400Nm
Transmission: 6-spd manual + 2 reductions (24 gears); constant 4WD
Thrirst: 15L/100km; 398g/km CO2
Dimensions: 5.4m (L), 2.0m (W), 2.7m (H)
Spare: Full size