There was a transport job at hand that required a truck and five seats but, alas, we had only a car licence in the wallet.

A few decent size trucks are available under 4500 GVM that average car licence holders can drive, among them Iveco's Dual Cab 50C17 Turbo Daily tabletop.

We got the job done with the 3750mm short wheelbase model with a high output 3.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel and six-speed manual gearbox. The eight-speed auto option should be on the short list.

Iveco has done a good job making this small truck easy to drive and live with.

The twin turbo set-up is good for 150kW/470Nm, with peak torque available between 1400rpm and 3000rpm.

Iveco builds the engine with low friction internals and it uses low viscosity oil to maximise fuel efficiency.

The manual has a short first ratio with closely spaced intermediate cogs and a high-geared top for cruising. There is an optional diff lock.

Dual rear wheels put down the power. There is optional air suspension with three ride heights.

The tray, a tad over 3300mm long, allowed us to load a small car with the suspension at the lowest setting. The engineers thoughtfully add robust tie-down hooks at each corner of the steel checker plate tray.

Once loaded, we jacked up the suspension to the middle ride height, fuelled the 100L tank, got everyone on board and off we went.

What is really notable about the 50C17 tested is the car-like feel from the driver's seat and in the cabin. Its steering wheel is flat, as in a cab-over truck, but just about everything else could be out of a passenger car.

You don't get a suspension seat in a passenger car and the gearbox throws are shorter in a car. Iveco has done a good job making this small truck easy to drive and live with.

We swapped seats a few times on a 2000km round trip and the rear pews are where you want to be, even if lacking a suspension seat. The cabin is roomy and easy to access with only one step up to the decent- size seats.

Driving the 50C17 is simple with light controls that fall easily to hand. It lacks a reversing camera despite having a large IveConnect multimedia screen. Some of the IveConnect features are difficult to access through menus and not available on the move — you have to set it up parked at the kerb even though a passenger could do that when under way.

The turning circle is remarkably tight for a small truck at 10.5

For safety, there are dual front airbags. Creature comforts include climate control aircon, decent audio, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, multi-function wheel, numerous storage compartments and walk-through front seats.

There is a flat rear chassis for easy tray fitment, disc brakes all-round, hill holder, independent front suspension and 12 month/40,000km service intervals. Capped price servicing, passenger car style, isn't available … yet.

Our test drive revealed the 50C17 as a strong performer even at the top of the payload capacity. A car and five bods on board with about 200kg of gear comes to about 2.5 tonnes yet we returned as good as 13.5L/100km for a range of about 760km.

We found the manual gearbox a little baulky especially changing up from fifth. First is strictly for getting a heavy load off the mark. Using cruise control is OK but when the speed drops on long uphill runs it disconnects.

This is where the auto would come into its own — more ratios to flick between would keep everything on the boil, improve fuel economy, eliminate left leg action and enhance cruise control operation.

The turning circle is remarkably tight for a small truck at 10.5m while vision from the driver's seat is good in all directions.

It seems well put together in the European factory and would be a cost effective commercial vehicle for local deliveries or even interstate work. And the ability to drive it on a car licence is a bonus.