While Japanese manufacturers are taking a big slice of the light, cab chassis market, Iveco’s updated Daily range is turning heads with, not only its smart appearance, but a host of safety and intuitive features to make the daily grind a whole lot easier
When it comes to tradies’ choices, there’s an abundance of options out there in the cab chassis market. Through sheer strength of numbers, Japanese brands dominate the light duty sector but Iveco, with its Euro 6 updated Daily range, is giving prospective buyers a European option. More to the point, there’s a few options, including the 132kW (180hp) and 155kW (210hp) models.
According to Iveco product manager Emiliano Foieri, the majority of customers opt for the lighter cab-chassis, but he was happy to hand over the keys to a 210hp dual five-seater version for a three-hour run around Melbourne’s south-east and beyond.
Iveco had placed a substantial load on the 3450mm wheelbase Daily, around 70 per cent of its 4495kg GVM capacity, for a real-life experience. But what is immediately apparent is the roominess of the cab. It’s simply spacious. Even a three-person work crew in the rear bench seat would have little reason to complain, but that depends on consideration shown by possible oversized individuals up front.
Another space saver is having the park brake positioned on the dash.
Behind the wheel and the driver’s seat is comfy, helped by the memory foam. The seat has both a tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, adding further comfort, not to mention improved ergonomics compared to previous models. Climbing in and out is an easier task as well, due to the seat’s ‘get-off’ angle. Initially, the heated seat gave me concern that I was coming down with another dose of COVID but, as Foieri jokingly points out, the truck had been specced for Victoria’s weather.
On the dash, the impressive TFT instrument cluster features seven dedicated screen menus – and there’s a Hi-Connect multimedia system that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and, of course, Bluetooth. For the geographically unfamiliar, this test drive vehicle came with a TomTom GPS. No problem with charging your phone either, with cordless inductive charging available.
Off and running, although a couple of wrong turns around the Dandenong area brought the benefit of testing out the Iveco Daily’s turning circle. Top marks there. Anything more complicated and the high-resolution reversing camera, an option on cab chassis models, kicks in. It’s almost car-like in manoeuvrability, but with its height and solidity, it’s all truck.
In previous models, the Daily used hydraulic steering, but the 2023 upgrades have shifted to electric power steering right across the range. For tight situations, drivers are able to activate Iveco’s new City Mode through a button on the dash, helping to cut steering effort by up to 70 per cent.
Driver focus is tested with Iveco’s Proactive Lane Keep Assist, which Iveco says complements its Lane Departure Warning feature. The windscreen-mounted camera apparently recognises road markings, sounding an alarm if you’re drifting out into the next lane, or off the road, without indicating. It can be a tad annoying, but it’s way better to keep your eyes on the road ahead than have the Proactive Lane Keep Assist take over and autonomously correct the Daily’s trajectory.
As with current trends, the eight-speed Hi-Matic automatic transmission in this particular model is commonplace for city-bound light-duty trucks. Although some buyers prefer the manual stick, Foieri estimates that number represents less than one per cent of sales.
Driving south-east along the South Gippsland Highway, the 210hp Daily boasting 470Nm of torque, poked along well, any undulations alleviated by the rear air suspension.
As expected, Victoria’s four-seasons-in-one-day scenario soon arrived. No problem there as the automatic wipers immediately took care of any drizzle remnants – another nicety to help in avoiding driver distraction. There’s auto headlights as well, handy when driving in and out of the Burnley Tunnel and the like.
There’s a certain aura of safety when driving the Iveco cab chassis, including front and rear disc brakes with ABS and driver, passenger and curtain airbags. In addition to ABS, the range includes an Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS), Adaptive Cruise Control and ESP9, Iveco’s suite of nine electronic stability technologies.
In addition to the aforementioned Lane Departure Warning and City Brake, another safety item worth mentioning is Queue Assist which can be optioned, albeit at additional cost.
Queue Assist, a fatigue and driver distraction reduction inclusion, is for slow moving in start and stop traffic, allowing the vehicle to automatically accelerate and brake to a complete stop. Likewise, Iveco says City Brake is designed for similar conditions and prefills the braking system for faster response if it detects an imminent collision. This can also provide visual and audio warnings to the driver. If the driver, for whatever reason, takes no action, brakes will be applied automatically.
Aesthetically, the Iveco Daily cab chassis is a smart-looking piece of gear, it’s European styling both inside and out giving it a touch of class. It’s a clear-cut competitor in the light commercial and tradie market.
Photography: Greg Bush