Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans

By: Lyndsay Whittle

Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans
Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans
Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans
Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans
Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans Iveco Trucks launch new generation vans

Iveco Trucks New Zealand’s light commercial division launched its range of new generation Iveco Daily vans in December by offering a group of motoring writers the opportunity of taking six of the new vehicles on an 80km road trip.

The convoy made its way from the Iveco premises at 21 Vogler Drive in Wiri, out to Maraetai Beach via Whitford, then through to Kariotahi, wending its way through Papakura, Kingseat and Waiuku, making a number of stops along the way to allow each driver to get behind the wheel of a different vehicle at each stop.

Each of the six vans was presented in a different configuration ranging from low roof/high roof vans to double and single cab drop-side trucks.

Further options thrown into the mix were the choice of driving a six-speed manual variant or the super smooth eight-speed ZF ‘Hi-Matic’ full automatic option, matched to engines of different cubic capacities and horsepower ratings, ranging from 126-205hp.

Two of the vehicles were carrying loads of one tonne each, adding an unexpected dimension to the driving experience.

The chosen route also gave each writer a turn at putting the vehicles through their paces under varying conditions that would normally be encountered during the course of a day’s work in most marketplaces and I got to drive the biggest of the six vans, the 170 horsepower 50-170 ZF Hi-Matic variant on the leg from Kingseat to Kariotahi.

In this portion of the drive we covered a distance of approximately 30 kilometres in which we encountered some pretty steep inclines both up and down with a number of tight bends thrown in for good measure.

The van was loaded with an unbaffled container filled with 1000 litres of water with the pallet being loaded against the headboard, but despite its one-tonne load sitting right at the front of the van it still felt like I was driving a car.

The need for any form of engine braking was eliminated by the fact that the van was equipped with four-wheel disc brakes which is a standard feature on all models.

The six vehicles provided for the road trip however were a just a small offering of the varying sizes and specifications available in the Iveco Daily range and it would be difficult to do justice to the seemingly countless applications in which these vehicles could be used, in a single magazine article.

David Didsbury, national sales manager for Iveco Light Commercial Vehicles who accompanied each team of testers on one leg of the road trip, says that the new Daily range boasts a number of market-leading features, being the largest cubic load capacity at 19.6 cubic metres, greatest payload capacity (5200kg) and up to 205 horsepower and the option of the ZF Hi-Matic fully automatic eight-speed transmission.

Iveco Launch5

However, he went on to say that equally important to the purchaser is the service and support package offered by Iveco which will become a valuable component of an owner’s business, as the range is backed by a three-year/200,000km standard warranty, with 40,000km engine oil service intervals, thus reducing workshop costs.

All new Dailys are covered by ‘Iveco Assistance’ which is a roadside assistance programme, operating 24/7 and owners can opt for an Iveco service agreement which is available in several levels of cover.

First launched in 1978, the Daily range has constantly been improved, to the point that it was recently crowned ‘International Van of the Year 2015’ by a judging panel representing the top European commercial vehicle publications.

Having had the opportunity of driving a fairly broad representation of the range it’s easy to see how the Daily has gained its lofty reputation.

Upon stepping out of the 170 horsepower Hi-Matic variant and immediately climbing in behind the wheel of a smaller 130hp six-speed manual I felt the latter was lacking in power, however it didn’t take me long to realise that I was unfairly judging the vehicle by comparing it to the hugely powerful van I’d just stepped out of.

Reverting to the game of comparison, I realised that the RG11 Dodge I bought in 1980 which weighed in at about 12 tonnes fully loaded, only produced 120hp which is 10 horsepower less than the smallest Iveco Daily even though it was hauling almost four times the weight – my how our expectations have changed in the last thirty-odd years!

I’m of the age that I still like to be in control of the process of shifting gears, therefore if I have the option of automatic or manual (with a few exceptions such as sitting in Auckland’s heavy traffic), I’ll go with the manual option, especially where commercial vehicles are concerned.

With the foregoing paragraph in mind, I thought I’d beat the Daily’s Hi-Matic transmission at its game and switch the dash-mounted gear-shift lever into manual mode, after all I could see a couple of steep inclines on the horizon and I thought I knew best.

That proved to be a bad decision and it only took a couple of misplaced driver-initiated gear changes to make me realise that the Hi-Matic’s intuition was far better at predicting the engine’s needs than I could ever hope to be.

It’s fair to say that I was suitably impressed, so during the course of the day I made a list of the features of the Iveco Daily that impressed me the most – check them out (on the left of this page) in the exact order that I recorded my observations…

For more information, phone David on (09) 277 2742.

For the latest news and reviews, subscribe to Deals On Wheels magazine here.

Keep up to date in the industry by signing up to Deals on Wheels' free newsletter or liking us on Facebook