Test: IVECO Daily 55SI17 W

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

IVECO Daily 55SI17 W Entering and exiting the cab is made easy by way of a well-placed non-slip step IVECO Daily 55SI17 W
IVECO Daily 55SI17 W The electrically operated, heated rear view mirrors will go down a treat in winter and the kerbside view mirror is also a handy innovation IVECO Daily 55SI17 W
IVECO Daily 55SI17 W Supplied as a cab and chassis unit, the IVECO Daily 4x4 can be kitted out to suit many applications IVECO Daily 55SI17 W
IVECO Daily 55SI17 W IVECO Daily 55SI17 W
IVECO Daily 55SI17 W IVECO Daily 55SI17 W

You kiss goodbye to the notion of a four-wheel-drive truck being purely an austere workhorse the moment you get behind the wheel of the latest creation from IVECO, the 4x4 Daily.

Test: IVECO Daily 55SI17 W
4x4 luxury

Most New Zealanders born between the 1930s and 1990s, especially anyone who has served time in the New Zealand armed forces, will have memories of backbreaking journeys in GMCs, Series 2a Land Rovers, RL Bedfords and the like.

Even the UNIMOG 1300 L, which was a vast improvement ride-wise, was nonetheless fairly basic when it came to creature comforts.

It would gladden the heart of many an old (even not so old) soldier to sit behind the wheel or even in the passenger's seat of the luxurious IVECO with its comfortable seats and its air-conditioned cab.

As if all the storage compartments, the cup holders and the well-appointed stereo with extra DIN ports to satisfy the needs of a communications-needy 21st century workforce weren't enough, IVECO has even fitted heating units to the generously-sized, electrically-operated rear vision mirrors.

In days gone by the term 'utilitarian' was often used as a euphemism for 'Spartan', however in terms of reference to the Daily, the phraseology would most certainly be taken to mean that the vehicle would feel equally at home as a recreational vehicle driving down a country road on a summer day, as it would, climbing up a mountain track on a rescue mission in the middle of winter.

The IVECO Daily 4x4 is powered by a three-litre, 16-valve, common rail, Euro 5 compliant EEV (enhanced environmentally-friendly vehicle) diesel engine which outputs 170hp at around 3000rpm, quite a feat for a three-litre engine!

This quietly-spoken powerplant is fitted with a double stage twin-turbo system for improved combustion and an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) unit with a diesel particulate (DPF) filter, eliminating the need for an SCR system and of course an AdBlue tank.

Transmission is by way of a six-speed gearbox, operated by a nifty little gear lever mounted on the dash.

The gearbox is coupled to a central transfer box with two reduction gears, giving the vehicle 24 forward gear options, including the two- and four-wheel-drive configurations, and a further four reverse options.

Two levers for these are situated between the front seats, with further selections being performed by electric switches on the dash panel. Although it might sound complicated in print, the actual operation is really quite simple once seated at the controls.

Our Deals on Wheels test vehicle was a cab and chassis unit, fitted with road tyres, eliminating any possibility of putting the truck through its paces in an off-road situation.

However, a nearby paddock provided ample opportunity for the team to get a pretty good appreciation of what the IVECO would be like away from the comfort of the tar-sealed road.

The multi-function, multi-setting bellows seat provided plenty of comfort in a paddock that was rough enough for the team's hapless photographer to almost break an ankle when stepping in a rabbit hole.

Evidently there weren't any rabbits around, though, who were of a size capable of digging holes deep enough to put the Daily's three diff-lock options to any serious sort of test.

One feature we were able to try out was the truck's turning circle, which, it must be said, is tight, even by two-wheel drive standards. An old-time phrase used by drivers of this writer's generation — 'the thing turns on a sixpence, mate' — sprang immediately to mind.

While the previous analogy is somewhat of an exaggeration, the facts speak for themselves, as the left and right turning circles are in fact 12.2m and 13.4m respectively.

The IVECO 4x4 Daily is by no means, a small vehicle, as it stands around 2.4 metres tall (the stud-height of your average suburban house) and has a ground clearance of 300mm.

And even a casual look under the machine reveals a vast array of anti-roll stabiliser bars, which indicate the truck is really built to do the business.

The IVECO Daily 4x4 is a very impressive piece of kit all right, with myriad possibilities for applications in the workplace. It comes in single-cab and dual-cab configurations, with short and medium wheelbase options as well.

It would make an ideal rapid-response vehicle for a fire authority or disaster response unit and would make an ideal light-recovery vehicle. Incidentally, that front bumper may look like it's made of plastic but it's not! Give it a tap and you soon realise that it's made of solid steel.

The only two Daily 4x4's to come into New Zealand so far have been sold already, with one currently having a spraying unit fitted in the South Island and the other being put to work as a service vehicle, complete with crane.

While electric/hydraulic power packs are commonly used to power ancillary units, such as hoists and cranes these days, the IVECO Daily 4x4 comes fitted with provision to fit a power-takeoff which gives this not-so-little beauty added appeal to those wanting torun a variety of applications in the field.

So if you happen to be looking for a multi-purpose four-wheel-drive truck with a carrying capacity of three tonnes, the IVECO Daily 4x4 could be the truck for you. The Daily is packed with other features too numerous to mention, such as a 90-litre fuel tank and halogen head and fog lights, along with dual reversing lights, and the handy kerb side observation mirror makes roadside parking a doddle.

Call in and talk to Kerry Webb at IVECO Trucks New Zealand North Island branch in Manukau City, and ask him to show you some of those creature comforts we talked about earlier. He remembers how bad all those old New Zealand Army trucks were in the comfort department — he served his time on them as a mechanic. 

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