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Driven: Eight is enough for Iveco's new Daily

Van with a plan: The new Iveco Daily is set to lift the Italian commercial vehicle manufacturer's fortunes in Australia.

Iveco's Daily LCV gets the auto it needs to take on its German neighbours

1 May 2015

ITALIAN commercial vehicle manufacturer Iveco is wading back into the light commercial battlefield armed with an eight-speed automatic and long-term sales growth targets based on the Australian market's auto-centric nature.

The brand unveiled its new Daily range of vans and cab-chassis models this week with hopes of long-term targets up by more than 40 per cent for the range – based largely on the presence of the new transmission – and smarter ancillary equipment aimed at reducing the thirst of the largely-unchanged powerplants.

While the company's local management does not expect the Daily range to overtake the heavy-hitters of the Iveco truck range in outright volume terms, it is expecting the new LCVs to help expose the brand to a wider audience.

New Iveco Australia managing director Michael Jonson said the addition of an automatic to the line-up could boost long-term Daily sales by as much as 40 per cent.

“The product has so many best-in-class attributes, the eight speed gearbox as well - I'm looking at around a 40 per cent increase as a result of this, but we're not going to achieve that overnight,” he said. “But the most important thing is that the product talks for itself.

The additional drivetrain option is not going to boost the 2015 sales volume targets significantly beyond the 1587 Ivecos sold last year, but the aim is for growth in 2016.

Iveco’s start to 2015 has not been auspicious – 307 units sold so far this year, down from 417 to the same point last year, a 26.4 per cent drop, but expect the new arrival to reverse that trend.

“For me the light (duty vehicles) are about getting the brand in the market and on the road, so that people see it a lot more. I see it more as the invigoration for us with some of the new products coming, driving the perception of the brand,” he said.

The range is offered with a choice of three engines – all turbo-diesels, topped with a twin-turbo flagship – within the cab-chassis and van body-style range (80 per cent of which is claimed to be of a new design) it also lays claim to the largest van volume on the market at 20 cubic metres.

The manufacturer says the new Daily range leads the segment for output, with the twin-turbo 3.0-litre producing 150kW and 470Nm, as well as having the best payload at just over 2700kg.

The new range sits on a longer wheelbase, ranging from 3750mm to 4750mm of C-section steel ladder frame.

The gross vehicle mass ranges from 3800kg to 7000kg using single or dual rear-wheel axles which can also be optioned up to include a rear diff lock.

The loading height to the vans’ rear cargo bay – which is offered in cubic capacities of between nine, 12, 16, 18 and 20 cubic metres – has been lowered by 55mm.

Ride quality is softened by the inclusion of a driver's seat (with weight-adjustable suspension to further isolate from the road) now 15mm lower, while the front passenger seat is also offered with suspension set-ups on most variants.

Pricing for the van range starts from $49,501, plus on-road costs, for the entry-level nine cubic metre 35S13 and ranges to $71,477 for the more voluminous 20 cubic metre 50C17 variant.

The cab chassis range starts from $50,547 for the 45C17 and tops out at a $63,602 for the 70C17 dual-cab models start from $70,137 for the 50C17.

The direct-injection engines are largely carry-over, with the entry-level 2.3-litre intercooled turbo-diesel producing 93kW between 3000 and 3600rpm, with torque of 320Nm from 1800 to 2500rpm.

The 3.0-litre delivers 125kW and 430Nm within similar (but slightly lower) rev ranges, while the twin-stage turbo variant ups power to 150kW and torque to 470Nm.

Iveco said fuel economy had been improved by four per cent thanks to a smarter on-demand air conditioning and alternator, as well as lower internal engine friction, and improved aerodynamics.

The drivetrains – in both six-speed manual and eight-speed auto guise – feature a fuel-economy mode that reduces engine outputs by around 20 per cent to improve fuel economy when unladen.

A redesigned interior with additional storage space in the dash, rooflining, doors and under the seats is among the new model’s highlights, as is a features list that includes standard power windows, power-adjustable mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth and audio controls on the steering wheel and rear barn doors on the van that open 270 degrees.

The safety features list is topped by standard stability control with a trailer sway control function, dual front and side airbags, anti-lock braking function on the four-wheel disc brakes, fog-lights with a cornering function and a hill hold function.

The brand has also introduced capped price servicing for the maintenance regime, which offers a 12-month/40,000km service interval – thanks to a long-life Petronas oil – within a three-year, 200,000km warranty with roadside assistance.

Mr Jonson said the new model range had been well-received in its home European market, winning the 2015 International Van Of The Year award.

“We’re confident that Australian buyers will also recognise the many benefits and efficiencies the new Daily provides.

“It’s true that the Australian van market is extremely competitive with many astute brands, but it’s our opinion that the new Daily has a clear edge,” he said.

Competitors in the large van space include European rivals such as the Fiat Ducato, Renault Master, Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Volkswagen Crafter.

Iveco Daily pricing*
Daily Van
35S13 9m³$45,001
35S13 12m³$49,816
35S13 16m³$52,972
50C17 12m³$57,390
50C17 16m³$59,920
50C17 18m³$62,449
50C17 20m³$64,979
Cab Chassis
45C17 3750mm$45,952
50C17 3750mm$50,576
50C17 4350mm$51,251
70C17 4350mm$57,820
70C17 4750mm$58,505
Dual Cab Chassis
50C17 3750mm$63,761
50C17 4350mm$64,460
70C17 3750mm$67,489
70C17 4350mm$68,189
4x4 Cab Chassis
55S17W single cab$78,548
55S17W dual cab$84,798
*Excludes on-road costs.

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