Climbing into the new Daily 70C, we can see a restyled interior of the seven tonnes GVM van from Iveco. The new dashboard has some blue inserts in the design. A digital radio is now fitted as standard on the Daily models. The new design also includes more storage, USB ports and chargers, all of the things a modern commercial vehicle cabin should include. The controls for the digital radio and the telephone, if it is connected through Bluetooth, are on the the steering wheel.
The driver feels secure in this cabin and the modern-styling of the gear control takes little getting used to. Once the van is set-up in drive mode and the van hits the road, it’s simply a matter of hitting the stop or go pedals and the driveline will handle the rest. This gives this driver a chance to try and play with a few of the gadgets on board.
Hill hold works automatically, this model is using ABS 9, a lot of items which were optional extras in the past are now simply standard. The lane keeping system has worked its way down from top-end prime movers to this humble van and proved to work well on this model, neither too sensitive, nor not sensitive enough.
Another option which has become standard on some vans being imported from Europe is a system called trailer sway mitigation. It uses the stability system’s yaw sensor and the ABS sensors to detect any trailer sway when towing something behind the van. The Daily’s electronic system now includes a trailer connection module, it knows when a trailer is connected and will activate the trailer sway mitigation system if required.
Because the vehicle control system knows when it has a trailer attached and will monitor the lighting system on the trailer, using the diagnostics system and will warn the driver if the trailer has a light out. The van has a GVM of seven tonnes but a GCM of 10.5 tonnes, it is capable of pulling a 3.5 tonne trailer.
The commercial vehicle driver inEurope has come to expect a high level of comfort in their cabin. This daily is no exception to the rule. The steering wheel on the new models is covered in leather and has a soft a feel for the driver. The ergonomics inside the cabin is well thought-out and simple to use.
One of the changes which is happened in the driver’s seat in the last 20 years is the increased padding in and around the driver themselves. It has reached a point where, on this model of the Daily, the bolsters at the bottom on the seat have been lowered to make it easier to get in and out of the van. This has clearly been done following feedback from owners of the previous model, with drivers find entering and exiting the van was hindered by the seat’s shape.
The large rear view mirrors on the side of the van include a strip across the bottom which is a wide angle mirror. The larger top mirror can be adjusted using the controls on the door but the bottom reminds static. This means it is necessary to get the mirror in the correct position for viewing the lower wide angle section and then adjust the main mirror afterwards to suit the driver.
Pros and Cons
It will interesting to see how the light duty truck buyer views this model, to see whether there is the kind of credibility in the marketplace, which Iveco can turn into increased sales. It certainly has all of the specifications required to live in a world now dominated by the likes of the Isuzu NPR.
There are plusses and minuses to any comparison. The low floor height would score well for the Daily, but it doesn’t have a body on which pallets can be loaded side-by-side. There are a number of comparisons to be made and the truck buyer is a conservative beast, suggesting the impact this van will have in this market segment is likely be relatively small.
Fuel consumption could be a factor in change, but driver comfort is unlikely to make many choose a Daily over a Japanese truck. Safety features will look attractive to the fleet buyers, but Japanese trucks are moving fast to keep up with the latest safety systems coming out of Europe.
However, it does have some distinct advantages in specific transport tasks it would make for a much more comfortable long distance drive. The smoothness of the ride and the creature comforts of the cabin would really come into play when spending long hours in the van.
Iveco are selling the vans from their truck sales locations, many of which are in heavy duty truck areas. However, it has been noticeable in the past couple of years, a number of shiny new Daily vans have been sitting on display in their forecourts pulling in the punters.