Diesel News decided to head for the hills, to play dirty in a Daily 4×4, and see what these rugged babies of the Iveco range can do. Would they be as impressive in real world situations as they are on paper? It didn’t take long to realise the answer was a resounding ‘you bet, and then some!’
Climbing into the cab was relatively easy although we’d like to see a grab handle on the B-pillar to complement the one on the A-pillar. The matter of three-point contact for entry and egress to cabs is another OHS stipulation of safety conscious employers. Once seated in the suspended chair, the first impression was of outstanding panoramic vision, an asset when negotiating tight forestry trails. Mirror positioning is also spot-on (no pun intended) with minimal intrusion on forward and side vision.
The thick rimmed wheel adjusts telescopically, but not for rake which could be an issue for taller drivers. I’m average height and still would prefer the wheel a bit closer as my left knee was resting against the gear lever tower.
Initial familiarisation with the vehicles includes some basic ‘obstacle courses’ including a creek drive which affirms the wading ability and the chassis twist section with opposing 45 degree side slopes. Taking everything in its substantial stride, the Daily seems to be begging for some tougher action.
Time to point the stumpy snout at the steepest and roughest climb at the centre. With low/low range and all three diff locks engaged, Daily picks its way up the treacherous slope without a care in the world. Granted there’s no payload, yet the impressive low down torque enables uniform progress as each wheel bites into the various jump ups with no fear of stalling the engine.
It clearly demonstrates the beauty of having all four wheels driving in unison. Stopping mid climb proves the worth of the hill-hold feature as progress is resumed smoothly without danger of the dreaded roll back before the clutch is re-engaged.
It’s a similar story on the way back down in bog cog as complete control is maintained without any brake intervention. In fact, it’s actually necessary to accelerate slightly at some stages because progress is too slow. That said, with a full payload aboard the retardation should be about right for this sort of challenging descent.
In conclusion, it’s a double thumbs up for the new Daily 4×4. Put simply, it’s a no compromise vehicle, well equipped to perform in a myriad of roles where off-road ability is paramount. Iveco is to be commended for developing and bringing a vehicle of this calibre to market. Quite simply, in this price range there’s no other similarly equipped vehicle to compare. Job well done.