Is the Iveco Daily 4×4 a good off road vehicle for exploring Australia? That is the question which we hope to answer in this article. There’s no doubt about it, the Iveco daily 4×4 is made for hard work from the factory floor, with many off roading accessories that come standard.
But can it be used as a replacement for the standard 1 tonne style off road ute many of us use for work and play everyday?
A Brief History
The Iveco Daily 4×4 was introduced as we know it now in 2013. Back then you could pick one up for a similar price to a Toyota Landcruiser 79 series, which was appealing for many people.
Iveco came out with single cab and dual cab options. The dual cab seated six people inside with a tray size of 2400mm long and the single cab seated three and had a tray size 3.5m. Significantly bigger than all the well known 1 tonne off road utes on the market in Australia.
They released it with a 3L turbo diesel engine producing 400Nm of torque. To this day the same same capacity engine exists in the current range. The biggest appeal for the Iveco is that you can carry a payload of near 2 tonne on and off road in a multiseat vehicle without the need for a light truck license!
It looked tough on paper, it is tough in person, yet it didn’t really catch on like many anticipated.
The question arose; is it a mini truck or a large ute?
It’s kind of in-between.
The concept is actually really novel. More and more, people are using the plethora of 1 tonne style utes like the Ford Ranger, or the Toyota Landcruiser for exploring the vastness of Australia, not just work. However, one of the biggest limitations of these utes is the payload.
Once you set up the ute with off road suspension, front bull bar, extra fuel, winch, fridge, people etc, there isn’t much payload left to carry anything significant, like a camper or camping canopy etc. You can of course get a GVM upgrade for certain vehicles to upgrade the payload capacity. But with an Iveco Daily 4×4, there is no need. It can easily carry most things you would want when in the middle of the outback.
Iveco Daily 4×4 Interior Features
Iveco has been hard at work making the latest Ivecos more comfortable and quieter than previous models. Internal cab features include:
- Sound deadening
- Climate control
- Drivers air suspended seat
- Ergonomically designed controls
- Loads of storage compartments
- Bluetooth equipped stereo
- The gear controls and buttons are more user friendly from previous models
One thing is for sure. Despite these improvements, it is still very tall. Which means it will feel like you are driving a truck rather than a ute.
Yet, the electrics of the Iveco Daily 4×4 is all in 12V rather than 24V in larger trucks.
Iveco Daily 4×4 Exterior Features
The Iveco Daily 4×4 has a very commanding presence, it sits high above other vehicles in traffic, it is built tough with a high tensile steel chassis and a three-piece steel front bumper. Some of the other external features include:
- Tubular steel cross members
- Rigid structure capable of withstanding torsional stress of extreme off road applications
- 3.4 metre wheelbase
- High ground clearance
- Front parabolic 3 stack leaf springs
- Rear parabolic 4 stack leaf springs
- Anti roll stabiliser bars
Iveco Daily 4×4 Specs Overview
|MODEL||55S17W CAB CHASSIS||55S17W DUAL CAB|
|ENGINE||IVECO FIC 3.0 litre Turbo Diesel 170 hp/125 kW||IVECO FIC 3.0 litre Turbo Diesel 170 hp/125 kW|
|TRANSMISSION||6 speed overdrive manual||6 speed overdrive manual|
|WHEELBASE||3.40 m||3.40 m|
|PAYLOAD CAPACITY||Up to 2800 Kg||Up to 2510 Kg|
|TOWING CAPACITY||Up to 3500 Kg||Up to 3500 Kg|
|GVM||Up to 5.5 tonnes||Up to 5.5 tonnes|
|FUEL CAPACITY||90 L||90 L|
The Iveco Daily 4×4’s direct injection turbo diesel produces 400 Nm of torque from a low 1,250 rpm. And like the Toyota Landcruiser 79 series, there is no option for Automatic transmission.
Iveco 4×4 Off-Road Specs
This is where the Iveco sets itself apart from its ute counterparts in Australia. Off the factory floor the Daily 4×4 comes with:
- 3 differential locks (front, rear and center)
- Steel front bar
- 255mm ground clearance
- Industrial transfer case with 2 stages, giving up to 24 forward speeds!
- Huge 37” tires
Modifying a ute to have those off-road specs would cost thousands if it was even possible and that’s off the factory floor!
It also boast some impressive off-road stats, such as:
- 39° departure angle, with rear bar raised
- 48° approach angle
- 153° ramp angle
- fording depth up to 660mm
On Iveco’s website, they state that the off road capability of the Daily 4×4 makes it suited for:
- off road support vehicles
- emergency services
- mining or forestry services
- recreational vehicles
So let’s focus on the last point, “recreational vehicles”. For all intents and purposes, reading the above off road spec’s makes the Daily 4×4 sound like a very capable, comfortable and fun vehicle to go touring Australia in. But is it really?
Why Doesn’t Everyone Use Iveco Daily 4×4’s For Touring?
Well, at Trayon we have thought about this in great detail and it’s a three part answer. There is definitely a place for Iveco Daily 4×4 in the recreational vehicle industry, but here are three reason why someone might choose a different vehicle:
So the engine specs above might sound impressive, but without context it is hard to gauge where it sits. If we are comparing the Iveco to current popular 1 tonne utes which get used for touring Australia then it puts it on par with engines in mid range 4WDs like the Isuzu Dmax.
The Dmax has 430Nm of torque, the Ford ranger punches out 470Nm of torque as standard, yet they only have a rough payload of 1 tonne compared to over 2 tonne in the Iveco. What’s even more interesting, is that the curb weight of the Iveco daily 4×4 is around 2.765 tonne, which is within Landcruiser territory.
So perhaps one main reason why people aren’t choosing the Iveco is because once you do load it up with 2 tonne worth of gear, and max out the 3500kg towing capacity that little 3L turbo diesel might really struggle.
One thing to keep in mind on this point however, it’s not just about torque in this scenario, it’s also how you translate that torque to the ground. The Iveco’s transfer case is built tough and gives a large amount of control in many situations. With 3 reverse gears and over 24 forward gears.
2. Is it reliable?
Since the vehicle has been in service for 6 years now, there have been rumors coming to light about reliability. When you are in the middle of the outback, there is little margin for error. So having some trust with your vehicle is important. So if you are considering an Iveco Daily 4×4 for exploring our nation, be sure to read forums, check Facebook and talk to current owners about their experiences.
3. How big is it?
For many people, size counts! But bigger isn’t always better! Let’s face it, the Iveco Daily 4×4 is big. Sure it’s no Mac Truck, but it does bear the name 4×4 Light Truck. Yes, it much smaller and agile than bigger trucks, that’s why it is great for forestry, mining and even emergency services. But for a recreational vehicle that may also be used as a run about, just like a Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Mazda BT-50 or an Isuzu Dmax it dwarfs them all. At almost twice the height in the cab. Why is this important? Well, say goodbye to going to undercover car parks at 2.1m, because the Iveco stock standard height is 2.629m. It also has a 13m turning circle, so it could be challenging to get out of tight places like regular shopping centre car parks.
Quite often in Aussie outback tracks, many branches sit above the 2m mark on the trees, but if your vehicle height is above that, you are at risk of your Iveco windscreen becoming a lumberjack. Here is a video illustrating what we mean. If this landcruiser was an Iveco Daily 4×4, at alomost twice the cab height you would have a hard time getting past this tree:
Also, with the massive 37” wheels, means the tray you put on the cab-chassis will sit quite high off the ground. Making it that little bit more challenging to access the load area.
What Are Iveco Daily 4×4 Heavy Duty Competitors?
So is the Daily 4×4 leaning toward the heavy duty 4WD market like the Landcruiser 4×4 and Mercedes G Professional or the light truck market like the Mitsubishi Canter and the Isuzu NPS?
We actually believe that the closest competitor in the light truck market is actually the Mercedes Benz Sprinter 4×4 cab chassis. And if you are considering the concept of a light off road truck as a touring rig, then these two would be great contenders.
However, in Australia we have very limited options with the sprinter. Hopefully one day, Daimler Australia (Mercedes Benz) will allow members of public to order sprinters with Oberaigner off road modifications like you can in Europe and America. Oberainger is an engineering company in Austria who make upgrades in partnership with Mercedes for the Sprinter.
They make modifications like add bull bars, snorkels, rims, even take the dual wheels at the back of the 4×4 Sprinter off and put a single wheel on front and rear, bigger tyres etc. They also have options for lower range gearbox and transfer case ratios.
If Mercedes would allow these modifications to happen in Australia, it could open up a huge market for the light truck off road touring sector, and here’s why:
You can get the Oberainger Mercedes Sprinter as a 4×4 cheaper than what the Iveco Daily 4×4 sells for overseas. It’s a very similar setup, but here is the main difference: The Sprinter comes in a V6 twin turbo engine with a seven speed automatic gearbox with the reliability of Mercedes.
However, without the Oberainger modifications, the 4×4 sprinter can’t practically be used for off road touring with dual wheels on the back. And if you modify that in Australia, you will void your warranty.
Vehicles like the Landcruiser and Iveco Daily 4×4 have paved the way for small economies with aftermarket accessories and upgrades, and in most cases the manufacturer still honours the warranty.
Mercedes Australia on the other hand will void warranty with any modifications. So they are a bit behind the game if they are wanting to enter in this market. Allowing customers to utilise and modify their vehicles to suit their application could go along way. Even if they followed their EU and USA counterparts and partnered up with a dedicated aftermarket engineering company.
Mercedes G Professional Ute
In the Australian ute segment, the closest competitor spec for spec to the Iveco Daily 4×4 has to be the Mercedes G Professional Cab Chassis and here’s why:
- Still compact, fits in outdoor car parks and the carport at home
- No larger than a Landcruiser
- V6 5 speed automatic, 3L twin turbo diesel engine
- 2 Tonne payload, a little less than the Iveco, but allot more than other utes
- 3 Differential locks
- Although it has less torque, the V6 handles the delivery of that torque better under load.
- Slightly more expensive
The downside to this vehicle is there are limited to no after market options if you wanted to make any changes in Australia. You would be subject to the same warranty issues with the Sprinter. But that said, the G Professional comes equipped with most things you would need off road, with the reliability of the Mercedes badge.
This is really a super compact light truck which is very capable off road.
Landcruiser 79 Series
Again, in the heavy duty off road ute segment you can’t go past the Landcruiser 79 Series as a Competitor. Most people who have considered a Iveco Daily 4×4 are either a landcruiser owner already, or may head down that route. And here’s why:
- Compact, fits in most carparks.
- V8, Turbo Diesel, Manual Transmission
- 1 Tonne payload
- Single differential lock on top model
- Super reliable used by thousands of Aussies
- Cheaper off the floor
- Heaps of accessories and upgrade options without voiding warranty
So Who Is The Iveco Daily 4×4 For?
The Daily 4×4 is a novel idea! And super useful for mining, forestry and emergency services to carry a heavy load into remote areas without having to tow. But for recreational use it has some drawbacks such as being under-powered and exceptionally tall.
So who is it for then?
Well the Daily 4×4 is perfect for people who are looking to explore Australia who are happy with the added inconvenience of height and need a payload capacity of around 2 tonne and still have space for the kids.
But it’s also for those people who have a tray back camper or slide on camper which has a dry weight (empty) of 850kg or more. Because once you load it up with food, water, equipment, bedding, people and add accessories to your vehicle like a bull bar, winch, second spare tire etc, chances are you are over 1.2 tonne which would mean it would exceed the limits of most 1 tonne style utes on the market. You would need to spend a small fortune on GVM upgrades to a Landcruiser to get close to that.
The only other vehicle you could consider in that situation Mercedes G Professional Ute. However, you are only limited to 2 seats.
A Slide on camper for the Iveco Daily 4×4
A Trayon camper is built to have a low profile to fit behind the cab of the vehicle so aerodynamic drag is not impeded.
It easily fits behind a Daily 4×4’s Cab, and the unique thing about the Iveco is that you can fit a full sized (single cab) Trayon 1980 onto the Iveco Daily 4×4 Dual cab to seat 6 people! So if you had 4 kids, the dog and the missus and you want to go exploring Australia in a ute without towing, then it looks like the Iveco Daily 4×4 is your only option without getting your truck licence!
Its huge tray platform and payload capacity allows you to add all kinds of accessories like water tanks, more storage without going over the payload limit.
We do have several Iveco Daily 4×4 customers who love the Trayon camper for their touring setups but because Trayons are the lightest class 2 slide on campers spec for spec most of our customers have mid range 4WDs and our slide on campers are well within their payload limits. We have specific upgrades we make for large off road vehicles like the Iveco Daily 4×4, Mercedes Unimog, Okka, Mitsubishi Canter 4×4 and Isuzu NPS 4×4, like extended steps and outhouse to account for the height.
So, there you have it. The Iveco Daily 4×4 is ideal for those wanting to seat more than two people and carry more than 1.2 tonne off the beaten track. There are some compromises with places you can go in built up areas such as shop car parks. But if you are willing to overlook these, it is a capable vehicle.
But please do your research on reliability before buying, there are some rumours going around of people having adverse experiences with them. But keep in mind that many vehicles have rumors going around. So take them with a grain of salt.