Iveco Daily Hi-matic: An automatic revelation
On a recent visit to Turin I had the opportunity to put the new Iveco Daily Hi-Matic through its paces and was thoroughly impressed.
Previous experience of auto-equipped vans have been a big disappointment with slow response, pedestrian shift speeds and clumsy gear selection. Thankfully, the new transmission consigns those descriptions to history. Indeed, the slick shift and simple operation make this, in our opinion, the best light commercial auto transmission in the market.
The choice of ratios ensured our fully laden 3.5-tonne test vehicle was never hunting between gears and while you can feel the changes go through, there’s none of the clunking associated with autos of old. Furthermore, block changes up and down the transmission, say when approaching a roundabout and then needing a quick getaway, are decisive giving the driver maximum assurance and confidence in the system. You can switch between power and eco mode with the transmission, which works well enough, though the vehicle could do with a dash display to tell you which mode you’re in.
During the trip I was also told how Iveco has responded to feedback from initial customers and the press, and unveiled a number of minor modifications to the new Daily, aimed at ensuring the product satisfies the market needs: A modification to the mirrors has been made to protect the indicator unit; a new tablet holder has been added to the dash; two USB ports are now available in cab, while in the load area Iveco has modified the lighting set-up.
The new Daily is an extensive and comprehensive range. Furthermore, by differentiating the range between chassis-cabs and panel vans, Iveco has effectively launched two new ranges. It now finally has a product for the panel van sector which should see it shake off its heavy and over-engineered reputation, while retaining the inherent chassis strength for the chassis-cabs. It now comes down to service and pricing, if Iveco can come up with a competitive offer on those two counts, this new Daily will be worth serious consideration.