Iveco believes its range of off-road-capable Daily vans is one of the best-kept secrets in the light commercial vehicle sector but, mindful that secrets do not boost sales, it is keen to spread the word.
Mike Cutts, Iveco’s light business line director, says the brand has “serious growth plans” for its traction-enhanced vans.
The manufacturer produces All Road and Off-Road 4x4 versions of its Daily, ranging in weight from 3.5t to 7.0t.
The former are configured for occasional, lighter off-road work combined with on-road duties, while the latter are capable of handling more extreme terrains but with the pay-off of a diminished payload.
Driven here, however, is another model that has so far largely slipped under customers’ radars since its introduction a year ago – a rear-wheel drive 3.5t Daily converted into a crew cab by Dutch body builder Snoeks. It features the Traction Plus system, an electronic differential that adjusts power delivery laterally to find grip, and comes in combination with hill descent control.
Cutts says the Snoeks Crew Cab with Traction Plus is an ideal choice for the likes of local authorities, arborists or utility companies with work involving some light off-roading.
The vans go straight from the production line to Snoeks for conversion and can be ordered directly from Iveco dealerships with a full 36 months warranty.
The cabin accommodates the driver plus either six or – as in our van – five passengers, courtesy of a four or three-seat rear bench seat. Extra interior storage is provided by a generously proportioned shelf above the front seat backs and below the bulkhead. This is joined to the load floor at either side, allowing additional space below the rear seats to extend the load length from 1,950mm to 2,555mm. Crucially, the installation of the bulkhead protects the cabin occupants from shifting loads in the cargo bay.
Sliding doors on both sides of the van, available as an option for £705 (all prices exclude VAT), facilitate access to the rear seats.
Power comes from Iveco’s 2.3-litre 136hp TD diesel with peak torque of 350Nm available from 1,500rpm, which is wedded to the brand’s enduringly excellent eight-speed Hi-matic automatic transmission. We found both handling and performance to be impressive on a test circuit of winding hill climbs and descents.
As a £1,280 extra the Hi-matic system enables the addition of the Hi-Drive ADAS pack, which comprises adaptive cruise control with queue assist, lane departure warning, proactive lane keeping assist, AEB plus City Brake Pro, ESP plus crosswind assist, electric parking brake, automatic high beam control, and automatic headlights and wipers control.
The Snoeks Crew Cab conversion itself costs £2,760.
Iveco Daily Snoeks Crew Cab 35S14A8 V
Price (ex VAT) £34,500
Price range (inc VAT) £30,000-£53,760
Insurance group tbc
Warranty 3yrs/ unltd mls
Service intervals 31,250mls
Load length 2,555mm
Load width (min/max) 1,317mm/1,740mm
Load bay height 1,900mm
Gross payload 1,001kg
Load volume 10.8m3
Engine size/power 2,287cc/136hp
Combined fuel economy 27.6mpg
Enhanced traction gives another string to the bow of this versatile and practical conversion.