The latest aspirant to challenge for a top spot in the taxi market is the New Iveco Daily, recently launched in South Africa and already boasting a high level of market acceptance.
The restructuring of the taxi industry in South Africa has proved to be the biggest challenge faced by the Department of Transport in recent years. The taxi industry is a key player in the local society and economy. On any day, it transports far more passengers than both rail and bus.
The latest aspirant, the New Iveco Daily
As part of Government’s intervention in the minibus taxi industry, the Taxi Recapitalisation programme was introduced to tackle the problems of an ageing, unsafe, unregulated fleet of vehicles.
Manufacturers have risen to the challenge and have developed commuter vehicles that provide car-like comfort and incorporate the latest technology in active and passive safety systems.
Having been crowned ‘International Van of the Year’ in 2015, the New Iveco Daily sets new benchmarks for the commuter market with its combination of improved efficiency, lower servicing costs and reduced lifecycle costing.
The New Iveco Daily most suitable for taxi operations is the 5,4-ton unit, which has a swept internal volume of 16m³. This equates to a seating capacity for 22 passengers and one driver.
Crowned ‘International Van of the Year’ in 2015, the New Iveco Daily sets new benchmarks for the commuter
Additionally, Iveco SA has introduced a unique vehicle in the 5,6-ton unit, which has a larger 18m³ volume, enabling an increase in passengers to 25 people. With this vehicle, operators can increase their potential revenue per trip by between 13% and 20% over current vehicles available in the market.
When it comes to safety features, the New Iveco Daily is without parallel. The braking system, which features four-wheel discs, provides superior stopping power in all situations.
In addition, the ESP9 (Electronic Stability Programme) incorporates Iveco ‘Hill Holder’ technology to ensure there is no rollback when starting on an incline. This state-of- the-art safety system checks the driving condition of the vehicle 25 times every second and intervenes by controlling the engine output and individual application of the brakes to any of the four wheels as required.
It also incorporates functionality such as trailer-sway control under harsh driving conditions, a feature which can prove valuable for taxi operators doing long-distance travel.
Additional features which fall in line with the taxi legislation are rollover protection, passenger seatbelts and governed speeds. The rollover protection complies fully with the relevant homologation standard. Three-point seatbelts and air bags are standard for the front seat passenger, and two-point belts are fitted for the other passengers.
The vehicle speed is governed at 130km/h but can be set lower, if required. Disabled passenger access and emergency exit hatch are featured as standard in all New Daily bus conversions.
Power comes from a Euro IV, 3-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine of 2 998cm³ capacity with an output of 146hp at 3 000-3 500rpm and a maximum torque of 350N.m between 1 400 and 2 600rpm.
Mated to the power unit is a 6-speed synchromesh double overdrive manual transmission. This provides smooth engagement via the single dry plate, hydraulically-controlled clutch, while gear changes, using the ergonomically-designed, dash-mounted shifter, are light yet precise.
As a guide to fuel efficient driving, the gear shift indicator in the driver display area gives the driver guidance on the most appropriate gear for the driving conditions. To further enhance the economies of owning and operating a New Iveco Daily, a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox is available as an optional extra.