In what is becoming an increasingly competitive market in the 22 to 26  seat mini bus market Iveco has  placed its  best foot forward by introducing a new 22 seat minibus variant to its range complementing its existing 11 and 16 seat models, which the company says will provide operators with additional choice while increasing the brand’s access to new markets with its many class-leading benefits.

The new Iveco 22 seater will go heart head with Daimler’s Fuso Rosa and Toyota’s venerable Coaster  as well as the myriad of Chinese players now in play.

The new 22 seat Iveco, based on the ultra-versatile previous Daily platform,  is available in ‘Shuttle’ trim level and is based on a 4100mm wheelbase with a higher H2 roof  which provides 1820mm of standing height, and has a GVM of 6.1 tonnes.

Iveco says the Shuttle 22 provides fabric seats with integrated safety belts, pleated curtains, modesty panels with handrails and overhead luggage rack with integrated air conditioner diffuser.

The Daily minibus models boast the key features of the popular Daily van range, including the ‘Hi-Matic’ 8-speed full automatic transmission, E6 compliant engine and an abundance of safety features.

Powering the entire range is Iveco’s Euro6, F1C, 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine with ‘Unijet’ common rail injection and four valves per cylinder. This power plant produces 180 horsepower (134kW) and features a flat torque curve with maximum torque of 430 Nm from a low 1,250 rpm.

As we said the engine meets the stringent Euro 6 emissions measure using a combination of DOC and DPF control, and boasts impressive fuel efficiency.

The ‘Hi-Matic’ 8-speed full automatic transmission is also used exclusively across the range, a transmission that in our experience delivers crisp changes and and seamless power delivery and the advantages of easier driving particularly in city traffic, which in turn reduces driver fatigue.

On the safety front as standard, Iveco tells us all models are equipped with a driver airbag, front and rear disc brakes with ABS, along with Iveco’s ‘ESP9’ stability program which includes a range of features including  Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Anti-slip Regulator, Drag Torque Control, Hill Hold Control, Adaptive Load Control, Trailer Sway Mitigation, Hydraulic Rear-Wheel Boost, Hydraulic Fading Compensation, Roll Movement Intervention and Roll Over Mitigation. The new minibus also features a Lane Departure Warning system.

All models are equipped with front independent torsion bar and rear electronically-controlled air suspension, while the driver is treated to a heated, air suspended seat as well.

The touchscreen Iveconnect multimedia system boasting radio is also standard including CD player, MP3 and DVD player, GPS and reversing camera.

Another benefit of the Daily minibus is an electric bus plug door allowing easier access for passengers while providing additional seating because of the swing-out configuration.

Iveco’s national sales manager, Steve Heanes, said that the Daily minibus range, including the new 22 seat variant, provides many benefits compared to others in the market.

“The combination of full automatic transmission, extensive safety equipment, an efficient Euro 6 engine plus high comfort levels make the Daily minibus range an attractive proposition across a variety of industries such as charter services, airport shuttle work, for hotels, aged car facilities, schools and the like,” Steve Heanes said.

“The Daily minibus is the only entrant in the market to offer rear airbag suspension to deliver a more supple and refined ride. The Daily’s semi-forward front axle also leads to a more comfortable drive as the operator isn’t sitting atop the wheels and feeling every bump in the road.

“A full automatic 8-speed transmission is another benefit of the Daily, providing instant throttle response and a more relaxed driving experience compared to competitors’ AMT and manual offerings.

“An additional benefit of our 8-speed automatic is its generous 200,000 kilometre service intervals which complement generous engine service intervals of 40,000km / two years*, which go a long way to delivering outstanding low total cost of ownership benefits for operators.”

Heanes said the new model would significantly strengthen Iveco’s position in the minibus market.

“By adding a 22 seat option to the range, Iveco is now in a great position to better compete in the 12 to 24 seat minibus segment, an area that we’ve identified as having considerable growth potential.

“An additional ‘Executive 22’ model is also under consideration for later in 2021.”

The Daily minibus range is available exclusively through selected Iveco Dealerships nationwide.