The Iveco Daily has undergone quite a transformation to meet Euro-5 emission standards. There is a new range of engines supplied by Fiat Powertrain, new gearboxes now with six ratios, and several notable tweaks to the van’s interior. Iveco has also had to make wholesale changes to the Daily’s cooling system to allow better respiration for the cleaner engines.
Changes to the Daily powertrain has meant new turbo technology, with variable geometry and twin turbochargers appearing throughout the range. Multijet II fuel injection, a staple of the Fiat range, now makes its way into the 2.3-litre models, with 106hp, 126hp and 146hp outputs all meeting Euro-5 requirements thanks to the technology’s more measured approach to fuel delivery.
A new 3-litre common rail diesel engine provides even higher power outputs as well as an additional 146hp engine which lines up alongside a 170hp model and the panel van sector’s highest powered engine, a 205hp option. Both the 146hp and 170hp 3-litre units are also available as more environmentally friendly EEV engines, and the Daily range features a methane- fuelled 3-litre Natural Power engine developing 136hp.
The Daily still adopts a rear-wheel-drive layout and uses a truck derived chassis, ensuring that it remains the only vehicle in its class to accommodate GVWs of up to 7-tonnes when combined with a twin rear-wheel axle. Panel van, crew cab, chassis cab and dropside bodies are all available, with Iveco claiming more than 7,000 possible Daily configurations thanks to three roof heights, three wheelbases, four body lengths and six GVWs. Daily also allows a choice of suspensions, with hydraulic shocks and transverse leaf springs, or torsion bars and an anti-roll bar, as two front axle options, and parabolic, semi-elliptical or air suspension configurations on the rear axle.
The Daily offers 17.2m3 loadspace and 1,145kg maximum payload, with a maximum load length in excess of 4.5m.
Our test vehicle’s engine has the largest power output of any commercial vehicle in the 3.5-tonne sector, a feat that is achieved through the use of a four-cylinder, 3-litre twin turbocharged engine. The 205hp output is generated using one low inertia unit to provide instant power response from low down in the rev range, before a second unit powers up to develop maximum power. The Daily meets the Euro-5 emissions standards through the use of a diesel particulate filter, fitted as standard to all models.
Choice is not something that is lacking in the Daily range, and our test vehicle certainly presents potential buyers with plenty of options given its 17.2m3 loadspace and 1,145kg maximum payload. With a maximum load length in excess of 4.5m, the Daily is by far and away the largest panel van we have tested in recent memory.
The closest road test match is a Fiat Ducato 180 Multijet Maxi, but its loadspace too is dwarfed by the Iveco measuring up 490mm shorter. While the Ducato is wider (70mm), taller (72mm) and has a greater gap between the wheel arches (102mm) than the Daily, its total volume is still less than its Italian relative by 0.2m3.
It may share mechanical components with the Ducato – most notably the engine – but the truck- derived chassis is unique to the Daily, resulting in a penalty for the Iveco on payload. This allows the Daily’s weight range to extend far beyond the Ducato which is confined to just 4t GVW. However, as a 3.5-tonne panel van the Daily’s 1,145kg payload looks scrawny when compared with the only fractionally smaller Ducato’s much heftier 1,360kg payload.
Putting the Daily’s performance into prospective is Renault’s equivalent Master LHL35 which suffers from a similar weight penalty for being rear-wheel-drive as the Daily, but without the high-capacity chassis. It can carry just 1,134kg. The rear-wheel-drive layout of the Daily makes the loading height of 695mm an issue for those needing constant access to the loadspace, but 270 degree rear doors and a large side door aperture improve access.
Our test van’s floor was lined with scratch resistant plywood as part of the Super Van pack, and has lashing points embedded throughout the floor, with two additional anchor points located a few inches off the floor towards the rear of the van. A reversing camera is also included as part of the Super Van pack, which provides a wide angled view of the rear on a small screen mounted in place of a rear view mirror.
Drivers should take note that although the view of the rear steps is useful for judging distances, objects towards the edge of the picture are heavily distorted by the lens and may be closer or further way than originally expected. Parking sensors may therefore be a more worthwhile addition. Fortunately the Daily’s mirrors are of an ample size to compensate for blindspots – their dimensions are almost truck-like – which given the size of this particular van is certainly a benefit.
|Model||Wheelbase||Length||Width||Height||Loadspace Length||Loadspace Width||Loadspace Height||Volume||Payload|
Changes to the interior include repositioning of the gear lever, locating it a little closer to hand, along with a re-shaped bulkhead to improve seat adjustment. This is a noticeable improvement for both driver and passenger, improving cross-cab access and giving the driver great adjustability in their forward seating position. The addition of up to 45mm height adjustment for the steering-wheel also makes it easier to find your best driving position, and is aided in the case of our test van, by an air suspension driver seat with an adjustable rebound rate determined by the driver’s weight.
Storage is an issue in the Daily, which struggles with room for drinks and smaller items, but when it comes to hidden storage our penchant for decent hidey-holes was more than satisfied with a split-level glovebox, useful drop-down centre box and the passenger under seat storage.
Materials feel hardwearing, and although colours are drab, the variety of textures used on the dash give an air of quality to the plastics. Seat support is particularly good, and the extra room helps, but adjusting to a comfortable position is tricky – especially when factoring in the bounce of the suspension seat. The extra 45mm steering wheel adjustment is also a useful addition for the Daily.
Instrument displays are also clearer, and we had no complaints in reading the Iveco’s big dials, and Peripheral control layout is logical with simple wiper, indicator/lights and cruise control functions off individual stalks.
On The Road
If we thought the 177hp engine in the Fiat Ducato was a touch excessive, then the 205hp found in the Daily van is bordering on the obscene. However, like the Ducato, which has high-powered engines to cater for motor home conversions, the Daily range includes this enormously powerful engine to give customers at 6t and 7t GVWs an engine better suited to their operating weight.
Whether or not you need this much power at 3.5t is debateable, but with the ability to increase the Daily’s combination weight to 6.3t there will still be demand for high-output engines at this weight. Maximum torque of 470Nm arrives at just 1,400rpm, which means there is enormous urgency from very early on in the rev range.
Power delivery up to 3,000rpm, where it peaks, is constant, with the 3.0-litre engine proving eager to accelerate regardless of gear. Noise levels have improved from the previous generation, but the sound of the engine does penetrate the cabin noticeably when pushed beyond 2,000rpm, however, it is a pleasant experience, buoyed by the abundance of power.
Unfortunately all that oomph does little for fuel consumption. Make no mistake, this is a big van and we don’t expect world beating economy from it, but 28.7mpg across the A-road test section is 1.5mpg less than the Ducato which recorded 30.2mpg with a Comfortmatic robotised manual transmission. That higher consumption figure may be down, in part, to the Daily’s shorter band of peak power arriving higher up the rev range when compared to the Ducato.
The wealth of lowdown torque obviously helped on our urban test route though, with the Daily bettering the Ducato’s 20.2mpg by managing 24.4mpg in town, an impressive achievement on a par with our test of Nissan’s NV400 van (24.1mpg) in L2H2 spec. Steering is precise and well weighted for a vehicle of this size. Manoeuvring at slower speeds demands little effort, leaving you to concentrate on safe navigation, while at motorway speeds there is a firmness to the steering that allows you to relax without feeling disconnected. Gear changes require a firm hand, and as previously said, the positioning has been changed for a more ergonomic location.
The transmission does baulk momentarily after a shift, but the new double overdrive six-speed ‘box is well pared to the engine’s power. We recently tried an Iveco Daily equipped with the automated Agile gearbox, and despite the claimed fuel economy benefit – in a slightly smaller van we recorded 30.5mpg over a mixed test route – we would still endorse taking a manual transmission over the Agile for sheer comfort and usability.
The Daily’s ride is firm, which is not surprising given the wheelbase length, but its suspension set-up of transverse leaf and parabolic springs lends itself well to a supersized van. Driving the Daily can be quite engaging, as it demonstrates fine cornering abilities and is matched with consistent, effective brakes.
The Daily comes with the latest generation of Iveco’s electronic stability program (ESP9) and is joined by several additional new systems like Trailer Sway Mitigation (TSM) to adapt ESP when towing and Hydraulic Fading Compensation which compensates for brake fade. The latest safety features also include Roll Movement Intervention and Roll Over Mitigation (RMI & ROM), while the driver is protected by an airbag with passenger and window airbags also available.
Cost of Ownership
Total options fitted to our test van amount to £2,330, which given the likely avenue for a Daily of these proportions among courier and home delivery fleets is perhaps more than any cost-conscious customer would specify.
Two optional extra packs, Daily Top and Super Van, help inflate the total purchase price of the Daily to £34,170, but each contains several items that many would consider fairly necessary additions. Included in the Daily Top Pack is automatic air conditioning, dual passenger under-seat storage (providing 6-litres of storage) and cornering fog lights.
The aforementioned driver suspension seat is also included while the Super Van pack consists of 270 degree rear doors, a third brake light, rear view camera and spotlight, and a coated plywood floor for the loadspace.
As reported in a previous long term fleet update, none of the above seem to be particularly lavish accessories for our Daily, with the exception of the suspension seat which you could argue is a wise investment given the harsher ride long wheelbase vans deliver.
Basic specification for the range starts with the ‘Daily’ trim level, followed by ‘Daily Plus’ and then our test vehicle’s ‘Daily Top’ equipment. Entry-level Dailys get a three-way adjustable seat, dual passenger seat, electric windows, adjustable steering wheel and tinted windows.
Daily Plus adds cruise control, remote central locking, a passenger seat pull-out table, the removable TomTom dashboard mounting for satellite navigation systems, heated electric mirrors and overhead storage.
Five other equipment packages are available to accommodate towing, off-road work (with sump guard and differential locking), tachograph requirements (for Dailys over 3.5 tonnes) and additional heating systems. Several of the above options, along with radio, Bluetooth and anti-theft systems can also be specified individually.
The 30.5mpg fuel economy on the combined route is surprisingly good for such a heavy chassis, and will be a major help in reducing total life costs. Servicing, which can be carried out at any of the 97 authorised Iveco service points, are set at 25,000 miles.
The Daily comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, although Iveco usually a number of extended warranty and aftersales packages available.
Iveco continues to make advancements with the Daily, and this latest generation is a sizeable step forwards. The visual improvements give the Daily a more grown-up look that keep it looking fresh among the competition, while the ergonomic changes to the gear stick positioning and bulkhead make the interior a more usable and comfortable space. There’s plenty of enjoyment to be had by the driver, and although its not up to Mercedes-Benz Sprinter levels of dynamics and responsiveness, the Iveco performs admirably at such a size and weight. Economy was let down by the motorway and A-road fuel consumption figures, but when balanced off against the performance in an urban environment, fleets using a van of this scale would be accustomed to the financial pain they impart. There are certainly better 3.5-tonners, but if you operate larger GVW vans, you won’t be left short-changed by populating your fleet with a variety of Dailys for the sake of consistency and familiarity.