Car reviews - Iveco - Daily
Cabin ergonomics and visibility; cargo volume and payload capacity; lighter, more accurate electric steering; impressive fuel economy; safety, technology, and connectivity features
Room for improvement
Engine can struggle on large inclines; some NVH issues; infotainment touchscreen could be larger; cabin décor and material selection lacks the polish of some European rivals
The Daily represents solid value for money for businesses, fleets and owner-operators alike
3 Oct 2023
By MATT BROGAN
IVECO recently updated its Daily van and cab-chassis range introducing a raft of changes it says are designed to provide prospective owners with additional comfort, safety, and functionality benefits.
An evolutionary approach, that accounts for the longer model cycles necessary in commercial vehicle production, the most recent Daily line-up offers revised seating accommodation and longer seatbelts to benefit larger drivers, longer seat rails and a deeper bulkhead for taller drivers, improved cabin ingress and egress, and a move to electric power steering across the range.
A tilt and reach adjustable steering column further improves ergonomics while lighter, City Mode steering (which reduces steering load by 70 per cent) helps in negotiating tight loading zones or carparks, while also adding Proactive Lane Keep Assist to complement the already present Lane Departure Warning feature. Both van and cab-chassis models also score a high-resolution reversing camera with dynamic guidelines.
Six-speed manual and optional ZF-sourced Hi-Matic eight-speed automatic transmissions are available behind Euro 6 compliant turbo-diesel engines in 2.3- and 3.0-litre displacements produced by Fiat Powertrain Technologies. The former is available in a 100kW/350Nm state of tune while the latter is offered with 132kW/430Nm and 155kW/470Nm options.
The Iveco Daily van range is available in 35S, 50C and 70C (as tested) formats with single and dual rear wheel options. Cargo capacities range from 7.3- to 19.6 cubic metres with a GVM range of between 3800- and 7000kg.
The cab-chassis line-up comprises 50C and 70C variants, both in single- and dual-cab guise, with multiple wheelbase options and a GVM range of between 4495- and 7200kg.
Both the van and cab-chassis feature a 3500kg braked towing capacity. Selected models are further offered with rear airbag suspension and diff’ lock options.
Along with the introduction of optional new Proactive Lane Keep Assist, the Daily range includes a wide range of active and passive safety features. Front and rear disc brakes with ABS is standard, as are front, side and curtain airbags, and an electronic park brake.
Advanced emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, stability control and nine other stability technologies may be joined by Queue Assist, City Brake and Lane Departure Warning systems as an option.
The cabin of the Iveco Daily shares a lot in common with FCA/Stellantis models, particularly those from the Jeep range. The instrumentation, infotainment (Uconnect/Hi-Connect) system, and even the steering wheel have a familiar look and feel, the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and wireless device charging welcomed bonuses for busy owner-operators.
Pricing for the Daily range is quite competitive. Dual-cab models range from $79,849 - $126,258 plus on-road costs; people mover models from $104,500 - $131,120 +ORC; single-cab models from $58,700 - $119,493 +ORC; and van models from $56,111 - $98,183 +ORC.
Iveco backs its Daily range with a three-year/250,000km warranty with extended packages available. It also offers a range of Maintenance Agreements it says help owners to “manage the budgetary control of maintenance costs”.
More information is available at the Iveco public website.
We sampled the Daily with around 1250kg of payload on board, including fuel and passengers, and found there is still plenty to go before finding the limit of the suspension’s travel. It is obvious the springs are set to handle much more weight than we threw at it, the Daily presenting a somewhat firm ride character over lumpy A and B roads north of Melbourne.
The upside is that the setup provides the Daily with a level of predictability that is easy to settle into and, for the driver, at least, the suspension seat rounds out the remaining jitters to help keep things comfortable.
Iveco’s Daily – which features many similarities with the Fiat Ducato – is an ergonomically improved offering that seems to understand the needs of those who make their living behind the ‘wheel.
The fold-down armrests, numerous cubbies and storage bins, easy-to-understand switchgear, simple connectivity features, excellent driving position, sturdy grab handles, sizeable mirrors… the list goes on and on. And the longer you spend in the cabin, the more you find to like.
Being able to adjust the seat and steering column is something of a given, but the relationship with the pedal box is, in many commercial vans, an afterthought. Not so with the Daily. We appreciated the placement of the pedals not only in relation to the driver, but also one another. Less leg-lifting when hopping from the throttle to the brake certainly helps to reduce fatigue, while also improving safety when quicker reactions are required.
We were also appreciative of the way the wiper, headlight and climate control automation just melded into the background – all working so well that you almost forget they are there. No constant fiddling. No taking your eyes off the road. Just the way it should be.
Really, the only quibble we had with any of the Daily’s human-machine interface (HMI) was that the speedometer’s odd-number increments. While these surely suit the vehicle’s home market, the “in-between” even numbers are not marked, taking a moment to read when the digital speedo is not in use. It’s a trivial issue, but one worth noting all the same.
Iveco’s large capacity ‘four’ produces a well-metered 155kW/470Nm delivered cleanly to the rear wheels via a silky smooth eight-speed auto. The engine is not terribly intrusive, save for a little plumbing noise under load, and presents little of the ‘clatter’ often associated with commercial diesels.
Its pairing with what many consider the best transmission in the business helps achieve an extremely smooth and intuitive delivery character that enables the engine to maintain the ideal torque range in almost any situation – including a transmission braking feature useful in descending hills.
We did find the combination lacked a little intestinal fortitude (that’s guts, for those playing at home) when climbing steeper grades, washing off 10-15km/h in the process. Closer to GVM we reckon progress would be even slower, but to be completely fair there are limits to just how much grunt can be offered without chewing into the unit’s fuel economy – which at 12.9 litres per 100km we must say we’re impressed with.
We also appreciated the sensible lane keeping aids and adaptive cruise control, both of which operated cooperatively in the scenarios tested.
The Daily’s braking performance is exceptional given the size and weight of the vehicle, and in combination with judicious use of the transmission brake can be reserved for heavier applications or around-town operation (saving pad material at the same time). We also appreciated both the weighting and assistance offered from the Daily’s electric steering, which we found both fluid and communicative.
As a big, boxy van the Daily isn’t alone in exhibiting a bit of NVH – most in the segment are a touch noisy in one way or another. Wind noise is present on gusty days and the ‘drumming’ from the cargo area evident with little to fill the space (we utilised a 1000-litre water tank to simulate load). There is a little vibration through the frame over larger expansion gaps and potholes, but again, without a full payload on board this is to be expected.
Up back, the sturdy grab handles and heavy-duty tie-down points show the Daily to be work-ready. The lined cargo area helps not only to keep things tidy, but also prevents damage to the outer skin of the vehicle. The barn-style rear doors and generous sliding door aperture make pallet loading a non-event, the maximum 19.6 cubic metres easily able to handle three standard pallets.
With a little more sound insulation and a larger touchscreen for phone calls and the like, we reckon the Daily would be the almost ideal, err, daily partner. It is a solid and reliable vehicle that represents solid value for money for businesses, fleets and owner-operators alike.
At last check, Iveco boasted 27 full-line dealership across the country with 22 parts and service dealers – and growing – meaning you’ll never be too far from keeping abreast of maintenance. More information on the Iveco Daily range is available here.
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