The Iveco Daily is the 2015 winner of the What Van? Large Van of the Year award, regaining the prize it captured two years ago with the previous generation model.
The Daily has long been the favourite of operators who need a large van that can endure tougher assignments and take more punishment than its competitors and the new model will not disappoint in that regard but has also taken a step up in terms of refinement.
The new Daily delivers better economy, improved load carrying capabilities and superior handling and ride quality than its predecessor.
Built in Suzarra, Italy and Valladolid, Spain for the European market, 80% of the bodyparts are new – including the completely redesigned wishbone Quadleaf front suspension on 3.5-tonne versions and recalibrated rear suspension, the components contributing most to a dramatic improvement in ride quality, cutting out oversteering when cornering and enabling a more instinctive driving style than with the previous model.
The new suspension system can support 1.9 tonnes on the front axle, has raised ground clearance and is lighter than the previous arrangement – thus improving payload by 44kg. No changes have been made for change’s sake however, and the new Daily retains the ladder frame chassis to which Iveco attributes its legendary sturdiness.
The new Daily retains the 2.3 and 3.0-litre engines of its predecessors with power outputs ranging from 106, to 130 to 150hp in the smaller powertrain and up to 205hp in the flagship 3.0-litre. The manufacturer has improved fuel efficiencies by 5.5% across the line-up.
Load spaces are positioned to cater for a wide range of operator requirements and go from 7.0m3 to a cavernous and class-leading 19.6m3.
Iveco has optimised load capacities with a redesigned wheelbase, total length and load compartment length relationship. As a result the new 3520 and 4100 mm wheelbases reduce the rear overhang without affecting the ground dimensions and load platform.
As a rear-wheel-drive model in a sector that is predominantly made up of front-wheel-drive vans, the Daily offers superior traction and durability compared to most of its rivals, with the RWD Mercedes Sprinter, this year’s Highly Commended large van, an exception.
The core medium height, medium wheelbase model, which Iveco expects to account for 40% of sales, has a payload of 1200kg and a load volume of 10.8m3 – up from 10.0m3 in the equivalent previous generation van.
Frequent drop operators will appreciate a loading height of just 675mm, 55mm lower than the previous model, and a footstep at 460mm off the ground to ease loading and unloading.
The MWB Daily has a tight turning circle of 11.9m, which is useful for drivers making deliveries in confined spaces and compares to the 12.6m turning circle quoted for the MWB Sprinter. The shortest wheelbase Daily (3000mm) has a turning circle of just 10.5m.
The Daily range comes with an efficient and precise six-speed manual gearbox as standard but has added an eight-speed Hi-matic automatic transmission to the 3.0-litre model. Product manager Martin Flach says the 2.3-litre engine will be offered with the auto system from February next year, which is good news for the UK where the smaller engine accounts for most volume – particularly in the expanding dotcom delivery market for supermarket giants such as Asda and Tesco.
A useful shelf in the load bay for carrying long items extends above the passenger compartment and in the cab itself you get a full-length overhead shelf and three lidded storage compartments on the top of the dashboard as well as three cup holders and big bins in the doors.
The middle seat folds down to reveal a desk top and a handy feature is that the flat work surface is detachable to provide a laptop tray. The passenger bench seats lift up to provide generous storage space for toolboxes, jackets and hard hats.
Daily customers benefit from the provision of 24 hour servicing, courtesy of Iveco’s HGV heritage, and in September the brand introduced a five-year, 100,000 mile warranty to retail customers who buy its new Daily van from their local dealerships.
The initiative applies to purchases of up to five vans per customer and is targeted at small businesses and owner/drivers looking to renew or expand their fleets. It is valid until 31 December on all 2014 model-year vans.
Did you know?
Iveco claims the 10.8m3 Daily is best-in-class for load efficiency, a measure of the ratio between load length total vehicle length.
Last year’s category winner the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has to settle for the runners-up spot this time around but it remains a formidably accomplished van. It was the first LCV to meet Euro6 emissions standards and boasts a wealth of safety equipment including Crosswind Assist to keep the van stable in high gusting winds, Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Highbeam Assist and Collision prevention Assist to protect against rear-end shunts.
The Sprinter is a highly sophisticated yet tough vehicle that can take the sort of relentless punishment on demanding delivery runs that would leave most of its rivals floundering.