You’ve probably already noticed that most of the major van manufacturers were busy updating their vehicles last year to fall in line with Euro V emissions legislation. Some of them, in addition to adding new engines, also added a few nips and tucks.
But the changes Iveco made to the Daily range go way beyond that. This van now boasts smart new looks at the front end, a much improved cab and a set of engines that are so much more efficient that they’ll bring a smile to the face of any cost-conscious van fleet operator.
Under the bonnet is a choice of 2.3-litre and 3.0-litre powerplants. The smaller one offers power of 106bhp, 126bhp and 146bhp while the bigger one, featuring a twin turbocharger, has 146bhp, 170bhp or 205bhp.
There is also a new six-speed gearbox.
Iveco reckons the new engines make the Daily 10% more fuel-efficient, with a corresponding 10% drop on CO2 emissions.
The ESC stability control system – which is already standard across the range – has been upgraded to adaptive ESC, which is able to adjust itself when loads are placed in different parts of the cargo area.
There are also four airbags on offer, a new adjustable steering column, extra storage areas in the cab, better seats, an optional TomTom sat-nav unit with Blue & Me fleet management system, daytime running lights, foglights which turn with the steering wheel and a gearshift indicator.
There are now 7,000 different Daily variants on offer.
Behind the wheel
We had already driven the new Daily in left-hand drive format in its home town of Turin late last year, but at a driving event at Coombe Abbey near Coventry, we finally got to drive right-hand driver British versions – and very impressed we were, too.
The Daily has always been one of my personal favourites because it is rougher and tougher than the average 3.5-tonne panel van, with a proper ladder-frame chassis, and I always feel like a truck driver rather than a van driver when I’m behind the wheel.
I love the new front-end of the Daily, while Iveco has added some innovative touches: a mass of plastic padding circumferences the bottom to stop that lovely paintwork getting damaged in the event of a minor accident.
I was pleased to see extra storage spaces under the passenger seat and overhead.
And with room for seven workmen, I was surprised to see how much legroom there was even for rear seat passengers, and this model featured the optional airsprung seat.
If you are going to use this vehicle regularly for long journeys, it’s an option well worth thinking about because this seat really is a dream.
The engine fired up in a cool, calm way and on the road, my co-pilot and I could talk in hushed tones, which is something you couldn’t do in older Daily models.
Gear changes are slick, power steering not too light and not too heavy and with that adaptive electronic stability control system on board, I couldn’t imagine a safer place to be on the roads.
There was certainly no lack of power, even up the hills with a half-load of sand in the back.
This van is not only a stonking performer but is now graced with a very stylish front end too. We like it very much indeed and salute Iveco for making ESC a standard fitment.