Iveco has been quietly building up an awesome reputation for strength and reliability over the past 10 years, to the extent that the Daily van is now the number one seller in western Europe in the 3.5-tonne gross vehicle weight sector.
Now the Italian van and truck maker has upped its efforts a notch with the launch of the new Daily, which gets fresh looks inside and out, a set of new engines and various other improvements.
To confirm its commitment to achieving a greater market share, Iveco – which incidentally stands for Industrial VEhicle COrporation in case you didn’t know – has invested E250 million in the new van and even brought in world-famous designer Giorgetto Giugiaro to create its looks.
According to the Daily’s press blurb (this stuff is always worth quoting as it’s usually priceless!): ‘The new Daily is ahead of its time – it goes beyond the concept of ‘attractive and functional’ to become a defining feature of one’s business.
'It is no longer simply a work tool, it is also a calling card which helps convey the values and philosophy of one’s business.’
Joking apart, Giugiaro has made a wonderful job of transforming the van.
The old Daily was by no means a bad looker but the new model boasts a raised bumper, stylish grille and headlights, and lots of attractive creases and folds which bring it bang up to date.
Colour-coded bumpers will also be available which look smart but we couldn’t recommend them for fleet purposes, what with white van man’s propensity for scraping his vehicle along numerous surfaces.
On the sides, you certainly won’t miss the massive new split wing mirrors – they are the size of dinner plates and add to the Daily’s safety specification.
They even include flashing indicator lights.
At the back, there is a high-level spoiler incorporating a third brake light and air vents and the light clusters are new too.
Double 270 degree doors are standard, together with a hefty step.
Beware the car that runs into the back of this van.
In the cab, we find things totally changed.
Giugiaro has once again weaved his magic.
Gone is that old dash that looks like something hewn from a slab of oak and in comes an item that is softer and more stylish and
The gearchange migrates from floor to dash (the last heavy panel van to do this) and the handbrake is shorter and has a lighter action.
A CD player and ABS brakes come as standard but a major disappointment was the news that a driver’s airbag is only standard on higher-powered models.
For smaller Dailys you have to cough up £200 plus VAT for this basic necessity.
Passenger and window bags also feature on the options list.
Iveco is also offering adaptive ESP traction control, as found in the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, as a £260 option (the Merc by the way, has that feature included as standard), together with sat-nav at £900, electric windows at £70 and Iveco’s AGile automatic gearbox at £690.
Other standard fittings include a full steel bulkhead, xenon foglights, remote central locking and an independently lockable load area.
Under the bonnet, all engines are now Euro IV-compliant and two four-cylinder versions are available: a 2.3-litre unit offering 96bhp, 116bhp and 136bhp and a 3.0-litre unit with 146bhp and 174bhp.
This latter engine is beaten on power only by the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter which has a 184bhp powerplant on offer.
Panel vans and chassis cabs will be on offer from launch and there will be Iveco’s various niche models up and coming such as minibuses and ambulances – in fact, 3,000 different models will be on the price lists.
Wait also for a stonking jacked-up 4x4 version which could reach these shores by the end of the year.
Three classes are on offer – L, S and C offering the usual mix and match of wheelbases and roof heights.
Gross vehicle weights range from 2.8-tonnes to 6.5-tonnes and payloads go from 1,210kg to 3,640kgs.
Load volumes are between 7.3 cubic metres and 17.2 cubic metres.
Prices start from £16,400 ex-VAT.