Winning the International Van of the Year Award for 2018 sets the scene for IVECO’s latest Daily – Words by Ed Higginson.

With Iveco adding to the appeal of the impressive Daily van and cab/chassis range with several upgrades in 2017, the latest version with Euro 6 technology continues to keep the range as a top contender.

Back in late 2017 Delivery Magazine attended the Daily launch in Melbourne, taking six of IVECO’s models for a day’s drive around Victoria, and was impressed by the improvements. But to really test out a new vehicle, a day just isn’t enough. So, with the offer to take IVECO’s range-topping 70C Van, fitted with the new Euro 6 engine for a week, it was a good opportunity to evaluate the Daily in more depth.

In the January issue of Delivery Magazine, I joined the IVECO media drive to review the 35S17 Van, 50C17 Van (12 m3), 50C17 Van (16 m3), 50C17 Cab Chassis (auto), 50C17 Cab Chassis (manual), and the 50C21 Cab Chassis. At the time, all the variants were fitted with the Euro 5 engine in comparison to the 70C for the test, which now has the IVECO FIC Euro 6 engine.

In Euro 5 form, the 70C was fitted with the 3.0-litre diesel using direct-injection, variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and intercooler to offer 180 hp @ 2900-3500 rpm, plus 430 Nm of torque @ 1400-3000 rpm. In comparison, the Euro 6 engine gives maximum power of 180 hp @ 2800-3500 rpm and 430 Nm of torque @ 1500-3000 rpm.

They are so close in performance you cannot notice a difference on the road, but maybe just happier knowing your van is the cleanest it can be. To meet the stricter emission targets, the Euro 6 engine uses exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which is the same as the Euro 5 van, plus now with the addition of selective catalytic reduction. This means that the IVECO can reduce the permitted level of NOx emitted from 180 mg/km down to a maximum of 80 mg/km.

In terms of the transmission, there is a six-speed synchromesh single overdrive manual as standard, but the demonstration van was fitted with the optional eight-speed ZF torque converter automatic, known as the Hi-Matic with ECO mode. With the van loaded at around 80 percent payload, the automatic worked smoothly through the gears, so it felt effortless to get up to speed.

The only issue I found with the automatic option was that the dash moulding around the automatic lever stuck out a little too far, so my knee kept knocking it. Shame it’s not positioned just a few centimetres higher, but not an issue with the manual gear lever.

With a decent load on board during the week, the ride in the 70C was fantastic on the independent front suspension with adjustable steel torsion bar, and on the rear air suspension, which is an optional extra. There is also a switch on the dash for dumping the airbags to lower the rear of the van during loading, which is another great function from IVECO.

Being a van with the driver positioned behind the axles rather than over them, as you are in the comparable Isuzu or Hino, it adds to the smoothness of the IVECO, especially when riding on the mechanically suspended seat.

In striking blue, the van highlights just how big the 70C is, with the demo unit being the largest on offer for IVECO, and in the market, with 19.6 m3 of load space, a GVM of 7000 kg and GCM of 10,500 kg.

On the outside, the 70C has a wheelbase of 4100 mm and overall length of 7498 mm, so with a rear step and towbar you have a lot of overhang to consider, yet the turning circle is still good, which you need for urban deliveries.

The cargo area is where the IVECO excels, with the option of 1260 mm wide sliding doors on either side, plus rear barn doors that easily swing open 90 degrees or all the way round to 270 degrees so they are flush with the sides. This is a great feature when loading with a forklift through the 1530 mm x 2000 mm opening to reduce the risk of damage.

Inside the cargo area, the largest of the 70C range has a length of 5125 mm, width of 1740 and height of 2100. The gap between the wheel arches is just 1032 mm though, so you can’t slide a standard Australian pallet between them, but, with such a large overhang, there is room for one pallet at the rear of the van and one through the sliding doors, beating many of its rivals.

The new Daily cab is an impressive area to work in. With a modern dark blue and black material, loads of storage options and drink holders, it’s a great space for a long shift.

The van on test had the upgraded suspended, fully adjustable and heated driver’s seat with armrests for the added level of comfort. With a single passenger seat you could set the van up for a walk-through door into the cargo area, ideal for courier drivers who don’t want to jump out of the driver’s door into traffic. You can also opt for a bench seat for two passengers, together with under-seat storage if you’d prefer.

The IVECO Daily comes with a long list of standard features in the new model line-up. In terms of safety, the range includes four SRS airbags, front and rear disc brakes with ABS and electronic stability program, and IVECO ‘ESP 9’ safety package.

For comfort, the range includes a four-speaker audio system with FM/AM radio, CD/mp3 player with USB and AUX input. You also get Bluetooth connectivity with radio and phone controls on the steering wheel, which most importantly works perfectly and was easy to connect with my iPhone.

On top of the standard features, the Daily has three main option packs, with the first being called the ‘Business Premium’. This selection is ideal for courier work and city pick-up/delivery applications as the pack adds reverse buzzer, fog lights and IVECONNECT multimedia system with GPS and rear reversing camera.

With the Business Premium pack added, you can then also opt for the ‘Comfort’ pack, which adds a very comfortable suspended, fully adjustable and heated driver and passenger seat with armrests, which was impressive for a van and ideal for those long shifts behind the wheel. The Comfort pack also adds automatic climate control.

You can also opt for a pack called the ‘Efficiency’, which focuses on reducing the running costs of the vehicles. The Eco switch is an option with the manual transmission that reduces the torque of the engine when running empty, to reduce fuel consumption. With the 2.3-litre 35S model, you get start and stop technology that automatically switches off the engine when you come to a stop. The pack also gives lane departure warning for added safety.

The new range is backed by a three-year/200,000 km standard warranty. There is also a range of extended warranties available at additional cost if you want peace of mind over the long term. In terms of servicing, IVECO Daily boasts a 40,000 km or 12 month (whichever comes first) engine oil service interval.

The Daily 70C is an impressive van, and, if you need lots of space and an impressive 3924 kg payload (or 4064 kg with smaller wheelbase), then the IVECO range offers market-leading figures. Add all these finer points together and it’s easy to see how the Daily received its award for International Van of the Year.

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