IT’S IVECO’s ENTRY LEVEL VAN IN A HOTLY CONTESTED MARKET SEGMENT
Iveco has pushed its truncated bonnet around city streets for years and continues to polish its Daily van models with sensible size, price and load-carry ability.
But we all either want a bargain or just want the basics, so here is the Daily in its rawest form. The Daily 35S13V low roof, short wheelbase van slips in at $50,710 plus onroad costs, undercutting its rivals on a payload-per-buck equation in its class.
It received an update last year that was a bit of a blink-and-miss-it affair with basically a dash-top tray, USB port and new two-tone upholstery to mark the occasion.
But it is a bit of icing on what is already a bit of a gem. The 35S13V - 35 is the model, 13 is a corruption of the 126hp engine output - and is available in different wheelbases and roof heights.
It is noted for its durability, primarily focused on its ladder frame that expressly allows for an easy wheelbase extension, chassis strength for a high payload, and the rigidity to allow it to become a capable tow vehicle with a trailer of up to 3200 kg.
IVECO was historically part of the CNH Group, together with subsidiary FPT (Fiat Powertrain) that provides the engines for the Daily range. In Q3 of 2019, CNH announced its intention to separate IVECO and FPT, together with IVECO Bus and Heuliez Bus into a sperate company by 2021. CNH will continue with its tractor business and construction equipment divisions, as well as fire-fighting trucks.
In the case of the entry-level van, the 35S13V has a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel rated at 94 kW at 3000- 3600 rpm and torque of 320 Nm at 1800-2500 rpm.
This 2.3-litre engine has a high-pressure EGR system for a Euro5 rating. The company claims the el-cheapo Daily will get an average of 7.1 l/100 km and, on the city cycle, a commendable 7.9 l/100 km for a van with a GVM of 3800 kg.
Good news for the operator who wants to get on the road and stay there as long as possible without interruption is the 100-litre fuel tank. That indicates an average range of 1400 km or a city run that will last 1265 km.
The Daily is a rear-wheel drive and has a six-speed manual transmission, operated by a small dashboard-mounted lever.
This variant doesn’t skimp on space. The single side door has an opening of 1440 mm high and 1100 mm wide, while the rear barn doors - which open to 270-degrees - accept cargo up to 1450 mm high and 1530 mm wide.
Inside, the cargo area has a volume of 7.3 cu.m and stretches 2610 mm long and 1740 mm wide, with the wheel arches reducing that to 1317 mm. The height is 1545 mm. It’s also low to the ground with a floor height of 755 mm.
For extra safety, there is a bulkhead behind the cabin. All up the van will take a payload of 1669 kg and thanks to that full chassis, tow up to 3200 kg for a braked trailer.
Under the chassis is a double wishbone front suspension with a transverse leaf spring, and at the rear is the traditional leaf spring arrangement. The steering is a hydraulically power assisted rack and pinion design.
The garage dimensions are a credit card short of 5.7 m long and 2.34 m high, with width of 2 m, so suitable for most spaces where a medium-roof or high-roof version wouldn’t fit.
Where the Daily shines is its build strength and space, but in its entry-level form, it could do with a bit of extra convenience and safety equipment.
Out of the box the 35S13V gets four airbags, four-wheel disc brakes and ESC with brakeforce distribution, daytime running lights and a hill holder. There is an option pack with lane-departure warning and even a reverse camera, while a separate pack called Business Premium at $2200 which has a reverse camera, reverse buzzer, fog lights and a multimedia system with sat-nav.
Other standard features are cruise control, manual air conditioning, Bluetooth, electric and heated mirrors and electric windows.
Inside the cabin, the space is excellent with seating for three people. Storage opportunities are commendable, with a dash-top tray, big areas in the dash, large cubby holes in the doors (and on top of the doors) and a giant bin under the two passenger seats that secures large items out of sight of light fingers.
The basic cabin layout is simple and has a bus-driver seating position with the near-flat steering wheel. However forward and side visibility are very good, enhanced by the double-size side mirrors that rank as some of the largest standard offerings in the industry.
On the road the Daily is a brisk van with an enjoyable gear change and solid road manners. The engine makes itself known at low speeds but is quiet when cruising, especially on freeways where the gearbox’s two top ratios are overdrives. The ride is firm when empty, but supple when there’s a load aboard.
Ownership benefits of the Daily start with the three-year or 200,000 km warranty and a service interval that is annual or up to 40,000 km - again saving on the owner’s time away from the driver’s seat.
There are other features as well, including the three-piece front bumper to reduce the cost of replacement, and even time-savers such as the step built into the front bumper to make it easy to reach the windscreen for cleaning. Buyers get free roadside assistance for the warranty period and IVECO also has service agreements available to suit owner-specified needs.