Daily delights07 November 2011

Iveco's Daily range has been revamped, helped by a new engine and gearbox line-up, and quite a lot more, as Steve Banner finds out

The new Iveco Daily range went on sale on 1 November, and buyers will be benefitting from a number of improvements over the outgoing model, not the least of which is its overhauled engine line-up. Also, the first variant launched is the Euro 5 Daily van, but it will not be long before the family expands to include tippers, dropsides and Luton variants – so there's something here for everyone.

There are additions to both the light- and heavy-duty Daily engine ranges. The top-spec Euro 5 model is powered by a new 205bhp, 470Nm 3-litre diesel, which has been fitted with twin turbochargers, and an intermediate heat exchanger to cool the air between them, to improve efficiency. Next in line are a 170bhp EEV (enhanced environmentally friendly vehicle) 3-litre that gets the twin turbos but not the heat exchanger, and a 146bhp version, equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger. Piezoelectric injectors are used in all the new engines, to further aid efficiency and cut emissions.

Yet another newcomer to the burgeoning Daily engine portfolio is a Euro 5-compliant 2.3-litre power unit, boasting 146bhp and 350Nm, not to mention Multijet 2+ fuel injection, offering up to eight injections per cycle. The injectors have been provided with new actuators and spray fuel into the combustion chamber at 1,600 bar. Equipped with a variable geometry turbo, this variant will be available next year and will offer the combination of a new six-speed gearbox plus start/stop capabilities.

In addition to these diesels, Daily can be ordered with Euro 5 106bhp and 126bhp versions of the 2.3-litre – also available with start/stop from next year – and as a Euro 5 170bhp 3-litre, with a variable-geometry turbo.

All 2.3-litre units feature an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system, with heat exchanger-based cooling to cut NOx. They have also been fitted with an exhaust gas treatment device, said to improve particulate filter behaviour during regeneration. This consists of a pre-catalyser installed downstream of the turbine, a catalyst and a particulate trap.

Designed to help drivers get the best fuel economy – an indicator on the instrument panel helps achieve this goal – overall, the new models promise reductions in diesel use and CO2 emissions of up to 10% over the outgoing model.

Other developments
While the big news is the engine range, Iveco has not ignored the rest of the vehicle. Daily now comes with the latest ESP 9 electronic stability programme as standard. This technology incorporates a plethora of safety features, including roll movement intervention, rollover mitigation and trailer sway mitigation.

Also, a redesigned front grille has improved the airflow to the engine by up to 18%, according to the Italian manufacturer. And behind this grille is a new radiator and cooling system, again said to benefit vehicle performance and economy.

Then modifications to the cab's interior include a relocated gear lever housing to ease cross-cab movement and a clipboard that can be attached to the steering wheel and turned into a desk so that drivers can complete paperwork more easily.

As for in-cab electronic, kit options include a TomTom Go Live 1000 satellite navigation system with a 4.7in touchscreen, Blue&Me Bluetooth and a Blue&Me Fleet telematics package.

On the road
The main impression left by a test drive of a Daily 3.5-tonner powered by the 205bhp engine is how remarkably quiet the van is. While unobtrusive engines often mean that every other source of noise on a vehicle is instantly highlighted, this was not the case with the new Daily.

Grossing at up to seven tonnes, with a van body offering up to 17.2m3 of cargo space, and also sold in chassis cab, chassis double cab, crew van and minibus guise, Daily is not only very flexible but also appears better put together than it has ever been.

Incidentally, it also offers a far smoother gear change, thanks, in part, to the AGile semi-automatic box, which can be specified on all the diesels bar the most powerful 3-litre.

Steve Banner

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