Iveco’s Daily City Truck range has already captured a major share of Europe’s van sales this year. On a test drive from Ashford to Bruges, Bill Evett took the opportunity to find out why it is so popular.

For city-based cleaners with pick up and delivery routes the main concerns are parking, economy and ease of loading. These are all met by Iveco’s new Daily 3.2tonne 29L9 van powered by a 2.8litre indirect injection diesel with 7cubic metre cargo space.

Light steering

As with all models in the range, the cab is well-equipped, ergonomically designed and benefits from low noise. The steering is light and the engine, though naturally aspirated, responsive. Good all round visibility was useful when taking a right-hand drive vehicle across the channel. The gear changes are simple, using the same ‘H’-pattern shifts found in private cars.

The low-roof version of the 29L gives a floor-to-ceiling height of 1545mm and an overall vehicle height of 2260mm. Operators with low service entrances or who use multi-storey car parks take note. The low-roof model is only available on the 3000mm wheelbase version of the 3.2tonne L class, giving a payload volume of 7.3cubic metres.

It is available on both 3000 and 3000L wheelbase versions of the 3.5tonne S class, giving payload volumes of 7.3 and 8.3cubic metres respectively. On C class vans the option is restricted to the 3000L wheelbase model, giving a payload volume of 8.3cubic metres. The most popular version will probably be the 29L with a load capacity of 1230kg, a load length of 2600mm and a load width of 1800mm. It has, what seems to be, the widest side-loading door on the market. One key does everything, ignition, doors and immobiliser.


The larger models, including the 35S13V, were also comfortable to drive. The new S class models are aimed at the 3.5tonne single rear-wheel van users. Available in four lengths, 3000, 3000L, 3300 and 3950mm, giving a range of load space volumes from 7.0 to 17.2cubic metres. The 35S13 high-sided van gives a cavernous 17.2 cubicmetre load space.

Final drive

The final test drive was in the midrange 35S11 which will probably become the most popular model for fleet operators. A 3.5 tonner powered by a turbo intercooled 2.8litre engine, 105bhp developed at 3600rpm. The 3000mm wheelbase gives a 10.4m turning circle with a 10.2cubic metre load area. This too was fast, comfortable and the large volume, low weight specifications appeared ideal for the textile rental and service industries. Laundry, garment rental and drycleaners are among Iveco’s target sectors.

Three engines

The 2.8litre, four-cylinder, ohc diesel engine comes in three power ratings: 85,105 and 125hp. The 85hp engine is naturally aspirated and uses an indirect fuel injection system. It has a rated speed of 3800rpm and its peak torque of 179Nm is reached at 2000rpm. On test, the engine and gear box were particularly flexible, comfortably going from motorway to city driving.

For top performance the direct injection Unijet engine, which is both turbocharged and intercooled, uses an electronically controlled common rail fuel injection system. It produces a maximum power of 125hp at 3600rpm and a maximum torque of 290Nm at 1800rpm, but more importantly, delivers a minimum 245Nm torque across the normal driving range. All the engines drive through an hydraulically actuated single plate clutch to either five- or six-speed transmissions, depending on the engine power. The 85 and 105hp engines take a 5S200 five-speed overdrive transmission, while the 125hp engine takes the 6S300 six-speed.

All Daily models are built on a ladder-frame chassis that carries the engine and suspension units with power steering and independent front suspension, but two configurations are used to suit different weight categories.

All rear suspensions have live axles but with various spring types to suit the load weight range. Maximum axle loads range from 2240 to 5000kg and springs vary from single-leaf parabolic to multi-leaf, semi-elliptical with helpers.

Since winning the International Van of the Year 2000 Award Iveco has seen sales of its Daily City Truck range jump dramatically. It claims 42% of its home, Italian, market, 18% in the Netherlands and 20% in Spain.

The best selling Daily City Truck model is the 35S range single wheeled 12cubic metre van, followed by the twin-wheeled 35C chassis cab variant.

Operators buying the Daily get a package that includes a one year, unlimited mileage warranty and two years free repair and maintenance that also covers wear and tear items. All new vehicles are covered by a 24-hour roadside assistance service that operates Europe-wide. Iveco plans to increase its UK dealerships to 70 by the end of this year to provide 24-hour cover year round.