It’s a dual-cab ute, but not as you know it. Ben Zachariah takes the Iveco Daily out to see how it performs when it’s not quite a van, but not quite a truck.
- Truck-like capability
- But doesn’t drive like a truck
- Huge cabin space
- Not as safe as smaller dual-cabs
- Switches aren’t always intuitive
- Not as cool as a Ranger
2023 Iveco Daily E6 50C 4×2 Dual-Cab Chassis
While the rest of the world has moved towards SUVs, it seems an odd turn that Australia’s two best-selling vehicles are dual-cab utes.
US buyers may have ensured the Ford F-150 was the country’s best-selling vehicle since the early 1980s, but Australia’s collective decision to buy dual-cab utes doesn’t feel like it’s merely trend-following. We like tough cars, we like reliable cars, and we like practical cars.
But despite this overwhelming trend towards tough, reliable and practical dual-cab utes, there’s one segment that some overlook – the van-derived truck.
This is the 2023 Iveco Daily – a dual-cab with a ton of cabin space, a huge aluminium tray, and driving dynamics more akin to the van it’s based on rather than a truck. And you can drive it on a car licence.
It’s a niche segment, that’s for sure. Alternatives include the Volkswagen Transporter, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and the Ford Transit. But given how many utes are out on the road, overloaded with toolboxes, it’s a little surprising they aren’t a more popular choice – particularly once you start looking at them a little more closely.
Iveco has dropped the 2.3-litre engine from the cab-chassis range, and now exclusively offers the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder – with the Euro 6 engine available with either 132kW and 430Nm, or 155kW and 470Nm.
A six-speed manual comes standard on the 132kW engine, while an eight-speed torque-converter automatic from ZF is available as an option on the Daily, and comes as standard with the higher-power engine.
How much does the Iveco Daily cost in Australia?
How long is a piece of string? As with most commercial vehicle line-ups, the Iveco Daily comes in a wide number of combinations designed to fit the owner and their life – whether that’s working as a tradie, towing a big boat, or touring the country with a camper on the back.
On this test we’re focusing on the Iveco Daily E6 ute range – ignoring the vans and people-movers – with the cab-chassis offered as either a 50C or 70C, with both single- and dual-cab bodies, and with a few option packs available to boot.
The line-up starts with the 50C – offering up to 4495kg GVM for car-licence holders – or the 70C, which offers a GVM rating of up to 7200kg in the single-cab.
The dual-cab 70C has a GVM of 7000kg, but either can be optioned for car-licence holders – dropping the GVM to under 4.5 tonnes.
Buyers can also choose from up to five different wheelbase lengths: 3450 (just for the single-cab 50C), 3750, 4100, 4350, or 4750 millimetres.
The one we’re testing today is the Iveco Daily 50C 4×2 Dual-cab Chassis priced from $78,712.70 including GST but before on-road costs and options.
However, this particular vehicle comes complete with the higher-power engine, the eight-speed auto, differential lock, rear air suspension, and an aluminium tray – priced from $99,275 including GST but before on-road costs.
Standard features include driver and front passenger airbags and curtain airbags, suspension front seats with armrests and heating, adaptive cruise control, electric front windows, heated electric side mirrors, air conditioning, daytime running lights, remote central locking, and an electric parking brake.
This Daily has been optioned with the Hi-Business Pack, which includes satellite navigation, inductive smartphone charging, USB charging, fog lights, and LED headlights, as well as the Hi-Comfort Pack, which comes with automatic climate control, a leather steering wheel, tyre-pressure monitoring system, automatic wipers, and automatic headlights.
Those opting for an automatic transmission can also get the Hi-Technology Pack, which includes autonomous low-speed braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, hill descent, advanced emergency braking system, and automatic high beam.
The manual version of the Hi-Technology Pack is also the same, but loses the autonomous low-speed braking, which Iveco calls Queue Assist.
|2023 Iveco Daily 50C 4×2 Dual-cab Chassis
|$78,712.70 plus on-road costs
|Colour of test car
– Hi-Connect multimedia system with satellite navigation
– Storage with wireless and USB charging
– Fog lights
– LED headlights
– Automatic climate control
– Leather steering wheel
– Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
– Automatic wipers and headlights
Hi-Technology Pack – Automatic Transmission
– Queue Assist
– Lane-departure warning system and proactive lane-keep assist
– City Brake
– Traction plus and hill descent
– Automatic high-beam control
|Price as tested
|$99,275 plus on-road costs
|Volkswagen Transporter | Ford Transit | Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
How much space does the Iveco Daily have?
Do you have a cat-swinging business? This might be the vehicle for you, because the inside of the dual-cab Iveco Daily is huge. String up a mirror ball and you could rent it out as a nightclub. Take the rear bench seat out and store your motorbike. The possibilities are endless.
The rear bench seat can accommodate up to four across, and there’s more than enough leg room for adults. Having said that, the rear seats themselves are only really good for shorter distances, and aren’t suitable for taking the family on a round trip of Australia. But you could conceivably use the rear seat as a bed in a pinch.
More evidence that second-row occupants are treated as second-class citizens are the hand-operated horizontally sliding windows. Practicality over luxury.
There is a ton of space between the two front suspension seats, which are decently comfortable and come with heating.
The benefit of being able to choose from as many as five different wheelbase lengths means you can choose the size of your tray or truck body – and the dimensions are so big compared to your typical dual-cab ute.
If my calculations are correct, even as a dual-cab with the shortest wheelbase, the Daily can accommodate a tray of 3440mm – while a single-cab with the longest wheelbase can take a tray of up to 5875mm.
|2023 Iveco Daily
Does the Iveco Daily have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
The 6.2-inch infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, reverse camera, DAB digital radio, USB and auxiliary inputs, and Bluetooth with steering wheel controls.
It all works well, is relatively easy to navigate and understand, and never threw up any problems while I was using it. The reverse camera is also good in low light, and has a microphone so you can hear instructions if someone is directing you from behind.
Sound is piped through four speakers, and while it’s not going to win any awards, it’s plenty loud enough to crank the tunes.
There’s also a 3.5-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster ahead of the driver, providing information on the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), oil, battery, and service status, fuel consumption, navigation, phone, trip computer, as well as being a digital speedometer.
Is the Iveco Daily a safe vehicle?
While the 2023 Iveco Daily has yet to be tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), a European-spec Iveco Daily van was awarded Bronze by Euro NCAP – however, the features between the Australian model and the European model do differ slightly.
The Daily may offer a lot of advantages over traditional dual-cab utes, but safety isn’t one of them. Some recent dual-cab utes have a five-star ANCAP safety rating, which the Iveco simply wouldn’t be able to achieve.
The Iveco does come with front and curtain airbags for first-row occupants, but second-row passengers get little more than a seatbelt and a roof over their heads for safety.
But it is markedly better than many of the light trucks available on the market today.
As mentioned, the vehicle comes with a radar-based Advanced Emergency Braking System, which can autonomously apply the brakes when it detects an imminent crash. It also comes with City Brake, which can alert the driver and apply the brakes to avoid an accident, and Queue Assist, which can start and stop the vehicle in heavy traffic.
The Daily also comes with adaptive cruise control, which can match the speed and hold a predefined distance to the car in front on the highway, while the lane-departure warning system and proactive lane-keep assist will alert the driver when the vehicle is drifting out of its lane – and can intervene when necessary.
The vehicle’s electronic stability program can also be optioned with Crosswind Assist, which can help to stabilise the vehicle in sudden gusts of wind, while Traction Plus uses the vehicle’s brakes to automatically maintain traction on slippery surfaces up to 30km/h.
|2023 Iveco Daily
How much does the Iveco Daily cost to maintain?
The 2023 Iveco Daily comes with a three-year/250,000km warranty as standard, with the option to extend it to five years and 300,000km.
Almost unheard of among passenger cars, but not unusual in the dedicated commercial vehicle space, the Daily has service intervals of 12 months or 50,000km, whichever comes first.
Iveco doesn’t offer fixed-price servicing, but owners can tailor a package which – for a monthly fee – ensures servicing costs are taken care of when the time comes.
When quoted by a leading insurer, the Iveco Daily E6 returned a $1915 annual premium based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.
|At a glance
|2023 Iveco Daily
|Three years, 250,000km
|12 months or 50,000km
Is the Iveco Daily fuel-efficient?
While Iveco doesn’t provide official fuel consumption numbers, our time with the Daily averaged 13.4 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres.
Not a bad figure considering the size of the thing, and the fact that it had a 1000kg cube on the tray, but we suspect it might be possible to bring that number down on the open road.
The Iveco Daily comes with a 100L fuel tank, and a 20L AdBlue tank to ensure it complies with Euro 6 emissions standards, which far exceed Australia’s minimum Euro 5 requirements.
|Fuel cons. (claimed)
|Fuel cons. (on test)
|Fuel tank size
What is the Iveco Daily like to drive?
It may be a light truck, but the Daily acts more like a commercial van on the road rather than a scaled-down heavy truck – as can be the case with competitors from Isuzu and Hino.
Which is to say it’s more akin to a bigger, longer car, making it more comfortable and manageable on the road. The seating position is upright and almost over (but behind) the wheels, there’s a reassuring laziness from the diesel engine, and corners must be taken a little slower and with more consideration. But it’s actually a very easy thing to drive once you get used to the width of the 2052mm cabin.
Our vehicle had the high-output 155kW/470Nm engine, which offered great performance through the ZF eight-speed auto. It’s a much better option than the automated manual transmissions offered in some of the small Japanese trucks, providing smooth shifts and getting the vehicle to speed effortlessly.
And it’s comfortable. My Iveco had been supplied with a 1000L tank of water strapped to the back, which no doubt helped smooth out the ride, but gave a more accurate reading of what the Daily would be like for most owners.
Suspension-wise, it actually felt pretty spot-on. Some trucks can be overly soft to make the ride a bit more bearable, while others can be too stiff as they have been engineered to take weights well above their GVM (gross vehicle mass) plate. Whatever harshness did transfer through the chassis – no doubt helped by the cabin being behind the front wheels, rather than directly over them – was dissipated by the suspension seats.
On suburban streets, it felt about as big as you would want it to be. Small enough to manoeuvre around parked cars, but not so huge that you’re worried about taking off your neighbours’ mirrors.
Being a longer vehicle, you obviously have to be aware of this fact and drive accordingly – taking special care on tight turns, giving enough space to other trucks on the road, ensuring you’re in the centre of your lane. But while some trucks can take some getting used to, I seemed to tune into the Daily’s dimensions quickly.
It was on the highway that impressed me most, surprisingly. All I could think was that this vehicle would be a great option for touring the country.
I always wondered why so many people chose the 4×4 version of the Iveco Daily to fit a camper, but it makes complete sense now. It’s really composed on the open road, and feels like twice the cabin space of a conventional dual-cab ute, but with a heavy-duty chassis that has been designed to do the job of a truck and won’t crack under the weight – literally.
Sure, it’s not going to have the luxury of a Lexus LX600, but what it lacks in opulence it makes up for in practicality and capability. It feels like this thing would have no trouble driving to Birdsville – from any direction.
|2023 Iveco Daily 50C 4×2 Dual-cab Chassis
|3.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder
|155kW @ 3500rpm
|470Nm @ 1500rpm
|Eight-speed torque converter automatic
|2320kg (without tray)
|Spare tyre type
Should I buy an Iveco Daily?
Van-based utes probably aren’t on everyone’s radar when they’re looking for a commercial vehicle, but they really should be.
And the Iveco Daily is a great example. In a Venn diagram of practicality, comfort, capability, safety, and technology, the Iveco covers them all – but falling short on safety and delivering higher fuel consumption than traditional dual-cab utes.
While my complaints are few, I did find the locations of some of the buttons and switches weren’t as intuitive as on other vehicles, distracting me from the road while I tried to find them. But that’s a teething issue, and owners will adapt quickly to the Daily’s minor quirks.
Overall, this is an impressive piece of kit, and I couldn’t help but imagine the possibilities. Tradies could easily have a tray with a toolbox fitted during the week, then (with the help of a hoist or forklift) drop a camper on the back for the weekend. I’m a little surprised I don’t see more of these out on the road with a Pantech or refrigerated body, considering how easy and comfortable they are to drive.
If you’re looking for a vehicle that offers a large load space without compromising on-road dynamics, add this one to your shortlist.
How do I buy an Iveco Daily – next steps?
If you’re in the market for an Iveco Daily, then consider comparing it against the single- or dual-cab versions of the Volkswagen Transporter, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and Ford Transit. You might also consider light trucks from the likes of Isuzu and Hino.
If you do decide on the Iveco, you can choose your specifications and build by visiting the brand’s website by clicking here.