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Iveco Daily E6 2021 review: Van load test

Iveco continues a four-decade evolution with its latest Daily E6 range.

Daily driver score

4.2/5

Tradies score

4.5/5

Iveco’s Daily commercial range of vans and cab-chassis has been around since 1978 and in that time the Italian manufacturer has sold more than three million of them across the globe, in both LHD and RHD markets. In 2021, after more than four decades and six model generations, Iveco continues this steady evolution with its latest Daily E6 range.

The new van line-up, which like the cab-chassis variants competes in the Light Duty (3501-8000kg GVM) segment of the Heavy Commercial market, brings new Euro 6-compliant engines, additional standard active safety features headlined by AEB and increased cabin appointments.

The E6 range also offers an eyeball-spinning choice of models, drivetrains, wheelbases, roof heights, load volumes and GVMs, designed to cater for many commercial requirements. We recently put one of these vans to work and discovered a capable all-rounder.

Price and Features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

Our test vehicle is the Daily E6 50C Van which represents the middle tier in a three-tier model range. It also has the middle tier (H2) roof height and is equipped with the premium 210EVID 3.0 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel option and ZF Hi-Matic eight-speed torque converter auto option for a list price of $82,217.

Its six steel wheels (dual rears) are fitted with Michelin 195/75 R16 tyres and there’s a full-size spare stowed under the rear floor. There’s also a suspended, heated and fully adjustable driver’s seat plus a bench seat for a crew of two as standard equipment. However, our test vehicle is equipped with the optional single passenger seat, with the same comfort features as the driver’s.

Its six steel wheels are fitted with Michelin tyres. Its six steel wheels are fitted with Michelin tyres.

Also standard is adaptive cruise control, electric windows, big truck-style exterior mirrors with heating, electric adjustment and indicators, height-adjustable asymmetric (flat bottom) steering wheel, cordless mobile phone charging, intelligent electronic parking brake and daytime running lights to name a few.

Another option fitted to our van is the latest four-speaker Hi-Connect infotainment system with touchscreen and steering wheel controls for multiple connectivity including Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, GPS and reversing camera. There’s also a new hi-res colour instrument cluster for the driver that’s easier to read in all light conditions, with seven dedicated screen menus providing more than 100 points of vehicle information.

Daily E6 buyers can also select from four optional equipment upgrade packs, which allow them to more closely tailor a package to best suit their applications while benefitting from the value of grouping various options.

Design – is there anything interesting about its design?

This rear-wheel drive van features rugged body-on-ladder-frame construction, torsion bar front suspension, leaf-spring live rear axle (with optional air-bag suspension and diff lock) and four-wheel disc brakes. It’s 2752mm tall and 2010mm wide and with an overall length exceeding 7.0 metres (7274mm) on a 4100mm wheelbase, it has a conspicuously long 2126mm rear overhang which drivers need to be aware of when turning sharply in restricted spaces. Turning circle is 14.6 metres.

This rear-wheel drive van features rugged body-on-ladder-frame construction. This rear-wheel drive van features rugged body-on-ladder-frame construction.

The body is protected by a barrier of black plastic panelling which wraps around the entire vehicle up to wheel arch height, where most bumps and scrapes tend to occur. Wide door openings allow easy access to the cabin and given that you have to step-up into it, there’s a sturdy grab handle on the base of the A pillar to help you climb aboard.

The relatively small 380mm diameter flat-bottom steering wheel allows room between it and the driver’s seat for unimpeded entry and exit and the car-like dashboard makes good use of space, is well laid-out and easy to use. Eyelines to the door mirrors with their lower wide-angle lenses are excellent.

The driver’s seat (and our optional single passenger seat) with its own suspension system provides a pleasant cushioned ride that’s independent of the vehicle’s chassis movement. It has a large dial on the front which can be turned to match the stiffness of the seat’s suspension with the driver’s weight, to ensure optimum comfort. It also has a fold-down inboard armrest, to reduce neck and shoulder strain during long shifts behind the wheel.

The driver’s seat provides a pleasant cushioned ride. The driver’s seat provides a pleasant cushioned ride.

The cabin is sealed off from the cargo bay by a steel bulkhead, which includes a central window with protective mesh to allow visually checking of loads. The only thing missing is a large left footrest, just like the one in the passenger footwell which of course is the driver’s footwell in LHD models. Unfortunately, it can’t migrate to the right for Aussie drivers, who only get what can best be described as a toe ramp.

Engine and transmission – What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

The optional top-of-the-range 210EVID 3.0 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with AdBlue meets tough Euro 6 emissions compliance yet to be mandated in Australia. With direct injection and electronically-controlled variable geometry turbocharging, this powerful worker produces 155kW at 3500rpm and 470Nm of torque at 1500rpm.

This powerful worker produces 155kW at 3500rpm and 470Nm of torque at 1500rpm. This powerful worker produces 155kW at 3500rpm and 470Nm of torque at 1500rpm.

It's mated to ZF’s optional 8V470A Hi-Matic eight-speed torque converter automatic, which is also the premium choice for Daily buyers. It’s well suited to this load-lugging role with a choice of three driving modes, plus overdrive on the seventh and eighth ratios to optimise fuel economy at highway speeds.

Fuel consumption – How much fuel does it consume?

We covered just under 300km on a mix of city, suburban and regional roads, which included about one third of that distance with more than 1.5 tonnes strapped in the cargo bay. Our average combined figure, crunched from tripmeter and fuel bowser readings, was 11.7L/100km which while not class-leading is still good economy for a vehicle weighing almost 2.7 tonnes unladen. Based on our real-world figures, you could expect a driving range of around 850km from its big 100-litre fuel tank.

Practicality – How practical is the space inside?

Its 2689kg kerb weight and 4495kg GVM (the highest you can go without a truck licence) results in a hefty 1806kg payload rating.  It’s also rated to tow up to 3500kg of braked trailer and with its 7995kg GCM (or how much you can legally carry and tow at the same time) it can haul its maximum payload while towing its maximum trailer weight. And if these figures aren’t high enough, Iveco offers optional 5200kg GVM and 8700kg GCM upgrades.

The symmetrical twin rear barn-doors open to 270 degrees and the sliding side door has a generous 1260mm opening width. The symmetrical twin rear barn-doors open to 270 degrees and the sliding side door has a generous 1260mm opening width.

The cavernous unglazed and unlined cargo bay, with 16 cubic metres of load volume, has internal dimensions of 4680mm length, 1740mm width and 1900mm height. However, with only 1032mm between the rear wheel housings, loading of either 1165mm-square Aussie pallets or 1200 x 800mm Euro pallets would have to be either ahead of or behind these structures.

The symmetrical twin rear barn-doors open to 270 degrees and the sliding side door has a generous 1260mm opening width. The load floor has 14 evenly-spaced load anchorage points and there’s a small cave above the cabin area for storing ropes, straps, load-padding and other equipment. Steps, grab handles and overhead lighting are provided at both doorways.

The driver’s cab offers large and small-bottle holders and three tiers of storage in each front door plus small-bottle/cup holders on each side of the dash. The top of the dash-pad has three storage compartments, with two USB ports and an audio jack in the open central compartment and clamshell-type lids on the two outer ones.

The driver’s cab offers large and small-bottle holders. The driver’s cab offers large and small-bottle holders.

On the passenger side of the dash there’s a large open storage shelf below the glovebox, with another small glovebox-like compartment at the base of the central dash for smaller items. Overhead is a full-width map shelf and there’s also storage space beneath the passenger seat, so it makes excellent use of space.

Our only criticism relates to the limited cargo bay lighting. Given the van’s dark blue colour as opposed to the usual fridge white of commercial vans, the cargo bay can be quite dark in low light conditions, even during daylight hours. Larger and brighter LED-type lighting would be welcome here.

What’s it like as a daily driver?

Iveco claims that the latest Daily generation is car-like to drive and there is some truth in that statement given the pleasing dashboard aesthetics, the softly-sprung suspension seat, progressive braking feel and nicely-weighted power steering. And its unladen ride quality, even on bumpy roads, is commendable for a vehicle with these load ratings.

The back-cam feature, which with a push of the touchscreen uses the reversing camera to give a 10-second view of what’s immediately behind you when travelling along a road, would be particularly useful when towing.

With maximum torque of 470Nm at 1500rpm, the engine’s low-speed throttle response is excellent, offering ample pulling power either side of that peak value to make light work of stop-start city and suburban driving.

There is an absence of internal lining on the vast metal surfaces in the cargo bay. There is an absence of internal lining on the vast metal surfaces in the cargo bay.

It also has plenty of get up and go when maximum power is tapped at 3500rpm, aided by the slick shifting of its eight-speed automatic which only requires single prods of the stumpy shifter to select either Eco-mode automatic, Power-mode automatic or sequential manual-shifting as required. At highway speeds, the overdriven higher gears require only 1800rpm to maintain 100km/h and 2000rpm at 110km/h.

Our only gripe is that the absence of internal lining on the vast metal surfaces in the cargo bay and on the cabin bulkhead. This can amplify tyre roar emanating from the rear wheel housings to such an extent it can be quite intrusive for the driver on some coarse bitumen surfaces at highway speeds.

What’s it like for tradie use?

We forklifted 1540kg of weight blocks into the cargo bay, which looked lost in such an enormous enclosure. With driver onboard, our 1640kg total payload was still 266kg under its 1806kg peak rating and, as expected, the Daily barely noticed it was there. If anything, it felt more planted on the road with a smoother ride.

We forklifted 1540kg of weight blocks into the cargo bay. We forklifted 1540kg of weight blocks into the cargo bay.

Engine noise was low at highway speeds, with the most noticeable intrusions coming from mild wind-buffeting around the door mirrors (which is common with truck-sized mirrors) and sometimes rear tyre roar from the cargo bay, depending on the road surface.

The Daily’s competent drivetrain made light work of our 13 per cent gradient, 2.0km set-climb with this payload, which we tackled firstly with sequential-manual selection and then in Eco-auto mode. On both runs it reached the summit with consummate ease and displayed good engine-braking most of the way down, in a manual-selected second gear.

However, it did override our gear selection and shift up to third when the engine reached 4250rpm on overrun (4500rpm redline) which we were ready for, as this self-defence mechanism is becoming increasingly common in vans and utes to avoid potential engine damage. Overall, this is a versatile and capable worker.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

There’s no ANCAP ratings in this vehicle segment but a highlight of the latest E6 range is its extended menu of standard safety equipment which now includes AEB, adaptive cruise control, crosswind assist and enhanced active safety features under Iveco’s ESP9 umbrella. Additional active safety such as City Brake, Queue Assist, Hill Descent Control and Traction Plus are available as part of the Hi-Technology option pack.

Ownership – What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

Three years/200,000km/2500 hours warranty, whichever occurs first. Extended warranties available at extra cost up to five years/300,000km/6000 hours. Iveco offers a wide range of service plans to allow owners to choose one that is best suited to their needs.

Australia’s 3501-8000kg GVM commercial vehicle market is highly competitive, with at last count 12 brands and 15 models fighting for market share. The Iveco Daily Van’s modest sales in this segment are not reflective of the robust engineering, performance, low emissions, driver comfort and load-carrying attributes of this vehicle, which is worthy of consideration and a test drive by prospective van buyers. It has its shortcomings, like any vehicle, but there’s lots to like here.

$86,834

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

4.2/5

Tradies score

4.5/5
Price Guide

$86,834

Based on new car retail price

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