Boasting strong, well-designed engines and a robust, solidly constructed chassis, the Iveco Daily has improved no end since it was first launched in the 1970s, as Steve Banner reports
Originally launched more than 30 years ago, and about to be the subject of another revamp, Iveco’s Daily has undergone extensive changes since its 1978 debut.
Build quality has improved by leaps and bounds since its original launch. Whereas in the past magazine road testers used to joke that you had to bring a carrier bag or two with you to hold all the bits likely to fall off during a journey, today’s Dailys are constructed to a high standard. And while they still may not be the best on the market – that accolade has to go to Mercedes-Benz’s Sprinter – they are by no means the worst.
Chassis-based, it is marketed as a van with more than 17cu/m of cargo space, a chassis cab, a chassis double-cab and a people carrier (minibus variants are sold under the Irisbus brand name) and with the choice of either a standard manual or an Agile automated manual gearbox, which is one of the best of its type.
Dailys run on diesel but can be configured to run on landfill gas. A key development occurred a dozen years ago when the all-new S2000 Daily arrived with a common-rail diesel engine – innovative technology for a light commercial in those days. In 2002 the Daily HPI appeared with a 2.3-litre diesel with second-generation common rail injection while 2004 saw the advent of the Daily HPT with a 3.0-litre diesel fitted with a variable geometry turbocharger. The Agile box was made available as an option in the same year. Further changes occurred in 2006 (146hp and 176hp diesels) and 2009 (106hp and 126hp diesels and the new EcoDaily line-up).
The Daily boasts strong, well-designed engines and a robust, solidly constructed chassis, and fortunately there are plenty of second-hand examples of various ages and in various conditions about, so there is no lack of choice.
As with other used vehicles, prospective purchases require careful examination. If it is a van you’re looking at – and for the purposes of this exercise we’ll assume it is post-2000 – then start by opening the cargo area doors. If the back ones immediately flop open to their full extent then their check straps probably need replacing, so either get the vendor to change them or get £50 knocked off the asking price. Open the sliding side door, and if it fails to slide easily or sticks then the top catch at the back needs to be adjusted. Again, get the vendor to either do something about it or reduce the price by £20.
Inspecting a van’s paperwork is seldom a waste of time, and here you need to see evidence that the engine’s cam belt and associated parts (pulleys, bearings and so on) have been changed on schedule. In most cases that means five years/ 150,000 miles. If they have not been, and the cam belt fails, then severe damage can be done to the engine. Make sure the current owner gets the necessary work done before you buy.
Find out when the brake pads and discs were last swapped: some Dailys get through them surprisingly quickly. If they are overdue for a change, then ask the vendor to contribute to the cost by cutting the price of the vehicle.
Daily fuel tanks are vulnerable to being damaged and suffering leaks as a consequence, so take a close look to see if the tank has been pushed upwards by an impact – through hitting a road hump for example. If so, then you may find the top has been punctured.
While on your hands and knees take a look at the rear suspension for any signs that the springs and rubber bushes have been damaged or are looking tired. If they appear past their best then they will have to be repaired or replaced. Push the current owner to bring the asking price down by £150 to £200.
Take the Daily for a test run on a stretch of road with a rough surface and a few bumps and listen for a knocking noise from the rear suspension as it’s an indication that a rear axle u-bolt may need replacing. If that’s the case, then request a £75 discount.
Manheim Auctions recently sold a 35S14 long-wheelbase high-roof 2.3-litre diesel van, 2006 on a 56 plate with 43,000 miles recorded, for £3800. A 35C15 tipper of the same vintage, again on a 56 plate, with a 146hp 3.0-litre diesel under its bonnet and 111,000 miles on the clock, went for £4000. A 2.3-litre diesel 35S12 fitted with a 12ft dropside body, 2004 on a 54 plate, sold for £1625. It had covered 177,000 miles. All three of those models are 3.5-tonners.
Manheim also disposed of a 5.2-tonne gross 50C14 van, also with a 146hp 3.0-litre engine, 2005 vintage and with a 55 plate, for £3000. It had covered 50,000 miles.
• All price negotiation reductions come courtesy of second-hand van market specialist UsedVanExpert. Visit www.UsedVanExpert.co.uk for more advice and information.