2016 Toyota Proace made a debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, proclaiming Toyota's return to the lucrative large MPV industry.
The new Proace replaces the Hiace van and joins the Hiace pick-up in Toyota's line-up of reliable light commercial vehicles. The Japanese automaker has waged a war against other panel van makers evident from the number of options provided in the Proace – the van is available with a choice of 3 sizes, 2 wheelbases, and various options. Each of its array of 5 engines is available with a selection of transmission options. A nine-seater shuttle caters for those with a desire for family practicality without the price tag of an MPV.
The new Proace Van is available with a 1.6-litre diesel engine powering the two smallest vans, or two versions of 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engines. The 95bhp (70kW) 1.6-litre diesel engine makes 240Nm of torque with a six-speed manual transmission and 210Nm of torque when fitted with a five-speed manual transmission.
The former, equipped with a Stop and Start, produces 135 to 139g/km and returns between 55.4 and 54.3mpg. The latter combination produces between 144 and 148g/km of CO2 and fuel estimates places it at a combined cycle fuel economy of between 51.4 and 50.4mpg.
All models can be obtained with a pick of 2.0-litre diesel engines: One making 128bhp and 320Nm of torque and the other giving 163bhp and 340Nm of torque. Both engines employ a six-speed manual gearbox and fuel estimates place them at 44.1 mpg in low-roof versions and 39.8 mpg for the L2H2 models.
The 1.6HDi diesel engine requires a service at 12,000 miles or once a year, while 2.0HDi diesel models have 20,000-mile/two-year service intervals. Bet your car with a Bet365 bonus code.
Proace comes with Toyota Safety Sense that features active safety and driver assistance technologies devised to reduce the occurrence or consequences of an accident. The package also includes Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Road Sign Assist, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High Beam. The system is availed standard to the family model and is optionally available on the Shuttle and VIP models.
Vehicle stability control (VSC) system is standard on all models. Driver and passenger airbags and daytime running lights, fog lamps, and ABS brakes are all included in the standard specification.
Design and Packaging
The Proace offers a choice of three body sizes – compact, medium and long. The new Smart Cargo system combines a lifting passenger seat and an opening front bulkhead mechanism, to maximise load length.increases the maximum load length.
The compact version is the shortest van measuring an impressive 4.6 metres with a 2.9-metre wheelbase. It is produced as a panel van with only three front seats. Its 2.1-metre by 1.6-metre cargo bay fits a load volume of 4.6 cubic metres.
The Smart Cargo system expands the load length from 2.5 to 3.7 metres and puts the total load volume at a best-in-class 5.1 cubic metres. Despite its dimensions, its turning circle is just 11.3 metres, significantly increasing its maneuverability in urban areas.
The medium variant is 4.9 metres long with a 3.2-metre long wheelbase. With the Smart Cargo system, the total load length stretches to 3.7 metres and load capacity increases from 5.3 to 5.8 cubic metres. The medium-length van is available in panel, crew cab, combi and platform cab versions.
The long version also features a 3.2-metre wheelbase, but the rear overhang is extended to increase the overall length to 5.3 metres. Panel, crew cab and nine-seat Combi versions are offered. The 2.8-metre long and 1.6m wide cargo area gives a load volume of 6.1 cubic metres. The Smart Cargo mechanism brings maximum load length to 4 metres, increasing load capacity to 6.6 cubic metres. The extension substantially increases the latter van's cargo space, and very few vehicles in its class can compete with its capacity.
The dashboard design is simple and uncluttered with clear, analogue dials and ergonomic switch-gear. The elevated SUV-like driving position maximises the driver's visibility, and a short-throw gear lever mounted near the steering wheel enhances driving comfort.
The van will be produced in Base or Comfort trim levels, while the shuttle is available in a 9-seat Combi trim. The Base trim is simplistic, but the upper grades offer plenty of accessories and toys including optional bi-xenon headlights, key-less entry, and autonomous emergency braking. The platform van, accessible from early 2017, is prepared for conversions giving the new Proace van an edge over its closest competitors. We invite you to take a look at other brands as well such as the Volskwagen Transporter, for example.