A Look at Toyota’s Proace Van Range

A Look at Toyota’s Proace Van Range

Professional Builder’s Kieran Nee visits a historic European city to test out the new Toyota Proace van.

Besides the picturesque quality of the small streets of the old town and the prestige of being one of Europe’s favourite cities, there is another reason Toyota has decided to launch the new Proace van in Warsaw, Poland. Warsaw is a city famous for its resurrection after the tragedy of the Second World War, having been rebuilt brick by brick with a speed and diligence that would give any modern contractor a run for their money.

The joint launch of the Proace and Proace Verso represents the vehicle manufacturer’s resurrection in the large MPV market,

Whilst the Verso’s return to the MPV market may not seem to be of the most pressing concern to the average tradesperson, the joint launch of the two vehicles each with a range of three different sizes and configurations emphasises what seems to be a growing trend – the blending of comfort and function.

The message is clear: gone are the days when your work van was only driven with muddy boots and used to cart around shovels and bags of cement. Modern vans with modern price tags are now expected to be every bit as comfortable as a people carrier and can be expected just as much to take the family on holiday without having to first lay down dust sheets.

2016_proace_van_10In any case, the Proace Van will of course be of most interest to our readers. Two vans stand out noticeably from the others. The first is the new Compact model, which provides the cargo capacity of a medium-size van within the footprint of a compact van (CDV). The second is the Long Combi, a long van that combines passenger carrying with load bearing abilities.

The Compact is the shortest model in the MDV segment – shorter even than some CDV models – measuring 4,606mm long with a 2,925mm wheelbase. Its 11.3-metre turning circle makes it highly manoeuvrable for use in built-up areas. It is available as a panel van with three front seats and a cargo bay measuring 2,162mm long by 1,628mm wide, giving a load volume of 4.6m³.

The new Smart Cargo system, combining an opening front bulkhead with a lifting front passenger seat base mechanism, increases the maximum load length from 2.5 to 3.7m and total load volume to a best-in-class 5.1m³. Available as an option on all Proace Van models, it also creates additional storage space in the cabin.

The Long version of Proace Van has a 3,275mm wheelbase, and an extended rear overhang that takes the overall vehicle length to 5,308mm. The nine-seat Combi version is available exclusively in Comfort specification, emphasising a balance between versatility and comfort. The cargo area in the long version of the van measures 2,862mm long and 1,628mm wide, giving a load volume of 6.1m³.

The Combi’s Comfort grade adds more sophisticated cabin acoustic treatments for a quieter environment, including proace_van_det_04an acoustic windscreen, a cooled and illuminated glovebox and additional 12V power outlets in the glovebox and rear – useful then for charging both screw gun batteries and tablets.

With each vehicle length, Proace Van benefits from left and right side sliding doors and side-hinged rear double doors that open to 180 degrees. Maximum payload is up to 1,400kg and the braked trailer towing capacity is up to 2,500kg.

The new Proace Van is available with 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel engines with a range of power outputs and choice of different transmissions. The model is targeting best-in-class CO2 emissions for a medium duty van, supported by the use of stop and start technology – featured in the 114bhp 1.6 unit.

All powertrains meet Euro 6 emissions standards and are equipped with selective catalytic reduction to reduce the amount of NOx released into the atmosphere. A 22.5-litre tank of AdBlue ensures the system will work to its optimum capability for about 9,300 miles (15,000km), with usage varying according to driving style and conditions. The tank is easy to refill, via a filler inlet on the inside of the centre pillar, accessible when the driver’s door is open.

The Proace offers a smooth, reliable ride, with an engine that responds faithfully to every touch. You do get the impression with this vehicle that it would feel every bit as capable negotiating the often busy and restricted routes of the building site as it would be soaring along the motorway towards Dover with a rabble of hungry sprogs wailing away in the back. Whichever you are capable of dealing with is down to you.

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