Toyota Proace (2016–)

Last updated 2 May 2018

Easy to drive and cheap to run, will carry up to three Euro pallets and tow 2.5 tonnes, backed by Toyota's five-year warranty.
No high-roof option, sliding doors feel cheap, entry-level models don't get air con or alarm as standard.
Updated 29 April 2016
Toyota Proace prices announced

GRADE BODY LENGTH ENGINE TRANSMISSION CV OTR PRICE* Base Compact 1.6 94bhp 5MT £18,660 Base Medium 1.6 94bhp 5MT £19,285 ...

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Introduction

Cheap to run, comfortable to drive and capable of carrying a maximum payload of 1400kg, the Toyota Proace is a compact van with big potential. All versions are stylish and good to drive, while Toyota's low running costs and impressive warranty provide added peace of mind for those looking to keep costs down. 

Built in France, as part of a joint agreement with Citroen and Peugeot, the Toyota Proace is almost identical to the Dispatch and Expert. However, unlike its French counterparts, the Proace gets a more comprehensive five-year 100,000 mile warranty.

Available in three body sizes and two wheelbase lengths, the Proace can be specified as a van or crew cab, with panel or glazed/semi-glazed size walls. Most versions will carry 1400kg and tow up to 2.5 tonnes, while crew and combi models will seat up to nine. 

Accessing the load bay is easy, thanks to the twin side sliding doors which - on medium and long versions - are wide enough for a Euro pallet. Long versions will carry a maximum of three Euro pallets, while a Smart Cargo system increases load length capacity to 1.16 metres. The 250 degree opening rear doors make it easy to access the back of the vehicle, without the doors blocking the road when loading and unloading.

The Proace has two diesel engines to choose from - a 1.6 or a 2.0-litre - and power outputs are 95PS, 115PS or 122PS. The sweet spot in the range is the 1.6 unit with 115PS. Not only does it provide lots of torque for hauling heavy loads, but it will officially return 54.3mpg.   

Behind the wheel the Proace feels more like a family car than a van, with high levels of refinement and handling. The steering is responsive and the ride is quiet and comfortable, even when unladen. The Proace is also extremely nimble, which makes it hassle free to drive in town, while its low roof (1950mm) makes it easy to fit into multi-storey car parks. 

Standard equipment is generally fine, with all models getting DAB radio, cruise control and a full size steel bulkhead. However, air conditioning and a vehicle alarm are not included. The side sliding doors also feel a bit light and flimsy. 

Compared to the Ford Transit Connect and Volkswagen Transporter, the Proace feels lacking in build quality. However, its impressive carrying capacity and claimed 54.3mpg economy more than make up for its shortcomings. As a result it should be a appealing compact van for anyone operating on a tight budget. 

Contract hire from £189.00 +VAT pm
Lease from £193.00 +VAT pm
 

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