Toyota Proace review

The Toyota Proace is the mid-size, and currently only, van in the Toyota LCV line-up, offering three body lengths and payloads of up to 1.4 tonnes. Our Toyota Proace review gives an overview of the specs, dimensions and weights, plus our verdict on the driving impressions and driver comfort – read on to see how it performed!

Background

Toyota’s first van to go on sale in Europe was the popular Hiace of the 1980’s. The second-generation arrived in 1995, although this model was built exclusively for Europe and based on the Toyota Granvia MPV – completely different from the global version. The model received a facelift in 2006.

Due to stricter emission standards, Toyota decided to ditch the Hiace and enter a product sharing agreement with French manufacturer PSA. The new Proace van arrived in 2013 and was essentially a reworked Peugeot Partner and Citroen Expert. The second-generation Proace, also based on the PSA vans, was launched in 2016.

Cab and interior

Toyota Proace interior

While the Toyota Proace might be classed as a mid-size van, the cab environment certainly gives off a ‘small van’ impression. The interior isn’t as spacious as most in this segment and the seating position is noticeably lower, which has both positive and negative connotations.

On a positive note, it feels more dynamic and agile although the all-round visibility is compromised. In terms of storage, there are plenty of useful compartments including underseat storage and no fewer than three pockets in the doors, but the little pockets for wallets, purses and loose change aren’t very deep or aren’t angled, so they fall out during heavy acceleration.

Toyota Proace specification

The Toyota Proace is offered with three trim levels; the Active, Icon and Design.

Toyota Proace Active
Toyota Proace Active

Fleet-focused Active models feature only the basics; standard 16-inch steel wheels, twin side loading doors, cruise control, hill-start assist, remote central locking, electric windows, driver’s armrest and a DAB radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

Toyota Proace Icon
Toyota Proace Icon

Moving up to the mid-spec Icon, customers also receive rear parking sensors, enhanced sound proofing, air-conditioning, full wheel covers, the ‘Smart Cargo’ load-through system (see more in Weights and Dimensions), height and lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat and a 12v socket in the rear.

Toyota Proace Design
Toyota Proace Design

Flagship Design models are adorned with 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, head-up display, front fog lights, body-coloured bumpers, mirrors and handles, front parking sensors, chrome side bars, folding and heated door mirrors and a 7-inch display with voice recognition, satellite navigation and WiFi.

Toyota Proace engine and driveline

Toyota Proace dimensions
Toyota Proace dimensions

Customers have the option of either a 1.5- or 2.0-litre diesel, with power ratings of 100PS/270Nm and 120PS/300Nm (1.5 Diesel) and 120PS/340Nm, 150PS/370Nm and 180PS/400Nm (2.0 Diesel). All engines are hooked to a 6-speed manual, except the top-of-the-range 2.0 Diesel 180, which is mated to an 8-speed automatic. The 8-speed auto is also an option on the 2.0 Diesel 120.

The engines are the most fuel-efficient in the sector, achieving up to 60.1mpg on the combined cycle (NEDC test procedure) and between 40.9 and 47.0mpg on the WLTP test.

On the road

Toyota Proace dimensions
Toyota Proace dimensions

Thanks to its incredibly low centre of gravity, the ride and handling of the Toyota Proace is more car-like than any other van in this segment; the steering is very responsive and there’s little body roll going into the bends. Thanks to the extra sound insulation, the Icon and Design grades are remarkedly refined.

With the exception of the 1.5 100PS, all the engines pack plenty of punch although its probably better to opt for the torquier 2.0-litre engines if you regularly carry heavy loads. However, we did find a fault with the automatic; while the gear changes are smooth, its hesitation is quite noticeable it often selects the wrong gear.

Weights and dimensions

Toyota Proace payload
Toyota Proace payload

Unlike most vans in this segment, the Toyota Proace is available with a choice of three, not two, load lengths – although there is only one roof height. Despite this, it is slightly smaller is all dimensions, from length to door sizes, than the average medium van.

The Compact – unique to this sector – has a maximum load length of 2,162mm, the Medium is 2,512mm and the Long is 2,862mm. Given the standard load width of 1,636mm (1,258mm between the wheelarches) and roof height of 1,397mm, the Proace has load volumes of 4.6, 5.3 and 6.1 cubic metres.

Toyota Proace Smart Cargo
Toyota Proace Smart Cargo

Smart Cargo, which is standard on the Icon and Design grades, consists of a opening gate in the bulkhead and a folding seat. This load-through facility is much bigger and more practical than any other on the market, allowing for an extra 0.5 cubic metres and 1,160mm in load length.

There are three nominal gross vehicle weights of 2.7, 2.9 and 3.1 tonnes which correlate to payloads of between 975kg and 1,450kg, and towing capacities of up to 2.5 tonnes. Twin side loading doors are included as standard, although the vehicle lacks cargo floor protection.

Price and warranty

The Toyota Proace is priced between £20,960 (1.5 100PS Compact Active) to £30,060 (2.0 180PS Medium Design) plus VAT. Thanks to the Toyota badge, residual values are higher than its Peugeot and Citroen-badged siblings and it is backed by a longer 5-year, 100,000 mile warranty, while service intervals are set at two years or 25,000 miles. The Proace will be joined by the smaller Toyota Proace City in 2020.

Toyota Proace technical information

Engine: 1.5 (1,499cc) diesel, 2.0 (1,997cc) diesel

Performance: 100PS/270Nm and 120PS/300Nm (1.5 Diesel) and 120PS/340Nm, 150PS/370Nm and 180PS/400Nm (2.0 Diesel).

Fuel economy: 52.3 – 60.1mpg

Load lengths: 2,162mm / 2,512mm / 2,862mm

Load height: 1,397mm

Load width: 1,636mm

Between the wheelarches: 1,258mm

GVWs: 2,700kg – 3,100kg

Payload range: 975kg – 1,450kg

Load volume range (m³): 4.6 / 5.3 / 6.1

Warranty: 5 years, 100,000 miles

Starting price: £20,630 plus VAT (approx.)

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