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Toyota Proace City review

24/05/2022 Toyota offers short and long wheelbase versions of its Proace small van. As the Proace City and Proace van are made in partnership with a number of PSA brands (now Stellantis Group) there is huge commonality of parts and a fair bit of rebadging to make it differ from the Peugeot Partner, Citroen Berlingo and Opel Combo. This type of partnership is common in the commercial vehicle sector and delivers a synergy that will not disappoint buyers.

Priced from €21,335 (SWB GL) Toyota’s urban runabout commercial is 1,880mm tall (10mm lower than a Proace), 1,848mm wide and comes in two body lengths (4,403mm/4,753mm). To scale it to a car the Toyota RAV4 SUV is 4.6m long. As you’d expect the Proace City is very easy to use and live with. Its low roofline makes access anywhere possible. Apart from it small mirrors the Proace is exactly as you’d expect. Riding on 15 inch steel wheels the entry model has a 650kg payload and bluetooth phone connection – so its pretty grim on luxuries and bought by fleet managers who hate their drivers, only joking, but not really! The next up grade is the GX (from €22,870). It gets an 8 inch dash mounted touch screen and smartphone connectivity, a single USB, cruise control (remember when you’re driving it is on your own licence not the company’s and any penalty points are yours) and another important creature comfort – manual air conditioning. The GX SWB 1T (from €24,110) has a larger payload capacity (there’s a clue in the name). It rides on 16 inch steel wheels and also gets a bit of colour coding that owner operators will appreciate. The range is topped by the GX LWB that costs from €24,995.

Proace power comes from a 1.5 litre diesel engine married to a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine comes with a choice of power outputs of 100hp or 130hp with an 8-speed automatic gearbox (154g/km CO2). The entry model and next model up the GX have 100hp engines while the SWB 1T and LWB versions get a choice of 100hp or 130hp. The front wheel drive commercial features controls that are clearly not Toyota’s. All controls are light and quite precise. Fuel consumption is quoted at 5.4L/100km with a CO2 emissions figure of 141g/km.

On the road the Proace is easy to drive and its suspension is comfortable whether loaded or empty. The driving position is adjustable and we found a good seating position with no bother. Loading is easy thanks to wide opening 60/40 rear doors and a small sliding side door. Lashing hooks (6) and a permanent bulkhead ensure loads (e.g. two euro pallets) stay where they should and the steel bulkhead ensures the cabin is secure also. A through-loading smart cargo bulkhead opening featured on our test van (GX SWB 1T). It can take 3,090mm lengths and also expands the available cargo area from 3.3 cubic metres to 3.8. The LWB has 4.4 cubic metres of cargo space. The Proace City is offered with a host of optional extras are available like polypropylene or wood protective flooring (rubber is standard), a range of roof racks and bars, €895 gets a Towbar and there is a rearview camera for less than five hundred quid. For private buyers, alloy wheels are available as an option too.

Compact, easy to use with the benefit of the Stellantis Group’s commercial vehicle knowhow ensures the Toyota Proace City is a very good van. There are differences in specification and pricing with sister vans and each brand has their own angle on attracting customers so check them out before committing to make sure you get the right van, with the right kit, at the right price and with a warranty that meets your needs. Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan
Michael Sheridan
Michael Sheridan is a senior and highly respected motoring journalist based in Ireland. He is a frequently heard voice on motoring, transport and mobility matters and has multiple credits on national television, national print media, national and local radio and other outlets. Michael Sheridan has been a Car of the Year Judge for more 25 years (& a similar time as a Van of the Year judge). Michael is also an award winning filmmaker. He has produced and directed many international and national motoring TV programmes and documentaries both on cars and motorcycles - including four films on the iconic Route 66. Michael Sheridan is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press and is a member of the MMAI (motoring media association of Ireland).
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