New Toyota Proace arrives September 2016

  • Based on Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert
  • Shares the same engines but features distinctive styling
  • Priced from just £18,660 plus VAT for base model

The second-generation Toyota Proace is set to make its UK arrival in September 2016, alongside its siblings the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch. It features its own distinctive front end design but the engine, driveline and chassis are all shared components.

Background

Toyota has been selling vans in the UK since the early '80s; with the long-running Toyota Hiace van being its most popular model. However, that couldn’t meet the Euro-5 emission standard and so the Japanese company bought the rights to sell badge-engineered versions of the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch in 2013.

Sales have been slow because the PSA van was already seven years old when registrations commenced, and it was feeling its age. The new model, however, is a breath of fresh air and features a lot of innovative technology.

Specification

Toyota will offer two trim levels on the Proace: Base and Comfort. It will be the first van in its class to offer a head-up display which shows the driver various data (such as current speed, cruise control settings and sat-nav commands), without the need for them to take their eyes off the road. It will be the first van to be able to ‘read’ speed limit signs and recommend slowing down.

Infotainment on the premium specs is provided by a seven-inch touchscreen display, with integrated 3D sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary connectivity plus a system to mirror the apps on your smartphone. There is a voice command feature that allows you to enter your required destination without taking your eyes off the road.

Engine and driveline

The Toyota Proace doesn’t get the full range of engines and transmissions that are available on the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch. Instead, it is limited to a 1.6-litre engine with an output of 95hp or 115hp, and a 2.0-litre producing 120hp. All use a six-speed manual gearbox except for the lower-powered 1.6-litre.

Load area

There will be three load lengths of 2,160mm, 2,150mm and 2,860mm, corresponding to load volumes of 5.1, 5.8 and 6.6 cubic metres. There's no option of a taller roof height.

Payloads have also increased thanks to an increased nominal gross vehicle weight of 3.1 tonnes, which offers a 1,400kg payload.

Pricing and availability

The 2016 Toyota Proace is expected to go on sale in September 2016, and will be priced from £18,660 plus VAT for the base model. This increases to £19,667 for the Comfort models but users must be aware that the aftersales support won’t be as comprehensive as that offered by the much more CV-focused Citroen network.