Toyota has released a new compact van called the Proace City. Developed in conjunction with PSA (Peugeot Citroen), the newcomer looks to do battle with the light commercial segment. Should Toyota SA bring it to South Africa?
Toyota has developed the Proace City alongside Groupe PSA (Peugeot Citroen). Available in 2 lengths: short at 4.4m and long at 4.7m, the Proace City can be customised to suit the customer's requirements.
The customisation options are quite comprehensive. There's a maximum volume from 3.3 cubic metres (short model) to 4.3 cubic metres (long version with Smart Cargo option). The Toyota Proace City is one of few vehicles in its class that can accommodate two Euro pallets. Adding the Smart Cargo system option gives best-in-class load length capability of 3.1m for the short version and 3.4m for the long, while the maximum payload is another class-best figure at one tonne (both versions).
For those who need to carry even greater or heavier loads, the van can tow braked trailers up to 1.5 tonnes. Asymmetrical rear doors (glazed or unglazed) or a top-hinged tailgate can be specified.
In terms of engines Proace City will be available with a range of petrol and diesel powertrains offering a power spread from 56 kW to 97 kW, with the choice of 5 or 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmissions.
The Toyota Proace City is being marketed as a safe city panel van and it boasts a number of active safety features such as Pre-Collision System, Road Sign Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Cruise Control and a “coffee cup warning” that recommends the driver takes a break if they have spent a long time at the wheel. The content is increased with Automatic High Beam, Sway Warning and an extended Road Sign Assist system, while the most comprehensive package further adds Adaptive Cruise Control and a Blind Spot Monitor. All models also come with eCall for automatic connection with the emergency services in the event of a serious accident.
Comfort features include an 8-inch touchscreen to access audio and smartphone functions, with MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay (including Siri assistant) and Android Auto (including Google assistant), plus Bluetooth, and USB/Aux-in connections. It can be used with navigation and online functions, including 3D mapping, voice command recognition and connected traffic information (via Tomtom Traffic).
Panel vans aren't the most popular commercial vehicles in South Africa as single-cab bakkie with accessories do the majority of the work. Do you think there's a business case for the Toyota Proace City?