Our particular version of the Toyota Proace is powered by a 180hp 2.0-litre Euro6 diesel engine – the most powerful engine in the line-up – that’s mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
They make a great pairing – for both motorway work, where the engine provides more than enough power to be at home in the outside lane on days when the roads are busy but free-flowing, and in more stop-start scenarios due to a smooth-changing ’box.
If you want, it’s possible to switch to manual operation of the gearbox and use the steering wheel-mounted paddle controls to change up and down.
The steering, meanwhile, is light and breezy, although it could do with being a little more responsive when moving through countryside bends.
However, the Proace is easy to manoeuvre at low speeds, and is therefore agile enough to negotiate town centre parking spaces fairly comfortably.
The model only comes in one roof height, which is low enough to get under the height-restriction barriers found in some parking locations.
In-cab noise levels are kept well under control, and the ride is decent with a load in the back.
The Proace feels refined at cruising speeds and, all round, is a pleasant, relaxing and comfortable vehicle to drive. Those are family car-like qualities that can be attributed to the platform – used for the Peugeot 308, for example – the van is built on.
Finally, the likes of a gear dial rather than stick that’s simplicity itself to operate, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot mirror tech, and parking sensors at the front and back (and which also alerted me to an overgrown bush to the side on a recent occasion) all contribute to making life for the Proace driver as undemanding as possible.
Report Card: Driving = 5/5
Very easy-going out on the road.
Toyota Proace Design Medium 2.0 Auto
Official combined consumption 49.6mpg
Our average consumption 37.3mpg
Price (ex VAT) £29,036
Price range (ex VAT) £19,128-£31,078
Service intervals 1yr/10,000mls
Load length 2,512/3,674mm*
Load width (min/max) 1,258/1,628mm
Load bay height 1,397mm
Gross payload 1,400kg
Load volume 5.3m3/5.8m3*
Engine size/power 1,997cc/180hp
Gearbox 6-spd auto
* Including Smart Cargo system