Step inside the cabin environment of the Proace and, with the exception of the seats, you’re greeted by a sea of hard, black, practical plastic.
Practical not only because it’s hard-wearing and simple to keep clean, but also because there are several places to store stuff.
These include a lidded bin in the top of the dash and a glovebox in front of the passenger seat.
There are a couple of shallow, open slots here and there too – in the centre of the dash and below the window in the doors – plus the obligatory deeper bins in the bottom of the doors.
A couple of locations for drinks bottles exist too, placed at either end of the dash, but as my son found on a journey to play football they don’t take larger-diameter examples.
Storage extends to a space underneath the middle seat that’s big enough to take a laptop.
There is no overhead shelf, but the back of the middle seat can be flipped down to create a writing surface.
We mentioned the seats at the beginning and they must be comfortable – I say ‘must be’ because I didn’t notice any discomfort during a near two-hour slog around the M25 for a meeting, and that’s a good sign, right?
They feature height-adjustable headrests and lumbar support, but the armrest that’s stashed away upright between the driver and middle seats when not in use is a bit puny and is perhaps best described as an ‘elbow rest’.
Winter comfort has been aided by an aircon system that heats up fairly smartly and DAB audio on miserable overcast drives (I’d forgotten just how good the BBC’s 6 Music is.)
The most (literally) eye-catching item is the head-up display that whirs up from the dash in the driver’s line of vision and looks like a Perspex slide. It helps keep the driver’s eyes on the road and displays, for example, speed and satnav directions.
The image that appears on it can also be adjusted for height as well as brightness. What can’t be changed though, as far as I can tell, is the tone for incoming calls – it sounds like background music at a garden party for pixies, although a stressed delivery driver might find it soothing.
The volume can be adjusted, and that’s achieved via the touch screen in the middle of the dash.
Finally, we did encounter a more serious issue, and that’s the disappearance of the USB port that was located next to the 12V supply and below the central locking button.
But that’s a story for a future report.
Report Card: Cabin = 3/5
Solid performance. All the bases are covered and the comfort is good, but the USB port disappeared early on.
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
(See below for previous report)