Having done little more than dabble half-heartedly in the van market for many years, Toyota has adopted a much more positive stance of late. In doing so it is admittedly relying heavily on another manufacturer’s products, but that by no means makes it unique.
That other manufacturer is PSA.
Toyota’s Proace medium-duty panel van is a rebadged version of Citroen’s Dispatch, Peugeot’s Expert and Vauxhall’s Vivaro. PSA owns all three of these brands, and the models concerned share the same design.
Somewhat confusingly, the new Proace City – the subject of our road test – is not a variant of the Proace. Instead, it is another iteration of PSA’s smaller Citroen Berlingo/Peugeot Partner/Vauxhall Combo.
That means four dealer networks sell what is at heart the same model. That gives prospective customers plenty of opportunity to shop around for the best deal, and play one local dealer off against another.
The quartet of vehicles jointly drove off with the What Van? Light Van of the Year award for 2020.
The bedrock of Toyota’s light commercial line-up is, of course, a product that is very much its own: the legendary Hilux pick-up, which has just been facelifted and given more power. Something else that has the Toyota brand running all the way through it is the Land Cruiser Commercial, a van based on the big 4x4 Land Cruiser SUV.
Returning to the Proace City, it comes as either the Short (2,785mm wheelbase) or the Long (2,975mm wheelbase), with load cubes of 3.3m3 and 3.9m3 respectively. Under the bonnet you will find a 1.5-litre diesel at either 75hp or 100hp, married to a five-speed manual transmission in both cases.
An electric model is scheduled to appear in 2022.
The Short can cope with a 650kg gross payload, rising to 1,000kg if you choose the 100hp option. Marketed solely with the more powerful engine, the Long can handle 950kg.
Two trim levels are listed. Entry-level Active is offered on the Short only, while Icon can be specified on either length.
We decided to get to grips with a 100hp Icon Short.