The What Van? Road Test: Toyota Proace City (2020)

Date: Wednesday, August 26, 2020   |   Author: Steve Banner


Interior and equipment

While Active models come with two seats in the cab, Icons are three-seaters. The outermost passenger seat folds down to make it easier for pipes, planks and so on to be pushed through the aforementioned bulkhead hatch, and transported. Doing so extends the length of the 1,817mm-long cargo floor by a, potentially very useful, 1,273mm.

Three seats in a cab of this size are of limited value given that an adult occupant of the middle seat has no legroom whatsoever. That said, vans with this seating configuration hold their value well on the second-hand market because a couple with a child can use them as personal transport at the weekend. 

Furthermore, the back of the middle seat can be folded forwards to create a desk, and rotated towards the driver so that it can be more easily used.

The Proace City comes with a high level of specification. Even Actives get manual air conditioning, while Icon trim adds front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, automatic wipers, cruise control with a speed limiter, front fog lights and cornering lights, and an electronic parking brake.

Also installed is a multimedia package with an 8in colour touchscreen plus smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth and USB connections are provided too, as is DAB audio.

With Active or Icon, for your money you benefit from automatic headlights, electric windows, and heated and power-operated exterior mirrors. Upgrade to Icon and the latter are power-folding too.

Remote audio controls are located on the steering wheel. Both the wheel and the driver’s seat are height-adjustable, and the seat boasts lumbar adjustment.

In-cab storage facilities include a full-width shelf above the windscreen, two pockets in each of the doors, an air-conditioned glovebox, a lidded compartment above the instrument panel, and a shelf behind the upstanding touchscreen. Cupholders are positioned at each end of the dashboard.

All the usual electronic safety systems are present and correct. The line-up includes ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, vehicle stability control, hill-start assist control, and downhill assist control. A tyre pressure monitoring system is installed, as are driver and front passenger airbags.

Our demonstrator came with an optional Toyota Safety Sense package, which includes lane departure alert. It also embraces road sign assist, which highlights the speed limit in force on the road the van is travelling down and helps ensure the driver does not breach it.

Included too is pre-collision system. It intervenes automatically at speeds of up to 18mph to prevent accidents, applying the brakes and bringing the van to a halt if necessary. It reacts at above 18mph too, reducing the vehicle’s speed to mitigate the consequences of an impact if the driver fails to react to looming danger. Also included in the deal is an alarm, which will trigger if somebody smashes any of the cab’s glass or tries to tamper with the vehicle in any way.

Two Safety Sense Packages are on offer – one with a towbar and one without. Our van was equipped with the former.

Disc brakes – ventilated at the front – are fitted all round.

Speed-sensitive electric power steering helps deliver a 11.29m turning circle wall to wall, shrinking to 10.79m kerb to kerb.

Turning to the suspension, MacPherson struts and an anti-roll bar are installed at the front while a torsion beam set-up is deployed at the back. The Icons sit on 16in steel wheels, shod in our case with 205/60 R16 Michelin Energy Saver tyres.

It’s good to see there’s a full-size spare wheel.


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