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

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

 Rear 3_4


One benefit of opting for the Proace City is its five-year/100,000-mile warranty, including AA roadside assistance for the duration. The paintwork is warranted for three years and the body carries a 12-year anti-perforation corrosion guarantee. The package is significantly more generous than the support that accompanies the PSA-badged alternatives. A service is needed when the relevant warning light comes on. 

If the van is not working in an arduous environment and is treated kindly then it may be a long time before the light illuminates. As a consequence, Toyota asks operators to ensure that the Proace City visits a workshop every two years/25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Toyota quotes WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) fuel consumption figures of 46.3mpg-50.4mpg along with a 151g/km WLTP CO2 figure. We were averaging around 50mpg on a mixture of rural, motorway and urban routes, lightly laden.

A stop/start system, standard on both Actives and Icons, helps keep diesel usage and emissions down. Side rubbing strips help protect the body from minor damage. 

While the Proace City is undoubtedly specification-rich, there are some notable omissions from the vehicle line-up. A 130hp version of the 1.5-litre diesel, a six-speed manual gearbox, an eight-speed auto gearbox and a 4x4 variant all form part of the PSA portfolio, but Toyota is not taking any of them. Nor is it listing the optional overload indicator, or marketing what it has to offer as a crew van.

We’re not expecting it to list all of them – but adding the six-speed box as an option would be a good start.

Toyota Proace City Icon Short 100hp

Price (ex VAT) £20,090

Price range (ex VAT) £17,465-£20,715

Gross payload 1,000kg

Load volume 3.3m3

Load length 1,817mm

Load width (min/max) 1,229/1,527mm

Load bay height 1,200mm

Loading height 548mm

Rear door aperture 1,241x1,196mm

Side door aperture 675x1,072mm

Gross vehicle weight 2,365kg

Braked trailer towing weight 1,500kg

Residual value 23.3% (after 4rys/80,000mls. Source – KwikCarcost)

Cost per mile 40.4p

Engine size/power 1499cc, 100hp @ 3,500rpm

Torque 250Nm @ 1,750rpm

Gearbox 5-spd

Fuel economy (Combined WLTP) 46.3-50.4mpg

Fuel tank 50 litres

CO2 151g/km

Warranty 5yrs/100,000mls

Service intervals 2yrs/25,000mls

Insurance group 34E

Price as tested £21,348


Metallic paint £454

Toyota Safety Sense including tow bar £804


Ford Transit Connect

Price (ex VAT) £16,575-£22,765

Load volume 2.9-3.6m3

Gross payload 579-876kg

Engines 100hp 1.0 petrol, 75hp, 100hp, 120hp 1.5 diesel

Verdict: With a slick gear-change and top-notch handling and performance, the Connect underlines the truth of the old maxim that nobody ever got shot for buying a Transit. It’s fuel-frugal and the cab interior is comfortable and well laid out, with ample storage. It all helps to explain why Ford remains the UK market-leader by a wide margin. The diesel is the same 1.5 in the Proace City.

Renault Kangoo/Kangoo Maxi

Price (ex VAT) £16,650-£33,120

Load volume 3.0-4.0m3

Gross payload 605-800kg

Engines 80hp, 95hp, 115hp 1.5 diesel, 44kW electric

Verdict: A new Kangoo is set to arrive either late this year or early next year, but that does not mean the virtues of the existing offering should be ignored. Its diesels are fuel-efficient, its gearboxes user-friendly, and the electric Kangoo Z.E.’s range between battery recharges got  a bit of a boost a while back. No news as yet as to whether the UK will get the fuel cell Kangoo though.

VW Caddy/Caddy Maxi

Price (ex VAT) £16,055-£26,015

Load volume 3.2-4.2m3

Gross payload 634 -738kg

Engines 102hp 1.0 petrol, 102hp, 150hp 2.0 diesel

Verdict: If you want a compact van with rock-solid build quality that looks as though it will last forever, then your search is over. The Caddy has other virtues too. While they do not include innovative styling, they certainly embrace exemplary diesel engines and top-notch on-the-road performance and handling. A new Caddy has been unveiled and should be in dealerships during Q1 of 2021.

The Final Verdict

Design 7/10 – Fine, but a pity Toyota hasn’t taken all of the options PSA has in its grab bag. 

Cabin 7/10 – Equipped to a high standard, but middle seat lacks leg and shoulder room. 

Ride 6/10 – Struggles a little on uneven highway surfaces when lightly laden. 

Refinement 7/10 – No squeaking/creaking, but more attention needs to be paid to in-cab noise.

Load area 8/10 – Easy to access. Load-through facility makes it easier to take longer items. 

Handling/performance 8/10 – Neither give cause for concern. Enough power to meet most situations.

Engine/transmission 6/10 – Nothing wrong with the former, but the latter could do with an extra gear. 

Standard equipment 9/10 – Plenty of goodies, with even entry-level models fitted with air conditioning.

Operating costs 9/10 – Long warranty is to be praised. Residuals should be healthy. 

What Van? subjective rating 8/10 – An attractive package and a worthy addition to the Toyota LCV line-up. 

Overall Rating = 75/100







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