The vans put in check the traditional minivans with models like the Toyota Proace City that has been under our magnifying glass. The model made in Spain shines for its versatility, its great equipment options, and behavior close to that of tourism.
The first car that Toyota makes in Spain is Toyota Proace City. It is a van that comes from Galicia because it is manufactured in the Citroën factory in Vigo as a result of the collaboration of two automotive giants such as the PSA Group with the Toyota Group.
The result of this alliance is the Citroën Berlingo, the Peugeot Rifter, the Opel Combo, and this Proace City that is the protagonist of today because it has been the last to form this van poker. The result of joining France, Germany, and Japan, three great automobile powers, can be interesting, don’t you think?
There are two versions of the Toyota Proace City aimed at professional use: the Proace City Van, intended for the transport of goods, and the Proace City Verso Combi, for mixed-use of goods and passengers. But in this test, I am going to focus on the Proace City Verso Family which is aimed at individuals to transport passengers in the purest minivan style.
Unlike the commercial versions, the Family always features two sliding side doors and a large tailgate. Also, the bumpers have a specific design and are painted in the same color of the body, there are some chrome details, it has aluminum roof bars and it sports 16 or 17-inch alloy wheels depending on the finish.
The range consists of two trim levels, Active and Advance, and two body lengths are also proposed: the average length at 4.40 meters and the long length at 4.75 meters. The wheelbase is always the same as the difference located in the size of the rear overhang. For Family versions, the medium-length units always come with a 5-seater interior configuration and the long one with a 7-seater interior.
The exterior design does not present major stylistic innovations and the interior does not. What the Proace City has focused on, like the rest of its sister models, is offering a practical space. Despite being a light commercial vehicle, it does not look rough and although there are few soft materials in general, all plastics have a pleasant touch although they are hard and the assembly feels solid and resistant.
What is most impressive is the available equipment, so abundant that it was unthinkable a few years ago that a van could have all these elements of comfort and safety. It can have access and start without keys, electric parking brake, led headlights, heated front seats with armrests, leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, panoramic roof … Yes, the unit we are testing is indeed the top of the range with the Advance finish but it is equally impressive that we can have the same comforts as in conventional tourism.
This also affects the infotainment section. The Proace City has a multimedia system with an 8-inch touch screen that has a browser, wifi, includes a sound system with six speakers, and has integration with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Also, we have a wireless charger for mobile.
The most modest element we can see is the instrument panel, which is quite simple with a 3.5-inch TFT screen with information from the on-board computer. But even this element keeps an ace up its sleeve since it can have an associated head-up display, which is something that a much more expensive Toyota RAV4 cannot have.
Access to the rear seats is very easy thanks to the large side doors and the space is very large at all levels. The Family versions have three quite comfortable individual seats in the second row and all of them with Isofix anchors. It would have been nice if they could be regulated longitudinally but that possibility is not offered but we do find elements such as ventilation outlets, folding airplane-type trays, and pockets behind the backrests. Also, the windows in this row have electric windows and carry manual curtains.
The long-body variants of the Proace City Verso Family add the third row with two foldings, sliding, and removable individual seats. Another feature that stands out inside this van is the number of compartments available. There is a storage chest under the second-row seats, a compartment above the front seats, spaces in the floating roof panel, large door openings, a double glove compartment, and a large compartment in the center console. A million holes to leave things.
Since we are talking about space, let’s talk about the trunk that has a huge tailgate in this Verso Family version, which also offers a practicable window. The cargo space cubes a whopping 775 liters of capacity in the mid-body van. The long body extends that capacity to 1,050 liters when it has 5 seats and stays between 209 and 322 liters when they have seven operating seats, depending on the position of those seats since they are sliding.
There are some practical solutions available in the cargo space. For example, a height-adjustable boot lid tray that stands out for its solidity since loads of up to 25 kg can be placed on it. Also, if it is necessary to transport very long objects, keep in mind that in some versions the passenger seat is foldable.
The Toyota Proace City is that it is like a multipurpose knife, you can use it for everything. It can be used for work because it is still a van, it can be used as a family vehicle since we can have 5 or 7 very spacious seats and a huge trunk or it can be used for leisure activities taking advantage of the large load capacity to bring bikes or snowboards or whatever.
As we are talking about a Toyota model, perhaps you are hoping that there is a hybrid system under the hood, but it is not. In 2021 the Proace City Electric will arrive, a 100% electric version, but currently the range of this Proace City in its Verso Family variant has two gasoline and one diesel engines all of PSA origin.
In gasoline, a 1.2-liter block is proposed with two power options: 110 hp and manual transmission and 130 hp with automatic transmission. In the diesel section, a 1.5D of 130 CV is offered in which we can choose any of the two transmissions. The manual has six gears and goes well without further ado, the automatic is a torque converter, has eight gears and provides a lot of comforts but increases the price by 1,750 euros.
On this occasion, I have been able to test the Toyota Proace City Verso Family 1.5D 130 CV 8AT and this diesel version seems the most suitable for a car of this type. I have driven gasoline in one of the French brothers of this car and they are very smooth but the consumption is higher. With diesel, not only will we spend less, but the Proace City moves more freely, being loaded thanks to the 300 Nm of maximum torque on offer.
Some vibrations are perceived and the sound is somewhat higher than the gasoline versions but it is more refined than would be expected. When passing through the service station you will notice the advantage since this mechanic spends between 1.5 and 2 l / 100 km less than gasoline, a considerable difference. The usual thing will be to be around 6 l / 100 km, a good number, although it will increase if we travel with a lot of loads regularly.
At the wheel, you do not have the feeling of taking a van but tourism. This easy-to-drive Toyota has good ride comfort, good visibility, and both reactions and driving position are similar to those of a minivan. The suspensions have a soft setting and the steering is heavily assisted to maneuver effortlessly.
Safety is important and includes systems such as the Pedestrian Detection Pre-Collision Safety System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Involuntary Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent High Beam Control and Traffic Signal Recognition System with speed adaptation.
The Toyota Proace City in this version of the Verso Family minivan approach is on sale from 18,500 euros including VAT and discounts currently offered by the Japanese brand although in the motor.es app you can find lower prices. It is clear that seeing the evolution of this type of vans, it is understood that the minivans are in check.